Thursday, August 30, 2012


Nifty quinella for God’s Own at Mornington today with Manor Lady taking out the Slickpix Plate over 1000m from Godson.
(Ima Nugget – who we firmly believe was named after our Sales & Nominations Manager, Mark Lindsay – finished on well on for third).
But back to God’s Own … it was a deserved victory for the Robbie Griffiths trained Manor Lady who, going into the race, had clocked up four seconds, while Godson is equally consistent with four seconds from just eight outings.
Closely related to Group One winner, Firing Range, Manor Lady is out of the winning Grand Lodge mare, M’Lady’s Manor, while Godson (from the Alzao mare, Rubra Lass) is a half brother to four winners including multiple Group winner Emlozza and Group One Macau winner Doppio.


God’s Own keeps piling on the winners and one of the best season would have to be Robert Heathcote’s speedy 4YO, San Jose, who notched up an all-the-way victory in the BMAG Plate over 1400m at Eagle Farm on Wednesday.
There was a lot to like about the way, San Jose, toughed it out to the wire and he’s been showing plenty of class this time in. Resuming at the Sunshine Coast in July, he was beaten a neck before running second, beaten a lip, at Eagle Farm on 1 August.
Only failing by just over half a length at the Farm again on 22 August, it was little wonder that San Jose was sent out favourite for Wednesday.
San Jose is out of the Filante mare, Tara Diva (giving him a double up of Star Way) and hails from the family of Rendoo and Chief Headhunter.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


A bit of useless trivia for you … the oldest Facebook user in the world is 101-year young Florence Detlor from Menlo Park in California.
Menlo Park is also home to Facebook’s massive organisation (over 6,600 employees) and among its most notable residents are Google founder Sergey Brin and folk singer, Joan Baez.
However, for Aussies, the most famous thing about Menlo Park is that it’s where Phar Lap died in April 1932 … when Florence was just 21 years old.

If you want to read a terrific article on Phar Lap which appeared in the April 1932 edition of US Bloodhorse, click here.



Plenty of excitement down Mornington way for Jason Warren and his team with the news that his star galloper, Bel Sprinter (below), has recovered from a foot abscess and will have a jump out on Friday.
Warren battled injury problems with Bel Sprinter last campaign after resuming from an accolade-loaded spring with a stakes victory at Caulfield (WJ Adams Stakes) in February.
This Bel Esprit flyer is a class act and his immediate aim is the Group Three Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on 15 September.
Meanwhile, Bel Esprit racked up his fifth and sixth winners in the past four days with an interstate double yesterday.
Speedy mare, Novaspirit (from the General Nediym mare Nova Glen), won her third start for popular owners, Kevin and Tanith O’Brien, when scoring over 1000m at Geelong, while Javaspirit (out of the Desert Sun mare Java Siang) notched up a win over 1400m at Tamworth.


Sad news today following the passing of a true industry stalwart in Joan Leslie.
A long time Eliza Park client, Joan was, as Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria pointed out in its announcement, always the first one to throw her support behind the industry at large.
A terrific lady who will be sadly missed.

Joan Leslie was a TBV Member as long as our records go back and was also one of the founding members of the North East Breeders where she and others organised social events for that region for many years. Joan attended as many TBV events and functions as she could despite her living in Mansfield.
Joan has been breeding with success from a select band of mares over the journey under her Shamrock Vale Thoroughbreds brand and was in fact the first recipient of a Super VOBIS bonus  when that scheme came into the industry. She has been a loyal client of VOBIS right from the start and even received a bonus when Prince Pedro won at Caulfield on July 28, one of the last bonuses for the season.
Joan’s daughter Barry assumed management of her breeding activities late last year so I’m sure you will join with me in giving Barry every support in her endeavours and wish her every success for the future.
A memorial service will be held shortly, details are still to be confirmed and will be advised once known.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


The continued good deeds of Psychic Mick (four from four including the Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield a fortnight ago), has well and truly placed Shinzig in the spotlight.
And from the looks of things, the Group One winning son of Danehill might be soon adding another winner to the tally in the shape of West Aussie sprinter, Original Sin.
Racing out of the Trevor Andrews stable, Original Sin stepped out in a trial over 1000m at Belmont on 20 August and looked very impressive.
Original Sin is out of the Snippets mare, Gavroche, and if that name sounds familiar to you (particularly in the event you haven’t read Les Miserables), she is the dam of Bel Esprit flying machine, Bel Sprinter (below).


Nice win by Bel Esprit mare, Miss Belistic, in the Mazda Maiden at Warrnambool yesterday.
She’s only lightly raced this girl but has managed to spin a cheque at five of her six starts to date and stepped out at the ‘bool as a hot favourite.
Trained by Matthew Williams, Miss Belistic is out of the Be My Guest mare, Set Point, and was bred by Tony and Deslee Santic’s Makybe operation.
Miss Belistic hails from a rock solid European family with her dam being a sibling to four stakes winners including Evening Kiss, dam of Singapore Group One winner Epalo.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Looking for a bargain and doing good at the same time?
Eliza Park is again staging its annual Online Auction to provide much needed funds for Living Legends, the International Home of Rest for Champion Horses.
The Online Auction has raised over $250,000 in the past three years and this spring the stallions on offer are perennial Champion Victorian Sire, BEL ESPRIT, STATUE OF LIBERTY (sire of brilliant sprinter Hay List), Champion Victorian First Season Sire, MAGNUS, SHINZIG (sire of boom 3YO, Psychic Mick), ASTRONOMER ROYAL and SHARKBITE – whose first crop yearlings averaged many times their respective service fees, stakes producer, GOD’S OWN and the Champion 2YO, BUSHRANGER, whose first foals sold through the roof in Europe earlier this year.
And, finally, a highly popular addition to the ranks in 2012 is Black Caviar’s full brother MOSHE who has aroused considerable interest since his retirement to stud earlier this year.
Tenders can be submitted by visiting but you’d better be quick … the Online Auction closes at 2pm this Friday (31 August) with the winners announced online at 3pm.
Those attending Eliza Park’s Open Day will be able to submit tenders in person.
C’mon … be a ‘legend’ and support a good cause!


Terrific win by Bel Esprit sprinter, No Respite, in Singapore last night.
Trained by Don Baertschiger, No Respite upset stablemate and favourite, Al’s Knight, in the $75,000 Pan Malaysian Pool Trophy over 1200m, recording his third win and fifth placing from 14 starts.
“The pace was quite good and he travelled well throughout,” said jockey Jacky Low. “I got him to the outside in the straight and let him come home strongly. In the end it was a good win.”
No Respite is out of the 5-time winning Danehill Dancer mare Steely Dancer from the family of Champion mare, Desirable.
Photo courtesy of Singapore Turf Club

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Lightly raced Bel Esprit 4YO, Revitalise, was no slouch when he raced in Victoria with a second on debut and an all the way win at Kyneton next time out. He also ran a solid fourth at Caulfield after finding plenty of trouble in transit, but since his move to David Murphy (right) in Queensland, this bloke has grown another leg.
Opening with a win over 1200m at the Sunshine Coast in June, Revitalise then ran second at Eagle Farm on 7 July, won a thriller at Eagle Farm two weeks later, faded slightly for a fifth at Eagle Farm on 12 August and, in an absolute thriller over the mile at Doomben yesterday, notched up his fourth victory from just nine starts.
Revitalise is out of the Group winning Danewin mare Dane Belltar who has, to date, produced four winners from four to race, including Bendigo Cup-LR winner Tanby.
Revitalise’s third dam is also the brilliant mare, Taj Eclipse (VRC Oaks-G1 etc.).


She’s a grey speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana.
She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a dog and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected, and her vet went to LSU for help, but LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case.
You know how that goes.
But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn’t seem to get sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn’t overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.
Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee, and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.
“This was the right horse and the right owner,” Moore insists. Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She’s tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore, is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.
Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight, and her mane finally felt a comb. A human prosthesis designer built her a leg.
The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly’s regular vet, reports.

 And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off, too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca.

“It can be pretty bad when you can’t catch a three-legged horse,” she laughs.
 Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centres, anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.
“It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,” Moore said.
“She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others,” Barca concluded, “She’s not back to normal, but she’s going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.”
This is Molly’s most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the ground surface that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind.

Our thanks to Max & Judi Clarke for sending this one through.


Monday, August 20, 2012


Group One winning Danehill stallion, SHINZIG, has burst through with his first stakes winner following the emphatic win of Psychic Mick in the Listed Vain Stakes at Caulfield today.
Living right up to his massive potential, the Adelaide trained speedster put the issue well beyond doubt with a withering finish to score by over three lengths.
Racing out of the stable of Daniel Clarken and ridden masterfully by Chris Symons, Psychic Mick was resuming today and remains unbeaten following three 2YO city victories.
Adding merit to his Vain Stakes romp is Symons’ admission post race that Psychic Mick really struggled in the heavy conditions!
A first crop son Shinzig, Psychic Mick is out of the Bianconi mare Super Fund and was sold by Eliza Park at last year’s Adelaide Magic Millions.
With only a handful of runners to date – including fellow city winner Beer Belly – Shinzig represents enormous value at just $6,600 inc. GST.
Here’s a terrific yarn from Matty Stewart at the Herald Sun on Sunday, following Psychic Mick’s Vain performance:
To see racing’s true colours, you must immerse yourself in it.
You can read the papers and “tsk tsk” about it, you can tarnish an entire sport with alleged shenanigans of an individual and his mates, or you can go to the races.
It wasn’t the perfect start to spring racing at Caulfield yesterday. It was quite miserable. But the racetrack creates its own warmth.
The outside world might presume that racing revolves around rorts, but inside the gate it’s different.
Where else would you encounter a story like Psychic Mick? It goes like this: Adelaide trainer Daniel Clarken has a brother-in-law called Mick Duffield, who doesn’t bother with silly things like sales catalogues.
At an Adelaide yearling sale in 2010, Duffield had a premonition about lot 118. He hadn’t seen it, it could have had eight legs for all he knew.
But with No. 118 swirling around in his head, Mick checked out lot 118 and discovered it was a pretty nice colt. He forked out 10 grand for it, then told Clarken what appealed most to him about lot 118 – its number.
“The rest is history. We named him straight away,” Clarken said yesterday, adding he was keen to hook up with his brother-in-law for next year’s sale.
“I think he’s got a premonition for next year, but he hasn’t given it up yet," Clarken said.
Psychic Mick won his fourth race, the 1100m Vain Stakes, from as many starts at Caulfield yesterday and is going to have a crack at the Caulfield Guineas. Clarken was almost speechless he was so thrilled to have won a nice race at Caulfield.
Psychic Mick’s jockey was Chris Symons, who celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday. On the same day six years ago, Black Caviar popped out of her mum, Helsinge, on a farm up at Nagambie. Remember that racing story?
Symons is a jockey, so if you’ve been reading the papers but have never entered a racetrack, you might roll your eyes.
Those who know a bit about racing are aware of what Symons has been up to for the last few years.
In his spare time, which is rare, Symons takes his silks to primary schools and talks to kids about a wonderful sport called horse racing. No one pays him, Symons does it because he has got a big heart and is proud to be a jockey.
His farm at Mornington is more like a zoo, with snakes and birds and a freshwater crocodile.
Occasionally he'll take one of his pets along to a school or hospital, where he regularly visits kids with cancer. Symons sends out funny tweets, linking the names of his mounts into strange sentences.
He invented racing’s version of planking, called hooping, and it went viral. He is proud to be called a racing ambassador.
Symons shares the jockeys’ room with blokes like Glen Boss, who spent all of last week in northern Queensland fulfilling public speaking engagements in country areas that had done it hard after months of floods.
Boss grew up in Cairns, and wanted to give something back.
These are the sort of characters, the sort of stories, that appear every day at a racetrack near you.
If you reckon racing is riddled with crooks, perhaps you should wander through the gate and see its true colours.

Photo courtesy of Turfpress

NO. 7?

Bit of a refresher on Shinzig: he won on debut as a 3YO at Randwick on 25 August 2004 – a week shy of eight years after Psychic Mick’s Vain victory.
Shinzig’s first stakes win was at Caulfield – the Schweppes Stakes-G3 over 1400m in February 2005 – commencing a flurry of Group performances which eventually culminated in a Group One CF Orr Stakes victory at Caulfield in February 2008 (that year’s Orr, by the by, was one of the toughest on record with a phalanx of Group One winners lining up in the race).
Following the Vain, a number of pundits have ‘predicted’ a bright future for Psychic Mick with his main aim being the Group One Caulfield Guineas over 1600m on 13 October.
Psychic Mick’s trainer is confident his 3YO will make the distance and while Shinzig was clearly a more ‘brilliant’ type, he did manage to run third in the Emirates Stakes-G1, third in the Otaki Maori-G1 and fourth (beaten 1.7 lengths) in the Thorndon Mile-G1 – all over 1600m.
A final factoid … there are seven sons of Danehill standing at stud in Australia who have won Group Ones up to 1400m. Six of them (Redoute’s Choice, Flying Spur, Danzero, Exceed And Excel, Danasinga and Fastnet Rock), have produced Group One winners in their own right. Where’s my crystal ball?
Shinzig (below) is the only one of the seven that’s out of a Group One (the track record holder Shindig) … and at $6,600 inc. GST, he’s tremendous value.


Written Tycoon might have only been in Queensland for a month of so but he hasn’t wasted any time making an impact up north.
While he started August with three winners in Victoria – including a double (and a second) at Geelong on 10 August – the Champion Sire has produced two winners on his new home turf in the past week … and both appear to well and truly have the goods.
Sporting Page (ex. Desert Strike by Straight Strike) won his second race from as many starts when he scampered home over 1050m at Rockhampton, following up from a debut win at Rocky on 26 July. And keep in mind that the winning margin at his first start was 9 lengths!
Kim Craft appears to have a good one on the books too following the victory of Written Eleison over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast yesterday, leading all the way to score by over two lengths.
Written Eleison (ex. Madam Lush by Danehill Dancer), who hails from the family of Group One winners Wahid, Imposera, Teranaba and Imprimatur, should be backed every time she goes around on a Sunday!
Eleison evidently comes from the Greek, Kyrie Eleison, which translates to a term used regularly in church, but maybe not as often as on the racetrack: “Lord, have mercy”.

Written Tycoon is standing this season at a fee of $15,400 inc. GST, but for those Victorian broodmare owners who would like to utilise the stallion this spring, Eliza Park is offering a special  “15k no more to pay” bonus which will entitle breeders to a 2012 service nomination to Written Tycoon, return transport from Eliza Park Victoria to Eliza Park Queensland, a veterinary contact, agistment and foaling down for wet mares.
For further information phone either Mark Lindsay on 0416 334 338 or Phil Marshall on 0407 853 782.


OK, it’s not quite up there with Carpe Diem (i.e. Seize The Day), but former Hollywood actress, Mae West, was never short of a line, including:
“You only live once – but if you do it right, once is enough!”
The blonde bombshell of the 1930s, who was still acting well into her 80s, was also famous for:
“Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before”
“I used to be Snow White, but I drifted”
“When I’m good I’m very good. When I’m bad, I’m better”
And, believe it or not, this made it into the 1933 film ‘She Done Him Wrong’ … “is that a pistol in your pocket or are you just happy to see me!”
(There’s also one about a 6 foot, 7 inch cowboy but seeing this is a ‘family’ outfit, you’ll have to look that one up yourself!).


It might well pay you to scribble down the name of Bel Thor, a God’s Own (below) winner over 1400m at Bendigo yesterday.
Having only his second outing (after being a moral beaten on debut at Seymour on 5 August), Bel Thor was last throughout but zoomed home to score by 3.5 lengths for trainer Wez Hunter.
Bred by John Thatcher, who is a part owner of the colt, Bel Thor is out of the stakes winning Redding mare Bellonic and hails from the family of Piavonic and Von Costa de Hero.