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Posh driving mum's revival

5 min read
Australian Bloodstock's Luke Murrell and Jamie Lovett like Princess Posh so much they have set about reviving the breeding career of her dam, The Baroness.

Princess Posh's (Canford Cliffs {Ire}) quest for more black-type in Saturday's G3 Harrolds Angst S. at Randwick will hold some extra significance for her owners Australian Bloodstock, who have rebooted the breeding career of her dam, The Baroness.

Princess Posh was just a $25,000 buy for Australian Bloodstock at the 2015 Melbourne Premier Sale and has since won seven races and over $400,000 for her syndicate of owners.

She collected her first piece of black-type when she won the G3 Tibbie S. at Newcastle last month, a victory that was particularly sweet for local boys Luke Murrell and Jamie Lovett

"We paid nothing for her really and she's been a great one," Murrell told TDN AusNZ. "The owners just love her. She's one of those consistent horses who have a dig."

A $25,000 purchase price for Princess Posh has been turned into over $400,000 of prize money

"Before she won the Tibbie, she was already a beauty. She had won $300,000 and hadn’t even won a stakes race. She's been really well placed by Kris (Lees). We thought she'd come to the end of her preparation three runs ago, but she's a tough bugger and keeps having a go."

So much did Murrell and Lovett like the filly after buying her, they went out and bought her dam a couple of years ago.

"We paid nothing for her really and she's been a great one," - Luke Murrell on Princess Posh

"She was a good one to spec with. We are not really massive breeders, but because we thought Posh always had some type of ability, we thought we'd buy her," he said.

The Baroness, who is by Viscount, has an interesting story to tell herself. She had five foals, including Princess Posh and a very promising colt in New Zealand called Oh Romeo, but her breeding career was put on hold for four years.

Mare on hold

Previous owners Kate and Nick Taylor at Twin Creeks Thoroughbreds opted to move away from breeding from their own mares.

"Nothing against the mare, but my husband and I stopped breeding. We just put all on hold for a couple of years. We just didn’t breed any mares," Kate Taylor said.

Up until that point Twin Creeks would sell all their own yearlings, including Princess Posh, but Taylor said that the competition got too much.

"Nothing against the mare, but my husband and I stopped breeding. We just put all on hold for a couple of years. We just didn’t breed any mares." - Kate Taylor on The Baroness

Princess Posh as a foal and her dam, The Baroness

"It was difficult to get the return from the yearling sales we were hoping for. The agistment side is much more relaxing," she said.

"We're still running the agistment business, but we are only breeding maybe one a year. Our mares are all on hold at the moment."

The Taylors have had considerable success as breeders in the past and they bred the current favourite for the Kosciuszko, Care To Think (So You Think {NZ}).

Taylor said the decision to sell The Baroness was not an easy one, but one they needed to make.

"She was a very sweet mare, she was a pretty black mare, it was sad to see here go, but it's business I suppose."

Back in the barn

But The Baroness is now back breeding and has a Foxwedge filly which Murrell said is already showing plenty of positive signs.

"The Foxwedge filly, she'll go through the ring. They are saying she's the best foal on the farm already. Hopefully she'll make a few bob and whatever Posh can do can only help that," he said.

Princess Posh's older brother is now called Mega Heart (Foreplay), and has won one race in Hong Kong where he remains in training for Michael Chang.

Princess Posh as a weanling (far left)

"He won his first two races in New Zealand like he was Phar Lap re-incarnated. He was a big heavy horse, and I'm not sure exactly what happened to him. They were talking him up like he was going to be a superstar over there," Murrell said.

"They are saying she's the best foal on the farm already." - Luke Murrell on The Baroness x Foxwedge filly

A match made in Australian Bloodstock heaven

The Baroness is already in foal to Woodside Park's Tosen Stardom (Jpn), the son of Deep Impact (Jpn) who won both the G1 Toorak Hcp and the G1 Emirates S last spring for Australian Bloodstock.

"I think the local cat would throw a positive for Tosen Stardom, he's that fertile, from what I hear," Murrell joked.

"The Tosen Stardom thing, we got criticised for buying the horse and he turned out a beauty."

The Baroness and Princess Posh

"Deep Impact is such a phenomenal sire. He's got more stakes winners than Snitzel. They are not necessarily going to be stayers, a lot of people may be surprised from that angle."

"Being so fertile and he was the dearest ever Deep Impact when he was bought, if he can throw himself, we’ll be cheering."

"I think the local cat would throw a positive for Tosen Stardom, he's that fertile, from what I hear." - Luke Murrell

They will also be cheering for Princess Posh against a strong field of mares on Saturday.

"She'll like the track. It's just whether she's had enough. Kris has got this amazing knack of keeping these fillies up. The way the race shapes, she's going to be a top two chance, but we are playing against the A-grade stuff," Murrell said.

"But she is one where it doesn’t matter what happens now, we are just enjoying it."

Princess Posh as a weanling