Industry Debate: The new whip rules

The controversial new whip rules are collaring significant column space in the press at the

moment. Here is JM’s position (as outlined in a letter to Bob Bentley at Queensland Racing):

Dear Bob,

I write to you about the new whip rules. I am afraid that they are creating outcomes which I am sure were not intended when the rules were introduced. A major inequity occurred on Saturday in the G3 Silver Shadow Stakes, which no doubt you have heard and read about. The result of that race may well have been altered because the jockey of the second placed horse stayed within the rules whilst the winning jockey ignored them. There is no power of redress, no way of changing the result, no means of protesting. In fact, there is no natural justice in the situation – all the wrong parties have suffered here, including the winning jockey who was penalized for trying too hard to win.

I fully understand why this rule was initiated. The motivation was good and I presume it was introduced to pre-empt animal welfare protests. However, the last few days of racing have shown us that the rule is dysfunctional and will create anomalies which may bring racing itself into disrepute and could scare off owners and punters. We must use the events of the last few days as a warning of what will continue to occur. I urge you to act now to revise this rule. As with many rules, modifications take place after the practical effect of the initial changes become evident.

Your introduction of the padded whip may be a good innovation. However, jockeys should be able to use their own discretion in the use of that whip and if they use the whip excessively with no obvious benefit, then they should be called in by the stewards and cautioned and/or fined. Full Stop.

Bob, there is furious debate on this at the moment amongst owners and punters here and we are looking to our administrators to take leadership and revise this rule immediately, given that we are already into the Spring Carnival. You will not be criticised for making changes, to the contrary, you will be praised for amending an untenable situation.

There are so many more pressing issues in our industry which are difficult to solve – but this is one you can fix.

Best on Breeding: Headway

Her trainer once described her as a ‘little roly-poly thing’ but Headway proved she was among the best two-year old fillies in the nation last season while being the major contributor to her sire Charge Forward being crowned the Champion first season sire.

The Peter Moody-trained filly was second at Seymour when making her debut back in January then reeled of three consecutive wins culminating in the G3 AJC Sweet Embrace Stakes at Randwick on March 14. But her biggest payday came at her following start when earning $620,000 for finishing second to Phelan Ready in the G1 STC Golden Slipper.

In five starts, Headway returned earnings of $776263 to owner Tony Santic who secured the filly for $175,000 from the Turangga Farm consignment at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

She is the first foal of the Flying Spur mare Chatelaine, herself trained by Moody, whose long list of near misses in stakes races included runner-up efforts in the G2 AJC Silver Shadow Stakes, G3 STC Research Stakes and AJC Widden Stakes LR.

Headway makes her seasonal bow in the Listed Quezette Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday. She lines up against a quality field including VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Rostova (Testa Rossa), the dual Listed winner Come Hither (Redoute’s Choice), Karrakatta Plate winner Gold Rocks (Oratorio), Merson Copper Stakes winner Corsaire (Anabaa), the ever consistent Tariks (Rock Of Gibraltar) and the promising Noesis (Exceed And Excel) a hugely impressive winner at Flemington at her only start back in October last year.

Source: Mark Smith, Breednet

Australian Bred Charge Forward Son Wins in NZ

Resuming from a 44 week layoff, Australian-bred 3YO gelding Gaston (Charge Forward ex Capto, by Octagonal) scored a 2 length victory over 1000m in NZ at just his second start yesterday.

Gaston was a $230,000 yearling consigned at the 2008 Inglis Easter Sale in Sydney.

He becomes the 9th individual first crop winner for Charge Forward adding to 7 Australian winners (including the stakes winner and G1 placed Headway and stakesplaced Carlton Forward) and Vilmart – a winner in Japan.

Musir, The First Of Many

The easy win of four year-old gelding Chilled at Eagle Farm on Saturday again highlighted the potential of blending the blood of our two champion sires as he is by Redoute’s Choice from a daughter of Encosta de Lago in Lady Mulroy, the same cross that produced recent South African Group One winner Musir.

Prepared by Mike de Kock for Sheikh Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Musir cruised home by three and a half lengths in the Group One Golden Horseshoe for two year-olds at Greyville in South Africa back in late June becoming the very first stakes-winner bred on this cross.

Musir is a homebred for the Sheikh and was offered at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale by Coolmore as agent, passing in shy of his $1million reserve and subsequently sent to South Africa.

A son of champion sire Redoute’s Choice, Musir is the first foal of stakes-placed Encosta de Lago mare Dizzy de Lago, and one can only wonder if he might be the first of many superior racehorses resulting from crossing our two best stallions.

While it would seem an obvious thing to try Encosta de Lago mares with Redoute’s Choice, the mating has in fact been done sparingly with only one other three year-old bred that way in unraced gelding Essington, a $150,000 purchase for Nick Williams from Part Two of the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Of the current season two year-olds again there is just one, a colt from Slice of Paradise that was secured by Blue Sky Thoroughbreds for $1million at the 2009 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and coming through as yearlings are just two fillies from Brockman’s Lass and Majestic Harmony.

While the practice of mating Danehill (USA) mares to Encosta de Lago has been commonplace and resulted in stakes-winners such as Rocha, Merlene de Lago, Dan de Lago and Largo Lad, daughters of Redoute’s Choice have been somewhat sparse in the recent books of Australia’s reigning champion sire.

Encosta de Lago has just one three year-old colt bred from a Redoute’s Choice mare and it’s the unraced three year-old Tom’s Eighth that made $210,000 at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and is from Diva’s Magic.

On the two year-old front we have a filly from former top-line mare Lotteria to look forward to and colts from stakes-winners Provence ($625,000 Inglis Easter) and Tahni Girl, plus a filly from Ravishing Choice, a full sister to brilliant filly Amelia’s Dream.

Yearlings in the pipeline include a filly from Group One winner Cheeky Choice, another filly from Lotteria, also fillies from Presenting, Modellista and colts from Provence and Ravishing Choice.

Given the success of Musir and also outstanding Australian three year-old Manhattan Rain, who is by Encosta de Lago from the dam of Redoute’s Choice, this is a cross that will be watched closely over the next few years by our leading commercial breeders.

Source: Tara Madgwick, Breednet

2009 Stud Olympics

The Linga Longa Inn at Gundy hosted the inaugural Stud Olympics on Sunday, August 2.

Teams of four participated in a range of events including the king of the hill, slam dunk bungee, wrap and rug the brumby and are you smarter than a 10 year old quiz.

The Stud Olympics was organised by Kitchwin Hills stud and the Linga Longa Inn to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Institute of Australia.

Both Arrowfield and Bellerive fielded a team – congratulations to all participants, particularly the Bellerive team who finished 6th overall (Widden Stud taking out this year’s honours).