Reliable as Ever

Leading New Zealand nursery, Westbury Stud, is hardly a stranger to success in the Australian spring with wonder mare, Bonneval, winning the Underwood Stakes and Dato Tan Chin Nam, while Miami Bound followed up her VRC Oaks and Wakeful Stakes victories with another blinder in last year’s Moonee Valley Gold Cup.

However, Westbury is poised for perhaps its most effective Aussie ‘raid’ yet with home-bred, The Inferno – a Champion Sprinter in Singapore – considered one of the major chances in this month’s $15 million The Everest after being narrowly beaten in the Group 1 Moir Stakes last week.

On the same day as The Everest, Westbury will also have a representative in the $1.3 million Kosciuszko with Edit (by Swiss Ace) stamping himself as a serious prospect after an impressive first up victory In Australia for Australian Bloodstock and Cody Morgan.

Still, it’s Westbury’s aptly named Reliable Man that could end up stealing the show with a number of talented runners due out in the following months including the Group 1 winner Miami Bound, gifted 4YO Annavisto, and promising 3YO Benaud putting the writing on the wall with his third in last week’s Group 3 Gloaming at Randwick, while quality performers Hypnos, Reliable Star, Nest Egg and Packing Victory can all feature at a high level.

A stakes winner in March, the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr trained, Annavisto, led throughout at Caulfield on 18 September, when second up, and will go around in Saturday’s Group 2 Rose of Kingston at Flemington. She’s also nominated for the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at the end of October.

Benaud, meanwhile, has a maiden win and Group placing from his only two starts and is earmarked as a major contender for Saturday week’s Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes.

Not surprisingly, Reliable Man – a flashy grey Group 1 winning son of Dalakhani – is something of a favourite at Westbury Stud.

“He (Reliable Man) was a super racehorse, being a Group 1 winner in both hemispheres, with victories in the Group 1 French Derby and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth at Randwick, defeating Dundeel, who then went on to win the feature the following year,” Westbury Stud’s Russell Warwick enthused.

“Since heading to stud, he’s produced Group 1 winners such as Miami Bound, Inspirational Girl and Miss Sentimental, and I genuinely believe his best years are still ahead of him. He’s getting terrific results here in New Zealand, along with Australia, Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore and his progeny sold up to $340,000 at Karaka earlier this year.”

Although it’s still early days, Westbury is confident that multiple Group 1 winner, Tarzino, is about to follow in the footsteps of his sire Tavistock as his first crop of 3YO’s step up in trip. The Tarzino yearlings have sold to nearly 20 times their service fee with leading Melbourne trainer, Mick Price, paying $230,000 for one of his colts last year and his stock have been patiently handled during their juvenile year.

Price trained Tarzino to success in both the Victoria Derby and Rosehill Guineas, along with a second in the Australian Guineas (beaten a whisker) and fourth in the Australian Derby – all at Group 1 level.

“Tarzino has only had a handful of runners at this stage but they’re showing considerable promise, and many are in leading stables,” Warwick points out.

“For mine, he’s the logical heir apparent to (Champion Sire) Tavistock and I believe we’ll be having a lot more to say about his progeny over the next 12 months.”

Similarly, the Fastnet Rock stallion El Roca has been popular with breeders and is quickly making a name for himself on both sides of the Tasman.

In a relatively short career for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, El Roca won his first two starts in NZ, one at black type level, before crossing the Tasman to win the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes in Sydney (beating subsequent Horse of the Year, Dissident), and placed in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (to Dissident), the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes and Group 3 Liverpool City Cup (behind Terravista).

El Roca is one of eight sire sons of Fastnet Rock (179 stakes winners) who have gone on to produce Group 1 winners in their own right, with his daughter Travelling Light capturing last year’s Levin Classic and is one of the best of her generation.

“El Roca has made an excellent fist of his stud career to date through Travelling Light and Group 1 placed Bella Mente from his first crop, and a consistent flow of winners since,” Warwick adds.

“They include stakes winner Ima Roca Bee and an increasing number of black type performers such as Esta la Roca, Irish Girl, Flash Mary and Moeraki.

“Naturally enough, the majority of his runners compete in Australia and New Zealand, but El Roca is making an immediate impact in Hong Kong with his first four runners all winning in the colony and including the top sprinter Lucky Patch, while in the sale ring, Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis paid $200,000 for a colt at Karaka earlier this year.”


Article courtesy of Breednet, Sponsored Content by Greg Tobin