Sunday, May 29, 2011


Eliza Park freshman Written Tycoon consolidated his lead at the top of the first-season sires’ premiership at Launceston’s twilight meeting on Thursday.
Anelene (2f Written Tycoon - Ring Card Girl by Bellotto) scored a smart victory in the Foot & Playsted Printers Maiden (1100m) to increased her sire’s prizemoney earnings to $585,360 this season.
He leads Ad Valorem ($428,125) but the Darley resident won’t go away while his colt Free Wheeling remains alive for the G2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and G1 T J Smith at the Brisbane winter carnival.
Anelene had been runner-up to Crown Consul (Econsul) on debut before breaking through on Thursday.  She was a $20,000 buy for trainer George Blacker from the Bucklee Farm draft at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne Autumn yearling sale.
Her dam Ring Card Girl won at Eagle Farm and had produced minor winners by Piccolo, Hurricane Sky, Rhythm and Amalfi on the mainland before her Tassie winner.  The mare was covered by Shinzig at Eliza Park last year.
Written Tycoon (Iglesia) was a G2 winner of the Todman Slipper at Rosehill and his first runner earned black-type in the spring when Written Consent was runner-up in the Listed Canonbury Stakes at Randwick.
Masthead has been Written Tycoon’s team leader this season thanks to a rich result in the $250,000 Inglis Premier at Mornington in February.  The Lee Freedman trained colt then finished third in the G1 MRC Blue Diamond Stakes, fourth in the G2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes and fourth in the G1 STC Golden Slipper.

- Thoroughbred Express

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The superlatives continued to flow after Black Caviar stretched her unbeaten record to 13 wins by taking out the BTC Cup-G1 at Doomben in front of a crowd of some 20,000 on Saturday.
Forget for a moment that she’s by Bel Esprit from a Desert Sun mare – a fact that we’re monstrously proud of – and relish the fact she is breathing life back into racing.
Indeed, Brisbane locals were lined up before race one to make sure they got a glimpse of the wonder horse.
People who wouldn’t normally give a flying fetlock about horse racing are now talking up the deeds of Black Caviar in cafes and supermarkets and putting the industry firmly in the spotlight.
Long may she rule …
And win No. 13 certainly brought some records with it:
  1. Black Caviar now has 12 consecutive stakes victories (Kingston Town won 10 on the trot).
  2. She’s the first horse to win six Group Ones in a row since the race classifications were introduced in 1978.
  3. The only horse to win the Patinack Classic, Lightning Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, William Reid Stakes, TJ Smith and BTC Cup in the one season.
  4. Bettered Sunline’s record for Group One wins by a mare in a season.
  5. Equalled Kingston Town and Weekend Hussler’s record feat of winning six Group Ones in a season.

Spare a thought for Statue of Liberty’s (big) boy, Hay List, who again gave his all to finish second behind Black Caviar – his fourth defeat by the mare.
Since taking out his first black type in the Healy Stakes-G3 at Eagle Farm last June, Hay List has raced on nine occasions for five wins (including the Manikato-G1 and All Aged-G1) and three seconds.
In any other era, Hay List is the winner of five Group Ones, two Group Twos and a Group Three and is the automatic choice as Horse of the Year.
Probably just got to console his owners with the knowledge that he’s the best male sprinter in the world!


Black Caviar is the Lamborghini in any sire’s drive and everything else, by comparison looks like an old Morris, but it’s worth noting that since last Wednesday, Bel Esprit has produced a winner at Sandown (Humma Mumma), a winner in Singapore on Friday (Polar Esprit), a treble on Saturday with wins at Doomben (Black Caviar), Belfast Boy (Morphettville) and Malaysia (Aranda) and a winner yesterday with Indigo Belle becoming his 97th individual winner in Australia for the season.
It’s interesting to note that Bel Esprit has had 351 lifetime runners to date and, with it, has captured four Victorian sires’ titles and produced a Black Caviar.
Last season he covered 113 mares and has over 440 unraced 2YOs, yearlings and weanlings still in his arsenal!


Gutsy win by God’s Own 2YO, Miss Holyfield, over 1207m at Kilmore on Saturday.
Trained by Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra and bred and owned by Essendon Mazda’s Joe Cucuzza (pictured left with trainer Peter Boynton), Miss Holyfield is out of the Align mare, Lady Atlanta.
Miss Holyfield is one of the most inspired names for a racehorse … EVER.
You wouldn’t have needed to put a penny in the plate on Sunday to work out how Holy(field) and God’s Own go together, but that’s not the end of it … not by a long stretch.
Miss Holyfield’s dam, Lady Atlanta, is in turn a daughter of Flame of Atlanta and you may well remember that flame that lit the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games was carried at one stage by one of the city’s favourite sons in Evander Holyfield.
But wait, there’s more! A highly popular heavyweight boxing champion who won the title four times (the only boxer to do so), Holyfield won 44 times against the likes of George Foreman, Buster Douglas, Larry Holmes and, famously, Mike Tyson.
The first time they met, Holyfield knocked out Tyson in the 11th round and, in the rematch on 28 June 1997, Tyson bit off the top of Holyfield’s ear and was disqualified.
Thing is, Miss Holyfield had part of her ear bitten off as a foal by another horse and so, the name was a natural.
Doesn’t seem to have her hurt her though, given that she won at Kilmore with her – you guessed it – ear pricked!
And just to finish it all off, the second horse home was called … Apollo Creed.
For those of you who slept through the 70s, Apollo Creed was the fictional world boxing champ from Rocky I and II. Yo!


OK, this one probably wouldn’t concern any one under 50, but for those of you who grew up on a steady diet of the Adventures of Robin Hood and The Monkees TV series, two of its main characters had close ties with the thoroughbred industry.
Robin Hood – British actor Richard Greene – became a leading breeder in Ireland when his days in green tights were over (yes, I know, telly was black and white back then), while Davy Jones was a jockey before becoming a Monkee (and, no, I’m not going there!).
Meanwhile, Davy’s bandmate, Mike Nesmith was the son of the woman who invented Liquid Paper, meaning Mike would never have to get out of bed again.
And, finally, for those of you who have pondered the meaning of life, scientists have worked out that the chicken came before the egg.
It appears that researchers have been investigating the nature of a protein found in eggshells called Ovocleidin-17. Ovocleidin-17 is also present in a chicken’s ovaries. Recently, a supercomputer simulated the process in which a chicken’s eggshell is formed, and concluded that the Ovocleidin-17 in the mother’s womb is an essential key to the production of eggshells. So, as it turns out, the chicken has to exist in order to create an egg.
Just to think they actually pay people to work this stuff out …!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Leading thoroughbred nursery, ELIZA PARK, has announced its service fees for 2011 and welcomes aboard two exciting additions to its roster.
New to the stud this spring is the 2010 Kentucky Derby winner SUPER SAVER, who stands at an introductory fee of just $16,500, while Lonhro stakes winner, DISSOLVED, also offers enormous value at a fee of $5,500.
The pair enhance a lineup which includes leading sire BEL ESPRIT, Leading Australian First Season Sire, WRITTEN TYCOON, STATUE OF LIBERTY (sire of the world’s leading male sprinter Hay List), plus promising young stallions WANTED, MAGNUS, BUSHRANGER, SHINZIG, GOD’S OWN and SHARKBITE.
Super Saver was a brilliant juvenile who set a new stakes record in winning the 83rd running of the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes-G2 by 5 lengths for trainer Todd Pletcher (“my fastest 2YO”), then went on to leave 11 Group One winners in his wake in taking out the 136th Kentucky Derby.
A son of Maria’s Mon – a hugely versatile stallion whose relatively short career at stud saw him a permanent fixture among North America’s leading sires – Super Saver hails from the first family of American breeding with no less than 7 lines of legendary mare La Troienne (furthermore, Super Saver’s first four damsires are AP Indy, Mr Prospector, Northern Dancer and Buckpasser!).
Retired to Winstar Farm, Super Saver covered his 140th mare for the northern hemisphere season on Sunday – 100 of which are either stakes horses or the dams of stakes horses, while 10 are Group One winners or the dams thereof.
The John Hawkes-trained, Dissolved, also has plenty to offer broodmare owners seeking value, athleticism and pedigree.
Dissolved – sold for $300,000 as a yearling – was the highest priced Lonhro of his year and it’s little wonder why.
“He (Dissolved) is the dead spitting image of his sire,” Hawkes points out. “And he showed abundant speed and tremendous potential.
“He’s a real bull though and, rather than racing him on, it was decided to retire him to Eliza Park … particularly given his terrific conformation and family full of stakes winners.”
Only lightly raced, but retiring sound, Dissolved won the Listed Moomba Plate down the straight at Flemington: his third win from five starts and toppling highly rated stakes winners Rarefied, Avenue and Common Interest in the process.
Dissolved’s sire certainly has plenty going for him: the 11-time Group One winning, Lonhro, is now one of Australia’s most successful stallions, and already responsible for multiple Group winners Denman, Parables and Obsequious.
Dissolved also carries with him one of the finest pedigrees in the Australian Stud Book, being the first foal of the winning Grand Lodge mare, Yarralumla, a half sister to 7-time Group One winner Grand Armee.
Ironically, Lonhro and Grand Armee met in the field of battle on four occasions (for two wins apiece), with Grand Armee raining on Lonhro’s parade by defeating the champion black entire in his Queen Elizabeth Stakes-G1 finale.
Grand Armee aside, his and Yarralumla’s dam – Tambour – carries plenty of clout being a Group One placed sister to Oakleigh Plate-G1 winner Drum and half sister to Group One winner Anamato.
Tambour is also a three quarter sister in blood to the well named Hong Kong triple Group One winning sprinter Absolute Champion.

WANTED [Fastnet Rock]    $38,500
BEL ESPRIT [Royal Academy]    $27,500
MAGNUS [Flying Spur]    $22,000
STATUE OF LIBERTY [Storm Cat]    $17,600
SUPER SAVER [Maria’s Mon]    $16,500
WRITTEN TYCOON [Iglesia]    $11,000
BUSHRANGER [Danetime]    $9,900
SHINZIG [Danehill]    $8,800
DISSOLVED [Lonhro]    $5,500
SHARKBITE [Redoute’s Choice]    $5,500
GOD’S OWN [Redoute’s Choice]    POA*

Nominations to each stallion come with a transferrable free return and payment of service fees is extended to 31 March 2012.

* Price on application [Conditions apply]

For further information contact Eliza Park on 03 5428 5168
David Somers 0428 440 330 : Mark Lindsay 0416 334 338
Phil Marshall 0407 853 782 : Mitch Coffey 0430 805 544


This rates as one of of the all-time classics ...

Friday, May 6, 2011


Prominent Victorian breeder, Robert Crabtree, is not your regular ‘omen’ kind of guy, but even he had pause for thought after acceptances for Saturday’s races.
Rob has three of his runners entered tomorrow : all of which will, naturally enough, be carting his familiar red and white checked livery.
But here’s where ‘coincidence’ picks up the pace … all three are running within 30 minutes of each other – Gybe in Guineas Restaurant Handicap at Canterbury at 4pm; Rock Me Sweet in the Veolia Environmental Services at Flemington at 4.20pm and; Flokkati in the Contour Consulting Engineers at the Gold Coast at 4.30pm.
Each of them are fillies, each have drawn wide (Gybe 12 of 12, Rock Me Sweet 13 of 13 and Flokkati 17 of 20), each has won one metropolitan race to date, each is by boom stallion, Fastnet Rock, and each of them will be visiting his Group One winning sprinter Magnus (whose first crop sold up to $170,000 this summer and topped the Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale) when their racing days are over.
Big question is, which track will Crabtree grace? The lounge chair in front of TVN is starting favourite!


Thursday, May 5, 2011


Tremendous result for Darren and Liz Dance when their homebred – Uxorious – took out the Scott Petroleum Wangoom Handicap-LR at Warrnambool yesterday.
It was just on 12 months ago when the Dances 2YO Broadway Harmony – the Statue of Liberty filly they also own and bred – took out the Dequetteville Stakes-LR at Morphettville and for a relatively boutique operation, they enjoy quite a bit of success.
Having to cross from a wide barrier, Uxorious did it the hard way, and after taking the lead turning for home, the 5YO held on gamely for a memorable win.
Uxorious is out of the Keltrice mare Shiny Mai who, in turn, was bred by other long-time Eliza Park clients in Max and Judi Clarke.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Fancy a trip to Singapore?
The Australian thoroughbred industry’s marketing arm – Aushorse – is sponsoring the Singapore Golden Horseshoe at Kranji racecourse on Friday 20 May and is inviting breeders to attend a function they will be staging at the meet.
Details are being finalised, but best to phone Rowena at Aushorse on 02 9663 8477 or email for further information.
Great weekend of racing: you can fuel up on the Friday night and stay over for the KrisFlyer International on the Sunday (22 May) which is always a terrific race.
Three years ago, Takeover Target and boom Eliza Park stallion, Magnus, staged a ding dong battle in the KrisFlyer (below), setting a new course record, and the following year’s race was won by Sacred Kingdom.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Eliza Park has today announced that 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver will be joining its premium stallion lineup this spring.
An outstanding racehorse with a pedigree that is pure Kentucky blueblood, Super Saver is clearly one of the most exciting prospects entering stud in 2011.
A syndicated stallion whose partners include US-based SF Bloodstock and the highly regarded North American thoroughbred nursery, Winstar Farm, Super Saver set a new stakes record in taking out the 83rd Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes-G2 by five lengths as a 2YO before trumping 11 Group One winners in the 136th edition of the Kentucky Derby.
A majestic athlete whose victory in America’s most coveted race was a raw display of power and grit, Super Saver was trained by renowned mentor Todd Pletcher [who, prior to the Kentucky Derby, declared Super Saver to be his “fastest 2YO last year”].
Super Saver is a son of the highly successful North American stallion, Maria’s Mon, who provides an ideal outcross for the majority of Australian broodmares.
Also a brilliant 2YO who took out the Group One pair of Champagne and Futurity Stakes, Maria’s Mon’s relatively short career at stud saw him omnipresent in US Sires’ tables throughout his career – producing two Kentucky Derby winners along with an Eclipse champion filly.
As one North American industry observer pointed out: “Maria’s Mon has done it all: improved his mares … sired quality 2YOs, 3YOs and older horses … produced a high percentage of winners, stakes winners and stakes horses … and is now enjoying early success as a broodmare sire”.
Super Saver is from the second to last crop of Maria’s Mon and was produced by a mare – Supercharger – from the first family of American thoroughbred breeding … the legendary La Troienne.
Indeed, Super Saver has the hand of the aristocratic Phipps family of breeders written all over him with no less than seven lines to La Troienne throughout his pedigree.
Not surprising then the sires of his first four dams are AP Indy, Mr Prospector, Northern Dancer and Buckpasser.
Super Saver has been immensely popular since retiring to Winstar Farm for the current breeding season, covering his 140th mare just yesterday. Of the 140, no less than 100 are either stakes horses or producers of stakes horses, with 10 of them Group One winners or dams thereof.
Super Saver – who will stand at a fee of just $16,500 inc. GST – joins fellow Kentucky Derby winners Street Sense ($38,500) and Big Brown ($27,500) standing in Australia this year and is poised to continue the marvellous success of Derby winners in Australia.
In fact, Kentucky Derby winners boast a greater percentage of stakes winners to runners in the southern hemisphere than Golden Slipper winners over the past three decades!
“Eliza Park is delighted to be given the opprtunity to stand such a good looking and talented racehorse as Super Saver,” Eliza Park CEO Cameron Croucher, points out.
“He is represented by a wonderful pedigree: we made a conscious decision to seek an outcross for the coming season and are thrilled to be entrusted with Super Saver on behalf of his owners and the famed Winstar Farm.”
Elliot Walden, the CEO of Winstar Farm, is equally delighted about his stud’s foray into the Australian market: “We’ve got every confidence in Super Saver and are very excited about our first venture in Australia. He’s certainly the right horse!”

Monday, May 2, 2011


"Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses."
- Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011)


Some interesting parallels relating to England’s new super horse, Frankel, who absolutely demolished his rivals in Saturday’s 2000 Guineas-G1 at Newmarket.
Rather than pontificate the merits of Frankel’s win, do yourself a favour and just watch the race below!
Owned by Khalid Abdullah, Frankel is named after the Champion US Trainer Bobby Frankel (left), who died from leukemia in November 2009: around nine months prior to his namesake’s debut in a maiden at Newmarket.
Bobby Frankel, who trained over 3600 winners – including five Breeders’ Cup winners – handled many of Khalid Abdullah’s horses when they crossed the Atlantic, including Eliza Park’s foundation stallion, Desert Sun.
Ironically, Desert Sun’s trainer Henry Cecil also puts the polish on Frankel and, sadly, is battling the same disease that claimed Bobby Frankel.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The gutsy win by City of Song (above) in Saturday’s Blue Sapphire Stakes-LR at Caulfield was a ‘banner’ performance for Eliza Park.
The 11th stakes winner for her Champion Sire, Bel Esprit, City of Song was bred by long-time client, Colin Beggs, and is raced by Colin and family, but this promising filly is also a shining example of the Eliza Park’s ‘services’.
For starters, City of Song – from the stakes winning Umatilla mare Songs of Vienna – was born at Eliza Park and reared at the property.
Although Colin (wisely) opted to race the filly, City of Song was both broken in at Eliza Park and pre-trained by the racing division, before heading to the Caulfield stables of John Moloney.
John has a high opinion of the filly and is aiming her at the spring carnival, particularly the Group One Thousand Guineas.
“There were some nice colts in this field and back in fillies grade you’d think she would be suited in some nice races during the spring,” John explained. “We’ll give her a break over the winter and take her up north of the divide for some sun.
“She’s a really good filly that’s going to be better in the spring.”
City of Song has now raced on four occasions for two wins – scoring on debut over 1000m at Sandown on 2 March – and would have to be considered very unlucky not to be unbeaten after thirds at Caulfield (beaten 1.2 lengths) and Moonee Valley.
Jason Benbow, who was onboard in the Blue Sapphire, would not have considered his previous Caulfield ride on the filly one of his best when City of Song was caught in a pocket in the race that was won by subsequent Golden Slipper runnerup Mosheen.
Still, all was forgiven on Saturday when the filly fought on strongly to get the money.
Interestingly, in the four year history of the Blue Sapphire Stakes, Eliza Park stallions have been victorious on three occasions: Gold in Dubai (Desert Sun) was the inaugural race, while Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) won it two years ago.
Fortunately for Colin Beggs, Eliza Park will sell – on his behalf – a Magnus half brother to City of Song (pictured below) at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast in June.
Songs of Vienna has also produced a multiple city winning sister to City of Song in Music in the Park and was a more than handy racemare in her own right, taking out the The Straight Six-LR at Flemington and being multiple stakes placed.
A half sister to Group Two winner Hadabeclorka, Songs of Vienna is also closely related to 4-time Kiwi stakes winner Red Chiffon.