Sylvia’s Mother prevails in Frances Tressady

Sylvia's Mother (yellow & pink silks) prevails in a hectic battle for the Frances Tressady S. G3 at Flemington. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

It’s likely that spectators of a certain age start humming the famous 1972 hit song whenever Sylvia’s Mother races, and especially when she wins with the implacable authority she displayed in Saturday’s $160,000 VRC Frances Tressady S. 1400m G3.

In a busy finish, the 4YO daughter of Snitzel proved too strong, winning in 1:21.96 while Mamzelle Tess and Fidelia (by Not A Single Doubt) filled the placings. 

Co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said, “We thought if she ran out a strong 1400 metres, which she did, she would win. She’s a pretty good mare. She wants to win and she tries really hard.”

It’s fair to say that owner-breeders Rob & Pam Crosby were doing more than humming as they cheered home Sylvia’s Mother, then watched their 5YO mare Dawn Dawn, also trained by Team Hawkes, win the ATC Guy Walter S. G2 at Randwick.

As Rob Crosby said on Sunday morning, “The beauty of the song is you can make up your own words and yesterday Sylvia’s Mother said ‘Come on Dawn Dawn, we’ll show them the way!'”

The interstate Group race double is easily the best single-day result of the Crosbys’ decade-long thoroughbred breeding career, and a remarkable achievement from the band of five or six mares based on their Kansas Angus beef operation at Boggabri & Tamworth in New South Wales. 

Rob explains their selection of Snitzel for Found The One as “a bit of research plus [former Arrowfielder, now bloodstock agent] Andy Williams! And we like to go to the stallion parades to match on type rather than pedigree.”  

Japanese Horse of the Year Maurice also took Rob’s eye. “I fell in love with Maurice, and I like the fact he had stress put on him because he travelled and performed.” 

The Crosbys have bred twice to Maurice, a colt ex Golden Eagle sold as a weanling for $130,000 and a “beautiful” 2019 filly ex Holy Cleopatra that the Crosbys hope to retain, “if we keep on winning big races.”

Sylvia’s Mother is certainly making a solid contribution to the Crosbys’ racing account. The Frances Tressady is her 7th win and second consecutive Group victory, after the Geoffrey Bellmaine S. G3 at Caulfield three weeks ago, and takes her career earnings beyond $450,000.  

Sylvia’s Mother has now supplied two of Snitzel’s 16 stakes wins so far this season. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

The $600,000 Coolmore Classic G1 at Rosehill on 14 March is the likely next target for Sylvia’s Mother & Dawn Dawn, and both mares also hold nominations for the $1 million Coolmore Legacy S. G1 at The Championships on 11 April.

The Crosbys bred Sylvia’s Mother from Found The One, a city-winning daughter of Bel Esprit, described by Rob as “a clone of Black Caviar” and bought for $220,000 from the 2013 Patinack Farm Reduction Sale at Magic Millions. (Dawn Dawn’s dam Dawned was a $45,000 buy from the same Sale.) The family traces to the 1920 English One Thousand Guineas winner and influential matriarch Cinna, through her daughter Belle Mere, a sister of multiple Champion Sire Beau Pere. 

Sylvia’s Mother is Found The One’s only winner to date, but the Crosbys have three half-sisters in the pipeline, namely 3YO filly Dis Dah Wun (by Dissident), a yearling filly by Pride of Dubai and a weanling filly by Rubick as well as a prospective 2020 foal by Snitzel’s champion son Trapeze Artist. 

As for Snitzel, he made another headline on Sunday when his $725,000 yearling son out of Jestajingle topped the opening session at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.

Snitzel heads the current Australian General Sires’ list by Stakeswinners (11) and Stakes Wins (16) and, with $10.2 million prizemoney, is less than $260,000 behind the earnings leader I Am Invincible. 

Snitzel has a stellar draft of 64 yearlings on offer at Inglis Easter 2020 including 12 colts & 14 fillies in Arrowfield’s consignment.

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