search the site
Larneuk’s brave new world
Neville Murdoch summed up the philosophy of his progressive farm, Larneuk Stud, perfectly when he said: “We are just a small farm having a red hot go.”
Murdoch made the comment when the ink was still wet on the contract after signing on star Sydney galloper Ilovethiscity to stand his first season at the Euroa farm.
It was a brave move, because Murdoch also was in the middle of a marketing campaign for another first-season stallion, the Australian-bred, Hong Kong star One World.
Only the “big boys” of Australian breeding—Darley, Coolmore, Widden and Arrowfield—would attempt to market two first-season stallions in one season; and Murdoch is trying to do it with two horses in a similar price bracket.
Ilovethiscity (ch h 2008, Magic Albert-Kensington Rose (NZ), by Kenfair (NZ)) will stand for a fee of $8800; One World (b h 2004, Danehill Dancer (IRE)-River Serenade, by Hurricane Sky) will cover his first book at a fee of $6600. The new stallions will join O’Lonhro (by Lonhro) and Bramshaw (by Encosta De Lago) in the 80-hectare farm’s stallion barn.
Murdoch said he had his eye on the two stallions for some time, and when Ilovethiscity came on to the market late in May it was a case of “I have to get him”.
“I don’t see it as a risk. I think it is an exciting time for us to have two new horses to present to breeders.
“The two stallion won’t compete for the same mares, because they offer broodmare owners two different sire lines. One World is a Danehill-line stallion, whereas Ilovethiscity is by Magic Albert, a son of Zeditave, so he is an outcross for Danehill-line mares.
“We have been delighted with the response to O’Lonhro. He has had two good seasons and his foals have been well received, so it is exciting times for Larneuk to have his first crop heading towards the yearling sales (in 2013) and these two new horses on the books,” Murdoch said.
Murdoch expects Ilovethiscity, who had most of his success on Sydney tracks, including brilliant wins in the 2011 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m, Randwick) and the 2011 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m, Rosehill), to attract a number of mares from across the border. “He had a great action and a brilliant turn of foot, which is what you need in a stallion,” he said.
Ilovethiscity retires as the best son of Magic Albert, a stallion whose stocks have risen dramatically in the past two years. Importantly, he comes from a dam line that also has produced two champion stallions—Lonhro and Grosvenor.
One World has been at Larneuk for some months after finishing his outstanding racing career in Hong Kong, where he was one of the top sprinters racing against world-class opposition for three years.
Murdoch is confident that the Hong Kong racing scene will become a source of stallions for Australia’s market. “Hong Kong has a very similar racing style to Australia, so the good horses from there, especially those bred in Australia, are a perfect fit,” he said.
He has been encouraged by the success at stud in Queensland of another former Hong Kong sprinter, the Danehill-son Hidden Dragon. Importantly, One World was a much higher-rated horse in Hong Kong than Hidden Dragon.
One World’s most impressive performance was his dead-heat with the great Rocket Man in the 2010 Group 2 HKJC Sprint Trial (1200m, Sha Tin), and in his wake was the champion Sacred Kingdom. This was at a time when Rocket Man and Sacred Kingdom were rated the best sprinters in the world.
One World, an imposing individual, represents the wonderful Danehill-Star Kingdom cross—in fact, he has a triple cross of Star Kingdom on his dam side—and he is a three-quarter brother to the top Australian sprinter, First Command.
Victorian breeders should dip their lids to Neville Murdoch for having a dip.
Photo: One World with Neville Murdoch.