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First Flemington winner for Nick Ryan

Flemington is no stranger to Nick Ryan, he has been there often in a career riding over 500 winners as a jockey, and now has trained his very first winner when Mahamedeis won at Flemington.

He was the only apprentice rider in the history of Victorian racing, since records were kept from 1900, was premier jockey, with 83 winners in season 2004-05, he defeated Damian Oliver by 6 wins.

After a very successful apprenticeship with Robert Smerdon, Nick didn’t wait around for long, he retired from riding in 2009, he was seldom seen at the races since.

His dad, Brendan, was also a jockey apprenticed to the late Bert Honeychurch at Berrigan, he had had a number of good riders attached to the stable, among them was Brendan.

It didn’t take Nick long to follow in the footsteps of his dad, he had to be good he was out in the same era as Blake Shinn, both were gentlemen and exceptional jockeys.

Mahamedeis was not an expensive yearling, he is by Magnus, he cost $24,000 as a yearling, and has shown a return of $108,205 in stakes from 5 starts, he is certainly paying his way.

Ryan Maloney who is riding on the crest of a wave at present, allowed the colt to settle well before his assault on the leading division.

This is the first horse that Nick has syndicated; he had a happy bunch of owners after the race, including John Cole, a son of former Flemington trainer Les Cole, who operated out of stables in Fisher Parade. That was a long time ago.

Nick Ryan Mobile   Ryan Maloney and Nick Ryan all smiles after the win


Willi Willi Likes Flemington

Willi Willi looks a talented performer once he develops that rhythm, he is like a dog with a bone, he does not give in easily.

That was about the pattern of the Bitalli Handicap at Flemington, on Saturday, he again refused to give in, he had three parts of a length to spare when the judge called a halt.

The gelding was the junior in the field, he is a four year old, his trainer, Craig Widdison, has another run pencilled in at headquarters before the horse has a break.

Craig has a team of around 25 horses in work, and a few spellers at Wodonga, there is plenty of opportunities for horses that are not up to city class, as racing is strong in the North East, and over the border, at Albury and Wagga.

He is an excellent young trainer with a bright future, he was formerly in a training partnership with Peter Morgan at Whittlesea .

Craig Widdison Mobile

Craig Widdison


V R C Announces New C E O

Victoria Racing Club Chairman, Amanda Elliott, announced today the appointment of Mr. Neil Wilson as Chief Executive (CEO) of the Club.

“On behalf of the board of the V R C, I am delighted to announce Neil Wilson as the Club’s new CEO, and we congratulate him on this important appointment.”.

“In his seven months as VRC Interim Chief Executive, Neil has made a very positive impact across the whole Club.”

“Amongst other significant outcomes, he led the delivery of last year’s highly successful Melbourne Cup Carnival.”

“Neil’s appointment will provide stability and continuity as the VRC cements its long term strategy, and evolves to set Flemington up for the next generation and beyond.”

“It’s an exciting time for the VRC, headlined by the opening of the new Club Stand later this year.”

Neil was appointed to the V R C Board and became Honorary Treasure in 2017, he will remain a member of the Club’s Board in his capacity as CEO.

Neil Wilson Mobile Neil Wilson C.E.O. of the VRC


Spirit of Boom Leads the Way

Breeding thoroughbreds can be an exasperating experience, or exciting, it is very much how your luck is running, once you are hooked there is no turning back, you are in for the long haul if your intention is to be successful.

Sure there are pitfalls along the way, most breeders are optimists, they have to be, they have to wait two and a half years before knowing if the livestock companies will accept their horses, when the time comes to sell them.

It is a high risk industry that has to be accepted, those that buy have had a lot of experience, they will knock a horse back with the slightest fault, others may accept that and take a punt.

The period of gestation is eleven months, fashions can change quickly, the selected mate for your mare may have gone off the boil, it can be a fickle industry that has to be accepted.

Yet it is a marvellous industry if you are an optimist, and most of us are, there can be of a pot of gold hanging at the end of every rainbow.

Widden Stud celebrates its 150 years anniversary, and Eureka Stud has been in the care of the McAlpine family for near on a century.

Eureka Stud, on the rich Darling Downs, is home to Spirit of Boom, he is leading the way on the first season’s sires list, with six winners of eight races, including two stakes races.

Scott McAlpine believed in Spirit of Boom, he was a good racehorse, he never stopped trying and is becoming a much sought after sire with the results he is achieving.

Spirit of Boom has defied modern day logic, with the majority of stud masters believing a stallion should have been lightly raced, with a maximum of a dozen race starts, having their first starters by the time they are seven year old, and a dominant sire line.

While Spirit of Boom can scoff at all those theories, he did it his way; he is the exception, but not the rule.

He was a very sound racehorse, that is a great quality in a thoroughbred, and he is obviously passing that quality on to his progeny.

Spirit of Boom is an exciting sire, he is siring early maturing horses, he suits those that are looking for an early monetary return, two year old racing continues to increase in prize money.


Jonker, by Spirit of Boom, is the current favourite for the Magic Millions Classic, he strolled in with the Classic at Wyong recently, his trainer, David Atkins, has him as fit as hands can make him, he is right on track.

A win by Jonker in the Classic on Saturday, there would be still four more lots to be sold on Saturday evening and Sunday.

He has become a very popular sire, he getting progeny that are genuine racehorses .

Spirit of Boom 10MB Mobile 2

Spirit Of Boom



All Too Hard lands Group 2 Success

Demonetization added another success for his sire, All Too Hard, when he proved too strong for the opposition in the Group 2 Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas, run over 1600 metres.

“The further they go the better he will be, I’m looking forward to autumn,” said his trainer, Nigel Tiley.

Demonetization has the Group 1 Vodahone New Zealand Derby, over 2400, as his grand final, but Tiley is yet to lock in the All Too Hard’s colt to the March feature.

“I have to choose whether we go to Wellington or not, that would give a nice break to the Avondale Guineas, and then the Derby, “said Tiley.

All Too Hard was undoubtedly an outstanding three year old, his progeny are now showing promise, Villermont could be the colt of the autumn, and Demonetization may not be that far away either

Demonetization w 4606s Mobile

Demonetization by All Too Hard.

Lord of the Sky showed his rivals a clean set of plates when winning the Standish Handicap, since failing at Sandown in August.

The seven year old stallion looked a picture parading in the paddock, with a handler either side leading him.

Trainer, Robbie Laing, is surprised that no stud has picked him up, although really it is no surprise, the horse it too old, he won’t have progeny racing until he is 11 years of age.

Youth is dominating in the breeding industry, and that is not going to change, entires are going to stud once they turn three, investment is huge, but the name of the game is still youth.

Tim Hughes is no big time trainer, he has just three horses in work, however, he will never forget that very first winner, Crossing The Abbey, in the New Year Plate of 2018, the first race on the Flemington card.

Hughes works at breaking in horses and pre training, a blood count was taken of the filly she showed there was a white cell a little elevated.

It was an improvement on her run previously in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes back in October, when she finished fourth to Nomothaj, also at Flemington.

Craig Williams worked hard to land the filly a winner, but not as hard as Tim, many standing nearby may have thought his lungs were going to burst.

“My whole stomach was churning over, but it was great, I will never forget this day, what a relief, a great experience,” he said.

He will not mind going through that again if Crossing The Abbey can win the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield on February 24.Tim Hughes Mobile

Tim Hughes - Trainer of Crossing The Abbey 


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