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St Leger - The Oldest Classic

The St Leger is the oldest classic, first run in the earliest days of the seventeenth century at Doncaster in Yorkshire.

Racing had previously taken place on the Town Moor, it was not until 1776 the Doncaster Corporation built a grandstand for the aristocratic spectators, including the Marquis of Rockingham and Lieutenant –General Anthony St Leger, both of whom were patrons of the Doncaster Racecourse.

The St Leger, the Derby and the Oaks, are known as the classics, exclusive races confined to three year olds, basically following the traditions from the United Kingdom, a filly could become a triple classic winner but a colt could only become a dual classic winner, as the Oaks is confined to fillies only.

When Australia adopted the three classics system, I’m sure it was never intended that the six states would run the three classics on a regular basis each.

Some of the states have since discontinued the St Leger; it was becoming a nuisance value and nothing more than a match race in some instances.

St Leger was introduced by Victoria Racing Club, the ruling body of racing, during the four days of its autumn carnival.

At that time it was a forgone conclusion that the Derby winner of the spring would contest the St Leger.

However, that has all gone hocus pocus now since the Australian Jockey Club decided to run their Derby in the autumn, there was no option but to run the St Leger on Anzac Day, it is now a better betting medium but not necessarily for what was originally intended.  

There is no cohesion between Melbourne and Sydney, which is a great shame that we cannot see eye to eye between the two states; it is only an hour’s flight on a plane.

At least we can run two successful carnivals, spring and autumn, while Sydney can only muster one carnival. .


New Sires for Newgate

Henry Field is wasting no time introducing four of the best credentialed young horses to take up stud duties at Newgate, Aberdeen, in the coming season, which commences in September.

He has skimmed the cream of the crop for Newgate in Capitalist, Extreme Choice, Flying Artie and Winning Rupert; there is nothing left on the sideboard.

Service fees have already been announced for Capitalist, the champion two year old of last season, after winning the Golden Slipper Stakes he is fully booked and will cover 180 mares in the coming season, his service fee is set at $50,000 plus GST.

All are three year olds rising four, with the exception of Winning Rupert, who will be three when he takes up stud duties, a nice book of mares awaits him, that will give him every chance at present, he has 155 bookings at a fee of $20,000 plus GST

Stud fees have also been announced for both Extreme Choice and Flying Artie, the best two year olds of last season out of the Mick Price yard, each will stand for $35,000 plus GST.

Capitalist and Winning Rupert are both by Written Tycoon, they may well establish the cracking good looking chestnut as a sire of sires.

Capitalist GS Custom

Capitalist winning the Golden Slipper Stakes  

Henry is right on the ball, he has the dollars and he has secured potentially the four best young horses in the world, there are exciting times ahead for Newgate, the stud that is becoming a major player in the thoroughbred breeding industry.

All were prominent two year olds, all million dollar horses plus, Australia breeds the best sprinters in the world, while stake money continues to rise and the Everest is over 1200 metres.

Speed has taken over as the essential ingredient in the modern day racehorse, and while race clubs continue to cater for horses with the majority of races over 1000 to 1200 metres, there is no point in trying to breed stayers, it is a lost cause.

Breeding and racing has changed, there are those that invest in the industry that are looking for a quick return, and you are more likely to get it in a sprinting pedigree.

Pace is becoming a dominant factor in the breeding of the thoroughbred horse, while that could be scoffed at by the purists; however, it is a reality.

Henry Field is a good operator, he cannot afford to let the grass grow under his feet, this is big business as was shown in Sydney last week when 14 yearlings were sold for $1 million or more, unheard in this country previously.

Blue Diamond Stakes Extreme Choice C Newitt GAZ 5272 Custom

Extreme Choice winning the Blue Diamond Stakes

Bloodstock breeding has gone to a all time level, syndication is very strong, there is confidence in the industry and when there is confidence it stimulates interest, and in this case at the highest level.

It is an exciting industry that stimulates interest, not only for those already involved, but for those that are coming into the industry.

The risks are no greater than any other investment, if you are smart enough, you can trade out of your investment, with a profit, before sire’s progeny have even raced.

Capitalist is in great demand, as Golden Slipper Stakes winners always are, there is magic in that race like no other, possibly in the world, we owe so much to the late George Ryder, a man of great vision.

The breeding industry has changed, come September some stallions can be covering four mares a day, at six hour intervals.

Times have changed, the thoroughbred breeding industry is huge, the capitol investment is riding on an all-time high, there is quite a number of investors that don’t even own a mare, investing in stallion shares is becoming a challenge, and a rival to the stock exchange.

One such sire, a Golden Slipper success, had sired three crops of foals before he had a runner, grossed $29 million in stud fees, that is not to be sneezed at.

Flying Artie 058 Jack 2 Custom

Flying Artie winning the Danehill 


Glenlogan Park changes direction

Queensland’s leading stud farm, Glenlogan Park, has for more than a decade now announced a chance in direction, the stud will not be standing stallions htis season, nor in the foreseeable future.

“This is something we have been angling towards for a number of years, with the national scene going from strength to strength in recent times, now seemed the ideal time to make the transition, “ Glenlongan principal Jon Haseler said.

“Our focus will be on producing the very best yearlings and racehorsess we can, and presenting them at all of the major sales around the country, “he added.

Glenlogan Park has been home to a number of successful sires, Falvelon, Jet Power, Real Saga , Rich Enuff, Rothesay and Show A Heart.

T B Q A President, Basil Nolan, said it’s sad to see Glenlogan Park relinquish its stallions.

“They have been a long standing supporter of the Queensland industry for many years and have had tremendous success as one of the State’s leading studs ,producing many champion sires and runners, season after season, “ said Basil Nolan.

In future Eureka Stud will stand Real Saga, Lyndhurst will be the new home for Rothesay and Jet Spur will go to Grandview stud.  


Training partners in hot water

Training partners, Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, are to face a charge of conduct prejudicial to the image of racing, for substituting three horses in a televised Breakfast with The Stars, in a track gallop last week.

The Randwick based pair were granted an Adjournment by Racing New South Wales stewards yesterday, so as to seek advice after they were charged under Australian Racing Rule 175 (a)

Waterhouse and Bott were charged after stewards established three of the stables racehorses, English, Serena and Debonairly, did not conduct track work on the Randwick course proper on April 4th, as programmed at the Breakfast With The Stars function.

They were substituted by three other horses, Fabrizio, Sort After and Stampede, with three horses carrying the same set of colours as the nominated horses.

Waterhouse was critical of the charge, claiming the offence was worth only of a warning.


McDonald loses appeal

James McDonald, among the most talented jockeys, not only in the Southern Hemisphere but the Northern Hemisphere, has lost his appeal for betting.

In fact it was just one single bet of a $1,000, but enough to wreck the career of the highest paid jockey in the world.

While it is believed he was conned into the bet, he has another 13 months to sweat it out, and no guarantee he will ever come back as good as he was, or given the same opportunities.

He committed the mortal sin, he had a bet, a lousey bet, he didn’t need it, he had the world at his feet, riding in England at the height of the Northern Hemisphere season and returning to Australia for the major stakes races in the spring and the autumn, riding for the most lucrative racing stable in the world.

Surely he had to be conned, I have never taking him for a fool, nor should anyone else, a likeable young man with a great personality and a genius in the saddle.

Why!, a word he would have asked himself a thousand times over and never received a plausible answer.


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