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Another quality German-bred galloper is heading to Australia to join the exciting Lucas Cranach at Anthony Freedman’s Markdel stables.
Mawingo (b c 2008, Tertullian (USA)-Montfleur (GB), by Sadler’s Wells (USA)) will arrive in Melbourne in late January. Freedman hopes to give the horse a run in Sydney late in the autumn before embarking on a winter campaign in Brisbane, where he hopes Mawingo can qualify for a run in the 2012 Melbourne Cup.
The colt was bought by Luke Murrell’s Australian Bloodstock syndicate following the success of Lucas Cranach in the spring—Lucas Cranach finished fifth behind Southern Speed in the Caulfield Cup and third behind Dunaden in the Melbourne Cup.
Mawingo had five starts in Germany for leading trainer Jens Hirschberger, winning the Group 3 Bavarian Classic (2000m) at Munich in May, before finishing a sound fourth behind Waldpark in a strong edition of the Group 1 Deutsches (German) Derby (2400m) at Hamburg in July.
Behind him, in fifth place, was the smart English colt Black Panther—owned by soccer star Michael Owen—who went on to run second behind Masked Marvel in the Group 1 English St Leger (2800m) at Doncaster.
Mawingo hasn’t raced since taking on the older horses and finishing fifth behind Zazou in the Group 1 Premio Roma (2000m) at Capannelle in Italy in November. He was beaten less than three lengths by Godolphin’s runner-up, Rio De La Plata, who went into the race boasting a third behind superstar Frankel in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes (1600m, Goodwood) and a second behind Excelebration in the Group 1 Prix de Moulin (1600m, Longchamp), so the form around Mawingo stacks up very well.
Murrell said Mawingo caught his attention because, like Lucas Cranach, the colt has a turn-of-foot and will be suited by Australian conditions. Interestingly, it was considered by the Hirschbeger stable that Mawingo had a good chance of winning the German Derby, run on heavy ground, because of the colt’s supposed liking for wet tracks, following his Bavarian Classic win on slow ground.
“Getting so close with Lucas Cranach showed us we were on the right track to getting a Melbourne Cup winner,” Murrell, who runs Australian Bloodstock with co-director Jamie Lovett, told stallions.com.au.
“We have looked for a similar type of horse to Lucas Cranach because we think a good stayer with a strong turn of foot is the type that will be successful in the big cups next spring. With Lucas Cranach, we have two really good stayers to aim for next year’s Melbourne Cup, which is a great thrill.”
Freedman said he was keen to get his first look at Mawingo. “From what I have seen from the videos, he’s the right type of horse for Australia. This time, however, he will be here a lot earlier than Lucas Cranach, so we will have time to train him to our way,” he said.
“He also different to Lucas Cranach, who was already qualified for the Melbourne Cup and had to be prepared by Lee in quarantine in England, but with Mawingo we have time on our side—he’s young and inexperienced and he won’t be rushed.
“He’s shown he’s competitive at a top level at 2000 metres, so he could measure up to weight-for-age races as he has the necessary turn-of-foot like Lucas Cranach, who will have a chance to show his class at weight-for-age next year.”
Mawingo has an exciting female line and a stallion’s pedigree—his dam, Montfleur (by Sadler’s Wells) didn’t win in two starts in Ireland, but her dam, Mackie (by Summer Squall (USA)) was a Group 3 winner in America, and her dam, Glowing Tribute (by Graustark (USA)), a Group 2 winner, is the dam of star gallopers and leading stallions, Hero’s Honor and Sea Hero. This also is the family of the brilliant sprinter Mozart and the classy filly Wild Applause.
Mawingo’s sire, Tertullian (by Miswaki (USA)) was a five-time Group winning sprinter in Germany and Italy, and he is a three-quarter brother to Sea The Stars’ and Galileo’s champion-producing dam, Urban Sea. Tertullian’s pedigree is a wonderful mix of speed and classic stamina, and he has mixed fairly with the stoutly bred German mares, although he can’t be considered a top-shelf stallion in Germany. The average winning distance of Tertullian’s progeny is 2100 metres.
Tertullian is the sire of Bart Cummings’ imported Melbourne Cup runner Illo, two Group 1 German Guineas winners in Aviso and Irian, and the Group 3 winning 3YO colt Russian Tango.
Meanwhile, Lucas Cranach is back in light work at Markdel. He has developed a winter coat, as expected, but importantly, his feet problems are on the mend.
Photo: Mawingo after winning the Bavarian Classic.
Kingston Rule was equine royalty from the day he took his first wobbly steps on Kentucky’s famous bluegrass. When he was born, the stud manager logged a simple report—“chestnut … magic”.
He was a product of greatness, the combining of the best with the best from both sides of the world. His sire was the legendary American Triple Crown hero and dual Horse of the Year, Secretariat, a horse that some say is the best to ever look through a bridle.
Kingston Rule’s dam, Rose Of Kingston (by Claude (ITY)), travelled from Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for the liaison. Her papers were stamped “champion”, an Australian Horse Of The Year who beat the colts in the 1982 Group 1 AJC Derby, after she had won the 1981 Group 1 VRC Oaks. Her colt, with his rich, golden chestnut colouring and flashy white blaze, was everything you could hope from such a union.
Melbourne owner-breeder David Hains, a dominant figure in Australian racing at the time, had a small, boutique broodmare farm in Kentucky to go with his Kingston Park Stud in Victoria. Hains sent a band of his best mares to Kentucky to be bred to the America’s leading stallions, with the resultant offspring to return to race in Australia. It was an experiment that lasted about eight years, and included the exporting Rose Of Kingston’s half-sister, the 1984 Group 1 VRC Oaks winner Spirit Of Kingston (by Bletchingly), and their dam Kingston Rose (by Better Boy).
After an unplaced run in France as a 2YO for trainer Patrick Biancone, Kingston Rule was imported to Australia and joined the stable of Tommy Smith at Randwick in Sydney. Smith and Hains had combined to dominate Australian racing earlier that decade with Kingston Town, the champion triple Cox Plate winner, who was gelded after finishing last at his racetrack debut. The same fate was on the cards of Kingston Rule, if Smith had his way, after the handsome 4YO finished an inauspicious 35-length last at his first Australian racetrack appearance, on a heavy track over 1400m at Warwick Farm in May, 1989.
That was when Hains made one of the most important decisions of his life. He had great faith in Kingston Rule and rather than geld him, he decided to spell the entire before switching trainers, and he sent Kingston Rule to Bart Cummings, the champion trainer of stayers who Hains thought would suit Kingston Rule’s stout pedigree. And in one of the twists that make the bloodstock world such an interesting place, the story of Kingston Rule’s lineage goes back to the master trainer from the beginning.
Bart part-owned and trained Kingston Rose and it was Cummings who recommended Hains buy her at sale after she retired from racing. The mare was from Sojourner, a half-sister to the flying South Australian filly Proud Miss, tracing back to the mare Opera Bouffe (a daughter of the first imported Melbourne Cup winner Comedy King—2010), who was owned by Cummings’ father Jim, and who provided Cummings snr with his first two Classic winners as a trainer—1928 VRC Oaks winner Opera Queen and 1931 SA Derby winner Opera King. Cummings claims in his book, Bart, that he learned to ride on Opera Bouffe’s grand-daughter Cushla.
Kingston Rule blossomed under Cummings, and won his first race, second up, at a Sandown meeting over 1600m in the autumn of 1990. He progressed so far, that he finished seventh behind Vo Rogue in the Group 1 Australian Cup (wfa 2000m) at Flemington at the end of his first campaign with Cummings.
Kingston Rule, who relished firm ground, missed a run in the Caulfield Cup, but earned his Melbourne Cup start with a win in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2600m). He warmed up for the Cup with a second behind Mount Olympus in The Dalgety (2500m) at Flemington on Derby Day, and dropped from 56kg to 53kg in the Cup. Kingston Rule, beautifully rated by Darren Beadman, tracked the pace in the Cup before taking over on the turn, and then held off The Phantom under hands and heels riding—his winning time of 3min 16.3secs remains a course record for 3200 metres.
“He didn’t come right though until he had fully acclimatised. However, Tom didn’t think he was going to make it,” Hains said.
“I thought he was too good a horse to give up on, a very good looking horse, a classic looking horse. I asked Bart to take him on and he was happy to do so. Tommy though claimed after we’d won the Melbourne Cup that we’d sacked him, and we’d taken the horse from him, but that wasn’t true.”
Hains doesn’t claim genius for the mating—“to put Rose of Kingston, one of the top fillies of the period, to Secretariat, one of the great horses of the era, was just a good idea.
“Like all breeding, I just hoped for the best. You can do the nicks and crosses as a matter of routine, but you can make a story with racehorses in a number of different ways. All on the face of it should be great racehorses, but they are not. The outlying breeds can also produce champions.”
Hains believes though it’s a combination of the great trainers with the right horse, and sometimes the right bloodlines that produce the champions of the turf. “Only a limited number of trainers have the skill level of a Tommy Smith or a Bart Cummings or a Colin Hayes. I’m not suggesting there aren’t some current trainers that have it as well, but that group dominated racing for years and years and years. I think JB (Cummings) has a genius for all horses, but particularly where he has the patience to train Cup winners.”
Kingston Rule broke down after three starts in the autumn of 1991, and Hains retired him to stand at Tim Johnson’s Ealing Park Stud, Euroa. The handsome chestnut hasn’t attracted the cream of the mares, but he eight stakes winners from about 190 winners, includes the outstanding Hains-owned and -bred filly Kensington Palace, who won the 1997 Group 1 VRC Oaks. Kingston Rule, aged 24 by northern hemisphere time in 2010, remains the only Melbourne Cup winner at stud in Australia. In 2009, he covered six mares.
“He’s a lovely old horse,” Johnson said.
Kingston Rule, aged 25, died at Ealing Park on December 2. His youngest progeny are foals in 2011—three colts and a filly from five mares covered in his final season in 2010.
Interestingly, two of those mares travelled all the way from Queensland—the half-sisters Bluegrass Queen (b m 2001, American Odyssey (USA)-Kasisi (IRE), by Bluebird (USA)) and Royal Something (b or br m 2004, Xaar (GB)—for a purpose, to double on the blood of the great broodmare, Somethingroyal (USA) (by Princequillo (IRE)), the dam of Secretariat. The third dam of the two mares, Cherryville (USA), by Correspondent (USA), is daughter of Somethingroyal.
This is an edited extract from The Melbourne Cup, the story of Australia’s greatest race, published by The Slattery Media Group. This magnificent book is for sale at a wonderful price of $30 (down from $100). Go to www.slatteryracingbooks.com and enter the code CHRISTMAS at the check-out or phone (03) 9627 2600.
Last week we lost the only Australian-based Melbourne Cup winner at stud when Kingston Rule died, aged 25, at Ealing Park Stud, Euroa, where he had stood at stud for 20 years.
It’s worth reflecting on the living Melbourne Cup winners and what they are up to.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
The oldest living Emirates Melbourne Cup winner is Just A Dash, who, at the wonderful, amazing age of 35, lives a pampered life with Stephen and Christine Hill at Willow Dene Farm, Dapto, NSW.
The Hills inherited Just A Dash 20 years ago when the 1981 Cup winner failed to make it as a police horse.
“He’s still well, sprightly for his age. He’s rugged in the winter and never misses a feed,” Hill said.
The other living Cup winners are:
Let’s Elope (1991), mare, aged 24—Retired from breeding and lives at Seven Creeks Estate, Euroa. Her last foal was a 2008 filly, Karata, by Elvstroem.
Subzero (1992), gelding, aged 23—The much-loved grey has retired as a clerk of the course mount for Graham Salisbury, based at Heathcote, but he remains an ambassador for racing and visits up to 100 schools a year.
Vintage Crop (1993) gelding, aged 25—Lives in retirement at the Irish National Stud, where he is the most popular horse in the stud tour.
Doriemus (1995) gelding, aged 21—Spends most of his time at Living Legends, near Tullamarine.
Saintly (1996) gelding, aged 19—Lives a useful life as a caretaker to young colts at trainer Bart Cummings’ Princes Farm, Castlereagh, NSW.
Might And Power (1997) gelding, aged 18—Enjoys life as one of the main attractions at Living Legends.
Jezabeel (1998) mare, aged 19—Now owned in WA by breeder Geoff Evans. Her most recent foal was a filly in 2009 by Street Sense, named Broadway And Fifth.
Rogan Josh (1999) gelding, aged 19—Bart Cummings’ 11th Cup winner lives in retirement at Living Legends.
Brew (2000) gelding, aged 17—Unfortunately, Brew failed his test to become a police horse. Now a resident of Living Legends.
Ethereal (2001) mare, aged 15—In September, she foaled a colt by Encosta De Lago at Pencarrow Stud, near Hamilton, in New Zealand.
Makybe Diva (2003, 2004, 2005) mare, aged 13—Produced a colt this spring by champion sire Lonhro. She was mated to Starspangledbanner. The great mare spends most of her time at the stud named in her honour, Makybe, nestled in the Barrabool Hills at Gnarwarre, near Geelong.
Delta Blues (2006) stallion, aged 11 –Delta Blues retired in Japan in 2008, but there is no record of him siring any foals.
Efficient (2007) gelding, aged 8—Nagging injuries have halted the grey gelding’s attempt for a second Cup win, but he returned to racing in the 2011 spring for owner Lloyd Williams.
Shocking (2009) stallion, aged 6—Failed in last year’s Melbourne Cup, but he won the G1 Australian Cup in 2011. Retired soon after to stand at Rich Hill Stud, Walton, New Zealand, where he covered more than 120 mares.
Americain (2010) stallion, aged 7—The first French-trained winner returned to Melbourne for another try at the Cup. Won the G2 Zipping Classic and now trained by David Hayes.
Dunaden (2011) stallion, aged 6—another French-trained winner. This international vagabond followed his wonderful Cup performance with a win in the G1 Hong Kong International Vase on December 11.
Photo: Kingston Rule pictured at Ealing Park in 2010 (photo, Sean Garnsworthy, Slattery Media Group)
It’s a fair distance between Warrnambool and Gosford—you’d need a lot more than a cut lunch to take the drive—but within the space of 15 minutes today, I witnessed two fillies, racing more than 1200 kilometres apart, that could easily clash in an Oaks race in 2012.
At Warrnambool, the lightly framed filly Catalina Sounds powered home to snatch a first-start maiden win over 1400 metres for trainer Peter Moody (pictured) and jockey Linda Meech.
Not long after, a beautiful filly by Singspiel, Zauberflote, in the Darley colours but wearing the gear of trainer Guy Walter (rather than usual Sydney trainer Peter Snowden), charged home late at the end of 1200 metres at Gosford to win at her first start.
Both fillies gave promise of much better things to come, especially when their distances are stretched beyond 1600 metres.
Catalina Sounds (b f 2008, Testa Rossa-Mya, by Desert King (IRE)) is a dead-ringer for her mother, an underrated mare who was part-owned by Moody’s wife Sarah and a group of stable clients; and the group stayed together to breed and race Catalina Sounds.
Mya (b m 1999, from the mare Katie’ ONeill (NZ), by Zabeel (NZ)) was a more than handy galloper for Moody when he first settled to train in Melbourne. She won two of eight starts, including over 2040m at Moonee Valley in 2002, beating Umbula and Mintaka, after which she was injured and spent a year on the sidelines. Mya also was placed at Listed level at Flemington.
The mating to Testa Rossa is a clever one, as it introduced some speed into the pedigree, which allowed Catalina Sounds to be competitive at her first start. The pedigree also boasts a double cross of Danzig, 3×3—a cross that seems to be working well and one that you would rarely see outside of Australia.
Meech said after the race that Catalina Sounds is very immature. “She needs to fill out and strengthen, but she will develop into a good filly when she gets to 2000m or further,” she said.
Zauberflote (b or br f 2008, Singspiel (IRE)-Ideal Lady (IRE), by Seattle Slew (USA)) looks a bit more ready made for the autumn racing, when I expect the Group 1 AJC Oaks (2400m, Randwick), in April, will be her aim. Walter has a fine record of getting lightly raced fillies to peak for that race, and nothing would give him more pleasure than to do it with a filly owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Darley Australia.
Zauberflote (means magic flute in German) went into the Gosford race on the strength of a late-closing second in an 800m trial on a slow track at Warwick Farm, but it was expected the 1200 metres may be a little too short for her. The filly, ridden by Nathan Berry, settled just off midfield, copped a bump early in the straight, before powering home to grab a win on the line.
It was a very impressive performance from a filly with a touch of class, both in her looks and talent.
Her dam, the unraced Ideal Lady (1996 mare), was originally owned and imported by Sheikh Mohammed’s late father’s Gainsborough Stud. She was sold in 2010 to Tony Bott in foal to Street Cry for $80,000 at the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale. She went through the ring in the same sale again this year, in foal to Bernardini, but didn’t make her reserve (passed in on a bid of $60,000).
Ideal Lady’s dam, Insijaam (by Secretariat) won twice at Listed level in France over 1800m and 2000m. She is a half-sister to Stakes winners Hatoof, Irish Prize and Fasateen (check her pedigree)
From six names foals, Ideal Lady is the dam of five winners, including the Stakes-placed Bouboulina (2003 f by Grand Lodge), who was runner-up in the Listed Surrey Stakes at Epsom.
She was one of 17 mares in foal to Singspiel, bred to southern hemisphere time, imported into Australia in 2008. Singspiel stood only one season in Australia, in 2001, when he covered 102 mares at Collingrove Stud in the Hunter Valley. The son of In The Sings (by Sadler’s Wells) sired nine Stakes winners from that single crop, including the very fast mare Rewaaya.
Catalina Sounds might not be as forward as Zauberflote for the autumn racing, so Moody is likely to look at the South Australian Oaks for the filly rather than Sydney. However, not matter what is on their agenda in 2012, their futures are well beyond a couple of country maidens.