Champion Kiwi stallion Tavistock continues to churn out stakes winners and he went close to an Australian black type double over the weekend.
Up and coming stayer One One Two won the listed Galilee Series Final over 2400 metres at Caufield on Saturday and a couple of hours later another son of Tavistock, Greycliffe, was just pipped in the listed Port Adelaide Guineas at Morphettville.
Ontrack Racing has long admired the progeny of Tavistock and Managing Director Grant Morgan bought a filly and a colt by the Cambridge Stud stallion at the 2017 Karaka Sale in New Zealand.
“Tavistock has done an amazing job at stud after a fairly slow start with low numbers of foals in his first couple of seasons.
“Tavistock has been an absolute revelation to the New Zealand Breeding Industry during the recent racing seasons.
Entering stud off a moderate service fee and receiving average quality mares, Tavistock has quickly become one of the most regarded proven stallions in Australasia.
“He is arguably the best option for those searching to produce a Derby colt or an Oaks filly and that’s the reason Ontrack purchased the Tavistock-Miss Debonair filly at last year’s Karaka Sales for Bjorn Baker to train.
“The filly is an absolute stunner and has a fantastic walk. She has the pedigree of an Oaks filly as her dam was a four-times winning Danehill mare and her second dam On Air won an AJC Oaks for Anthony Cummings.
“On Air also won the Group Two Peter Pan Stakes defeating champion stayer Tie The Knot in the process, so the Tavistock filly has a great pedigree page behind her.
“She has had a fantastic grounding in New Zealand and she has shaped up impressively in two very strong trials over there.
“She’s now spelling but will have another period of pre-training in New Zealand before being flown to Sydney in June to join the Warwick Farm team of Bjorn Baker.
“Bjorn was a natural choice to train the filly as he is a Kiwi and has a fantastic record with stayers, especially when in partnership with his father Murray, when they won a host of major staying races, including the Group One VRC Derby with Lion Tamer.
This year’s Ontrack Racing New Zealand Horse and Wine Tour will have a different feel when the tour coach pulls in to the famed thoroughbred nursery Cambridge Stud.
2018 will be the 12th New Zealand tour and Cambridge Stud, with its magnificent gardens and poignant tributes to champion stallions Sir Tristram and Zabeel, is always a highlight.
That link was broken with Sir Patrick Hogan selling his famed farm for $660 million and offering his last yearling under the Cambridge banner when a Tavistock colt fetched $240,000 at last week’s Inglis Sale in Sydney.
“Sir Patrick has been at the forefront of breeding in Australasia after building Cambridge Stud from scratch 42 years ago,” said Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“The visit to Cambridge Stud is always a highlight of our New Zealand tour and on every visit, Sir Patrick has made himself available. For many years he took our tour party around the stud himself, but in more recent years he has greeted the party and handed the guided tour to younger staff members.
“For someone who has been so successful, it was always fantastic the way he took time out of his busy schedule to make sure the Ontrack tour members were personally welcomed on to the Cambridge property.
“This year will be the first time Sir Patrick doesn’t greet the Ontrack coach, but I’m sure we will still get a warm welcome at Cambridge with Henry Plumptre taking over as Chief Executive at the stud.
“Ontrack had extensive dealings with Henry when he ran Darley’s Australian operation, including negotiating the sale of our champion sprinter Brazen Beau to Sheik Mohammed.
“Henry’s a very experienced and well regarded operator and Ontrack found him to be excellent to deal with so it will be fantastic to renew that friendship when we take another party to tour the impressive stud farms of New Zealand from November 22-27,” said Grant Morgan.
Ontrack’s yearlings by Spirit Of Boom, Epaulette and Dissident continue their breaking in at Canungra with master horseman Greg Bennett.
Ontrack was at the farm today to watch the Spirit of Boom-Baroque Pearl colt, the Dissident-Take Charge colt and the Epaulette-Dandy Warhols filly working in company on the track in their last week of work before a well deserved spell.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ highly regarded colt Invincore started his racing career in the best possible way with a win at Ipswich today.
The son of champion stallion I Am Invincible overcame an awkward start to settle off the pace and get up to win narrowly over another first starter in the heavily backed favourite Adoradiva.
Purchased by Grant Morgan from Ontrack for $260,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Sale from the draft of successful NSW stud Mane Lodge, Invincore had gone into the Ipswich race with a good reputation after sound jump out and trials form.
“He was a lovely yearling and I was pretty determined to buy him at the sales, but I have to admit that I was definitely at the maximum price wise.
“But since then the way the I Am Invincibles have raced and sold at sales, means he looks like he was very good value.
“The colt has shown plenty of ability and won a jump out on his home track in impressive fashion at his first preparation, but trainer Toby Edmonds felt he was a big colt who would benefit from extra time, so we turned him out and let him develop.
“That’s been the making of the horse and this time back in he has had two jump outs and a trial and has shown us that he’s a very promising young galloper. It was good to see him come out and show that on race day,” said Grant Morgan.
Trainer Toby Edmonds said Invincore has always looked a very promising horse but was probably not suited by the tighter Ipswich circuit.
“He bunny hopped at the start but had to tactical speed to recover from that, but he was awkward on the tight home turn and it’s pretty obvious that he will be much better suited on a bigger track.
“He is a very nice colt and on what he has shown us at home, we knew he could go to the races and do what he did today, but you always like to see them do it.
“There is a fair bit of improvement in him and he had a good blow after the race, so we will take him home and look after him and see how he comes through the race before making any firm plans.
“But he is a very nice colt and I’m confident he can go on to win much better races and he’s definitely shaping like a genuine Saturday class horse,” said Toby Edmonds.
Congratulations to Invincore’s owners: Ontrack Thoroughbreds Yields of Gold Syndicate, John and Barbara Gilbert, Dr David Worthley, Jim and Jenny Edington, Denis and Margaret Frew, Gordon Henry, Stephen Mauger, Mark Ostermeyer, Mark Snowden, Bayles Girls Racing, Gold Seven Syndicate, Runaway Bay Sports Centre Syndicate.
Warwick Farm conditioner Bjorn Baker displayed his considerable skills with a young horse once again when producing Miss Invincible to win the time-honoured Wellington Boot.
The $150,000 feature was contested yesterday and Miss Invincible charged home late to score an impressive win at only her third race day appearance. The filly ran second on debut at Rosehill in December but was beaten in the rich Inglis Classic Race at Randwick when she lost a plate and pulled up with a slow recovery.
She was fresh-up at Wellington, but a trial win in March had her fit enough to score in the hands of leading provincial jockey Greg Ryan.
Bjorn Baker has won a Magic Millions Classic with Unencumbered and a Inglis Classic with Twilight Royale and Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan said the trainer’s great record with young horses was the reason he is sending three outstanding young horses to Baker this year.
“We have had a long and successful association with Bjorn and Ontrack will be sending him yearlings by Brazen Beau and Written Tycoon as well as a ready to run filly by champion New Zealand stallion Tavistock.
“The Brazen Beau-Fifty Eight Facets we bought at the Karaka Sale in January is going to be earmarked for the $1 million Karaka Classic Race at Ellerslie next January. Given Bjorn’s remarkable ability to set juveniles for rich sales series races, we are confident this lovely filly is in the right hands to tackle the Karaka race.
“The Written Tycoon-Bequia Beauty colt came from the Inglis Sale and is a full-brother to the smart filly Queen Becki, who has won two of only three starts and looks a very smart three-year-old.
“Bjorn has had outstanding success with progeny of Written Tycoon, including a Group One win with Music Magnate and major wins with Winning Rupert so it was obvious he was the trainer to prepare this colt.
“The other filly we are sending to Bjorn’s Warwick Farm stable is a Tavistock-Miss Debonair filly purchased at Karaka last year.
She’s had a solid foundation in New Zealand with promising young trainer Jacob McKay and she has trialled very well over the Tasman and is now ready to cross the ditch and head to Bjorn.
Ontrack’s latest lineup of rising stars are continuing to tick all the boxes as they continue their preparation under the guidance of master horse breaker Greg Bennett at Canungra in South-East Queensland.
Greg broke thousands of horses in while a leading breaker at Scone and then trained nearly 500 winners while training in New South Wales, as is now setting up as a horse breaker and pre-trainer at the Wadham Park property near Canungra.
Ontrack has colts by Spirit of Boom and Dissident and fillies by Epaulette and Brazen Beau under Greg’s tutelage and they’re doing everything being asked of them.
The colts and the Epaulette filly are the most advanced and are now being educated daily under saddle.
Ontrack caught up with Greg Bennett and his offsider Paul Metcalf as they continued to educate the youngsters, this time the Spirit of Boom colt and the Epaulette filly.
Yearling buyers are always looking for close relatives of their purchases to show form after a yearling sale, but Ontrack Thoroughbreds’ boss Grant Morgan can’t believe his luck after buying a Written Tycoon colt at the Inglis Classic Sale in February.
The Written Tycoon colt is out of the American-bred mare Bequia Beauty, the dam of two horses to race – I Am You Are and Queen Becki.
Before the Inglis Sale both I Am You Are and Queen Becki had been winners, but last week both horses lined up at the races with I Am You Are scoring at Tamworth and a day later Queen Becki scored an easy win at Ballarat.
“The mare has done a good job at stud with her only starters both winning, and I must admit it was fantastic to see the horses turn out last week and both win.
“I Am You Are has done a great job with three wins and five placings from only 13 starts while Queen Becki has won two of her three career starts to date.
“Queen Becki is a full-sister to the colt I purchased at the Inglis Sale and she looks to have above average ability.
“The filly won first-up at Geelong last June and two months later ran third on the same track, but didn’t reappear until last Tuesday when she scored with a fair amount of arrogance.
“The Written Tycoon colt is a lovely horse and he’s going to Bjorn Baker at Warwick Farm.
“Bjorn has recorded some great results with sons of Written Tycoon, winning a Group One with Music Magnate, while he also trained another topliner by the stallion in Winning Rupert. It was a logical choice to send him another lovely colt by the sire,” said Grant Morgan.