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Fresh talent to shine as new season dawns - Part 3

9 min read
In the final instalment of our preview for the race for first season stallion honours, we focus on the thoughts of Australasian trainers, breeders and bloodstock agents on the prospects of the first season stallions.

Rubick youngsters making all the right moves

Brad Widdup has half a dozen 2-year-olds in his stable by exciting newcomer Rubick (Encosta de Lago) and they’ve made quite the impression on the Hawkesbury trainer. Among them is the Coolmore stallion’s highest-priced yearling.

The colt was secured for $470,000 out of Segenhoe Stud’s draft by at the Gold Coast earlier this year and is the first foal of Our Songbird (Fastnet Rock). “He’s in work at the moment and he’ll probably be going to the early trials,” Widdup said. “As a Magic Million horse we wanted him to be educated as early as possible and he’s got a great brain. The early indications are that he’s got everything there.”

GALLERY: Top five first crop yearlings by Rubick

Platinum role for trainer

Formerly assistant trainer to Peter Snowden and then John O’Shea at Crown Lodge under both the Ingham and Godolphin regimes, Widdup subsequently accepted an approach from Damion Flower to become head trainer at Platinum Lodge. “Damion’s my main client and he has a share in Rubick and raced him,” he said.

Viewed by many as the favourite for first season stallion honours, Rubick won three of his eight starts for Gerald Ryan, including two as a juvenile and the G2 Schillaci Stakes in his following season. “They’ve all got great temperaments and switch on really quickly,” Widdup said.

“They’ve all got great temperaments and switch on really quickly,” - Brad Widdup, trainer

Rubick looks certain to be given a decent run for his money by Newgate Farm’s Deep Field (Northern Meteor), who will have ample back-up from associate sires Dissident (Sebring) and Wandjina (Snitzel). “Dissident and Wandjina showed really good ability as 2-year-olds while Deep Field never had the opportunity due to injury,” Newgate general manager Bruce Slade said. “We believe their stock will run early so it’s all looking very positive.”

Agent loves Brazen approach

Also very much in the mix is the former star sprinter Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible), who was a Group One winner at home and Group One placed in England for trainer Chris Waller.

New Zealand bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster is an integral part of the Waller operation, most notably sourcing the wonder mare Winx (Street Cry {US}), and the duo have been impressed with the first crop of Brazen Beau. “They are all pretty thick set, muscly type of horses,” Mulcaster said. “He was a very willing horse himself and his stock have good conformation and excellent attitudes. Things are looking good for the future.”

“He was a very willing horse himself and his stock have good conformation and excellent attitudes. Things are looking good for the future.” – Guy Mulcaster, agent

With Waller, Mulcaster secured a well-related Brazen Beau filly out of Grand Strategy (Strategic), the dam of the G1 Galaxy Handicap winner Griante (Good Journey) for $250,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale earlier this year. “She was in the stable for a couple of weeks or so to get used to the set-up and had a quiet jump-out,” Mulcaster said. “It’s about learning their trade and she’s gone out now and will be back in the near future. She’s looking good.”

Darley takes aim at sales

Standing alongside Brazen Beau at Darley is Shooting To Win (Northern Meteor), whose first crop have also been well-received on both sides of the Tasman and the stud’s confidence in the young stallion was reflected in their purchase of five of his progeny. Among them is a filly out of the G3 Auraria Stakes winner Dane Belltar (Danewin), also the dam of the triple Group One winner Fawkner (Reset), who was a $340,000 Gold Coast purchase. “She’s been in and out, but unfortunately she gashed her chest so we’ve had to back off her,” Darley Managing Director Vin Cox said.

Inglewood Stud, located in New Zealand’s South Island, have also been won over by Shooting To Win. “We’re big fans of Shooting To Win and we sent Mystique to him in his first season and we got a lovely colt who was bought at Karaka by a gentleman from Hong Kong for $260,000,” stud principal Gus Wigley said. “Interestingly, the under-bidder was Godolphin and they were going hammer and tong.”

“We’re big fans of Shooting To Win and we sent Mystique to him in his first season and we got a lovely colt who was bought at Karaka by a gentleman from Hong Kong for $260,000,” - Gus Wigley, Inglewood Stud

Purchased by Tartan Meadow Bloodstock, the colt’s dam is also the mother of the stakes winner Replique (Darci Brahma). “We’ve sent two more mares back to Shooting To Win, we really like him,” Wigley said. “We’ve got a stand-out colt by him who is a half-brother to Secret Allure, who won the Champagne Stakes, and another colt out of Point Park (a half-sister to Mystique).”

Arrowfield star to Japan

The most sought after son of Arrowfield Stud’s Olympic Glory (IRE) (Choisir) was snapped up by Northern Farm’s Katsumi Yoshida, breeder of the sire sensation Deep Impact (JPN) (Sunday Silence {USA}) for $600,000 on the Gold Coast. “He’s in Northern Farm’s racing system and I’ve seen some video footage and photos and he looks magnificent,” Arrowfield’s bloodstock manager Jon Freyer said. “They think he’ll go early and have named him Sandre.” The colt is out of Downtown Manhattan (Manhattan Rain).

“He’s in Northern Farm’s racing system and I’ve seen some video footage and photos and he looks magnificent,” - Jon Freyer, Arrowfield

Olympic Glory’s sire Choisir was a champion performer for Paul Perry and, not surprisingly, he is keen on the Arrowfield stallion’s prospects. “His yearlings are outstanding types, a lot like Olympic Glory himself, with a great shoulder and good bone. I think he’s a stand-out among the first season sires,” Perry said.

GALLERY: Top five first crop yearlings by Olympic Glory

Leading trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Gerald Ryan and David Payne have also got first-crop youngsters by Olympic Glory under their command. “They’ve gone to the right homes and the feedback on all of them has been very encouraging,” Freyer said.

Flying Olympic flag

Queensland bloodstock agent Craig Rounsefell is another fan of Olympic Glory and backed his judgement at the Australia Easter Yearling Sale when, with Perth trainer Lindsey Smith, he signed for a filly for $400,000 out of Arrowfield’s draft. “She’s out of a good mare and on type she was my favourite filly at the sale,” Rounsefell said. “Obviously, she was expensive and she’ll probably take a bit of time.”

“She’s out of a good mare [Let's Make Adeal] and on type she was my favourite filly at the sale,” Craig Rounsefell, agent

The 2-year-old is a daughter of Let’s Make Adeal (Red Ransom {USA}), who won the G3 Bart Cummings Handicap, and a great grand-daughter of the former Australian Horse of the Year Let’s Elope (NZ) (Nassipour {USA}). “The filly’s here in Queensland doing her early education and next month she’ll go across to Lindsey,” Rounsefell said. “She’s a very straight forward filly with a great attitude.”

Respected bloodstock agent Cameron Cooke had to dig deep to secure the highest-priced member of the first crop of Toronado (IRE) (High Chaparral {IRE}) when he outlaid $340,000 at the Melbourne Premier Sale. “I bought him for Rupert Legh, who I also bought Grunt for, out of the draft of Gilgai Farm,” Cooke said. “He’s a cracking colt and the more I looked at him the more I wanted him.”

“I bought him for Rupert Legh, who I also bought Grunt for, out of the draft of Gilgai Farm. He’s a cracking colt and the more I looked at him the more I wanted him.” – Cameron Cooke.

Colt’s got gears

The youngster is out of the Listed Ottawa Stakes winner She’s Got Gears (Invincible Spirit {IRE}). “He’s a beautiful, robust colt and he looks a real runner,” Cooke said. “He’s with Team Hawkes and they’re putting him through the system. He’s a stand out.”

Toronado x She's Got Gears colt. Offered by Gilgai Farm at Inglis Premier. Purchased by Hawkes Racing and Cameron Cooke Bloodstock for $340,000. Trained by Team Hawkes

Cooke also purchased a daughter of Toronado for $50,000 out of Swettenham Stud’s draft at Melbourne. “She was broken in and had a little preparation before she was tipped out again,” he said. “She’s going to be trained by Wendy Kelly.” From the family of the former champion American turf horse English Channel (USA) (Smart Strike {USA}), the filly is out of the unraced Path Of Love (USA) (More Than Ready {USA}).

Part 1 & 2 of the First Season 2YO Sires Feature ran in Wednesday & Friday's editions of TDN AusNZ. They can be viewed by clicking the images below.