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Around The Traps

A flying visit to Adelaide paid off for Bendigo trainer, Mick Sell, when his mare, Penny To Sell, scored a nice win at Morphettville last Saturday.

He hit the road at 8 pm from Bendigo Thursday night, there was no dawdling along the way or any sightseeing trip either, this was a business trip, man on a mission.

Mick, who had recently vacated Kyneton in preference for Bendigo, has trained about a dozen winners since he has made the changeover.

Penny To Sell is no champion, Mick is the first to admit that, however, if you select the right races she can be pretty handy on her day.

Mick picked the right race for her on Saturday, whilst she was last for most of the race she was still in touch with the leading group, her rider, Talia Hope, carried out riding instructions to the letter, she is making the best of her riding opportunities.


The Autumn Sun opened up his autumn campaign hardly in a blaze of glory, but what did you expect?

He is not yet fully wound up at this stage, he had to overcome an awkward position on the rails and he did win first up after a break.

His mission is the Randwick Guineas, from there,that is in the unknown, whether John Messara brings him back for another season, or the colt goes to stud.

Messara does have the midas touch, he has been so successful, he has made Redoute’s Choice and he will make The Autumn Sun.


Magic Millions Tasmanian Yearling sales proved successful, with a turnover of $2.999.000, with an excellent average of $27,769 for 108 lots sold.

Lot 63, a well presented colt by Fiorente, topped at $115,000 he was out the Savoire Vivre mare Love The Moment, she won the Tasmanian Oaks, the buyer was Spicer Thoroughbreds.

The Melbourne Cup winner is on the verge of siring a Stakes winner, it could be at Flemington on Saturday.



 Lot 116, the colt by Charge Forward, changed hands at $100,000, his dam comes from a very stout female family that John Singleton had a lot of success with.

Charge Forward formerly stood at Arrowfield, he has since been relocated to Murrulla Stud at Wingen.


National Defence, France’s leading two year old colt of last season will stand at Sun Stud in the 2019 stud season.  

The 2016 European 2 Year Old Colt’s Classifcations , 122 Churchill (Ire) European Champion, National Defence (GB) 118, and Caravaggio (USA) 116, he was unbeaten as a two year old.

National Defence is described as an attractive bay horse, very well balanced and a great mover, with lots of speed and energy, by Henri Bozo,Stud Manager”.                                            

He has a proven speed pedigree, his sire, Invincible Spirit, his sire is noted for that, evidence is I Am Invincible.

National Defence is a striking bay entire; he lacks for nothing, he is sure to make a great impression.                                                       


Winx - 30 on the trot

Winx would hardly blow a candle out after her easy win in the Apollo Stakes at Randwick, over 1400 metres last Saturday.

The Accolades continue to roll in, and they will until her final race the 13thof April, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Royal Randwick, when she finally bids the turf farewell.

She has been great for racing, those that don’t frequent racecourses, or have a bet; she has captured them, illustrated by a crowd of 15,330 to witness the wonder mare.

She has now won 34 races, the last 30 all in succession, when Chris Waller originally set the itinerary for the mare it included four more races, she has already had one, there is no point in altering the plan that was set.

Chris Waller is a very thorough man, he doesn’t walk backwards, or change his mind either, he is a highly professional horse trainer.

He hasn’t allowed the pressure to take over, it could have at times, but he has been able to rein it in.

Desert Gold was the first horse , a mare in fact, the best mare since Wakeful, she established a record of 19 straight wins up to 1917, to lay claim to the most wins in succession until Gloaming appeared on the scene, he was by The Welkin, he equalled the record, but could not pass it though.  

In 1939 Ajax threw out a determined challenge, he had won 18 races in succession when he faced up to Spear Chief, and Allunga, in the Rawson Stakes at Rosehill.

There was little betting on the race, Ajax was 40-1 on Spear Chief and Allunga 33-1, however, there were few takers at those odds.

Darby Munro rode Allunga, he always expressed the view that Ajax was a corn beef champion, he could be rolled.  

Hence, Ajax being a natural front runner, but not for long, Munro soon had Allunga at the girth of the favourite, Spear Chief came along and beat both of them.

Winx - 5 Mobile

Winx - 30 Wins on the trot


I Am Invincible on a Roll

I Am Invincible was right on the ball on Saturday week siring Crack The Code, the first winner at Caulfield, and it just got better as the meeting progressed.

When I Am Immortal won the Blue Diamond Preview for colts and a geldings, things were then really hotting up and the show was far from over.

The Blue Diamond Preview for fillies saw the Sydney trained filly, Catch Me, defeat Jedastar by a slender margin, both by I Am Invincible.

To complete the day I Am A Cool Kid won the second race at Randwick, the Highway Handicap.

i am inv march 2012 HR MobileI Am Invincible - Outstanding Sire

Record Sale Entries

When entries closed for the 2019 Karaka Yearling sales, 103 entries were received and catalogued on behalf of Waikato Stud Ltd. at Matamata.

One hundred and three lots is a great record, and how well the stud is organized to handle that number of horses.

From 1930 to 1940 Percy Miller’s Kia-Ora Stud, at Scone, regularly sold an average of 90 yearlings, in 1941 he sold a record 105 lots at the Sydney Easter Sales.

During the war years petrol was heavily rationed, there was no petrol for transporting horses, they were walked to the nearest railhead, possibly Scone, and travelled by train.

On arrival at Central Railway Station they had to be walked individually to the sales complex at Randwick.

Some great sires have stood at Kia Oro including Magpie, Midstream and Delville Wood, and numerous others, Percy Miller hardly stood a colonial sire, however, he made an exception, he could not resist Chatham, he was a great miler.

Long Leaf has the Pedigree

Long leaf gave a dashing display in winning the Karaka Millions; he will be wrapped in cotton wool from here in, as he is a very expensive colt for racing and breeding purposes.

He was purchased for $750,000 as a yearling out of the Curraghmore’s draft by BBA Ireland, and looks certain to stand at Coolmore in due course.

The win was a welcome return for James McDonald, who had not ridden at Ellerslie for three years, he noticed a lot of changes to New Zealand’s leading racecourse.

McDonald had Long Leaf well positioned when he drew along side of Media Sensation at the 800 metres, and soon after had to fend off a desperate challenge from The Real Beel half way up the straight.

Long Leaf is by Fastneck Rock from Frustrating, he has a sensational dam line, he will get every chance at Coolmore.


A cruel blow for Racing Family

Peter Liston is a guy that wanted the best for his family, there is nothing wrong with that, he could always ride with the punches, he could weather the storm, he was born and raised in the Mallee, they don’t give in easily up that way.

He and his wife, Pauline, with their family, moved to a horse stud known as Lakewood Stud, South Australia, in the distance was Narrung Stud where the sensational thoroughbred sire Adraan stood, his first and only season, and further on, the waters of Lake Albert.

It didn’t take long for Peter to realise he was pushing a barrow uphill, he gave up the ghost but not the ambition.

After what was a short period Peter and his wife, Pauline, with their family, wanted to return to Victoria, it offered more security and an improved lifestyle.

Above all it had to be horse country within reasonable reach of the capitol city that is where much of the racing and breeding industry is centred.

The family took their time looking about, they knew what they wanted, it may take a little time, they were prepared to wait for the right property.  

It didn’t take that long for the Liston family to settle on “Three Bridges” on the Loddon River, where the gums grow as tall as they do along the Murray.

A place of peace and tranquillity where time seemed to stand still, as you walked through the lush pastures that were to be known as Three Bridges, not that far away from the small hamlet of Eddington.

When the stud got up and running all new stabling was built, holding yards and paddocks, a veterinary facility, modern feed sheds and a brand new home with all modern cons.

Pauline Liston is a remarkable woman, she is a true horse women, she wouldn’t ask a man to do a job she could not do herself.

Stryker was the first sire to stand at Three Bridges, he was by Fastnet Rock, he proved a very handy sire, however, he wasn’t really commercial, you needed to do better to remain a going concern.

You don’t find them under gooseberry bushes, the market is extremely competitive, there are a lot of players with the same intentions.

Peter Liston thought he had struck a pot of gold, the horse he was able to secure was the outstanding two year old colt, Unencumbered, who had just won the Magic Millions Classic, it was better than winning the lottery.

Unencumbered produced winners from his first crop to race, he was up and away, he was in for a marvellous season.

He was leading first season sire with progeny earnings of $1.9 million, and that was just the beginning, his first crop of yearlings sold up to $150,000.    

Sadly Unencumbered died just after a couple of seasons, there will be no replacement for him, he had 59 runners for 32 winners .

Peter Liston 17-08-2014 Three Bridges Thoroughbreds  10 MobilePeter Liston


Best race mares - Poor Breeders

Our very best race mares, and there has been some champions, the majority have very poor breeding records, some have been complete duffers.

There are numerous theories that can be applied; the most likely, hard racing against continuous strong opposition, surely has to take its toll.

The top race mares give it all, that is why they become champions, but at a cost, on retirement basically they are worn out, they still remain fertile, but fertility doesn’t come into the picture.

This is a multimillion dollar business, the commercial breeders, particularly in New South Wales, are at the helm, the capitol investment is mind boggling, and it is not going to go away.

When investors are willing to throw millions of dollars into an industry, and it’s a gamble, the gravy train will keep rolling along.

Those that were champion race mares are not wanted by the major studs, they are worn simply out, they have little more to give.

Tranquil Star was a classic example, she won 23 races including a Caulfield Cup, 2 Cox Plates, 32 placings and unplaced 56 times.  

After she retired, a stud career was awaiting, she reared nine foals of which seven raced.

Fortunately we rarely see acts of cruelty to that magnitude these days, racing is better administered.

The best race mares, more often than not, rarely produce the best foals, it just doesn’t happen; they have no more to give.

Flight had a busy racing career but nothing to compare with Tranquil Star, her only recorded daughter was Flight’s Daughter by Helios, she never raced.

Sir Brian Crowley sent Flight’s daughter across to Baramul Stud where Star Kingdom stood, she produced Skyline in 1955, and Sky High in 1957, each won a Golden Slipper and a Derby.

In the thirties we marvelled at Peter Pan winning the Melbourne Cup twice, little did we know in 50 years hence, a mare named Makybe Diva, would win the Cup three times. However, sadly she will never be remembered as a brood mare.

Wakeful produced Night Watch, winner of the Melbourne Cup long before the advent of Group racing and Black Type was introduced to racing; only two mares have been afforded

Group 1 status, Chicquita, she produced Eskimo Prince who won the Golden Slipper Stakes Group 1, and Miss Finland who is the dam of Stay With Me, she won the 1000 Guineas Group 1

Makybe Diva and foal Mobile

Makybe Diva with her latest foal at Vinery


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