Monday, November 21, 2011


Next stop Dubai?

The majority of Australian breeders would be aware of Statue of Liberty’s prowess as a sire of lightning fast sprinters due to the deeds of Hay List, Mic Mac et al.
However, Statue of Liberty also has plenty of fans overseas with winners in 16 countries (including a host of 2YO winners this year in Japan).
The son of Storm Cat has even had a winner in the United Arab Emirates, but his global renown could step up a notch in 2012 when Golden Star makes an appearance at Dubai’s night of nights, the World Cup meeting.
The Gary Moore trained Golden Star – a track record holder over 1300m at Macau’s Taipa course – took out his second Group One on Friday night (18 November) when successful in the Sand Premier Cup-G1.
The Premier Cup was the first time that internationally-trained horses (other than Hong Kong) has been invited to race at Taipa, but Golden Star had no trouble seeing off his rivals and scored by four and a half lengths with his bold front running display.
Hong Kong star, Dynamic Blitz, was joined by two horses from England and Aussie Éclair Mystic represented Australia.
“He (Golden Star) is an outstanding racehorse and we hope that win can get us an invite to Dubai,” Moore said post race.
Macau Jockey Club director of racing Michael Beattie said the aim of the Premier Cup was to provide a testing ground for horses hoping to race at Dubai’s rich carnival in February and March: “It’s a massive step forward for Macau racing to have the foresight to move into the international sphere.”
Fired out of the gates by Louis Corrales, Golden Star cut some quick early sectionals to lead the field by four lengths into the back straight, before going further ahead approaching the home turn.
Golden Star has now won 12 of his outings in Macau – including the Sand Premier-G1 and Chairman’s Challenge Cup-G1 last year plus a Group Three for some $A700k in stakes.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Covering an unprecedented book (some 190 mares) in his first season at stud in Ireland, expectations were high for the Champion 2YO, Bushranger.
Fortunately the first box was ticked when Tally-Ho – the famous Irish farm which bred and now stand the multiple Group One winner – reported the first foals of Bushranger had generated considerable repeat bookings due to their “athleticism and quality”.
Well, the pen has come out again with the first Bushranger offerings making a splash at this week’s November Foal Sale at Ireland with his youngsters selling up to €58,000 (A$78,000).
All up, 11 of the Bushranger foals sold for €40,000 or more and, according to the UK’s Racing Post, pinhookers were very active and you can expect to see a large number of foals sold making a reappearance in the sale ring as yearlings.
And, at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale (which actually kicks off on 22 November) another 15 Bushranger (below) youngsters are up for grabs, including half relations to several stakes winners.


Tremendous boost to Victorian racing and breeding through the week with the announcement of Super VOBIS Gold. Here’s the nitty gritty …

The Victorian Coalition Government today delivered on its election commitment to support the state’s thoroughbred breeding industry by announcing a new multi-million dollar program to boost prize money and bonuses for Victorian bred racehorses.
Minister for Racing Denis Napthine joined TBV President Tim Johnson, Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Rob Hines, to announce that the Government would provide almost $6.8 million over four years to help establish VOBIS Gold.
VOBIS Gold, which will be offered in addition to Victoria’s successful Super VOBIS scheme, provides owners of horses bred in Victoria with the opportunity to significantly increase their earning potential.
VOBIS Gold will offer $20,000 bonuses at up to 350 races conducted across all ages, classes and tracks, plus an annual $1 million restricted race series exclusively for VOBIS Gold qualified horses will be held across city and country racecourses.
A total of $18 million in VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS bonuses will be on offer in Victoria each year with entry into the VOBIS Gold program courtesy of a one-off $1000 fee for qualified yearlings.
Under the scheme, the owner of a qualified horse winning a standard $12,000 Victorian country race with a VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS bonus attached will collect $25,235 compared to $6,825 for an unqualified horse.
Similarly in Melbourne, the owner of a qualified horse winning a standard Saturday metropolitan race with a VOBIS Gold and Super VOBIS bonus attached will collect $72,800 compared to $42,700 for an unqualified horse.
“VOBIS Gold is a brilliant system which will provide a real boost to the Victorian racing industry by encouraging owners and trainers to not only purchase Victorian bred yearlings but to also race their horses in Victoria, particularly at country racecourses,” Napthine said.
“VOBIS Gold will help to produce more Victorian born and bred champions of the turf like Black Caviar.
“Under VOBIS Gold, owners of horses already eligible for the existing Super VOBIS program will pay a one-off nomination fee that will give owners even more opportunities to share in prize money bonuses in specific races throughout the state.
“Both Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold will be open to the progeny of all Victorian based stallions and foals of dams owned by Victorian breeders.
“Through the new initiative, owners, trainers and jockeys of the first three placegetters in VOBIS Gold races will benefit from the prize money bonuses,” Napthine said.
Hines said the establishment of VOBIS Gold showed the Victorian Government’s support and on-going commitment to the Victorian breeding industry, which is continuing to produce stars of the track locally and abroad.
“We are delighted to launch VOBIS Gold which complements the lucrative Super VOBIS program here in Victoria and provides even more riches for those people racing horses in Victoria that are bred within the state,” Hines said.
“VOBIS Gold will deliver increased returns to owners, providing opportunities for qualified horses to claim a lucrative VOBIS Gold bonus across all ages, classes and tracks, particularly in regional Victoria.”
Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) President, Tim Johnson, said VOBIS Gold was the culmination of TBV’s work over the past 18 months to strengthen Super VOBIS.
“The Victorian Government’s substantial injection of funds has been the most significant factor in delivering the desired result, that is, an improved scheme that will benefit all breeders in this state,” Johnson said.
“The Victorian Government’s commitment to assist breeders is unprecedented. By reinvesting racing funds into a bonus scheme which boosts returns to owners of Victorian bred horses the flow on will be increased demand for the Victorian product.
“Breeders will now have even greater confidence to continue to invest both in breeding stock and infrastructure. One of the big winners from this announcement will be regional Victoria.”
This season’s yearling crop will be the first to compete for VOBIS Gold bonuses when they hit the racetrack from late 2012.
The one-off yearling entry fee will be due on 1 June each year with the nomination form and details for the initial crop to be distributed in early 2012.

Tim Johnson (TBV), Rob Hines (RV) and Dr Denis Napthine

Monday, November 14, 2011


Written Tycoon can lay serious claim to being the best value sire in Australia.
Now at the top of the nation’s Second Season Sires’ chart, Written Tycoon clearly isn’t about to rest on his Australian Champion First Season Sires’ laurels.
Standing at a fee of just $11,000, Written Tycoon has produced five stakes horses from his first 32 runners – a massive 15.6% - and two of the clan added to the coffers on Saturday with Masthead ($612,500) running a bold second in the Kevin Heffernan Stakes-LR at Sandown, while Andre Roo Hoo ran a blinder for third in the Merson Cooper Stakes-LR for 2YOs.
Furthermore, Written Tycoon’s only other runner on the day – Ways of a Tycoon – broke his duck for trainer Dan O’Sullivan after running second at two of his three previous outings.
Masthead (below) – as his earnings would suggest – has been the model of consistency with his nine races in stakes company seeing a first four finish on eight occasions, including a third in the Blue Diamond-G1 and fourth in the Golden Slipper-G1.
As for flashy 2YO, Andre Roo Hoo, he debuted just over a week ago for Robbie Laing, producing a sparkling effort for second in the Maribyrnong Plate-G3 on Emirates Day at Flemington before backing up in Saturday’s Merson Cooper.
Despite losing ground when jumping awkwardly, Andre Roo Hoo battled on gamely for third – beaten a length and a half – and the colt appears to have a very promising future.
As does Written Tycoon given that of his three juvenile runners thus far in 2011/12, two have earned black type!
Just some of the 11,000 reasons why owners are sending their mare to Written Tycoon in 2011!


Bel Esprit managed to pull off another treble on Saturday, with winners as far flung as Victoria (Gazelle) and Malaysia (Aranda), but it was the victory of Work The Room (below), who scored over 1200m at Eagle Farm that really caught the eye.
The lightly raced son of Bel Esprit – having his first start since August – stormed home from second last on the turn to outclass stablemate Excellantes by 1.25 lengths in the Better Build Constructions Handicap.
According to trainer Robert Heathcote, Work The Room’s target is now the Bernborough Handicap-LR on 31 December.
A two time winner at Sandown and winner of the Tattersalls Mile-LR at Eagle Farm in July, Work The Room was bred by Hayson Bloodstock in NSW and is out of the Grand Lodge mare, Social Scene.
It was somewhat fitting that Work The Room should win on Saturday, albeit a long way from his happy hunting ground of Sandown where – for the first time – the re-badged Zipping Classic (formerly Sandown Classic) was staged.
Work The Room is a half brother to Zipping who won the Sandown Classic four years in succession from 2007-2010.