Group One victories are the pinnacle of racing, and to see the Mill Park Stud graduate Fawkner back with his name in lights winning the Group One Caulfield Stakes, it is an outstanding achievement for all at Mill Park Stud.
While Fawkner’s story starts back way back on October 4 2007 when the Reset colt, the second foal from Dane Belltar was foaled, we have to go a little further back for the complete story.
An impressive looking grey herself, Dane Belltar was purchased as a yearling by trainer Leon Macdonald at the 2002 Adelaide Magic Millions Yearling Sale from the draft of Emirates Park for only $10,000.
Racing under the ownership of Steve Bennetts, Dane Belltar went on to record a pretty handy race record on the track, winning four times highlighted by a one-and-a-quarter length victory in the Group Three Lakewood Stakes (1800m) in Adelaide. Finishing third at Group One level at her next two starts in the Australasian Oaks to Rinky Dink and the South Australian Oaks to Dowry, Dane Belltar earned her connections just shy of $350,000 from her 31 starts.
Heading to Mill Park Stud as a broodmare under the same ownership, Dane Belltar went to Galileo in her first season, with the yearling going through the Mill Park Stud draft the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales where he was purchased by Nick Williams for $200,000.
Racing as Tanby, the gelding would prove to be a top class galloper on the track, netting connection nine wins and over $770,000 with his career highlight coming in the Group Two Zipping Classic (2400m), before finishing a gallant third in the Group One Australian Cup (2000m) two starts later, beating home his stablemate and Group One Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon.
Dane Belltar’s next foal, the then bay/brown colt by the unbeaten dual Group One winner Reset arrived at the start of October. Prepared from the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, the colt was purchased by Debbie Price, with the colt finding his way into the same ownership as his older half-brother Tanby.
Showing precocity and winning on debut by an impressive five lengths on debut with Nicholas Hall in saddle, a relationship that would extend well into both their careers, Fawkner finished in the top three in five of his next seven starts.
As a Spring four-year-old, Fawner won his first black-type race, defeating a handy field by four lengths, before backing that up three weeks later with another Listed victory, in fact this winning run was the start of the Fawkner we know today.
Making it three stakes wins on end with victory next time out in Group Three company at Flemington, Fawkner would go into the Group One Emirates Stakes at his next start on the final day of the Flemington Spring Carnival, and while he managed to find one better on the day, being beaten a short half-head, it was also a Group One quinella for Mill Park Stud with fellow graduate Happy Trails, who incidentally was foaled five days after Fawkner, claiming the race.
After a phenomenal one run Autumn campaign which resulted in a third behind World Champion mare Black Caviar over 1200m in the Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley, Fawkner was spelled with aims at further Spring riches.
Starting his campaign in Sydney with two unplaced efforts, a third in the Group One Turnbull Stakes had him ready for the Group One Caulfield Cup (2400m), a race he duly saluted in, winning by over a length, defeating the international visitor Dandino.
Next time out Fawkner stepped up again in trip to the 3200m for the first time in the Group One Melbourne Cup where he ran a gallant sixth, being the first Australian bred horse across the finishing line.
Following a similar campaign again, he started in the Group One William Reid during the Autumn, and although officially finishing seventh, he was only two lengths from the winner Spirit of Boom.
First up this Spring, Fawkner almost caused an upset in the Group One Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), finishing a half-head second to Dissident before heading the Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m) second up. Settling just off the leaders, Nicholas Hall pulled the grey off the rail to make his challenge, taking the win by a long head from the fast finishing Criterion.
Now set to head to the Group One W.S. Cox Plate at his next start as one of the favourite runners with a possibly tilt at the Group One Melbourne Cup after that, all at Mill Park Stud wish Fawkner’s connections the best of luck!
Now after all the Fawkner excitement, let’s get back to Dane Belltar! Her third foal, by Bel Esprit was purchased at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $145,000 before also making his way to the same connections as his half-brothers. While not living up to what his brothers had done on the track, Revitalise as he was named, is still racing around in Queensland and has won on six occasions for his owners.
The next foal from the mare to race was the Red Ransom gelding Viking Star who was purchased by his trainer Leon Macdonald at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale in 2011 for $120,000. Having only had ten starts, and finishing out of the top three on four occasions, Viking Star was a narrow second in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes before an excellent third in the Group Two AAMI Vase behind Super Cool and It’s A Dundeel.
Dane Bellar’s next foal, a filly by Starcraft went to this year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale and made $650,000 to astute international judge David Redvers with the filly not only being the top priced yearling for the mare, but also for her sire. All at Mill Park Stud wait with excitement to see this filly hit the track.
The current yearling out of the mare is by New Approach who will be retained to race, and the mare has recently foaled smashing colt b Street Cry, in what will be unfortunately the last crop of the stallion after having been euthanised earlier in the season due to an illness.
All in all, Dane Belltar has had five yearlings go through the sale ring, earning her connections over $1.1m, not a bad outlay on the $10,000 she was purchased for as a yearling way back in 2002 and the near $350,000 she earned on the track