Friday, September 27, 2013


It was around this time last year that we made mention on our news page of an unraced 2YO – from Statue of Liberty’s ‘return’ crop – that had been named Cocklebiddy.
And, as faithful reader Tony Fiume pointed out, Cocklebiddy is a roadhouse community on the Nullabor Plains: “a necessary petrol stop in 1962 … Southern Cross, Balladonia Station then Cocklebiddy on the way back. Oh joy: 1100 miles of unmade road!”
Well, Cocklebiddy has finally made an appearance, stepping out over 1210m at Sale on Wednesday and, according to ANZ Bloodstock News, performed admirably: “The Greg Eurell-trained 3YO filly Cocklebiddy scored a good win on debut, beating older rivals. She was eased from her wide barrier (13) and settled near last, wide with cover. She improved to about eighth and still wide nearing the 600m point, put in a good run to challenge at the 200m and then drew clear to win comfortably by just over a length. She looks the makings of a good class filly”.
Cocklebiddy is out of the Agincourt mare, Gypsy Battalia, and has been retained by her breeders, Max and Roz Graham and Trevor Nuthall and other family members.
Good move guys!
After having a resounding 12 months with his Eliza Park International conceived 2YOs in 2012-13, Statue of Liberty has made a terrific start to the new season with his 3YOs including Olivier, Still As, The Bronx, Washington Square, Hudson River, Lion of Belfort, Jersey Short and now, Cocklebiddy.
Accordingly, Statue of Liberty is now equal sixth on the Australian 3YO Sires’ chart by winners.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Eliza Park International’s owner, Mr Ting Kong Cheng, has purchased the session topper on the second and final of the 2013 Gold Coast Horses in Training Sale, paying $220,000 for the Flying Spur colt from Rock On Bye.
Purchasing Eliza Park in June, Mr Cheng has been a highly visible presence at Australian sales this year and was clearly impressed with the quality of the Flying Spur colt who is out of a half sister to multiple stakes winner Zero Rock.
This is also the family of filly great November Rain and Group One winner Race Master while, interestingly, he is a close blood relation to Flying Spur’s Champion 2YO, San Luis.

A Champion Australian Sire with nearly 900 winners (89 at stakes level), Flying Spur is also shaping a formidable sire of sires with his sons including Magnus and Casino Prince.

Eliza Park International's Alvin Lui with the Flying Spur colt

Monday, September 23, 2013


As far as opening acts go, Olivier makes for interesting theatre.
The Statue of Liberty 3YO showed his true mettle at Ballarat on Sunday, ploughing through 1200m of a Heavy 10 to score his first win for a very excited breeder-owner in Georgia Fraser (and her mum, Veronica).
Coming from near last on the turn, Olivier produced an eye-catching effort to grab victory right on the wire and it now appears the youngster is on target for rich spring roles.
According to Veronica, trainer David Hayes has always had an opinion of the horse, and considers him a black type contender – perhaps as soon as Flemington on Turnbull Stakes day (5 October).
This was only Olivier’s second trip to the races: first time around he produced a fighting third at Geelong despite being caught wide throughout after drawing a wide barrier. Merely a warm up: a dress rehearsal if you will.
But Ballarat on Sunday … well, that’s a different story. For the Fraser women at least, it may as well have been headquarters on Cup Day.
They are very passionate about their horses, with total focus on bloodlines, environment, nutrition, education and training.
Olivier is out of the Belong To Me mare, Our Cache, a black type family which includes Irish 1000 Guineas winner Al Bahathri, Group One winners Haafd and Military Attack, along with Hong Kong Group One winner and Melbourne Cup runnerup Red Cadeaux.
Sold for $100,000 as a yearling at Easter, Our Cache proved to be a real barrier rogue and was unraced as a consequence.
So, when the Frasers got hold of her (“we love the Belong to Me mares – we’ve got six of them!”) they were determined to get the perfect match.
“Despite his success, Statue of Liberty is one of the most underrated stallions in Australia and, best of all, he’s got a marvelous temperament,” Veronica points out.
Statue of Liberty was Our Cache’s first cover and both Georgia and Veronica were determined to play it by the book, having the vet – based close to their boutique Harkaway (Victoria) property – on standby.
Apart from displaying some typical first time mum behavior, both mare and foal bonded quickly and with the freedom of a 15 acre undulating paddock, the latter grew like topsy.
And, as it turns out, the education process would be little more than a lunge in the park: “they broke him in in eight minutes!”.
Determined to go the extra step, the Frasers then placed the youngster with champion trainer David Hayes and, fingers crossed, the rest is history.
Who knows … maybe this Olivier will be awarded a statue of a different kind.

No ... the other Olivier!

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Bel Esprit has a few irons in the Spring fire, but the one that may emerge with the greater glory is the well-named 3YO, Iconic.
What a performance in Saturday’s Nine West Plate (1000m) at Caulfield, bred and raced by Rob Crabtree (along with his wife, Sylvie, and good mate, Craig Jamieson), Iconic tracked the multiple stakes winner and favourite, Villa Verde, into the straight before pouncing over the final stages to score by half a length with a good space to the rest.
Trained by Tony McEvoy and ridden impeccably by returning hero, Damien Oliver, Iconic has now pieced together three wins and two seconds from just six starts.
Iconic is out of Crabtree’s Danehill mare, Danavia, a half sister to Magnus, Scandiva, Wilander and, of course, Black Caviar’s mum, Helsinge.

Interestingly, McEvoy has earmarked the Blue Sapphire at Caulfield on 12 October as Iconic’s next target which has been won twice previously – in its six year history – by Bel Esprit progeny (i.e. Black Caviar and City of Song).