Monday, February 28, 2011


Not surprisingly, the 2011 service nominations to Champion Victorian Sire Bel Esprit and exciting shuttler Statue of Liberty proved very popular when auctioned off at the Inglis ‘open day’ yesterday.
Offered by Eliza Park to raise funds for Living Legends, the Bel Esprit nomination was knocked down to Inglis as Agent for $25,000, while the Statue of Liberty was purchased by long-time Eliza Park and a wonderful industry contributor in Marianne Smart.


Eliza Park’s chief ‘meet and greet’, John Jeffs, has been co-ordinating inspections for 13 years on behalf of Eliza Park and Tyreel Stud … from the Gold Coast, to Easter, to Melbourne.
And, despite the inclement weather when most people were dragging themselves out of bed of a Sunday morning, Oaklands Junction was absolutely hopping all day. Indeed, JJ declared it the busiest day he’s experienced at a sales complex – anywhere! – and was at the vanguard of no less than 133 inspections.
All up, the 27 fillies were pulled from their boxes on 280 occasions, while the 24 colts were out 337 times.
Thus far – in the six days of inspections prior to day one of the sale – the colts have been out 1505 times, while the fillies have strutted their stuff on 1315 occasions.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The Y inside the C is the brand of highly successful owner/breeder Robert Crabtree, the principal of Brighton Mazda.
Rob has had a long association with Eliza Park and, indeed, sold the property at Kerrie to Eliza Park’s owner Lee Fleming in the late 90s.
Rob also bred and raced Group One winning sprinter Magnus who now stands at Eliza Park and is selling his first yearlings in 2011.
Not surprisingly, given his ‘speed’ breed and his racetrack tenacity (first four finishes in 10 Group Ones), Magnus’ progeny has been hugely popular at sales on the Gold Coast (former trainer Peter Moody bought the first one!) and in Sydney where his filly from Coconut Mamma topped the Inglis Sydney Classic.
Now it’s on to Melbourne where 32 Magnus yearlings will be offered, 10 of them by Eliza Park.


Enormous performance yesterday by Written Tycoon’s flying 2YO – Masthead (below) – in the $1 million Blue Diamond Stakes-G1 at Caulfield yesterday.
Nothing was going to toss the brilliant Sepoy, who put in the fastest Diamond run in 17 years, but Masthead’s effort to finish third was outstanding to say the least.
Running wide for most of the journey, Masthead rattled home for a solid third, beaten a head out of second.
The Group One placing for Masthead became Written Tycoon’s second black type horse after Written Consent was a good thing beaten in the Canonbury Stakes-LR at Randwick on 12 February.
Masthead’s victory in the $250,000 Inglis Classic and Group One placing – coupled with Written Consent’s Listed second – sees Written Tycoon forge well ahead on the First Season Sires’ chart.

Great run too by Delago Brom youngster, Delago’s Lad, who couldn’t buy a run in the straight but was flying on the line to grab sixth.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Bel Esprit’s Caviar serves up phenomenal Lightning win …
and Statue of Liberty’s flyer is still second on the List

1 … 2 … thank you! Eliza Park stands the sires of the world’s two best sprinters

Well, job’s right. The unbeaten mare, Black Caviar more than justified her $1.28 quote by demolishing Australia’s finest sprinters in the $750,000 Lightning Stakes at Flemington today.
Such was the display that seasoned racegoers could not recall a performance of that ilk and now the question is, who can beat her?
Spare a thought though for Hay List. With his gutsy second – still two lengths clear of the third horse – he remains the second best sprinter in the world.
From an Eliza Park perspective, it could not have been a better result … Black Caviar is by Victoria’s Champion Sire Bel Esprit and is closely related to up and coming stallion Magnus (whose first crop of yearlings are selling in 2011 and topped the recent Inglis Sydney Classic), while Hay List is a son of Eliza Park’s shuttler Statue of Liberty.
Yet, as important a result as this is for Eliza Park, this is also a huge leap forward for the Victorian thoroughbred breeding industry.
As Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody said post race – dispelling the fears of those who feel his Champion mare will be lost to overseas racing – “there are plenty of televisions around the world and, besides, they can always jump on a plane!”
Victoria … the eyes of the world are upon us!

Eliza Park will have a 2011 service nomination to both Bel Esprit and Statue of Liberty auctioned at the Inglis Sales Complex on Sunday 27 February with the proceeds going to Living Legends, the International Home of Rest for Champion Horses.

Photo by Bronwen Healy


Eliza Park stands the sires of the world's two best sprinters in Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) and Hay List (Statue of Liberty) and, courtesy of Inglis, will be auctioning 2011 service nominations to both stallions at Oaklands Junction on Sunday 27 February, with the proceeds going to Living Legends, the International Home of Rest For Champion Horses.

Facetime: Bel Esprit (left) eyes off Statue of Liberty


Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Potential turned into reality at Mornington today with the gutsy victory of WRITTEN TYCOON juvenile, Masthead, in the $250,000 Inglis 2YO over 1200m.
The Lee Freedman trained colt was competing against a tip top field and sat just off the pace until turning for home.
In a confident ride by Craig Williams, the Written Tycoon flyer strode to the lead over the final furlong and held off the challenges of favourite Emerald Downs and the fast finishing Delago’s Lad (Delago Brom).
Masthead, bred by Vintage Bloodstock in South Australia, has shown considerable promise since winning a trial last September but found trouble on debut when second at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day.
Masthead then ran fourth in the Maribyrnong Plate-G3 (beaten less than a length) before being turned out and, based on today’s performance, he has returned a much more mature campaigner.
Masthead is out of the winning Redoute’s Choice mare Balsamico, a running family which includes 2YO stakes winners Vintage Dance, Loving Cup and Fullazz.
Written Tycoon stands at Eliza Park and covered 198 mares last season at a fee of $6,600.
Although Masthead is Written Tycoon’s first winner from limited runners to date, he has also been represented by last Saturday’s Canonbury Stakes-LR runnerup Written Consent.

Masthead is now rated a $21 chance for the Blue Diamond Stakes-G1 and Delago’s Lad certainly didn’t do his Diamond chances any harm with his rollicking third.

Masthead takes out the $250k Inglis 2YO. Photo by Taron Clarke


The focus this weekend will be on world champion sprinter Black Caviar (BEL ESPRIT), who resumes in the Group One VRC Lightning Stakes, but at Rosehill on Tuesday morning her little brother Moshe gave notice that he too can be a force during the autumn carnival.
Prepared by the Hawkes Racing team, Moshe looked well above average in winning at his only two runs to date at Bendigo and Moonee Valley last November, and has been given the time to mature further.
He stepped out at Rosehill in a 900m trial and coasted home to win by four lengths in 53.65 seconds.
Purchased for just $75,000 at the 2009 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, he was considerably less expensive than his famous older sister Black Caviar who was bought from the same sale for $210,000 the year before.

Black Caviar's brother Moshe. Photo courtesy of Slickpix

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Super performance by Written Consent in yesterday’s PHD Canonbury Stakes-LR at Randwick, finishing a bold, bold second behind Diamond to Pegasus.
In the process, the flashy colt became WRITTEN TYCOON’s first stakes performer … but oh so close to becoming his first black type winner!
Trained by Grahame Begg (who also trained Written Tycoon to victory in the Todman Slipper-G2), Written Consent was back in the pack early but put in a tremendous run over the final furlong to miss by a whisker in a bob of the head finish.
Bred by Farooq Breeding and Racing in NSW, Written Consent is out of the Octagonal mare, Hill Street Blues, a daughter of the Blue Diamond-G1 runnerup Danari, in turn a three quarter sister to Group Two winner Spurn.
Looks as if the Beggs have got another smart one on their books!
Written Tycoon


With a bold, front running display, Audacious Spirit went within a nostril of becoming BEL ESPRIT’s 11th stakes winner yesterday: just pipped on the line by Master Harry in the Group Two David Jones Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m).
The last 100m was heart stopping as the colt battled on strongly for his owner Robert Harding and Gold Coast trainer Gillian Heinrich.
This is some colt – yet to finish out of the money in eight starts, this is the fourth time Audacious Spirit has figured in the first four at stakes level and his day in the sun is looming.
Eliza Park will be selling a full brother to Audacious Spirit at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale on Tuesday 1 March [Lot 236] and, based on his Royal Sovereign performance, there’ll be plenty of visitors to brother’s box in Barn G at Oaklands Junction.
Audacious Spirit is out of the Zeditave mare Roskeel, who now has two winners (from two to race) and is a half sister to another Bel Esprit Group winner in Vivacious Spirit and the Group placed Jacques le Naif.

Despite the disappointment of Audacious Spirit just missing the big prize in Sydney, Bel Esprit still enjoyed a successful weekend with Navillus Superman scoring at Bendigo on Saturday and Plain Lucky getting the money at Seymour today.
Navillus Superman, now with canny Victorian trainer, Andrew Noblet, had his first six outings in Queensland but appears to have appreciated the move south. At Bendigo, Navillus Superman jumped from the outside gate, but soon went to the front and held on like granny’s tooth to score.
Bred by Peter Fraser, Navillus Superman is out of the Dolphin Street mare, Sharna Cabarna.
Meanwhile, racing in the first at Seymour the Mick Price trained Plain Lucky appears to be a very exciting prospect for connections.
Out of the Rory’s Jester mare Jestawinna and bred by Milburn Creek Thoroughbreds in NSW, Plain Lucky had four trials in Western Australia – winning three of them – before being transferred to Mick Price’s Caulfield stables.
No wonder they were watching him and was sent a $1.20 favourite.
According to Bel blogger, Brian Donohoe, this is the 43rd Bel Esprit to win on debut.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Island Bel today had the distinction of becoming BEL ESPRIT’s 500th winner when successful on debut over 1300m at Canberra.
Having her first start, Island Bel was sent out friendless in betting ($31) but raced liked an odds on pop, looking the winner a long way from home: and unless trainer Lance Doolan decides to start her in a Group One soon, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get those odds about the filly – from the Marooned mare Dawn Again – again!
Sitting just off the pace until the final bend, 3kgs claimer Kayla Nisbet rode the S Woodcock and Meredith Park bred filly a treat, weaving her way through traffic for an impressive win.
It won’t be her last.

Happy 500 Bel Esprit.


BEL ESPRIT has ‘celebrated’ a highly successful sale in Perth with a resounding double at Ballarat yesterday: the Mick Price (left) trained Monte Bella winning her maiden by three lengths, while stablemate and fellow 3YO filly, Bellantina, raced away to score by nearly six panels.
With the closure of the Perth Magic Millions Yearling Sale’s first session, Bel Esprit had proven to be immensely popular with two of his colts – the first from Marwina mare Marscara and other from Miss Discretion (by Redoute’s Choice) – selling for $77,500 and $100,000.
Victorian trainer Jason Warren has ‘taken coals to Newcastle’ with his six figure outlay for the Miss Discretion, while the Marscara colt was snapped up by WA buyer, Bridge Patrol Lodge.
Back in Victoria, Mick Price notched up his 18th victory with Bel Esprit progeny (the most successful trainer to date) when firstly the Erinvale Investments bred Monte Bella (from the Festival Hall mare Rainbrow Trout) grabbed a cheque before Bellantina (also bred in partnership by Mick Price and from the Encosta de Lago mare Laurentina) posted her second win this time in.
Monte Bella is owned by leading bloodstock agent Bryan Muschialli, Glen Funnell and Ken Shelton, while M Conway, Janice Elliott, Robert and June Harding, Joe Luca and Caroline Price pay for Bellantina’s feed bills.


It’s hard luck when you miss even with the Pope on your side!
Racing in the Chairman’s Stakes-LR at Sandown on Wednesday, Vatican went within a half length of becoming GOD’S OWN’s first 2YO stakes winner when second to the Lee Freedman trained Atomic over the 1000m journey.
The margin would have been even closer if Vatican hadn’t shifted out abruptly at the 200m and a bump at the start wouldn’t have helped either.
Trained by Byron Cozamanis, Vatican led for most of the journey before finding Atomic a little too strong on the line.
Vatican raced greenly in her first two outings, but is clearly a colt with plenty of ability. Running about a bit in the straight, it appeared as if he might fold when challenged, but held on strongly and tested Atomic all the way to the line.
Saints preserve us, but geez it’s a good name: Vatican … by God’s Own out of Our Sistine! As they say in the classics, a marriage made in heaven.
Hailing from a family rich in black type, Our Sistine is a half sister to NZ 2000 Guineas-G1 winner King’s Chapel.
It was indeed a big day for God’s Own with another of his 2YOs – Chris Waller’s Homedge – missed by a half when second over 1000m at Randwick.
Having just his first start, Homedge fought on tenaciously and it was a great result for his breeder and part owner Rob ‘The Tall Man’ Heyblok.
Homedge is out of the Rory’s Jester mare Alternative Edge, whom Yallambee Stud’s Christie Woodard purchased for Heyblok out of the 2003 Easter Broodmare Sale.
Since then, Alternative Edge has gone on to produce two stakes winners, Youth’s Edge and Vintedge, and based on her performance at Randwick, Homedge is a real chance of becoming number three.
Alternative Edge is also a half sister to Group One winner and sire Racer’s Edge and Skeaping and to the dam of Group One winner True Steel.

God’s Own, who stands at Eliza Park in conjunction with Yallambee Stud, will be represented by 16 yearlings at the Inglis Melbourne Premier, including a half sister to the brilliant racemare Orstensia [Lot 377].
The action kicks off on Monday 28 February.

The other Vatican!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Probably the most eagerly awaited ‘start’ this week didn’t involve a race meeting! Black Caviar had a jumpout at Caulfield yesterday and as Breednet’s Tara Madgwick points out, she was very impressive. Breednet also predicts a big season for Eliza Park’s Champion Victorian sire BEL ESPRIT.

Eliza Park based Bel Esprit is on track to record his best ever season as a sire with his flagship performer Black Caviar primed for her return to the track.
Clinton Payne of Racenet reported that the undefeated superstar won an unofficial trial at Caulfield on Tuesday morning by ‘about 15’ lengths which satisfied her trainer Peter Moody.
“She went nice, she just cruised around and had a good gallop,” Moody said.
“She was about 15 in front of them hard held.
“I’m happy with her.”
Black Caviar will resume from a spell in the $750,000 Group One Lightning Stakes over 1000 metres at Flemington on Saturday week and from there, her trainer is eyeing off as many as five other Group One contests for the daughter of Bel Esprit, including the Newmarket Handicap “depending on the weights” at Flemington three weeks later.
Other Group Ones that could feature Black Caviar are the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 25, the T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 9 and the BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben on May 14, Doomben 10,000 (1350m) at Doomben on May 28.
Bel Esprit is currently running sixth on the Leading Australian Sires List by individual winners with 71 to his credit whose earnings top $2.7 million, which has him in 13th place on the Leadings Australian Sires List by earnings.
The son of Royal Academy (USA) was the popular pick in Victoria back in the EI year of 2007 and as a result has a whopping crop of more than 190 live foals conceived from that year that are now two year-olds.
Only four of them have raced so far for one winner, but expect the weight of numbers there to kick in during the latter part of this season and next, so there is every reason to think Bel Esprit is riding the crest of a growing wave.
His yearlings have been in limited supply at the sales so far this year with the majority to be offered at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale with 15 set to go under the hammer by the sire of the best sprinter in the world in Black Caviar.

One ‘return’ to racing that seemed to fly under the radar was the trial of True Persuasion at Cranbourne on Monday morning, winning his 800m hit out by a comfortable three lengths.
Owned and bred by long-time Eliza Park client, Marianne Smart and trained at Caulfield by Mick Price, True Persuasion has always shown above average ability, but really blossomed in the spring with a second to Hay List in the Group One Manikato and a third behind Black Caviar in the Schweppes-G2 (ran into a couple of good ones in those races!), but was sadly galloped on and finished well back at Flemington on Cup Day.
From the look of his trial at Cranbourne though, he’s none the worse for wear and keep your eye out for him throughout the carnival.

Others to record trial wins at Cranbourne were GOD’S OWN’s 2YO filly Manor Lady (trained on the track by Robbie Griffiths) and another promising Bel Esprit 2YO in City of Song trained by John Moloney.
Manor Lady has shown considerable promise in two starts to date (a third in the in the $250,000 Inglis 2YO at Moonee Valley and stakes fourth at Flemington on Cup Day) and Eliza Park will sell a Shinzig half sister [Lot 588] at next month’s Melbourne Premier.
Eliza Park will also be offering a Magnus half brother to City of Song [Lot 287] from the Flemington stakes winner Songs of Vienna.


Another pin up boy for Eliza Park Racing with the win of Mourinho in last Saturday’s Tasmanian Derby-G3.
Joining an ever growing list of Group winners to graduate from Eliza Park’s racing division at Kerrie, Mourinho was sent to Eliza Park to be broken in and pre-trained after being sold at the 2009 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale.
Now in the hands of Moe mentor, Peter Gelagotis, Mourinho appears to have a bright future and, according to his trainer, will now have a tilt at the Group One South Australian Derby-G1: “I really think the sky’s the limit for him”.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Big weekend on two islands for BEL ESPRIT with Le Bel Away becoming his 17th stakes horse when third in the Strutt Stakes-LR at Hobart, while Fast Break got the money in Singapore.
Firstly to Hobart where the Darren Weir trained Le Bel Away looks to be the goods, fighting on strongly for third in her first attempt at black type after taking out the 1000 Guineas at Launceston nine days previously.
The 3YO filly – bred by Rod Menzies and from the King of Kings mare Let’s Fly Away – has now racked up three wins and two placings from seven outings and looks likely to register a stakes victory before the summer is out.
Meanwhile, the win of Fast Break in Singapore has to be seen to be believed: so, make sure you have a look by clicking here.
Methinks Bel Esprit blogger, Brian Donohoe, had something on the expat and we’re tipping he might have had the odd heart flutter when Fast Break was anything but from the barriers.
Bred by Carl Holt and hailing from the Strategic mare, Pride of Nevis (sold to Singapore by Eliza Park from its 2008 Gold Coast Magic Millions consignment), Fast Break lingered at the start but absolutely flew home to get the nod, carrying 58.5kgs.
Fast Break paid $10 on the Aussie tote and has now won three from eight way up north. In fact, it’s Bel Esprit’s third winner in Singapore this year and rounded out a profitable day for Victoria’s Champion Sire when Brewski lobbed at Colac for Bill and Symon Wilde.
Brewski is out of the Eagling mare Summer Magic and was bred by Summerset Park in South Australia: the 4YO has now won two from nine (with three placings) and hopefully his owners had a brewski or three after the win.

Fast Break gets up on the wire


Another top performance by Bart Cummings’ 3YO, Kim Divine who notched up his second city win on the trot with another command performance at Canterbury on Friday night.
The son of GOD’S OWN raced near the tail of the field throughout, but put the pedal to the metal a furlong out to score by nearly four lengths over the 1900m journey.
Out of the Cadeaux Genereaux mare, Cavita, Kim Divine hails from the family of Epsom/Irish Derby winner Kahyasi and, based on the impressive nature of Kim Divine’s last two outings, Bart might be able to add another Derby (or two) to his trophy cabinet.

God’s Own stands at Eliza Park in conjunction with the Woodard family’s Yallambee Stud and no-one, but no-one watches the progress of the stallion’s progeny closer than Peter Woodard.
Naturally, Woody rejoiced in the victory of Kim Divine but with somewhat mixed feelings given that third home was a horse by the name of Maximus Gladiator.
Woody’s favourite film of all time is Gladiator and he sheds a tear every time Russell Crowe bites the dust: that said, there’ll be plenty of beers and tears if Kim Divine lobs in the Australian Derby!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


With the conclusion of the Premier session at Karaka yesterday, Eliza Park has recorded a fantastic result with all six of the yearlings offered selling and achieving an average of $175,000.
The Fastnet Rock from She’s Innocent scooped the prize on day one when knocked down to Waikato Bloodstock for $200,000, but it was the trio on day two that really put the stamp on a memorable sale.
Bart Cummings got the ball rolling with $100,000 for the Fastnet Rock from Iseult, before Rick Connolly forked out $300,000 for the Encosta de Lago from Pace Invader [Lot 475].
Four lots later, Shaun Ritchie snapped up the Bernardini from Paris Tryst for $260,000.
In 2010, the first year Eliza Park sent a draft to New Zealand, the farm came away with an average of $147,500 for the four lots sold including $260,000 for a Fusaichi Pegasus.
Eliza Park will offer three yearlings in the Select Session which commences today.
The flashy grey filly by Encosta de Lago from Pace Invader

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Well done Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths who notched up a win at Stawell yesterday with his GOD’S OWN filly Creation.
This was only Creation’s second try after running second at Wangaratta on debut and she certainly put her stamp on the race with a convincing victory.
Bred by Denis Roberts, Creation is out of the Lord Seymour mare Zippast, who has now produced an incredible nine winners from nine to race, including the stakes winning 2YO Firenza.
Robbie snapped up Creation for $87,500 from the Eliza Park draft at the 2009 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale and is a huge fan of the God’s Owns.
After Monday, it’s not hard to see why.

You wouldn’t need to be a Rhodes Scholar to come up with the moniker and God’s Own certainly lends himself to ‘creative’ naming, but you have to love the name Creation.
Let’s hope Robbie and his intrepid owners have created something of a masterpiece.

Creation as a yearling


Love these cartoons from the good folk at Mashable ...

Speech is such a hassle, what with the mouth movements, facial expressions and eye contact.
History is just littered with opportunities where texting would have come in handy.


Good day at the office yesterday with the Fastnet Rock yearling from She’s Innocent [Lot 45] snaring $200,000 in the Karaka ring.
The flashy colt was knocked down to Waikato Bloodstock, enhancing a profitable morning for Eliza Park’s clients following the purchase of the Exceed And Excel colt from Recurring [Lot 10] by David Hayes for $90,000 in the first half hour.
Bred by Bronwyn Hawking and Wayne Ross, the Fastnet Rock is out of the Fu Peg mare Miss Guilty, a half sister to Doomben 10,000-G1 winner Mr Innocent and multiple stakes winner Verdict Declared (dam of Group winner A Country Girl).
Meanwhile, the Exceed And Excel colt – offered on behalf of Paul Fleming – is out of the Group One winner Recurring … bit of irony there: Recurring won her Group One in New Zealand, her foal was sent to New Zealand to be sold and now the yearling has been purchased by one of Australia’s leading trainers.
Eliza Park will have three youngsters up for grabs today: Lot 370, the Fastnet Rock colt from Iseult, Lot 475, the Encosta de Lago filly from Pace Invader and, Lot 479, a Bernardini filly from Paris Tryst.

The Fastnet Rock colt from She's Innocent