A plan to chase black type with Sasso Corbaro is now coming together nicely for the former Australian mare.
The daughter of All Too Hard was originally set to contest the Gr.2 Westbury Classic (1400m) at Ellerslie last month for Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, but the mission was abandoned because of a setback.
However, her owners, China Horse Club Racing, decided to press ahead with a bid to boost her value with black type in New Zealand and sent her to Matamata trainer Jamie Richards, who produced her for an impressive successful New Zealand debut at Otaki last Saturday.
"She came over two or three weeks ago with the idea of chasing black type and on Saturday's run she showed she should be up to it,'' Richards said.
''We're still getting to know her. She's a big mare but she's certainly got a lot of ability."
Richards plans to start Sasso Corbaro next in the Listed Lightning Handicap (1200m) at Trentham on March 16.
Sasso Corbaro won four races and was three times placed in 12 starts for Lees with her most recent Australian win being over 1200m at Caloundra on Boxing Day. She had been taken to Queensland in pursuit of the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares (1300m), in which she finished among the tailenders on January 12.
Her earlier performances included a decisive win at Randwick and two unsuccessful attempts at black type in New South Wales.
''She's the first horse we've had in the stable for China Horse Club and it's a great start with them,'' Richards said.
''It was a really good win, to miss the kick like she did and come right down the outside and beat them hands down. We're not often sent horses like her to try and gain some black type."
Sasso Corbaro was one of three winners for Richards and led into the fifth Group One win for stable star Melody Belle in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m) at Otaki, while at Matamata the stable provided the quinella in the Gr.3 Waikato Stud Slipper (1200m) with Yourdeel and Aotea Lad.
Richards reports that Melody Belle, who could be in line for a wildcard berth in the A$5 million All Star Mile, has come through her massive effort at Otaki in good order.
"We're working on a couple of options for her,'' he said. ''More than likely she will go out for a spell, but we'll finalise everything in the next few days.''
Yourdeel and Aotea Lad will press on for the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on March 9 and Richards hasn't discounted stablemate Equinox, a debut winner at Trentham, also starting in the feature, despite finishing fifth of six in the Waikato Stud Slipper.
"Equinox is a lot better on good ground and he was tripped up by the ground on Saturday,'' Richards said.
''We'll work him up and see how he goes. He'll need to work really well to press on for the Sistema, but he's still in contention at this stage.''- NZ Racing Desk
Fresh from a super successful sale at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast, leading South Australian vendors Mill Park are now focused on the 2019 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale at the refurbished Oaklands complex in Victoria.
The Watson family run Mill Park is a name synonymous with quality and the list of superior runners raised on their vast paddocks is a virtual who's who of Australian racing and includes $3.8 million earner and Caulfield Cup hero Fawkner, who was an Inglis Premier graduate sold for $70,000 in 2009.
Other Mill Park raised or sold Group I superstars include Southern Speed, Happy Trails, Rebel Raider, Serious Speed, Captain Sonador and Go Indy Go…. the list goes on.
Current stakes horses such as Booker and Mickey Blue Eyes, who both have siblings to be offered at Premier, as well as Pretty Punk, All Too Huiying, Waging War, Gogo Grace and Heart of a Lion are bringing a new chapter of success.
Also stamping himself as a super exciting prospect is the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained two year-old Dawn Passage, a brilliant debut winner at Randwick on Australia Day and then an unlucky fast closing third in the $2million Inglis Millennium.
A $150,000 Inglis Premier purchase for his trainers last year from the Mill Park draft, the Dawn Approach (IRE) colt looks a star in the making.
Mill Park will present 11 yearlings at Inglis Premier as listed below and see them at Barn B Stables 55 – 66.
Lot 61 Colt Toronado (IRE) x Bahamas, by Teofilo (IRE)
First foal of Group III placed winner and has a double cross of champion sire Sadler's Wells 3 x 4.
Lot 98 Colt Shooting to Win x Carolina Bella by Zabeel
Half-brother to stakes-winner Mickey Blue Eyes.
Lot 157 Colt So You Think x Eagles Destiny, by Snippetson
Fourth foal of a half-sister to the dams of Group I MRC Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed and Group I ATC Champagne Stakes winner Go Indy Go. From the family of Golden Slipper winner Ha Ha.
Lot 182 Filly Foxwedge x Family Portrait, by Excellent Art (GB)
Third foal of stakes-placed Family Portrait from the family of Group winners Fontiton and Tequila Time.
Lot 183 Colt All Too Hard x Fast and Loose, by Fastnet Rock
Third foal of a winning three-quarter sister to Group II winner Catapulted from the family of Group I winner Ihtsahymn.
Lot 245 Colt Dissident x Khandallah, by Kitten's Joy (USA)
This colt has an important update as he is a half-brother to the very promising Dalakhani (IRE) two year-old Dalasan, who has won impressively at Morphettville at his only two starts to date for the Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas stable.
Lot 263 Filly All Too Hard x Lassie Mactavish, by More Than Ready (USA)
Half-sister to Group I placed Platinum Balos.
Lot 348 Colt Starspangledbanner x Noondie, by Flying Spur
Half-brother to Group 1 winner Booker, a winner of over $800,000 in prizemoney and has a double cross of champion sire Danehill.
Lot 399 Filly Zoustar x Ravenous Lass, by Stratum
Second foal of brilliantly fast Melbourne metro winner Ravenous Lass, a half-sister to Group II winner San Nicasio and has a double cross of champion sire Redoute's Choice.
Lot 411 Colt I Am Invincible x Resonates, by Teofilo (IRE)
First foal of stakes-winner Resonates. One of only five colts in this sale by outstanding sire I Am Invincible.
Lot 495 Colt Free Eagle (IRE) x Third Day, by Zabeel
Half-brother to two winners with promising three year-old Third Coming scoring at Werribee since the catalogue went to print. He led all the way to win easily after finishing second at his first two starts. From the first crop of High Chaparral's Group I winning son Free Eagle.
Fastnet Rock stallion Foxwedge, who will stand at Woodside Park in 2019, had a very impressive winner at Kenilworth on Saturday.
His 3yo daughter Run Fox Run made it two wins from as many outings when romping home over 1000m for trainer Brett Crawford, jockey Anton Marcus and owners Craig and Ross Kieswetter and Ridgemont Highlands.
Sent off the 18-10 tote favourite for the Next Meeting Kenilworth 16 February 2019 FM 78 handicap for fillies and mares, Run Fox Run was always up with the pace in the 1000m sprint, and, coming to the 400m looked a hard horse to beat.
She duly cruised home to register a 1.75 length win –having scored an equally impressive win on debut, when skating home by two lengths over 1000 metres.
A $420 000 buy from the draft of Mill Park Stud at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Run Fox Run was produced by General Nediym mare Victory Cry and is, as such, a half-sister to ATC Heritage Stakes winner Guard Of Honour.
Darley shuttler Dawn Approach (IRE) may have found the big horse he has been searching for with the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained colt Dawn Passage who made an auspicious debut over 1000 metres at Randwick on Australia Day.
The stable was also represented by the better fancied Espaaniyah but when the Inglis Banner winner began to retreat, Dawn Passage was just warming up for Blake Shinn to credit the popular jockey with the perfect welcome back after a long time on the sidelines due to a serious neck injury.
Settled back worse than midfield, Dawn Passage displayed a brilliant turn of foot when balanced up in the straight to win running away by three and a quarter lengths from Starspangledbanner's half-brother Aussie (Snitzel) with Bivouac (Exceed And Excel) back in third. (photos Steve Hart )
"He is a lovely colt," Waterhouse told AAP.
"There are a lot of first-time owners in him and they will have a lot of fun.
"This would only happen in Australia. It's a great country we live in."
After spending months in a neck brace, Blake Shinn said he felt blessed to be back riding.
"It's been a long road back. I've done a lot of work and I've had a lot of support," he said
"I believe in fate and it was like I had someone riding with me.
Another of the hallowed grounds of Mill Park Stud, Dawn Passage was purchased by A Bott / G Waterhouse / Blue Sky Bloodstock for $150,000 at the 2018 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.
A half-brother to the G3 SAJC Jansz Stakes winner Dinkum Diamond (Keep The Faith), Dawn Passage is the eighth foal and the sixth winner for the now pensioned Raja Lane.
The daughter of Devaraja was a crack racemare earning over $428,000 with seven wins highlighted by the G3 SAJC Dermody Stakes.
Her final foal is a yearling colt by Rebel Raider that will sell as Lot 401 at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale.
Four-time Group 1 winner Dawn Approach (IRE) clocked in as the sixth leading first-crop sire last season with several promising types, but he attracted just 36 mares last spring and in this cutthroat world his future south of the equator may well depend on the likes of Dawn Passage earning black-type.
The first yearling sale for 2019 saw leading South Australian farm Mill Park Stud offer seven yearlings at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast, with all offerings finding homes.
With a pair of fillies selling on the opening day of the sale, Angus Gold on behalf of Shadwell purchased Lot 112, the I Am Invincible x Sensualism filly for $300,000 while Queensland-based trainer Tony Gollan joined forces with John Foote Bloodstock to part ways with $180,000 for Lot 235, the So You Think x Tirarri filly.
While day two of the sale was a ‘rest’ day for the team with none of the draft heading through the ring, it was still all hands on deck parading the draft for potential buyers.
With an outstanding representation of international buyers at the sales complex, it was great to see Lot 547, our stunning Snitzel x Elusive Wonder filly get knocked down to international agent Kerri Radcliffe for $425,000 on behalf of American owner George Bolton, with the full-sister to stakes winner Modern Wonder set to head to the Caulfield stable of Ciaron Maher Racing.
Mid-way through the Friday session of the sale, Peachester Lodge went to $725,000 for our flashy Lot 667, the Not A Single Doubt filly out of the stakes-winning Hussonet mare Hussy By Choice.
The second highest priced yearling by her sire sold at the sale, the filly exceeded all expectations and we can’t wait to track her progress in the future.
Lot 819, the first colt from our draft to go through the ring, was knocked down to Gerald Ryan and David Raphael for $200,000. By Coolmore Stud’s ten-time Group 1 winner and now Group 1-producing sire So You Think, the colt was the first of our three yearlings to sell during the Saturday night session.
Next up was Lot 833, the Hinchinbrook x Moreau colt that was purchased by Hong Kong’s Bridle Bloodstock. With the progeny of the now deceased Hinchinbrook performing so well in Hong Kong through the likes of Group 1 campaigner Beat The Clock, it was no surprise to see where the colt will head.
Out final yearling to grace the Magic Millions sale ring was Lot 870, the filly by Written Tycoon out of the stakes placed Obsidian Dragon. Sold to Grahame Begg Racing and Rohan J Hughes Thoroughbred Services for $300,000, we are extremely confident about the prospects of this filly.
With her purchaser having trained Written Tycoon himself as well as his Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes-winning son Written By, we can’t wait to see how this filly performs for Begg in the future.
All in all, our draft of seven yearlings grossed over $2.3 million and averaged a very respectable $333,571, almost $100,000 above the overall sale average, placing the Mill Park draft in fourth position on average (3 or more sold).
The next opportunity to purchase a yearling from Mill Park will be at the upcoming Inglis Premier Yearling Sale commencing on March 3, where we have a draft of 11 catalogued to sell, before we back it up at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale on March 12 and 13 where we have a draft of 18 catalogued.
It’s worth noting that two of our recent multiple Group 1-winning graduates Fawkner and Happy Trails, were secured at the Inglis Premier and Magic Millions Adelaide respectively for a combined total of $81,000 and between them they won 21 races, six at Group 1 level and over $7.1 million in prizemoney for their connections
Newgate Farm’s proven G1 sire Foxwedge had an eye catching debut winner at Kenilworth on Saturday when his 3yo daughter Run Fox Run won over 1000m.
Trained by Brett Crawford, Run Fox Run impressed when showing her rivals a clean pair of heels in the afternoon’s first race, the Itsarush.co.za Welcomes You Maiden Plate for fillies and mares, under jockey Anton Marcus.
The three-year-old drew clear as a 4-1 shot to score a comfortable two length win first time out for owners the Kieswetters of Ridgemont Highlands –despite proving somewhat of a handful going down to post.
Crawford admitted in a post-race interview Run Fox Run had her issues, “She had her share of niggling issues beforehand and I must think the Kieswetters for their patience in letting us take our time with her.”
Bred by Mill Park, Run Fox Run was a $420 000 purchase from the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
A daughter of G1 William Reid Stakes winner Foxwedge (also sire of the Kieswetter owned G1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes winner Urban Fox), Run Fox Run was produced by the General Nediym mare Victory Cry.
The latter, a placed sister to Listed Redelva Stakes winner Victory Chant, is also dam of the ATC Heritage Stakes winner Guard Of Honour and this is the family of G1 MRC Thousand Guineas winner Serious Speed and multiple G1 winning champion Dissident.
Mill Park Stud will consign a Written Tycoon half-brother to Run Fox Run at the upcoming Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
After looking to be in a zip fastener pocket with 300 metres left to run, Regan Bayliss found a narrow season on Mickey Blue Eyes to edge out the favourite Gem Song in Saturday's Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Randwick.
The pair were well back on the turn with Gem Song on the outside of Mickey Blue Eyes. With a six kilogram pull in the weights, Mickey Blue Eyes edged out Gem Song (Your Song) by a short-half-head with Purple Sector (Pins) two and a half lengths back in third.
A good-looking son of Medaglia d'Oro (USA) Mickey Blue Eyes advanced his record to 2 wins and a second from 5 starts with earnings of $132,780.
Trained by David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig, Mickey Blue Eyes was coming off a win over Black Caviar's son Prince Of Caviar in a 1300 metre maiden at Bendigo.
He has form around Tarka and Graf in his first preparation. He had a spell and furnished into a lovely horse," Bayliss said.
"I like the way he pinned his ears back and really knuckled down that last furlong.
"He's pulled up like he hasn't had a race he is that happy. If he comes out of the race well he has plenty of improvement in him and he is an exciting horse.
Co-trainer David Hayes said the Champion Stakes was likely to be his next start.
"I think he would have been unlucky to lose. He just got held up at a vital stage.
"I would say we will run him in the Champion Stakes, a Group 1 over 2000 metres.
Bred by Harry Perks, Mickey Blue Eyes (pictured as a yearling) was purchased by Peter Devitt for $350,000 out of the Mill Park draft at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
He is the second foal and second winner out of the winning Zabeel mare Carolina Bella who is a daughter of the stakes-winner and multiple Group placed Centaine mare Wyndam Special.
A $330,000 yearling, Carolina Bella was purchased for $60,000 by Hancock Quality Bloodstock at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
She has a 2yo filly by Hallowed Crown and a yearling colt by Shooting To Win. She was covered by Pierro last spring but missed.
Mickey Blue Eyes becomes the 116th stakes-winner for the former Darley shuttler Medaglia d'Oro (USA).
Mill Park Stud is a 10,000 acre property on the limestone-based country of South Australia with 2000 acres dedicated to their successful thoroughbred operation. TDN AusNZ’s Paul Vettise chatted with Chris Watson about their thriving business.
Paul Vettise: How many broodmares do you currently have on the farm, and what is the farm's approach to selecting stallions?
Chris Watson: We run about 80 mares for clients and ourselves. We look at all aspects involved when selecting stallions for mare bookings. Type, pedigree and commercial appeal are all important criteria when choosing a stallion for a mare.
PV: Any notable new mare additions to the 2018 line-up?
CW: G2 Doomben Roses winner Arabian Gold produced a lovely first foal, a colt (pictured below) by Snitzel and she is being covered again by Snitzel.
Arabian Gold will be covered by Snitzel and has a colt foal by the same sire
"Type, pedigree and commercial appeal are all important criteria when choosing a stallion for a mare. " - Chris Watson, Mill Park Stud
Beluga Blue, winner of the Listed Hill Smith S., and second in the G2 Wakeful Stakes has produced a really nice colt foal by Snitzel and is to be covered by I Am Invincible.
G2 Wakeful S., runner-up Glam Guru, who is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Gamblin’ Guru and out of a half-sister to Gold Guru, was retired this season and is going to be covered by American Pharaoh.
Gold Coast Magic Millions Mares winner I Am Zelady is a full-sister to Comprendre and she’s produced a lovely first foal filly by Snitzel and is being covered this season by Zoustar.
Mella Maria, winner of the G2 Turffontien Spring Fillies’ Challenge, produced a first foal by Golden Horn and is being covered by Not A Single Doubt.
PV: Who is involved in the mating decisions?
CW: This is usually a long, drawn-out process taking weeks and involves the whole family. A good few arguments and bottles of red are involved before a decision can be made!
PV: How much do sales trends inform your decision making?
CW: We try not to be influenced by sale trends as we feel this is being reactive to historical market occurrences. We try to be proactive and focus on racetrack results and what we believe will be the next success stories in the stallion ranks.
We feel it’s important to go out onto the farms and look at the first couple of crops of foals on the ground of new stallions to get a guide on what types the stallion is throwing and what style of mare will mostly likely suit the stallion.
"We try to be proactive and focus on racetrack results and what we believe will be the next success stories in the stallion ranks." - Chris Watson, Mill Park Stud