Thursday, 13 June 2019


There was plenty of excitement at Armidale Stud last spring with the arrival of the first foals for the well credentialled young stallion Alpine Eagle, a particularly good looking and highly talented son of the late, great High Chaparral.
Fast forward to this month and six members of Alpine Eagle's debut crop are being prepared to make their way through the ring at the annual Inglis Great Southern Sale at Oaklands Junction on June 16 & 17.
Armidale's David Whishaw is full of anticipation as the sale draws closer, confident that buyers will see the same qualities as he does in the progeny of the so far bay dominant Alpine Eagle.
"His foals are beautifully balanced with gorgeous heads. They are strong and athletic individuals and it doesn’t matter what type of mare people have put to him, they all seem to have come out with his stunning good looks and that great High Chaparral walk."
"All the good judges have been blown away with the quality he is stamping on his foals," Whishaw continued.
"They have been stamped with good limbs and well-muscled, strong hindquarters. They have inherited their sire's exceptional good looks, fantastic temperaments and athleticism. We can't wait until they get to the track!"
Three of the five Alpine Eagles for sale are members of the Armidale draft - kicking off with lot 173, a lovely filly out of the three times city winning Perugino mare Grisbi who has already produced three winners including the smart Tasmanian Havana Stash and the Victorian metropolitan grade winner Grisbi's Run. Boasting crosses of the wonderful mares Fairy Bridge and Special, she is closely related to the durable stakes winners Back On Target and Fast Talker.
"She is a well-made filly, a precocious type who floats along the ground, Whishaw sad.
"She has it all - athleticism , intelligence and exceptional looks... we can’t wait to see her on the track!"

Another imposing youngster is lot 428, half-brother to the multiple winners Sudden Blitz and Bold Street Cat out of an Encosta de Lago (dam sire of three stakes winners by High Chaparral) half-sister to the Gr.2 winner Champagne Harmony. Hailing from the high class family of big race winners St Reims, Champagne, Charmont and Bonneval, he carries a 3 X 3 cross of the great Zabeel.
"He is a gorgeous, scopey, well balanced, good looking colt who is exceptionally correct with a seriously athletic walk."
Lot 453 also has an interesting pedigree, a colt of the two-year-old winning Hold That Tiger mare Tasmanian Tiger who hails from the prolific Aloe family (the branch which produced the Gr.1 winners Bel Sprinter, Always Aloof Leading Light and Tolylsome) of which Alpine Eagle boasts multiple strains. He is a half-brother to the two times stakes placed Zatacla and the smart Galeocerdo; durable winners of eight races each.

"Without a doubt has unfaultable conformation. Size, balance, scope, bone and movement... he is unquestionably exceptional!"
Whishaw is also looking forward to seeing a couple of Alpine Eagles bred by clients at the sale... lot 176 presented by Rothwell Park being a son of the Gr.2 placed seven times winner Gwynethanne and lot 477, Phoenix Broodmare Farm's colt from the immediate family of Gr.1 winner Montoya's Secret.
A brilliant winner of four of his 12 starts including the Gr.2 Autumn Classic (and a gallant fast-finishing second in the Gr.1 Australian Guineas), Alpine Eagle has been well supported in his first two years at stud and amongst his other youngsters are half-brothers and sisters to the stakes winners Hellova Street and Streetwise Savoire, Pateena Arena and Ammirata and sons and daughters of the stakes winning mares Gehenna, I'm A Hussy, Petite Oiseau, Rose Ceremony and Swooper.
A $240,000 graduate of the 2013 Karaka Premier, Alpine Eagle caught the eye from the word go, showing so much early ability that he was sent out a hot odds-on favourite at his juvenile debut, treating his rivals to a 4 1/2 length galloping lesson.
Whilst injury curtailed his career, what we saw of Alpine Eagle was enough to suggest that he had the natural talent to take his place alongside High Chaparral's 23 Gr.1 winners - several of whom, such as Dundeel, So You Think and Toronado - are already proving themselves a stud.
Described by trainer Tony McEvoy as a "magnificent, athletic horse with a powerful finish," Alpine Eagle stands for $7700 alongside Mystic Journey's sire Needs Further and fellow proven stallion Tough Speed.
For further information on Alpine Eagle contact David Whishaw on 0407 868 269 or Robyn Whishaw on 0419 100 634. Watch him at:

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bon Aurum Joins the Riverbank Line-Up

"A wonderful addition to the Riverbank roster" is how Dr Caroline Duddy describes the Group One galloper Bon Aurum who takes residence at the Benalla stud this spring; standing alongside Redente, Boulder City, Von Costa de Hero, Skilled, Wayed Zain and Anacheeva.

"We are very excited to welcome him to Riverbank," Dr Duddy continued, adding that "as a Group One son of the popular and consistent Bon Hoffa he offers exceptional value with the added bonus of having vet fees included if your mare stays with us."

Remaining at the $5,500 fee he stood for during his debut season last spring, Bon Aurum served a quality book of mares including the stakes winners Hello Pamela and Tango Amigo's, the dams of stakes winners Bons Away and Riziz as well as daughters of More Than Ready, Flying Spur, Commands, Red Ransom, Grand Lodge, Magnus, Bernardini, Rubiton, Hussonet, Street Sense and Lonhro.

Described by trainer Ciaron Maher as "a tough horse, an exceptional athlete and a beautiful type," Bon Aurum was bred and raced by Ken King who also raced Bon Hoffa who he said "has been a great stallion for owner breeders."

"And we are confident that his Group One winning son can emulate and even better his deeds."

Both horses impressed claiming the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (a race also won by successful stallions Encosta de Lago, Testa Rossa and Exceed And Excel) - Bon Hoffa in 2007 with Bon Aurum saluting nine years later.

The striking Bon Aurum is one of 151 winners sired by the popular Bon Hoffa, nine times winning reliable stallion whose progeny rarely go a week without a win - his sons and daughters this season winning 65 races.

A son of the highly  successful Danzig stallion Belong To Me (72 stakes winners including ten Group One winners), Bon Hoffa boasts progeny earnings in excess of $12.2 million and is also sire of the tough stakes winners Bons Away and Deiheros.

Other impressive runners for Bon Hoffa include the exciting last start Country Championship winner Noble Boy (winner of six of his first seven starts), the in-form sprinter Bon Amis (winner of seven of his 15 starts including three of his last four) and the recent Adelaide Magic Millions 2Y0 Classic winner Done By Me... whilst on Sunday he was represented by a treble.

But Bon Aurum, winner of nearly $600,000 in stakes, is his best.

Not taking long to strike form, the good looking chestnut at just his second start raced at two raced away with a Geelong maiden. Rising quickly in class, he was in the placings at Flemington and Sandown before taking out the Listed Exford Plate at Flemington.

A Group Three Caulfield Guineas Prelude win was next for Bon Aurum who was caught wide from an outside gate in the Group One Caulfield Guineas won by Press Statement. Not having much go right during a short autumn campaign, he was nevertheless soon into form in the 2016 spring, second up claiming the Listed Tontonan Stakes before his Sir Rupert Clarke success over Voodoo Lad.

Hailing from a strong European family, Bon Aurum can boast amongst his relations the Group One gallopers Court Masterpiece (Sussex Stakes, Prix de la Foret) and Classic Park (Irish 1000 Guineas) and fellow Group winners Double First, Young Runaway, Recupere, Wolverton, Maybe Forever, Soon and Rumpipumpy.

For further information contact Riverbank's Russell Osborne on 0423 768 155.

Thursday, 9 May 2019


What a stunning season it has been for Armidale Stud's exciting up-and-comer Needs Further; his outstanding daughter Mystic Journey the talk of the country on the back of her Australian Guineas and All Star Mile victories... so impressive that she is early favourite for the W.S Cox Plate.
There is no doubting that Mystic Journey is her sire's star but he is far from being a one horse sire with his progeny already winning 42 races this season; 21 since the start of the year. And what an especially great day last Sunday was!

Three winners (and oh so close to a quartet) and a trifecta at the Launceston meeting. Quite the achievement, especially for a young stallion whose oldest progeny are only four.

Kicking off Needs Further's memorable day was the promising Buzzered who landed a much deserved two length maiden victory on the back of consistent form, her trainer Cameron Thompson noting that "she has shown me more ability than I've seen from any other horse in the stable."

Runner up in that 1400m contest was the progressive Full Knots Ahead, third the reliable Oh So Needy. Not only one, two, three for Needs Further but also for Armidale, breeders of all three horses!

A sister to Buzzered (and also to the Tasmanian Magic Millions 3Y0 Classic winner Jubilance), the exciting two-year-old Deroche was Needs Further's second winner for the day; the Barry Campbell trained filly as an odds-on favourite dominant winning her third race from just five starts.

She was part of a black type quinella for Needs Further back in mid-February; finishing a gallant second to Mystical Journey's unbeaten 3/4 sister Mystical Pursuit in the Listed Gold Sovereign Stakes.

Recording the fifth success of her 15 start career was Deroche's stablemate Enzian who proved too strong for her rivals in a 1200m BM64 contest - capping off Needs Further's great day; one which saw him go close to four winners with the lightly raced and promising three-year-old Diesel Dan only just missing out in a tight finish to the 1600m Class 1.

A stallion whose regal pedigree is supported by high class ability, Needs Further is one of his champion sire Encosta de Lago's 115 stakes winners and one of his 12 sons to have already sired stakes winners.
Raced by his renowned breeders Gooree Park, Needs Further - on the back of a runaway trial victory - was a hot odds-on favourite at his Randwick debut at two, finishing a gallant third having worked hard off a slow start.

Given time to mature, he was back in action with a six length maiden victory at Kembla Grange, at his next outing quickly up in class with a Kensington success and at just his fourth outing giving a big kick in the run home to claim a feature race victory in the Gr.3 Carbine Club Stakes.

Considered a leading Doncaster prospect by champion trainer Gai Waterhouse, Needs Further was unfortunately prematurely retired with a niggling joint issue - but the racetrack loss has been Tasmania's gain!

Such has been Needs Further's early success that his service fee increases this spring to $13,750; still great value as the sire of the country's most promising horse!

And they don't come much better bred than Needs Further, the half-brother to the dual Group One winner Hallowed Crown being a son of the Group Three winning Golden Slipper runner-up Crowned Glory whose dam is a half-sister to super star stallion Zabeel.
This a family that has been producing topliners for generations, its other members including the big race winners Detroit (Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe), Carnegie (Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe), Baryshnikov (like Zabeel and Mystic Journey, winner of the Australian Guineas) and Durtal (Cheveley Park Stakes).

Armidale's David Whishaw is keen to attract more interstate breeders to Needs Further, noting that "we have the perfect climate and some of the best pastures in Australia for rearing thoroughbreds."

"I am certain this is the key to us producing strong boned, tough racehorses. We have seen the likes of Mystic Journey, Hellova Street, Like A Carousel, Lady Lynette, Pateena Arena and Mystical Pursuit all come off the farm in recent times."

"Over the last couple of years an increasing number of mainland breeders are realising just how accessible and realistically priced our stallions are and I expect this recognition will continue to grow."

"Our service, agistment and veterinary fees are also great value whilst our great pastures and climate all add up to make Tassie a very attractive and affordable option."

Armidale Stud offers one way paid travel from Victoria for mares visiting both Needs Further and Alpine Eagle whilst agistment rates are a competitive $14.30 for dry mares, $15.40 for mares in foal and $19,80 for mare and foal.

For further information on Needs Further who stands alongside Alpine Eagle and Tough Speed contact David Whishaw on 0407 868 269 or Robyn Whishaw on 0419 100 634.


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Story from The Age - 13 October 2008

Stephen Howell
October 13, 2008
Page 1 of 2 | Single page

THE Racing Australia syndicate that owns 10% of Douro Valley, winner of the Yalumba Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday, has 18 members. That means each gets 0.55% of the $240,000 first prize, or a little more than $1300.
Actually, you have to take 15% from that — the standard 10% to the trainer and 5% to the jockey — so each pockets just over $1100.
To win a group 1 race, however, is priceless, and syndicate manager Kristen Manning and many of the Racing Australia members celebrated like celebrating was going out of fashion. Manning even raised the large trophy over her head in a group photo. "This is something you spend your whole life dreaming about," she said. "This is Australia No. 1 syndicate, our first. We bought a share in a General Nediym filly who was no good and then we got offered a share in this lovely horse."
"Lovely" is an apt description, with Douro Valley's eight wins, seven seconds and seven thirds from 48 starts helping bring the syndicate a small share of more than $1.1 million prizemoney, and lots of fun, especially this time last year when Douro Valley beat Maldivian in the Naturalism Stakes to get into the Caulfield Cup, in which he ran second to stablemate Master O'Reilly.
Racing Australia is on a roll, because just seven days before the Yalumba its No. 4 syndicate, with 12 members, won a race with Hard To Miss. That win provided the biggest cheer in the press room at Flemington on the day there were six group 1 races in Australasia.
It was only a maiden at Murtoa — it was shown on television — but it didn't stop wild celebrations from Manning, husband Vin Lowe, who works for the Moonee Valley Racing Club, and a handful of racing photographers in the syndicate.
The 12 each picked up 8.5% of 10% of $5850, less 15%. In comparing that win with Douro Valley's, Manning said the feeling on crossing the line was similar but afterwards the Douro joy was much bigger.
Owning not much more than a few hairs in the horse's tail did not lessen the thrill. "Actually, it's better because we're sharing with such good people," she said.
Manning now manages six syndicates, which have had four different winners. "I think he's the best by a long way," she said of Douro Valley.
Jockey James Winks, clearly, ranks Douro Valley as his favourite horse. The Yalumba was his first group 1 in Melbourne and his second overall, having won the Winter Stakes in Queensland mid-year on Absolut Glam, who, as with Douro Valley, is trained by Danny O'Brien at Flemington.