Each week we will be placing a past champion of the turf on our site that bring back great memories to you the punter of there memorable deeds what they did on the race track.
Hope you enjoy the trip down memory lane.
All information gathered for Champions Of The Turf comes from Wikipedia, with race vision from TVN Racing Network.
Week 10: Lonhro – The Black Flash
Week 9: Black Caviar – The Wonder From Down Under
Week 8: Octagonal – The Big “O” or “OCCY”
Week 7: Might And Power – All Power & Strength
Week 6: Kingston Town – A True Legend
Week 5: Better Loosen Up – Japan Cup Winner
Week 4: Sunline – Champion Mare
Week 3: Tulloch – The Super Horse
Week 2: Vo Rogue – The People’s Champ
Week 1: Phar Lap – Australia’s Wonder Horse
LONHRO – THE BLACK FLASH
Lonhro: (foaled December 10, 1998) was a champion Australian racehorse who is now standing at stud. Nicknamed “The Black Flash”, Lonhro was from the first crop of the champion Octagonal out of the Group One-placed Shadea (by Straight Strike), who also produced the Group One winner Niello (a younger, full-brother to Lonhro).
Lonhro raced from two to five years of age and won 26 races, including 25 stakes races, ranging in distance from 1,100 to 2,000 metres. These included 11 Group One wins and 18 wins at weight-for-age. He was bred and owned by Woodlands Stud, and trained by John Hawkes.
Lonhro’s name is based on the stock exchange code of the London Rhodesian Mining and Land Company, LONRHO. This arose from his foaling description as “tiny but perfect”, a label ascribed to Roland “Tiny” Rowland, CEO of the company. The horse’s name is deliberately misspelt.
Lonhro – A Champion Lineage Continues
Two year old season: 2000-2001
Lonhro had his first start in November 2000 in a restricted two-year-old race at Rosehill where he finished second. A short spell followed and Lonhro resumed in January 2001 over 1,100 m at Rosehill, starting favourite for the first time and winning in good fashion by 2½ lengths. Two weeks later Lonhro was in Melbourne at Caulfield for the Blue Diamond Prelude. In the straight, Lonhro impressed the Melbourne crowd by striding well clear to win by two lengths from the fast finishing Neiwand with Tosamba third.
It was then on to the Blue Diamond Stakes where Lonhro started the $3.50 favourite. Settling near the rear of the field, Lonhro came wide in the straight making ground on the leaders but unable to catch the eventual winner True Jewels, finishing 1½ lengths fourth. Instead of pressing on to the Sydney carnival Lonhro was spelled as another near black Woodlands colt called Viscount won the AJC Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes.
Lonhro returned for the 2001 Spring in the WFA Missile Stakes, being run in July he was still officially a 2yo. Settling last of nine runners on a heavy track, Lonhro stormed home to finished third to Sportsbrat, this was to be the first and last time that Lonhro would be defeated in consecutive races.
Three year old season: 2001-2002
A rematch with Sportsbrat in the WFA Warwick Stakes-Gr2 (1,300 m) followed two weeks later. This time Lonhro settled closer to the lead and was able register his first win as a 3yo. For his next start Lonhro went back to his own age group in the Ming Dynasty Quality-Gr3 (1,400 m) and held on to win by a short half-head after being sent out a very short priced favourite. An easy win in the Heritage Stakes-LR (1,200 m) followed before he took out the Stan Fox Stakes-Gr2 (1,400 m) against a small but quality field.
Lonhro then headed to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas-Gr1 (1,600 m) but despite his four consecutive wins he was not the Hawkes’ stable favoured runner. That honour went to the multiple Group 1 winner Viscount who had started his spring campaign in Sydney and had recorded victory in the George Main Stakes-Gr1 (1,600 m) where he, like Lonhro, had defeated Shogun Lodge. In the Caulfield Guineas, the boom colts Ustinov and Viking Ruler also lined up along with New Zealander Pure Theatre, Dash for Cash and Magic Albert. It was perhaps, the best field seen in the race. Lonhro settled last before pulling out wide to the centre of the track to start his run on the home turn. Inside the final 50 metres Lonhro swept to the front from Pure Theatre and Ustinov as Viking Ruler ran on near the rails but it was all Lonhro as he came away to win by 1½ lengths from Ustinov with Pure Theatre third.
After the victory it was reported that Lonhro had suffered an injury with a minor wrench to a joint and it was felt in his best interests to spell for the autumn, meaning he would miss the WS Cox Plate. Stablemate Viscount who was well beaten in the Caulfield Guineas went on to Moonee Valley and was gallant in finishing third to Northerly and Sunline, defeated just a length, in a rough-house finish that was the subject of a long protest hearing.
On 2 February 2002, Lonhro lined up as the odds-on favourite for the Royal Sovereign Stakes-Gr2 (1,200 m), beginning a run of 25 consecutive races that he would start as favourite. Lonhro easily accounted for the small field before going on to win the Hobartville Stakes-Gr2 (1,400m) at his next start. Installed as pre-post favourite for the Doncaster Handicap and a nominal favourite for many of the big races of the Autumn, it was announced soon after that Lonhro had contracted a virus and the resultant delay in his preparation saw the 3yo spelled until his four-year-old season.
Four year old season: 2002-2003
Lonhro returned bigger and stronger as a 4yo and again started his campaign in the Missile S-Gr3 (1,100m) at Rosehill. This was the first race where Lonhro was ridden by Darren Beadman and it was Lonhro’s eighth consecutive victory, winning very easily by four lengths. As the short priced favourite Lonhro was expected to have no problem taking out the Warwick S-Gr2 (1,400m) at his next start but was beaten a half head by Defier. Two weeks later Lonhro made amends winning the Chelmsford S-Gr2 (1,600 m) at Randwick by three lengths. At his next start only six horses lined up for the George Main Stakes-Gr1 (1,600m) but it was described as a mini Cox Plate with Sunline, Defier, Lonhro, Excellerator and Shogun Lodge entered. Desperately unlucky, Lonhro was pocketed on the fence for much of the race and only saw daylight in the last 50 m, sprinting home to finish fourth. Sunline set a moderate pace in front from Defier then Shogun Lodge outside Lonhro with Hey Pronto and Excellerator at the rear.
Lonhro was then sent to Melbourne for a rematch with Sunline in the Caulfield Stakes-Gr1 (2,000m). A field of seven lined up but all race discussions were whether Sunline as a 7yo would return to form and if Lonhro having his first start beyond 1,600m would be as effective over 2,000 m. The race was a spectacle with Sunline assuming her usual front running style and Lonhro stalking for most of the race in about third position. Little changed up to the 800m where Sunline started to show her old form as she quickened from Ustinov and Lonhro started the long chase with Distinctly Secret heading the rest but they were in another race. Around the turn and the crowd roared as Sunline raced clear of Ustinov with Lonhro steadily making ground but giving the mare a huge head start. By the 300 m Sunline was over three lengths clear as Lonhro settled into his task. By the 200 m Sunline was in front but Lonhro was gaining and the crowd was deafening as the two great horses fought out the race. Inside the final 50m Sunline and Lonhro were level with the mare fighting back strongly but her younger rival edged in front to win by a half neck in race record time of 2:00:60.
Yalumba Stakes 2002 Lohnro v Sunline
Both horses then headed to the WS Cox Plate two weeks later where Lonhro started $4 equal favouite with Northerly, but fans wondered how much the titanic struggle at Caulfield may have taken out of him. Settling last in a field of nine, Lonhro was beaten, finishing 7.3 lengths behind Northerly. It was a disappointing effort. Lonhro backed up a week later in the Mackinnon S-Gr1 (2,000m) at Flemington, edging out Royal Code to finish his 2002 spring campaign on a winning note.
Lonhro resumed in the 2003 autumn winning in the Expressway S-Gr2 (1,200m) by 2 lengths, three weeks later he crushed field in the Apollo S-Gr2 (1,400m), winning by 3½ lengths with a further 2 lengths to third. He was back a week later in the Chipping Norton Stakes-Gr1 (1,600m) at Warwick Farm, coming away to win under hands and heels riding by 1½ lengths from Shogun Lodge. Next on the agenda was the George Ryder S-Gr1 (1,500m) at Rosehill where Lonhro again won easily, this time by a 2 length margin. Lonhro was the raging favourite for the Doncaster Handicap-Gr1 (1,600 m) at Randwick, where he would carry topweight of 57.5 kg. Defier and Shogun Lodge looked to be his main dangers but then the rain fell and both his rivals were scratched when the track was rated officially slow. Inside the final 200m Grand Armee, carrying 6 kg less than Lonhro, hit the front and race clear to pass the post three lengths ahead of Dash For Cash with two lengths to Boreale who held out Lonhro for third. This was Lonhro’s third and final unplaced run in a race. Lonhro rounded out his autumn a week later in the Queen Elizabeth S-Gr1 (2,000 m), making amends for his Doncaster failure in winning by 1½ lengths.
There was brief speculation that Lonhro might be retired to stud but it was soon announced that Lonhro would return to racing as a 5yo with the WS Cox Plate his spring target. Sadly Lonhro’s part owner Mr Jack Ingham died after a long battle with illness in August 2003 as Lonhro prepared to return to racing.
Five year old season: 2003-2004
August 2003, Lonhro began his 5yo season with his second win in the AJC Warwick S-Gr2 (1,400m). Two weeks later, it was on to the Chelmsford S-Gr2 (1,600m) where Lonhro again cruised to an easy win. The WFA George Main Stakes-Gr1 (1,600m) at Randwick and a rematch with Grand Armee was next. In a slowly run race Lonhro defeated Grand Armee by three lengths, with a further two lengths to the previous year’s winner Defier in third. It was then to back to Melbourne for the Caulfield Stakes-Gr1 (2,000m) where Lonhro had a much easier time beating Mummify, than the previous year when he battled with Sunline. Winning by two lengths, Lonhro became the first horse to win consecutive Caulfield Stakes since Kingston Town in 1981 and 1982.
Two weeks later Lonho looked invincible in the Cox Plate-Gr1 (2,040m) with recent stars Sunline and Northerly missing and only Defier and Fields of Omagh joining Lonhro from the 2002 field. There were doubts over Lonhro handling the Moonee Valley surface but his class was expected to overcome any problems. Then in the 40 minutes before the race it began to rain, continuing through to the race itself. The track was dead, but soggy. In the running, Fields of Omagh hit the lead around the turn as Defier challenged and Lonhro lost ground trying to balance up for the straight. In the straight, Fields of Omagh refused to give in to Defier with Lonhro closing down the outside. But it was too late as Fields of Omagh crossed the line to win by a long neck from Defier with Lonhro a half length away third as the rest of the field came in at intervals behind them. So for the second year running, Lonhro had failed to run as well as expected in the Cox Plate. Critics claimed that the horse was a fair weather champion, dominant in small weight-for-age fields but unable to cope with the pressure of a larger field. Whatever the case, it is doubtlessly true that Lonhro had the necessary talent to win a genuine championship race, such as the Cox Plate, or Doncaster Handicap, but never actually did so. The reasons for this are particularly puzzling given his incredible consistency in races just a shade lower in rank.
In 2004, Lonhro opened his campaign in the C.F. Orr S-Gr1 (1,400 m) at Caulfield. Inside the final 100m he swept up on the outside to hit the front from Sound Action and Super Elegant as Vocabulary took a narrow run between them. Vocabulary lunged at Lonhro but he was too good winning by a half head with Sound Action third. Lonhro took on a similar field in the St George S-Gr2(1,800 m) two weeks later, winning eased up by 1½ lengths. Lonhro then lined up in his final race in Melbourne in the Australian Cup-Gr1 (2,000 m) at Flemington and the Victorian Racing Club made the day into a farewell for the champ – all he had to do was win.
The field featured some of the stars of the spring with Lonhro joined by Makybe Diva (Melbourne Cup), Mummify (Caulfield Cup), and Elvstroem (VRC Derby). Lonhro was hopelessly pocketed just 200 metres from home, but somehow managed to get out, run home and score a narrow victory in the final stride, beating Delzao. The crowd reaction was enormous, and the victory helped to put to rest any lingering doubts there were about Lonhro’s class and tenacity.
Lonhro winning the Australian Cup
Lonhro returned home to Sydney for his last two races before retirement. Both Octagonal and Lonhro were known for arriving at the barriers, stopping with head up and looking for the winning post (closely monitored by the on-track camera), then calmly walking into the barriers. On 3 April 2004, Lonhro competed in his second George Ryder S-Gr1 (1,500 m). His sire Octagonal (brought down from Woodlands Stud for the event) came into the mounting yard first, followed by Lonhro much to the delight of the waiting media and huge crowd of fans come to see father+son. Octagonal then lead out the field, who then galloped down the straight as the field went to the barriers. The field jumped and Lonhro settled at the rear as usual. It was an evenly run race round the Rosehill track. In the final 100 m Lonhro started to race away winning by 2½ lengths from Grand Armee with a further 1½ lengths to Private Steer who was to win the Doncaster – All Aged Stakes – Gr1 double at her next two starts. Lonhro had just easily vanquished two exceptionally good milers, and done so easily.
On the final day of the AJC carnival, Lonhro lined up for his final race start in his second Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr1 (2,000 m). Again, Lonhro settled near the rear but Grand Armee’s rider rode a tactically clever race, taking the lead and slowing down the pace in the middle part, whilst at the same time opening up a large gap between himself and Lonhro. In the straight, the gap was to prove too great for Lonhro and Grand Armee ran out the winner by six lengths. Grand Armee had spoiled Lonhro’s farewell party.
Australian Cup (2004)
C F Orr Stakes (2004)
George Ryder Stakes (2003,2004)
Caulfield Stakes (2002,2003)
George Main Stakes (2003)
Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2003)
Chipping Norton Stakes (2003)
LKS MacKinnon Stakes (2002)
Caulfield Guineas (2001)
Australian Racehorse of the Year (2004)
Australian Middle Distance Champion (2004)
Australian Champion Three Year Old (2002)
Leading sire in Australia (2011)
Timeform rating: 128
World Champion Miler (2004)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2014)
Dam Sire: Straight Strike
Breeder: Woodlands Stud
Owner: Woodlands Stud
Race Record: 35:26-3-2
In winning 26 of his 35 starts, Lonhro won 13 of his first 18 starts, and 13 of last 17 starts. His longest losing streak was two races, at his fourth and fifth starts, and thereafter he was never defeated in consecutive races. His longest winning streak was eight races, and he had other winning streaks of five races (twice) and four races. He won at least two races in seven of his eight preparations, and four races or more in five of his preparations.
His winning strike-rate (74%) is the highest of any Australian champion with a comparable number of starts since the introduction of the award, and is higher than that of four of the five inaugural Hall Of Fame inductees – Phar Lap, Bernborough, Tulloch, and Kingston Town – and second only to Carbine, who raced more than 100 years earlier. Lonhro’s winning strike-rate in Group One races (64%) is the highest of any comparable Australian champion since the introduction of the system, including Kingston Town.
Lonhro stood at Woodlands Stud at the beginning of his stud career, his birthplace, and next to his own sire, Octagonal. His initial fee was announced as A$66,000 – a record for local first season stallion, but comparable with first season shuttle horses from the Northern Hemisphere. While there was some discussion over the price Lonhro is arguably the best performed stallion to retire to stud in Australia since Tulloch in the early 1960s. A Lonhro colt from a Royal Academy mare, Palme d’Or, brought NZ$1,050,000 at the 2007 Karaka premier Sale in New Zealand, while Denman, from his second crop, won the Golden Rose at Rosehill in August 2009. Woodlands stud was later bought out by HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Darley Stud. Lonhro was then transferred to Darley’s Aberdeen NSW base, where he now stands alongside his son, Denman, for a fee of $88,000.
With the completion of the 2010-2011 Australian racing season Lonhro was crowned the Leading sire in Australia. He ended the season some $1.2 million clear of his nearest rival Redoute’s Choice. It was the first time in 40 years that an Australian Champion Racehourse of the Year (2004) was also named Australian Champion Sire (2011). Lonhro’s Group One winning horses to-date are Beaded, Benfica, Denman, Pierro and Mental. Other Stakes winning horses include Euryale, Celts, Parables, Obsequious, Launay, Pinwheel, Tampiko and Dysphonia to name a few. In August 2011 Makybe Diva produced her fourth foal, a colt by Lonhro. The colt was the result of a mating between two Australian Champion Racehorses of the Year, Lonhro (2004) and Makybe Diva (2005 & 2006). It is already estimated to be worth between $2–3 million.
Lonhro will shuttle to Darley’s stallion farm at Jonabell in Lexington, Kentucky for the 2012 northern hemisphere breeding season.
LONHRO – THE BLACK FLASH
BLACK CAVIAR – THE WONDER FROM DOWN UNDER
Black Caviar (foaled 18 August 2006) is a retired Australian Thoroughbred racehorse undefeated in 25 races, a success record not equalled for over 100 years. She was named WTRR World Champion Sprinter in 2010,2011 2012 and 2013 . Black Caviar was trained by Melbourne-based trainer Peter Moody, and has been ridden by Luke Nolen in all her starts apart from her first two runs, in which Jarrad Noske rode her, and in the 2010 Patinack Farm Classic, where Ben Melham rode her while Nolen was suspended. She was retired on 17 April 2013.
Black Caviar was born on 18 August 2006 at 5.20 am at Gilgai Farm in Nagambie, Victoria. She grew up on the Goulburn River property and then went to Swettenham Stud in December 2007 for a 10-week yearling preparation where she was then sold on behalf of Rick Jamieson to Peter Moody for $210,000 at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. She is owned by G. J. Wilkie, K. J. Wilkie, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd, C. H. Madden, J. Madden, P. A. Hawkes, D. M. Taylor and J. Taylor. She was sired by Bel Esprit, winner of the Doomben 10,000, which also sired Bel Mer, a mare that won the Robert Sangster Stakes in 2009.
Black Caviar was the first foal of her unraced dam Helsinge, a daughter of the British racehorse Desert Sun, who never won a major race but was placed in the Craven Stakes and the Sandown Mile. Desert Sun also sired the champion New Zealand racemare, Sunline. Helsinge is also the dam of All Too Hard, winner of the 2013 All Aged Stakes, the 2013 Futurity Stakes, the 2013 C F Orr Stakes, the 2012 Caulfield Guineas and runner-up in the 2012 Cox Plate. As a descendant of the British broodmare Pinprick, Black Caviar is a product of the same branch of Thoroughbred family 1-p, which also produced the Classic winners Ambiguity and Sodium.
Black Caviar weighs approximately 570 kilograms and stands 16.2 hands (168 cm) high. Horses foaled in Australia have their official “birthdays” on 1 August, whereas in the Northern Hemisphere horses have their ages advanced by one year on 1 January. This anomaly led to Black Caviar being officially described as a six-year-old when she ran in England in June 2012, although she was still a five-year-old by Southern Hemisphere reckoning.
On 31 March 2011 Black Caviar was rated one of the top Thoroughbred racehorses in the world (with a 136 rating) for the first quarter of 2011 by Timeform. On 17 April 2013 she was once again ranked on top of the international thoroughbred rankings with a timeform rating of 136. On 3 May 2013 Black Caviar was officially listed as the world’s best horse for the period between November 1, 2012 and April 28, 2013 by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) who compile the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings.
Overall Black Caviar is rated as the equal 76th best flat racing horse in Timeform’s limited history and the equal highest Timeform rated filly or mare, 11 lbs lower than Timeform’s highest rated horse Frankel (147). It has to be added that Timeform has been rating flat racing thoroughbreds in Britain only since its founding in 1948, thoroughbreds beyond Britain only “more recently” and horses who have raced exclusively in America only since approximately 2000. This is a relatively small slice of thoroughbred racing history in terms of time and geography and within this limited scope Timeform rates seven sprinters above Black Caviar.
Black Caviar’s Race Debut – Flemington 2yo Hcp
2008–2009: two-year-old season
Black Caviar started twice as a two-year-old, winning her debut by 5 lengths before claiming the listed Blue Sapphire Stakes by 6 lengths
2009–2010: three-year-old season
Returning as a three-year-old, she won first-up in a listed race by 4 lengths. Stepping up to Group 2 level in the Danehill Stakes at Flemington, she caused concern when she stumbled at the start; however, she recovered to keep her winning run going, beating the colt Wanted, by ¾ of a length. Moody, commenting on the mishap in the early stages said “I certainly had my heart in my mouth”. A chest muscle injury sustained in the start kept her out of racing until the following January. That resuming run saw her take on the older horses in the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley, where she won by 2½ lengths. Shortly after the race, the filly sustained an injury to a suspensory ligament in the her right foreleg which kept her out for the rest of the season.
2010–2011: four-year-old season
Returning as a four-year-old in October 2010, Black Caviar won two more Group 2 races: the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield and the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley by 5½ lengths. She then was set for her first Group 1 race in the Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington, where she took on a field that included the highly-rated West Australian sprinter Hay List, along with multiple Group 1 winners Star Witness, Melito and All Silent. Black Caviar produced what was described as “an astonishing demolition job” and won by 4 lengths. After the race, the veteran trainer Lee Freedman, who had conditioned outstanding sprinters including Miss Andretti described Black Caviar as “the best I have seen”.
She resumed in February 2011 in the Lightning Stakes, where she defeated Hay List by 3½ lengths, being eased down well short of the winning post. Her next start saw her carry topweight of 58 kg in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington. Despite the weight, she again won in similar ease to her previous Group 1 wins and set a race record in the process. This performance earned her a rating of 130 from the IFHA, which made her the number one ranked horse in the world in the period of October 2010 – March 2011.
The rating placed her only three pounds behind Dayjur, the highest rated sprinter of the previous 30 years. A fourth successive Group 1 win came in the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley before she ventured to Randwick in Sydney for the T J Smith Stakes. In this race, which attracted a crowd of 30,000, Hay List established a clear break on the field at the top of the straight and a huge upset briefly appeared possible. Black Caviar, however, accelerated past Hay List in the closing stages and won in very impressive style by 3 lengths. The Herald Sun described her performance as “brilliant, dominant and unforgettable”.
She then travelled to Brisbane for the BTC Cup at Doomben, where she attracted a crowd of over 20,000, for another clash with Hay List. She won by 2 lengths over Hay List, which once again ran a clear second placing and confirmed his standing as Black Caviar’s main rival. Buffering was a further 5 lengths away in third place. Black Caviar was expected to end her season in the Doomben 10,000; however, her connections instead decided to spell her until the Australian spring.
In the annual Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Awards, members of the racing media voted Black Caviar as Horse of the Year by 150 votes to 134 over So You Think.
2011–2012: five-year-old season
Black Caviar started her five-year-old season by winning her second Schillaci Stakes by 4¼ lengths. With this victory, she equalled Phar Lap’s record of 14 straight wins. She won her 15th race in the Moir Stakes by a 6-length margin. She maintained her unbeaten record with win number 16 in the Patinack Farm Classic by 2.8 lengths from Buffering and Mid Summer Music. After the Patinack Farm Classic, Black Caviar was spelled for the remainder of the spring racing season.
She returned to racing by winning the 1200-metre Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on 27 January 2012 by 4.3 lengths in a time of 1.09.44 to remain undefeated over 17 starts. She then stepped up to 1400 metres for the first time on 11 February in the C F Orr Stakes at Caulfield. The distance and wet track conditions led to media speculation that her unbeaten run was under threat, but she again won comfortably by 3.3 lengths in front of a crowd of 20,000.
Black Caviar backed up a week later in the Coolmore Lightning Stakes on 18 February over 1000 metres, where she was once again pitted against Hay List. She was challenged up until the 200m mark, then extended away to win by nearly 2 lengths. The win put her equal with American horse Peppers Pride with 19 wins from 19 starts and behind only Kincsem, which won all 54 of her races. She also equalled the long-standing Australasian record of successive wins jointly held by Desert Gold and Gloaming.
On 28 April 2012, she won the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes by 4½ lengths at Morphettville and in the process set a new Australasian record of 20 straight wins from 20 starts. The win also took her past the then-unbeaten run of the American mare Zenyatta. Moody commented on her record-breaking run by saying that “Luke was pretty kind to her, he gave her one little smack on the bum and she did the rest.” Black Caviar returned to Morphettville two weeks later, winning the Goodwood Handicap by 1 length without being ridden out.
BLACK CAVIAR WINS 22nd race at Royal Ascot 2012
In June, she was sent overseas for the first time for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. On the 30-hour flight from Australia to England, she wore a specially designed “compression suit” which helped blood circulation. The race on 23 June attracted a crowd of 80,000 to Ascot and was broadcast live in Australia, where crowds watched the event on a big screen in Melbourne’s Federation Square. Racing over a straight six furlongs on rain-softened turf, Black Caviar won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes by a head from the French-trained filly Moonlight Cloud, with Restiadargent a neck away in third. Nolen sent the mare past the Frankie Dettori-ridden Soul inside the last quarter mile but after establishing a clear lead, he began to ease Black Caviar. Moonlight Cloud moved up on the stands side to draw almost level before Nolen began driving Black Caviar again in the final strides. Nolen said that his over-confidence had been a factor in the closeness of the finish: “It was an error that every apprentice is taught not to do, and I got away with it today.” It was discovered during after-race X-rays that Black Caviar had sustained an eight-centimetre muscle tear somewhere in the race. Nolen felt the change in the horse and said he ‘thought she’d done enough to get home. I didn’t want to annoy her any more.’ Moody explained the mare had not coped with the 11,000-mile journey as well as he had hoped or expected. He also described her as appearing “tired and worn out” after the race. Based on Black Caviar’s 22 victories, Timeform rated the Diamond Jubilee as her third lowest performance(116). However, an examination by veterinarian Peter Angus and chiropractor Michael Bryant later revealed that Black Caviar sustained a grade-four tear of the quadriceps and a grade-two tear of the sacroiliac during the race. It was announced that Black Caviar would return to Australia to recover and bypass the originally intended second stage of her international challenge in the July Cup. On 26 June, Moody explained that Black Caviar was expected to recover from her injuries and that, after an extended break, she would be prepared for a third Patinack Farm Classic. On 31 July connections decided Black Caviar would not race during the spring carnival.
In November 2012, Black Caviar was named European Champion Sprinter at the Cartier Racing Awards, becoming the first horse trained outside Europe to be so honoured.
BLACK CAVIAR FINAL RACE
2013 Darley T J Smith -Black Caviar – Win No. 25
2012–2013: six-year-old season
In February 2013 Black Caviar stretched her unbeaten run to 23 by winning the Lightning Stakes, breaking the course record which had stood for 25 years. It was the third time she had won the event.On 21 February 2013 Black Caviar was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. This was only the second time an active competitor has been so honoured.
In March Black Caviar made it 24 wins from 24 starts by winning the William Reid Stakes by 4 lengths. It was her 14th Group 1 win, equalling the record of Kingston Town.
On 13 April 2013 Black Caviar won the 2013 T J Smith Stakes. It was the mare’s 25th consecutive win and 15th group 1 win, breaking the Australian record for the most group 1 wins by a horse. The record was previously held by Kingston Town with 14. Interestingly, the Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame website says Wenona Girl, who raced in Australia before the current Group system was introduced, won 15 races now classified as Group 1. On 17 April 2013 she was once again ranked on top of the international thoroughbred rankings with a timeform rating of 136.
On 17 April 2013, it was announced that Black Caviar was officially retired from racing. Trainer Peter Moody sadly said, “The connections of the horse and I decided 25 was a great number and she did us proud on Saturday.” Shortly after, a life-sized brass statue of the champion mare was unveiled in the town of Nagambie. On 24 October 2013, breeder Rick Jamieson announced that Black Caviar is in foal to Exceed and Excel
GBR Diamond Jubilee Stakes (2012)
VRC Newmarket Handicap (2011)
VRC Lightning Stakes (2011, 2012, 2013)
VRC Patinack Farm Classic (2010, 2011)
ATC T J Smith Stakes (2011, 2013)
MVRC William Reid Stakes (2011, 2013)
BTC Cup (2011)
MRC C F Orr Stakes (2012)
MVRC Australia Stakes (2010, 2012)
MRC Schillaci Stakes (2010, 2011)
MVRC Schweppes Stakes (2010, 2011)
VRC Danehill Stakes (2009)
1st in World Thoroughbred Rankings (2013)
WTRR World Champion Sprinter (2010,2011,2012,2013)
Australian Racehorse of the Year (2011,2012,2013)
Australian Champion Sprinter (2011,2012,2013)
European Champion Sprinter (2012)
Black Caviar Lightning (2013)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2013)
BLACK CAVIAR BREEDING
Sire: Be Esprit
Grand Sire: Royal Academy
Dam Sire: Desert Sun
Foaled: 18 August 2006
Breeder: R. Jamieson, Vic
Owner: G.J. Wilkie, K.J. Wilkie, Werrett Bloodstock Pty Ltd, C.H. Madden, J. Madden, P.A. Hawkes, D.M. Taylor, J. TayloR
Race Record: 25: 25-0-0
BLACK CAVIAR – THE WONDER FROM DOWN UNDER
Black Caviar – The Greatest we have seen
OCTAGONAL – THE BIG “O” or “OCCY”
Octagonal (foaled 1992) is a retired champion New Zealand-bred, Australian raced Thoroughbred racehorse, also known as ‘The Big O’ or ‘Occy’.
He was by the champion sire Zabeel, out of the champion broodmare Eight Carat, who also produced Group One winners Mouawad, Kaapstad, Diamond Lover and (Our) Marquise.
Trained by John Hawkes, Octagonal made his debut late in 1994, and was crowned the Australian Champion Two Year Old on the strength of his autumn campaign, which comprised wins in the Todman Trial and AJC Sires Produce Stakes and close seconds in the STC Golden Slipper and AJC Champagne Stakes.
1995 Cox Plate – Octagonal
Octagonal wins the 1995 Cox Plate, ridden by Shane Dye, and trained by John Hawkes.
As a three-year-old, Octagonal won seven of his eleven starts, and took his record to 10 wins from 16 starts. In addition to beating a high-standard crop in Sydney’s three-year-old autumn triple crown – the Canterbury and Rosehill Guineas and the Australian Derby – Octagonal won the two richest weight-for-age races on the Australian calendar, the W S Cox Plate and the Mercedes Classic. With earnings of just short of A$4 million, Octagonal was voted the 1996 Australian Champion Three Year Old, Australian Horse of the Year, and remains the last horse to have won the triple crown. The Victoria (spring) and Australian Derby (autumn) double eluded him, however, as he was narrowly defeated by Nothin’ Leica Dane in the Victoria Derby.
1996 AJC Derby – Octagonal
Octagonal wins the 1996 AJC Derby, ridden by Darren Beadman, and trained by John Hawkes.
Octagonal returned to the track as a four-year-old, but his win the Underwood Stakes was the only highlight of a spring campaign that saw him unplaced in six of his seven starts. Meanwhile, the horses who had finished second to him in the triple crown – Saintly and Filante – won three races each, including the Epsom Handicap, the W S Cox Plate (where they were first and second), and the Melbourne Cup. Octagonal’s final campaign, during the autumn, was more consistent, and featured Group One wins in consecutive starts in the Chipping Norton Stakes, Australian Cup, and the Mercedes Classic. At his final start, he was runner-up in the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes; a feat coincidently emulated in the farewell of his champion son, Lonhro, seven years later.
Octagonal retired to stud after 28 starts with a record of 14 wins (10 Group 1), 7 seconds (6 in GI or GII races) and a third. He ended his racing career with a stakes tally of A$5,892,231, the highest of any galloper in Australasia to that point.
AJC Sires Produce Stakes (1995)
W S Cox Plate (1995)
Canterbury Guineas (1996)
Rosehill Guineas (1996)
Australian Derby (1996)
Mercedes Classic (1996, 1997)
Underwood Stakes (1996)
Australian Cup (1997)
Chipping Norton Stakes (1997)
Australian Champion Two Year Old (1995)
Australian Champion Three Year Old (1996)
Australian Horse of the Year (1996
Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2012)
Grand Sire: Sir Tristram
Dam: Eight Carat
Dam Sire: Pieces of Eight
Country: New Zealand
Breeder: Patrick & Justine Hogan
Owner: Jack & Bob Ingham
Trainer: John Hawkes
Race Record: 28: 14-7-1
OCTAGONAL – THE BIG “O” or “OCCY”
MIGHT AND POWER – POWER AND STRENGTH
Might and Power (foaled 1993) is a New Zealand bred, Australian owned and trained Thoroughbred racehorse who was named Australian Horse of the Year in 1998 and 1999. As a four-year-old, Might And Power won the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, and returned at five to become only the second horse in the history of Australian racing to win both Cups and the Cox Plate. He also won a number of other weight-for-age races in this period, including the Mercedes Classic, the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Doomben Cup. A strong, free-striding front-runner, he broke course records in winning the Caulfield Cup, the Doomben Cup, and the Cox Plate, and won a number of races by big margins.
Might and Power was foaled at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand. He was by Zabeel out of the Irish mare Benediction, whose 13 foals for nine winners also included the stakes winners Matter Of Honour (by Casual Lies) and Bastet (by Giant’s Causeway) and the city winners Scud (by Dance Floor) and Miss Priority (by Kaapstad). In turn, Miss Priority (a three-quarter sister to Might And Power) produced the stakes winners Miss Power Bird (by Mukaddamah) and Lucky Owners (by Danehill), who was a champion in Hong Kong. Benediction was named New Zealand Broodmare of the Year in 1998 and 1999.
Two and three year old season: 1995-1997
Might and Power made his debut late in his two-year-old season, and won his first race on 24 July 1996, at his third start. Spelled after one more start, he returned in the new year, and, once stepped up to 1,900 metres, won back-to-back restricted races at Canterbury. Up in grade, he finished second to the multiple Group One winner Intergaze in the Canterbury Guineas, seventh in the Rosehill Guineas, and was defeated by just over a length when fourth in the AJC Derby after suffering severe interference. Seven days later, as a short-priced favourite, he won the Frank Packer Plate by six lengths.
Four year old season: 1997-1998
Might And Power resumed in the Show County Quality, over 1,200 metres (6 furlongs) and came from near the tail of the field to defeat the Caulfield Guineas winner Alfa and the stakes winning sprinter Armidale. He then finished second to Galactic Valley in the Tramway Handicap and Quick Flick Shannon Quality and was beaten less than three lengths in the Epsom Handicap, but Brian York lost the ride to Jim Cassidy. Stepping up from 1,600 to 2,400 metres for the Caulfield Cup, Cassidy rode Might And Power and allowed him to stride freely and at the home turn he was well clear of his opposition. In winning by the extraordinary margin of seven-and-a-half lengths he broke the course record. The rest of the field was headed by the 1995 winner Doriemus.
Might and Power wins the 1997 Caulfield Cup
After such an emphatic win, betting markets for the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup were hastily rearranged, with Might and Power being installed as a short-priced favourite for both events. His trainer, Jack Denham, who had Filante set for the Cox Plate, elected to bypass the Valley feature with Might And Power and go into the Melbourne Cup without another run. At Flemington, Might And Power was to carry 56 kilograms (8 st 11 lb) having received a penalty of three-and-a-half kilos (a modern record) for his win in the Caulfield Cup. This placed him just one kilo below weight-for-age for a four-year-old male horse at 3,200 metres, and within 1.5 kilograms of Doriemus, who had won the race in 1995. If Might And Power were successful, it would be the highest weight carried to victory by a four-year-old since Gurner’s Lane in 1982.
Might and Power wins the 1997 Melbourne Cup.
Despite these obstacles, as well as several European stayers and tackling the extreme distance for the first time, several large bets were placed on Might And Power on the day of the race. Starting favourite, he led, and withstood three distinct waves of challenges – Crying Game at the 1,600-metre point, Linesman on the home turn, and Doriemus over the final 200 metres. After seeing off Linesman, Might and Power led by more than two lengths with 300 metres left to run, but Doriemus emerged on the outside. Edging closer and closer, Doriemus appeared likely to score with 50 metres to go, but Might And Power found again in the final strides. In the tightest of finishes, after which Greg Hall, on Doriemus, waved his whip in salute, the photo showed Might and Power had held on.
At the end of the year, Might and Power was named World Champion Stayer.
Returning in the new year, Might And Power ran third behind the Group One winning sprinters Special Dane and Al Mansour in Orr Stakes, but was beaten as favourite by the reigning Cox Plate winner, Dane Ripper, in the St George Stakes, and a minor injury forced him out of the Australian Cup (also won by Dane Ripper). Back in Sydney, Might And Power ran second to the Australian Guineas winner Gold Guru in the Ranvet Stakes, but connections were unhapppy with Jim Cassidy’s ride, and Brian York again took over.
Back to full fitness, and well-rated by York, Might And Power recorded fast time and defeated Gold Guru and Doriemus by five lengths in the Mercedes Classic. This was the beginning of a patch of remarkable form, where he won four weight-for-age races in a row by a combined margin of more than 22 lengths. At Randwick, three weeks later, Might and Power faced a field of six in the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which included the multiple Group One winners Juggler, Champagne, Catalan Opening, and Intergaze, but it was a one-act affair as he won by an 10½ lengths. Taken to Queensland, he defeated the Group One winner Summer Beau by 5¾ lengths in the Hollindale Cup, and beat Intergaze by just over a length and broke the course record in winning the Doomben Cup.
Five year old season: 1998-1999
Might And Power’s winning run came to an end when beaten on a heavy track in the Warwick Stakes, but, stepped up to 1,600 metres, defeated Juggler second-up in Chelmsford Stakes. Three weeks later, Might And Power started favourite in the George Main Stakes but faded badly in the straight. The poor run resulted from a virus, and his spring campaigned appeared to be in jeopardy. Brian York was again replaced by Jim Cassidy, however, and the horse’s campaign continued in Melbourne, in the Caulfield Stakes. Shane Dye led on the multiple Group One winner Tycoon Lil, but Cassidy bided his time on Might And Power, in second place, and surged to the front over the closing stages to win by just over two lengths.
Back to top form, Might And Power was installed 11/8-on favourite (approximately $1.70) for the Cox Plate. His trainer, Jack Denham, had been runner-up in the two previous editions, with Filante, and victory would give Might And Power a place in history. He would become only the second horse, after Rising Fast in 1954, to win the Cox Plate and the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, and the first reigning Melbourne Cup winner since Phar Lap in 1931 to win the Cox Plate. As a result, nearly 40,000 racegoers packed Moonee Valley racecourse on 24 October 1998.
Might and Power wins the 1998 Cox Plate.
Heading down the straight for the first time, rival jockeys pressed through on the inside in an attempt to clutter him behind other horses, but Jim Cassidy swung Might And Power four-deep on the turn out of the straight, and took over down the side of the course. Setting a strong pace, the rest of the field began to tire behind him, and Might And Power turned for home two lengths clear. AJC Derby placegetter Northern Drake loomed up strongly, at 100/1, but Might And Power held on comfortably to win by just over a length in course record time.
Two weeks later, in what would prove the last win of his career, Might And Power beat a sub-standard field by seven lengths in the VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Owner Nick Moraitis was invited to run Might And Power in the Japan Cup but was unable to secure a direct flight, and elected to send the horse for a spell.
In the new year, Might And Power bowed a tendon in training, and was off the scene for 18 months.
Six and seven year old season: 1999-2001
Unraced at six, Might And Power returned in September 2000 at age seven but failed to beat a runner-up home in his two starts and was quickly retired. He has made numerous public appearances and now resides at Living Legends in Woodlands Historic Park, Greenvale, Victoria.
Caulfield Cup (1997)
Melbourne Cup (1997)
Mercedes Classic (1998)
AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1998)
Doomben Cup (1998)
Caulfield Stakes (1998)
Cox Plate (1998)
World Champion Stayer (1997)
Australian Horse of the Year (1998 & 1999)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
MIGHT AND POWER BREEDING
Grand Sire: Sir Tristram (IRE)
Dam Sire: Day Is Done
Foaled: 6 October 1993
Country: New Zealand
Breeder: Windsor Park Stud
Owner: Nick Moraitis
Trainer: Jack Denham
Race Record: 33: 15-7-1
MIGHT AND POWER – POWER AND STRENGTH
KINGSTOWN TOWN – A TRUE LEGEND
Kingston Town (31 August 1976 – March 1991) was an outstanding Australian bred Thoroughbred racehorse who won a record three Cox Plates and 11 other Group One races in a career spanning from 1979 to 1982. In 1980 he was awarded the honour of being the Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year.
He was by Bletchingly, later a Leading sire in Australia, his dam, Ada Hunter (GER) was by Andrea Mantegna (FR). Ada Hunter was the dam of nine foals, but Private Thoughts (a brother to Kingston Town) was her only other stakes winner. She was later exported to the United States. Kingston Town was bred by David Hains, who sold a share in him to G. Monsborough and his wife after the horse failed to reach his reserve as a yearling.
He was trained throughout his career by Tommy Smith and ridden in 25 of his 30 wins by Malcolm Johnston. Kingston Town made his debut as a two-year-old, and, in his only start as a colt, ran last, but returned as a gelding in the final weeks of the season to win the Round Table Handicap at Rosehill at odds of 33/1. This was the beginning of a six-race winning run, which culminated in his first Group One win, the Spring Champion Stakes. Sent to Melbourne, the ‘Sydney Champion’, as he was dubbed, could only finish third, fourth, and second, respectively, in the Caulfield Guineas, the Caulfield Cup, and the Victoria Derby. The pattern of consistent success in Sydney and mixed fortunes in Melbourne would be repeated throughout his career: Kingston Town won 21 races from as many starts in Sydney between June 1979 and August 1982, interspersed with four trips to Melbourne, where he won five of his 13 starts.
In the autumn of his three-year-old season, Kingston Town won six races in a row, including the Rosehill Guineas, the Tancred Stakes, the AJC Derby, and the Sydney Cup. At the Brisbane winter carnival, he extended his winning run to eight races by winning twice more, including the Queensland Derby. At season’s end, his record stood at 14 wins from 18 starts, and he was named Australia’s champion racehorse.
The final 23 starts of Kingston Town’s career, which produced a further 16 wins, were unusual in that he only raced at the spring carnivals of 1980, 1981, and 1982, and injury prevented him from campaigning at the 1981, 1982, or 1983 autumn carnivals. Each of the three preparations consisted of winning weight-for-age races in Sydney, such as the Warwick Stakes and the George Main Stakes, often against small fields, before racing in Melbourne.
In each of the three years, he won the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, and recorded back-to-back wins in the Caulfield Stakes in 1981 and 1982, but tried and failed to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups on multiple occasions. He was third in the 1980 Caulfield Cup, 20th in the 1981 Melbourne Cup, and runner-up in 1982.
Kingston Town’s win in the 1982 Cox Plate was marked by Bill Collins’s famously incorrect prognostication that ‘Kingston Town can’t win’, which was hastily revised to ‘… he might win yet the champ … Kingston Town’s swamping them … Kingston Town…’ According to The Age’s Glenn Lester, ‘the call is so intricately woven into the “King’s” history-making third Cox Plate win that it’s difficult to decide which was the most memorable element of the race: the broadcast or the victory itself’.
Elsewhere, however, it is described as a ‘gaffe’, and the replay supports this view in that Kingston Town was within a few lengths of the lead at the time. Greg Miles, however, a well-respected race caller of longstanding, who was also broadcasting the Cox Plate of 1982, states that he also made the same claim as Collins at almost the same time.
After running his last race in Australia, in November 1982, Kingston Town was sent to America on 15 February 1984 in an attempt to overcome his leg problems, but he did not race in the United States. He was returned to Australia, and, in 1985, an attempt was made to resurrect his career, but he was scratched from his scheduled race and retired.
Best of his time anywhere in the world
Along with Carbine, Phar Lap, Bernborough, and Tulloch, Kingston Town was one of five inaugural inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. From 30 wins and seven placing’s from 41 starts, Kingston Town won $1,605,790 in prize money, and was the first horse in Australia to pass the million-dollar barrier.
He was given the extraordinary Timeform Rating of 137 – the second highest of any Australian horse in the period (1950s onward). Kingston Town’s rating remains well above those of several Cox Plate winners who have won either or both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, including Saintly, Might And Power, Northerly, and Makybe Diva.
In March 1991, Kingston Town was put down after failing to recover from a leg injury that he suffered while playing with another horse, his favourite paddock-mate.
Spring Champion Stakes (1979)
Rosehill Guineas (1980)
AJC Derby (1980)
H E Tancred Stakes (1980)
Sydney Cup (1980)
Queensland Derby (1980)
Cox Plate (1980, 1981 & 1982)
George Main Stakes (1981 & 1982)
Caulfield Stakes (1981 & 1982)
Western Mail Classic (1982)
Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year (1980)
Timeform rating: 137
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
Kingston Town Classic at Ascot Racecourse
KINGSTON TOWN BREEDING
Grand Sire: Biscay
Dam: Ada Hunter (GER)
Dam Sire: Andrea Mantegna (FR)
Breeder: David Hains
Owner: David Hains & Mr & Mrs. G Monsborough
Race Record: 41: 30-5-2
KINGSTON TOWN – A TRUE LEGEND
BETTER LOOSEN UP – JAPAN CUP WINNER
Better Loosen Up was an Australian Thoroughbred racehorse who won the Japan Cup in 1990 and was named Australia’s champion racehorse in 1991. He campaigned from two to seven years of age, and won 17 of his 45 starts, including eight Group One races. In 2004, he was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
Better Loosen Up was a small bay gelding, by Loosen Up (USA) out of Better Fantasy by Better Boy (IRE).
He was bred by Howard Martin and foaled in Berrigan, New South Wales. Loosen Up won the French Prix de l’ Avre and was the sire of six stakes-winners in Australia with Better Loosen Up being the best one.
Better Fantasy was the dam of 13 named foals, but Better Loosen Up was her only stakes-winner.
1990 Cox Plate – Better Loosen Up
Under the care of Les Theodore, won one of his four starts as two-year-old, a maiden at Bendigo on 28 April 1988. At three, he was transferred to the Sydney stables of Bart Cummings, where he won four races and was runner-up in the Canterbury Guineas. At season’s end, his record stood at a relatively unprepossessing five wins from 16 starts, although Les Theodore claims to have told the staff at Lindsay Park that the horse was a ‘champion’.
Now trained by Colin Hayes, Better Loosen Up resumed late in the spring of 1989, on Caulfield Cup day, with a close second, and finished the year with three Group One wins in as many starts, in the Honda Stakes, the Winfield Stakes, and the Railway Stakes. In the new year, he defeated Super Impose and Vo Rogue in the Blamey and the Segenhoe Stakes, and was runner-up to Vo Rogue in the Australian Cup in between. In his final starts for the season, he was defeated by Sydeston on heavy tracks in the Mercedes Classic and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
At five, under the care of David Hayes (Colin Hayes had retired at the end of the 1989-1990 season), Better Loosen Up was better again. After a first-up defeat in the Liston Stakes, he was undefeated for the rest of the season, and, in successive races, took out the Feehan Stakes, the Turnbull Stakes, the Cox Plate, the Mackinnon Stakes, the Japan Cup, and, in the new year, the Blamey Stakes and the Australian Cup.
BETTER LOOSEN UP – 1990 Japan Cup Win
In the Cox Plate, Better Loosen Up had come from an estimated 30 lengths off the lead to win in course record time; in the Mackinnon Stakes, on Derby Day, he was one of a ‘world record’ six Group winners for his trainer; in the Japan Cup, he scored a thrilling win to racecaller Bryan Martin’s cry of ‘Better Loosen Up has won for Australia’, and remains the only Australian horse to do so; in the Australian Cup, he defeated Vo Rogue by five-and-a-half lengths. Following this season, Better Loosen Up was named Australia’s champion racehorse in 1991.
A leg injury, which had cut short his autumn campaign, restricted him to just 12 further starts, at six and seven, and he failed to reach the same heights. His best performance came in the Cox Plate of 1992, where he was beaten just over a length by Super Impose, and successfully protested against Let’s Elope, who was second past-the-post. He was retired in February 1993, within days of Super Impose, with whom he would star on ‘Super Better Best’ – the story of how two geldings rose from obscurity to amass a ‘$10 million fortune’.
Now in his 20s, Better Loosen Up resides at Living Legends, The International Home of Rest for Champion Horses in the Melbourne suburb of Greenvale.
Honda Stakes (1989)
Railway Stakes (1989)
Winfield Stakes (1989)
Cox Plate (1990)
Segenhoe Stakes (1990)
LKS MacKinnon Stakes (1990)
J F Feehan Stakes (1990)
Blamey Stakes (1990, 1991)
Turnbull Stakes (1990)
Australian Cup (1991)
International race wins:
Japan Cup (1990)
Australian Horse of the Year (1991)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2004)
BETTER LOOSEN UP BREEDING
Sire: Loosen Up (USA)
Grand Sire: Never Bend
Dam: Better Fantasy
Dam Sire: Better Boy (IRE)
Foaled: 29 August 1985
Breeder: Howard Martin
Owner: L. & G. Theodore, Mrs L. Koumi, L. Fink, G.+ J.+ I. Farrah
Trainer: Les Theodore (at 2), Bart Cummings (at 3), Colin Hayes (at 4), David Hayes (from 5 to 7)
Race Record: 45: 17-9-3
BETTER LOOSEN UP – JAPAN CUP WINNER
SUNLINE – CHAMPION MARE
Sunline (1995–2009) was a New Zealand bred Thoroughbred racehorse who was the world’s highest earning racemare of her time, competing on 48 occasions for 32 wins, 9 seconds and 3 thirds to earn A$11,351,607.
She won races in three different countries, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. She won successive W.S. Cox Plates (2,040m), the richest Weight for Age (WFA) race in Australia. She also twice won the toughest mile race in Australia, the Doncaster Handicap, once as a three-year-old and then again as a six-year-old.
She was named New Zealand Horse of the Year four times and is also the only horse ever to win the Australian Horse of the Year championship three times. The only horse besides Sunline to win as many major races in both Australia and New Zealand was Gloaming, who raced around 1915.
Sunline recorded 13 wins from her 25 starts in Group One races (a winning strike-rate of 52%), while Makybe Diva, with whom she is often compared, won seven of her 14 (a winning strike-rate of 50%). Greg Childs, the jockey who rode Sunline in 33 of her races, said she deserved to bracketed with the Diva as the best race mares of the modern era. Makybe Diva was an outstanding stayer and Sunline was a champion middle distance horse.
Sunline led in most of her races, and sometimes settled just behind the leader; she was difficult to pass. Sunline was an inaugural inductee into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame, along with Carbine, Gloaming, Kindergarten and Phar Lap.
1999 Cox Plate – Sunline
Sunline wins the 1999 Cox Plate, ridden by Greg Childs
Sunline was foaled at Pleasanton Stud near Cambridge, New Zealand on 29 September 1995. Her sire was the handy Group Two winning English sire, Desert Sun, a grandson of leading sire Danzig, and her dam was the former capable mare Songline by Western Symphony (USA).
Sunline came from the same family as Phar Lap, tracing all the way back to his dam, Entreaty, who was her 8th dam. A big strong plain bay with no white markings, Sunline was leased by her breeders Susan Archer and Michael Martin to Takanini trainer Trevor McKee.
In partnership with Thayne Green and Helen Lusty, McKee raced the filly three times for as many wins as a two-year-old.
After a first-up win at three, in August 1998, McKee took Sunline across the Tasman Sea to Australia for the first of an eventual nine visits. Racing in the second, third, and fourth legs of Sydney’s Princess Series, for three-year-old fillies, she “powered through the wet” on her Australian debut in the Furious Stakes, won the Tea Rose Stakes on a dry track two weeks later, and won in the Flight Stakes – her first of 13 Group One wins. Sunline was then spelled, rather than continuing on to the feature races in Melbourne, and never competed with the reigning Horse of the Year, Might And Power.
Sunline resumed in February 1999. She won first up but was narrowly beaten for the first time by Rose O’War, second-up, in Melbourne’s Angus Armanasco Stakes, her 9th career start. The race was not run to suit, with a long shot racing away before the home turn, which may have exposed Sunline’s lack of fitness on the day, as she was jumping from 1,200 to 1,600 metres. At her next start, Sunline defeated Rose O’War in the Kewney Stakes, and in her first look at the Cox Plate course, defeated the VRC Oaks (and subsequent AJC Oaks) winner Grand Archway by four-and-a-half lengths in the Moonee Valley Oaks (2,040 metres).
Sunline then ventured north to Sydney to tackle the Doncaster Handicap (1,600 metres). Despite taking on older horses for the first time, and starting from a wide starting gate, Sunline was sent out one of the shortest-priced favourites in the race’s long history at 10/9 ($2.10). Sunline went straight to the front and never looked back to score by one-and-three-quarter lengths. She became just the fourth filly to win in the modern history of the race.
1999 Doncaster Handicap
A fortnight later, Sunline was again a favourite in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2,000 metres), and led the field over the rise (near the top of the straight), then faded to finished second-last of the six runners. She was then sent home to New Zealand for a spell.
Unlike many three-year-old champions, Sunline made the transition to weight-for-age racing as four-year-old. First-up, she scored a win over the multiple Group One winner Tie the Knot in the Warwick Stakes, and was installed ante-post favourite for the $3 million WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley. At her next two starts, Trevor McKee then tried to get the mare settle in her races, but she was narrowly defeated in the Theo Marks Quality (by Adam) and the George Main Stakes (by Shogun Lodge). Her final lead-up to the Cox Plate was a close fourth under 56.5 kilograms (8 st 11 lb) in the Epsom Handicap.
Speculation in the media that Sunline would be vulnerable in the Cox Plate – in open company over 2,040 metres – proved unfounded. She was brilliant. Leading before the home turn, Sunline easily held off a late challenge from Tie the Knot, with Caulfield Cup winner Sky Heights in third place. Sunline became only the fifth mare to win the race since its inception in 1922, and the second of four mares to have won the race since Dane Ripper in 1997 (the others being Makybe Diva in 2005 and Pinker Pinker in 2011).
After a brief let-up, Sunline came back in distance and easily defeated other mares in the Auckland Breeders’ Stakes (1,400 metres), in New Zealand, in preparation for the International Cup (2,000 metres) in Hong Kong. Sunline led, and her jockey, Greg Childs, explained that she travelled well to the home turn, but, in an echo of the autumn’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes, tired badly in the home straight and finished seventh. She then returned home to New Zealand for a spell.
Back in Sydney for the autumn of 2000, Sunline powered through the rain-affected going to win the Apollo Stakes (1,400 metres) first-up. Remarkably, in her entire career, she was never beaten over the distance. She then carried the maximum topweight (60 kg) to win the first of two Coolmore Classics – at the time, Australia’s only Group One race for fillies and mares (three years and over). At her next start, she carried 57.5 kilograms (9 st. 1 lb.) in the Doncaster Handicap and was narrowly defeated by the lightly weighted three-year-old Over. Meeting again a week later, in the All-Aged Stakes, Sunline relished the return to weight for age conditions – easily accounting for Georgie Boy, with Over in third place, to make it three wins from four starts this campaign.
Sunline started her five-year-old campaign in Melbourne, against the sprinters – streaking away in the Manikato Stakes (1,200 metres) at Moonee Valley. She then had wins in the Memsie (1,400 metres) and Feehan Stakes (1,600 metres), but was narrowly beaten by Fairway in the Turnbull Stakes (2,000 metres). A natural frontrunner, like Sunline, Fairway refused to hand up the lead to Sunline, who was forced to chase, and held her at bay down the straight. It was Sunline’s third defeat over the distance from as many starts away from Moonee Valley, but it was a great improvement on her previous defeats, especially since Fairway was a multiple Group One winning three-year-old the previous season.
Sunline fans regard her next run as one of her greatest. On the last Saturday of October, Sunline took control in the rain-affected going to win the Cox Plate by seven lengths from Caulfield Cup winner Diatribe, with Referral in third place. Perhaps unsuited in the conditions, fancied runners Tie the Knot (2nd in 1999), Sky Heights (3rd in 1999), and Shogun Lodge (conqueror of Sunline in the George Main Stakes) were beaten a combined margin of more than 100 lengths. In winning, Sunline became the first Australasian horse to pass $6 million in career earnings.
Returning to New Zealand after the Cox Plate, the mare’s owners revealed that Sunline had been part of a bidding war from five different countries, including the powerful Godolphin stables in the United Arab Emirates. All bids were rejected, and the mare was prepared for another trip to the rich, pre-Christmas international meeting in Hong Kong. In her final lead-up, Sunline raced away with the Auckland Breeders’ Stakes at Pukekohe. In Hong Kong, she led all the way to win the International Mile (1,600 metres), narrowly holding off local icon Fairy King Prawn, with five lengths back to Adam, from Australia, in third place.
While the victory in Hong Kong neither confirmed nor denied the oft-made claim of her fans that Sunline was world’s best racemare, her Cox Plate victory saw the Australian and New Zealand Horse of the Year receive an invitation to compete in the world’s richest raceday, the Dubai World Cup meeting in the United Arab Emirates.
In early February, Sunline recorded her eighth win in New Zealand when she was too good for seven other Group One winners in the Waikato Sprint. The victory kept alive Sunline’s wonderful record in her home country, which at career end would stand at 10 wins from as many starts. Sunline’s next step came with a hit-and-run trip to Sydney for the Apollo Stakes, at Warwick Farm. For the second year in a row, the race was run on a rain-affected track, and Sunline accounted for the veteran mudlark Celestial Choir, with Tie the Knot unplaced.
In Dubai, Sunline showed her customary pace to lead the field in the Duty Free (1,800 metres), but her breakaway tactics were not aided by a home straight of 600 metres. Jim And Tonic (a French globetrotter) and Fairy King Prawn loomed up to Sunline with 200 metres to run, and, after a tough run, she did well to hold on for third. Sunline returned to Australia to contest the All Aged Stakes against a sub-standard field, on a wet track at Randwick. Starting a hot favourite, Sunline was inexplicably – although narrowly – beaten by El Mirada and Final Fantasy, and immediately spelled.
In the spring, Sunline notched her fifth consecutive win when taking the Mudgway Stakes first-up in New Zealand, and returned to Sydney for the George Main Stakes. Sunline led but was run down by Defier and Excellerator. In her next start Sunline led, and, to a huge roar from the crowd, skipped away by more than three lengths at the top of the straight, but Lonhro loomed up strongly close to home to score in race record time, with a margin of six lengths back to the third horse.
The clash may have flattened Sunline and Lonhro, who appeared to race below their best when fourth and sixth, respectively, behind Northerly in the Cox Plate. As planned, Sunline was retired after this, her fourth and final Cox Plate, and her record of two wins, a second, and a fourth is one of the best in the history of the race. She retired with 27 stakes wins, more than any other horse in Australasian history.
Flight Stakes (1998)
Cox Plate (1999 & 2000)
Doncaster Handicap (1999 & 2002)
All Aged Stakes (2000 & 2002)
Coolmore Classic (2000 & 2002)
Waikato Sprint (2001 & 2002)
Hong Kong Mile (2000)
Manikato Stakes (2000)
New Zealand Horse of the Year (1999-2002)
Australian Middle Distance Champion (2000, 2001)
Australian Horse of the Year (2000, 2001, 2002)
Timeform rating: 129
Australian Racing Hall of Fame
New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame (2006)
Sire: Desert Sun (GB)
Grand Sire: Green Desert (USA)
Dam Sire: Western Symphony (USA)
Country: New Zealand
Breeder: Susan Archer and Michael Martin
Owner: Trevor McKee, Thayne Green, Helen Lusty
Trainer: Trevor McKee
Race Record: 48: 32-9-3
TULLOCH – THE SUPER HORSE
Tulloch (foaled in New Zealand) (1954–1969) was a Thoroughbred racehorse, who is regarded as one of the three finest racehorses in Australian racing history. He won at distances from 5 furlongs (1,000 metres) to 2 miles (3,200 m), established Australian records at 10 furlongs (1960 Cox Plate) and 12 furlongs (1957 Caulfield Cup), and took 2 seconds off Phar Lap’s 28-year-old record for the AJC Derby.
As a three-year-old Tulloch won 14 of his 16 starts before he was struck down by a virus which kept him off the racing scene for almost two years. He returned to racing as an autumn five-year-old and won 15 of his last 24 races.
Tulloch was one of the five inaugural horse inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, alongside the other turf immortals Carbine, Phar Lap, Bernborough and Kingston Town. Tulloch is also an inductee in the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame.
Tulloch – Racing Hall of Fame
Trainer Tommy J. Smith bought Tulloch as a yearling for 750 guineas in 1956 at the Trentham Yearling Sales. He offered the colt to E.A. Haley who was impressed by the horse’s breeding, intelligence and presence despite having what was referred to as a “swampy” back. Haley named him Tulloch after the Scottish town where his mother was born.
In the spring of 1956, as a two-year-old (2yo) Tulloch had his first start in the AJC Breeders Plate where although sent out favourite he was beaten by Flying Kurana. Backing up the next week, Tulloch won the Cannonbury Stakes. He was sent to Melbourne where he contested three races, winning twice but defeated in the VRC Maribyrnong Plate by Concert Star.
Resuming in the autumn, Tulloch was placed second in his first two starts, a 2yo handicap in Sydney and the VATC Merson Cooper Stakes. He then won the VRC Sires Produce Stakes over seven furlongs, defeating Ace High. Next start, dropping back a furlong, Ace High turned the tables on Tulloch, beating him in the Ascot Vale Stakes (Until 1965 the Ascot Vale Stakes was run in autumn for two-year-olds). From 1969 the Ascot Vale Stakes has been run in the spring for 3yos). Returning to Sydney, Tulloch won the Fairfield Handicap at Warwick Farm Racecourse before meeting only two other horses in the AJC Sires Produce Stakes.
Todman and Prince Darius were to prove themselves as worthy foes, however were no match for Tulloch, who at this stage was unbeaten over the seven furlong distance. Todman turned the tables in the Champagne Stakes (dropping back to 6F) beating Tulloch by six lengths. Before heading for a spell, Smith and Tulloch travelled to Brisbane where Tulloch won the QTC Sires Produce Stakes.
His record at the and of his 2yo season stood at 13:7-6-0. Tulloch had won the VRC, AJC and QTC Sires Produce Stakes, the Cannonbury Stakes as well as 2yo races at Caulfield, Flemington and Warwick Farm Racecourse. He also ran second in the Maribyrnong Plate, AJC Breeders Plate, Ascot Vale Stakes and the Champagne Stakes.
Amazingly, Tulloch returned to the track on 12 March 1960 – almost two years after he first became sick. First up in the VRC Queens Plate over 10 Furlongs, Tulloch defeated Lord, (who won the Caulfield Guineas (thrice), Caulfield Stakes (thrice), Memsie Stakes (4 times), St George Stakes (twice), C F Orr Stakes (twice), Underwood Stakes (twice)), by a short head. Tulloch then won the Chipping Norton Stakes, Craven Plate and the PJ O’Shea Stakes to finish off a successful autumn return.
The 1960 Melbourne Cup was the aim in the spring, and in his lead up Tulloch won the Cox Plate, LKS Mackinnon Stakes and VRC Queens Plate. Under 10 stone 1 pound (approx 64 kg) in the Melbourne Cup and starting 3/1 favourite, Tulloch finished an unlucky seventh, the race being won by Hi Jinx. This was to be Tulloch’s only unplaced run in his career and also one of the worst rides by top jockey Neville Sellwood who had Tulloch positioned 60 lengths behind the leader with six furlongs (1200 metres) to go and left his run too late. After the Cup Tulloch again took out the CB Fisher Plate.
Returning for the autumn Tulloch won the AJC Autumn Stakes and the AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes before going to Brisbane where he again won the PJ O’Shea Stakes. His last race was the 1961 Brisbane Cup which he won by 1¾ lengths.
After returning from his debilitating illness, Tulloch had a record of 24: 15-5-3 with 1 unplaced run. Thirteen of these wins were at w.f.a. in principal (stakes) races.
At the end of his career, Tulloch had won 19 races that are now classified as group one. He also twice won the no longer contested AJC Autumn Stakes (with winners such as Ming Dynasty, Balmerino, Gunsynd, Rain Lover, Galilee, Beau Vite, Peter Pan, Nightmarch, Heroic and Carbine), as well as the no longer contested VRC Queens Plate (winners such as Leilani, Gunsynd, Rain Lover, Galilee, Lord, Ajax, Phar Lap, Wallace and Carbine), both of which would be categorised as group 1 races by today’s standard.
Seven races that Tulloch won are now Group 2 races and two are Group 3. The VRC St Leger (now only a listed race) and AJC St Leger were principal (stakes) races in Tulloch’s era, which indicates how impressive his record was then.
Grand Sire: Big Game
Dam Sire: Salmagundi
Country: New Zealand
Colour: Bay or Brown
Breeder: Trelawney Stud
Trainer: Tommy J Smith
Race Record: 53: 36-12-4
“THE SUPER HORSE”
VO ROGUE – THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP
Vo Rogue (1983 – 8 May 2012) was an Australian Thoroughbred racehorse. He was sired by American-bred Ivor Prince whose racing career ended from injury after just two starts. Ivor Prince was a son of the British champion Sir Ivor who won the 1968 2,000 Guineas and Epsom Derby. His American damsire, Dignitas, was a multiple stakes winner in the United States and was a son of the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Round Table.
Vo Rogue was a successful front-running racehorse who thrilled Australian racegoers by setting up massive leads in his races, and defying the opposition to catch him. The bay gelding was trained by Vic Rail, and ridden by Cyril Small for 22 of his 26 wins. He was also ridden on at least two occasions by John Scorse who rose to prominence as the jockey of Placid Ark.
Vo Rogue was successful in Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth, but was at his best in Melbourne, particularly in the autumn, with the hard and fast tracks very much to his liking (he was controversially scratched from the Cox Plate in 1988 because Rail considered he was hopeless in any kind of rain-affected going).
He dominated the weight-for-age races at the autumn carnivals of 1988, 1989, and 1990, defeating such outstanding horses as Campaign King and the Cox Plate winners Bonecrusher, Super Impose, Our Poetic Prince, and Better Loosen Up. He was successful from the William Reid Stakes (1,200 metres) to the Australian Cup (2,000 metres), and won various races in between, including the C F Orr Stakes (1,400 metres), the Blamey Stakes (1,600 metres), and the St George Stakes (1,800 metres).
1989 Australian Cup- Vo Rouge
In total, Vo Rogue won 26 races from 83 starts, including six Group One races, and a further five which now carry Group One status. His name has also entered Australian racing folklore, regularly summoned by race callers and fans alike who speak of horses setting up “Vo Rogue-style” leads.
Vo Rogue died on 8 May 2012, at the age of 28.
The mighty front-running Queenslander was the dominant horse in an era of champions, winning 26 races from 83 starts, including six Group 1 races.
THE GREATEST SHOW OF TURF
VO ROGUE TRIBUTE – COURTESY OF TVN
VO ROGUE – THE HORSE
Sire: Ivor Prince
Grand Sire: Sir Ivor
Dam Sire: Dignitas
Breeder: Not Found
Owner: Jeff Perry
Trainer: Vic Rail
Race Record: 83: 26-14-9
“THE PEOPLE’S CHAMP”
PHAR LAP – AUSTRALIA’S WONDER HORSE
The name Phar Lap derives from the common Zhuang and Thai word for lightning: ฟ้าแลบ [fáː lɛ̂p], lit. ‘sky flash’.
Phar Lap was called the “Wonder Horse”, “Red Terror”, “Bobby” and “Big Red” (the latter nickname was also given to two of the greatest US racehorses, Man o’ War and Secretariat).
He was sometimes referred as “Australia’s wonder horse”.
According to the Museum Victoria, Aubrey Ping, a medical student at the University of Sydney, suggested “farlap” as the horse’s name.
Ping knew the word from his father, a Zhuang-speaking Chinese immigrant. Telford liked the name, but changed the F to PH to create a seven letter word, which was split in two in keeping with the dominant naming pattern of Melbourne Cup winners.
Phar Lap The Documentary – Great Viewing
Phar Lap winning the 1930 Melbourne Cup
PHAR LAP – THE HORSE
Sire: Night Raid (GB)
Grand Sire: Radium (GB)
Dam: Entreaty (NZ)
Dam Sire: Winkie (GB)
Foaled: 4 October 1926
Country: New Zealand
Breeder: Alick Roberts
Owner: David Davis and Harry Telford
Trainer: Harry Telford
Race Record: 51: 37–3–2
“HERO TO A NATION”