Monday, April 30, 2012


When you’re right, you’re right! Pedigree buffs have been touting the likely success of the ‘reverse cross’ with promising first season sire, Magnus, and his Champion stablemate, Bel Esprit.
Bel, of course, is the sire of racing superstar Black Caviar, who – in turn – is out of a half sister to Group One winning sprinter, Magnus.
Well, at Seymour on Saturday, the ‘flip side’ was put to the test with the debut effort of Magnus youngster, Ride A Rock Horse, who cleaned up over 1100m at Seymour, winning by two and a half lengths. Huge effort.
Ride A Rock Horse is out McCune, an unraced daughter of stakes winner and Melbourne Cup runnerup Lisa’s Game, who also happens to be only the second runner for Bel Esprit as a broodmare sire (the other, Lottie’s Lady [ex. Witty Carlotta] has won two and placed on three occasions from just seven starts).
And full marks to Peter Moody, who not only trains Ride A Rock Horse, but is also the breeder …
A fair helping of kismet there given that Peter not only trains what is arguably the greatest racehorse to ever step onto a track, he also put the polish on Magnus!
Magnus has now produced four winners and three stakes placegetters from just 10 runners – indeed, nine of them have earned a cheque – with Magnus’ progeny earnings now at $222,830 in Australia where he sits fourth on the First Crop Sires’ list.


If you think for a moment that we’re getting far too excited about what’s swimming around in our own bowl, Brian Donohoe’s Bel Esprit Winners Club blog is a fair indication of Black Caviar’s international appeal.
Brian’s blog – which is updated pretty much as soon as a Bel Esprit crosses the line in first place – has been getting around 1,500 hits a week and he tells us that there’s a huge surge every time Black Caviar’s name gets mentioned … with a sizeable percentage of those visits coming from overseas.


What a month God’s Own is having!
On 1 April he notched up a treble, a double on 7 April, another treble on 21 April (including a stakes double within 30 minutes with Utah Saints and Balzeus), a double on 25 April (plus a Flemington stakes second with Pillar of Creation) and on 28 April, yet another treble. That’s two stakes wins, a stakes second, three trebles and two doubles for the month!
Leading the way on Saturday was the rather appropriately named, Vatican (ex. Our Sistine by Peintre Celebre) who put in a blinder to win over 1000m at Caulfield and take his earnings to $181,417. The Byron Cozamanis 3YO has been twice stakes placed in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, across the pond at Te Rapa, another holy monikered youngster in Putyourfaithinme (ex. Highgrove Lass by Grosvenor) notched up her second win (and a second) from only five outings when a comfortable winner of the NZ Bloodstock Insurance Premier.
Finally, you have Gum Boots (ex. Morrigan Clare by Toy Pindarri). Huh? Where did they get that name from – it’s hardly likely that JC required such accouterments when trekking around the desert, but each to their own!
It certainly didn’t stop the NSW based galloper from notching up his first win from three starts when going around over 1100m at Tomingly.



Remember Mexican golfer Lee Trevino?
A real showman of the 1970s, winning six majors, he was struck by lightning on the golf course on no less than two occasions.
Asked by a reporter what he’d do if he was ever caught on the course again during a lightning strike, ‘Supermex’ promptly replied that he’d grab his 1-iron and hold it up to the sky.
“Because even God can’t hit a 1-iron!”


Written Tycoon had a lot of luck on Saturday – trouble is, it was all bad!
Highly promising filly, Alezan Thunder (ex. Elysian Thunder by Thunder Gulch) was considered an absolute moral in the Listed Dequettville Stakes at Morphettville, but then unseated jockey, Glen Boss, before taking off at a fast clip. Scratched.
Meanwhile, up in Brisbane, Trump (pictured below) was ‘over the line’ as far as early markets for the Group Three Gunsynd Classic were concerned, but the meeting at Eagle Farm was abandoned.
As they say in the classics, you don’t have to be dead to be stiff.


Written Tycoon has been in stellar form in the past week with a double last Saturday via Born Tycoon (ex. Fanfare by Mighty Avalanche) and Portion (ex. Princess Baxaar by Xaar), a winner on Sunday (Sandhill Jett [ex. Gundooee Miss by Jeune]) and another winner on Thursday (Oristana ex. Valdiola by Marwina), but it was the performance of Northcliffe on Monday that really caught the imagination.
The flashy chestnut 3YO was stepping out for the first time, on a heavy surface at Kyneton, and missed the kick badly before finding trouble in running. Still, the Written Tycoon youngster – sent out a $31 pick – flew home to score by a panel and give the impression that he’s destined for bigger prizes.
Northcliffe is the first foal of a winning Runyon mare in Menthol, a close relation to the Group One winner Soho Square.
But here’s the rub: Northcliffe (below) was bred by Bendigo’s Mark Jackson, who also trains the 3YO for his wife … one can only assume that it was only the rules of racing that prevented him from riding the horse too!