Exciting times ahead for Rosemont Stud

8 min read
With the homecoming of a farm favourite and an exciting new addition to the roster, Rosemont's Anothony Mithen is particularly buoyant for the season ahead as he chats to TDN AusNZ.

The team at Victoria’s Rosemont Stud have more than one reason to head into May with a spring in their step.

First, Starspangledbanner is welcomed home after several seasons in NSW. Secondly, they have recruited a new stallion – the Cox Plate and Australian Guineas winner Shamus Award, who will become the first Group 1-winning son of super-sire Snitzel to stand at stud in Victoria.

“It’s a major coup for the farm,” stud principal Anthony Mithen said. “He’s also the first Cox Plate winner to stand in Victoria since Rubiton in 1988 and he was a real breed-shaper in this state. Hopefully, Shamus Award can follow in those footsteps.”

Shamus Award

Shamus Award began his stallion career at Widden Stud in New South Wales in 2014, but has been relocated by his owners.

“He’s also the first Cox Plate winner to stand in Victoria since Rubiton in 1988 and he was a real breed-shaper in this state.” – Anthony Mitten.

“One of the owners (Sean Buckley) has his mares in Victoria, so it made sense to have the stallion closer to that broodmare band,” Mithen said.

“The team at Widden were sad to see him go, but we’re very grateful to them for the outstanding job they’ve done with the horse. He served 125 mares in each of his first four seasons, so they’ve really done a lot to keep him on the map.”

With his oldest progeny now 3-year-olds, Shamus Award is starting to make his mark. He is the sire of 36 winners from 77 runners, headed by Listed Port Adelaide Guineas winner Classic Weiwei and the Group 3 placegetter Causeway Girl.

“He’s got a few who are really knocking on the black-type door.” – Anthony Mithen.

But a host of others are showing potential, headed by Mr Quickie. Part-owned by Rosemont, he won last Saturday’s $250,000 Vobis Gold Heath and is the favourite for the Group 1 South Australian Derby.

“They’re showing a lot of ability and we’re really excited to see what the next six months holds,” Mithen said. “He’s got a few who are really knocking on the black-type door.

“Mr Quickie’s the favourite for the South Australian Derby while Bjorn Baker is heading to Brisbane with Rosina Kojonup, a filly he has a very high opinion of. She’s a half-sister to She Will Reign.

“Sovereign Award looked extraordinarily promising winning a maiden by seven lengths last weekend. The 2-year-old filly Ethical Solution ran fourth on debut in a Group 3 race last Saturday and could be an ideal horse for the Sires’ Produce in Adelaide.

“By the time his oldest progeny turn four, he could have a handful of stakes horses. That’s really exciting.” – Anthony Mithen.

“By the time his oldest progeny turn four, he could have a handful of stakes horses. That’s really exciting.

“What we really want to hammer home is that while there’s been a real explosion in stallion fees in Australia, we’re in the fortunate position to offer value and give broodmare owners a go.”

Shamus Award

Starspangledbanner returns

The other new addition to the Rosemont roster is a poignant homecoming for Starspangledbanner (Choisir).

“That’s a bit of a tingle up the spine job, and especially after all of his trials and tribulations,” Mithen said. “I can’t wait to see him come back through the gate.

“He was bred at this farm before we bought it and he’d kicked around in these paddocks for much of his life, so it’s significant.”

A champion sprinter in Australia and Europe, Starspangledbanner stood at Coolmore Ireland and Australia before returning to training due to poor fertility.

“He was bred at this farm before we bought it and he’d kicked around in these paddocks for much of his life, so it’s significant.” – Anthony Mithen.

His second chance at stud came at his birthplace, standing at Rosemont from 2013 to 2015, but everything changed when his first crop of 2-year-olds hit Royal Ascot. He was then relocated back to Coolmore, until this year.

Starspangledbanner

“Starspangledbanner first emerged as a high-quality stallion prospect with that astonishing Royal Ascot meeting, where 10 per cent of his foal crop won stakes races,” Mithen said.

“I remember giving him a pat and loading him on to the truck when he was going over to Coolmore Ireland and I thought it would be the last time he’d set foot on our soil. I was sure he’d go back to the navy blue base, both in Ireland and the Hunter Valley.

“Getting Coolmore’s blessing to bring him back is very special, and I think having him back in Victoria is a smart choice.”

2-year-old Group 3 winner Of The Brave is the leading Australian-bred performer by the stallion to date, with smart filly Thrillster also winning at stakes level.

The latter is a leading contender for Saturday’s G1 TAB Classic at Morphettville.

“Thrillster deserves a shot at it and is rated about a $6 chance,” Mithen said. “She’s super healthy and well.

“She can go to Brisbane later on, but first things first, there’s the Group 1 on Saturday.” – Anthony Mithen.

“She had a great break after her spring campaign. It was a bit tough watching her form from the spring, horses like Amphitrite and Krone, winning proper stakes races during the autumn. There was some gnashing of teeth when that was happening and she was still in pre-training.

Of The Brave winning the Listed Inglis Debutant S.

“But hopefully it’ll all come up roses in the end. She can go to Brisbane later on, but first things first, there’s the Group 1 on Saturday.

“She’s a pin-up girl for Starspangledbanner, and hopefully she can add to that in this campaign. We’re excited.”

A diverse roster

Starspangledbanner will stand for $22,000 (inc GST) with the stallion roster rounded out by Starcraft (NZ) (Soviet Star {USA}) and Nostradamus (Medaglia d’Oro {USA}), both at fees of $8800 (inc GST).

“This is the last year of the Toss the Boss deal for Starcraft,” Mithen said, referring to a scheme where breeders can nominate whether they want a colt or a filly and have the service for free if it’s the other.

“It’s an initiative that’s got Starcraft mobile again and got him back in the breeders’ psyche. You can breed one or the other for free.

“If you’re hoping for a colt, you can have a payday in the sale ring or with a sale overseas, or else you get a filly for free.

“It’s an initiative that’s got Starcraft mobile again and got him back in the breeders’ psyche.” – Anthony Mithen.

“Or vice versa if you want to add to your broodmare band. His early broodmare sire stats are very encouraging, with five stakes winners from the first 100 runners, so that’s a promising little upswing for us as well.

Starcraft

Included in Starcraft's emerging-talent honour roll as a broodmare sire is recent smart 2-year-old winner Stronger (Not A Single Doubt), also twice Group-performed this season.

“And then there’s Nostradamus – I’ll certainly be on my toes when his first two-year-olds step out next season.

Nostradamus is one of four sons of Medaglia d'Oro at stud in Australia, alongside Vancouver (standing at Coolmore), Astern (Darley) and Warrior's Reward (Spendthrift). The former Darley shuttler has had a great year on the track with his Australian final crops, which include the G1 New Zealand Derby winner Crown Prosecutor, and Group-winning 2-year-olds Tenley and Flit.

“Phillip Stokes trains Mr Quickie for us, and he also trained Nostradamus to win a Group 3 for us after we bought him. I sent him a Nostradamus yearling a couple of years ago and when we were at the races last Saturday, with Mr Quickie the favourite for a $250,000 race, the first thing he wanted to talk about was the Nostradamus! That’s very encouraging.

“We’re hoping for some early runners. We’ve seen what’s happened in recent seasons with the likes of Rubick and Deep Field – they’ve had some winners early on, then their fees have gone up and they’ve been fully booked by winter.

Nostradamus

Son of Toff possible late addition

While Rosemont has no ambitions to expand that four-strong stallion roster, their quality 4-year-old Iconoclasm (Toorak Toff) could force his way in. He has won eight of his 16 starts and almost $700,000, including a superb win in last Saturday’s Vobis Gold Sprint.

“As far as adding to the roster goes, the only one we’d really think about would be our very own Iconoclasm,” Mithen said.

“As far as adding to the roster goes, the only one we’d really think about would be our very own Iconoclasm.” – Anthony Mithen.

“We’re aiming him at the Stradbroke, possibly stopping off at the Goodwood in Adelaide on the way. If he was to win one of those, you never know.

“He’s a beautiful horse and he’s out of a gun mare (Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed Gold Lottey (Encosta de Lago). Many people have told us there’s a lot of Encosta de Lago about him.

“We might have the very nice problem of deciding what to do if he happened to win a Group 1 in the next few months – whether to keep him in training or send him to the barn alongside those other four stallions. We’ll see.”

Rosemont 2019 Stallion Fees

NostradamusMedaglia d'Oro (USA)$8,800 $8,800
Shamus AwardSnitzel$11,000 $11,000
Starcraft (NZ)Soviet Star (USA)$8,800 $8,800
StarspangledbannerChoisir$22,000 $11,000