Cressfield executing long-term breeding plans

3 min read

TDN AusNZ’s Paul Vettise chatted with Cressfield principal Bruce Neill and Operations Manager Liesl Baumann about the premier boutique broodmare farm’s breeding philosophy.

In 2005-06, Cressfield embarked on positioning its brand for the next decade by purchasing a number of recently off the track Australasian sprinting mares.

Four of these mares were notable Group 1 winners, being Regimental Gal (General Nediym), Our Egyptian Raine (NZ) (Desert Sun {GB}), River Dove (Hurricane Sky) and Star Satire (NZ) (Volksraad {GB}).

They were subsequently covered by leading sires and resulting progeny went on to sell strongly at select sales. Three of these mares have sold $1 million lots throughout their breeding career.

New blood acquired

Now in their twilight years, these foundation mares have been progressively replaced with younger sprinting mares such as Group 1 winners Secret Agenda (Not A Single Doubt), Mid Summer Music (Oamaru Force) and Platelet (Strategic).

Secret Agenda winning the Group 2 Sapphire S.

Group 2 winners Thump (Red Ransom {USA}), Wild Rain (Manhattan Rain) and Real Surreal (Real Saga) have also joined the broodmare band, as have Group 3 winner Artistry (Shamardal {USA) and the Blue Hen mare Listen Here (Elusive Quality {USA}), dam of sires and brothers Deep Field (Northern Meteor) and Shooting to Win.

This strategy has proved successful with Cressfield being a leading vendor at Australian Easter Yearling sales, averaging in excess of $500,000 over the past 10 years.

Frankel figures strongly

Supplementing this strategy has been Cressfield’s interest in Frankel (GB) since his retirement to stud in 2012.

Since that time, Cressfield has purchased a number of Northern Hemisphere mares bred to Frankel on Southern Hemisphere time and then brought back to Australia.


The best purchase likely to have been the stakes winning Pivotal (GB) mare Rosental (GB). She is out of the Kingmambo (USA) mare Rose Trail (USA).

Her dam is the Australian-bred mare Mannington (Danehill {USA}), herself a daughter of Golden Slipper winner Bint Marscay (Marscay).

Rosental foaled a lovely Frankel filly this spring and looks set to be covered by I Am Invincible.

Other mares to visit I Am Invincible this year include Listen Here (positive), Real Surreal, Secret Agenda and Wild Rain.

I Am Invincible

Mid Summer Music and Platelet are holding covers to Merchant Navy , Artistry to Not A Single Doubt and Thump will be covered by Snitzel. At Cressfield, the over-reaching breeding goal is to produce a quality sales and racehorse.

Stallion selection

"Stallion selection to achieve a desired type and predicted popularity all carry significant weight when designing matings," Neill and Baumann said..

"The resulting line-up is usually a balance of established and first season precocious sires.

"As a principle, when purchasing a mare or selecting a stallion, avoiding close-up Danehill (USA) over Danehill is a strong consideration.

"Going forward, Cressfield will breed approximately twenty-five mares with the objective of sending ten yearlings to both Magic Millions and the Australian Easter Yearling Sale."

Cressfield Stud