Polar Blast out of Country Cups Challenge

Cairns Cit Cup winner not eligible for Country Cups final

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For the second time in succession Tolga trainer Janel Ryan has prepared horses that won qualifying races for the Battle of the Bush and Country Cups Challenge series but have been no-shows for the final.

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Phillip Bate

Phillip Bate

ALONG with many other breeding enthusiasts, I was delighted when the doyen of racing journalists, Brian Russell re-commenced his respected newsletter Australian Thoroughbred after several months absence.

One of the stories covered the recent win by Kolding in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap where Russell highlighted Kolding's spectacular Queensland connections - not only his Brisbane owner Nev Morgan but the fact that every one of the first eight dams on the bottom line of Kolding's pedigree were bred in Queensland. Indeed six of them were got by Darling Downs sires - the exceptions being his first and eighth dams, Magic Star and Pet Girl respectively.

With Kolding's Epsom win recorded five weeks ago on October 5, Russell's report was old news. So I was delighted when Kolding backed-up to win the inaugural 1500m Golden Eagle run at Rosehill last Saturday, November 2 which allows me to again highlight several aspects of Russell's story.

Trained by Chris Waller, Kolding is the first Group 1 winner for New Zealand-based sire Ocean Park whose five Group 1 wins in Australia and New Zealand included the Cox Plate and Rosehill Guineas. He in turn is by Group1 QTC Stradbroke Handicap winner Thorn Park. The Golden Eagle wining prizemoney of $4.1 million sent Kolding's prizemoney past $5.1 million with eight wins and four placings from 15 starts.

His dam Magic Star - a $60,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling and a non-earner in four starts - was bred in Queensland by Mrs Sandra Pegler having sent the mare to Danehill Golden Slipper winner Danzero at Arrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW.

A $170,000 yearling sold in New Zealand, Kolding races for Queensland owner Neville Morgan. In addition to having earlier raced Group1 winners Kermadek and Rangirangdoo, Morgan was one of the slot owners associated with this year's Everest winner Yes Yes Yes. For good measure, Morgan owned the first winner on Saturday's Melbourne's Derby Day program Kemalpasa plus a winner in Adelaide Korodon (NZ) - both trained in Adelaide by Richard and Chantelle Jolly.

Plentiful winners in maternal pedigree

Pedigree details extracted by Brian Russell from the Arion pedigree statistical service show Kolding's first eight dams in ascension were:

  • Magic Star (Danzero; unplaced),
  • This Way Up (Semipalatinsk (USA), stood Eureka Stud, Cambooya; minor winner at two),
  • Upside Down (Head Over Heels (Fr), stood Lyndhurst, Warwick Qld; unraced),
  • Young Malty (Young Brolga, another Eureka sire; smart Brisbane 2YO),
  • Maltmaid (Malt Denis, Queensland-bred sire used Torrington Stud, Toowoomba; Queensland Oaks winner),
  • Anniversary (Corban (Ire); unraced),
  • Spear Queen (by Melbourne Cup winner Spearfelt, stood Alma Vale Stud, Greenmount; unraced) and
  • Pet Girl (Queensland breeder, P J Ryan, but by Widden Valley sire, Sir Dighton (GB);unraced.

Russell reports there have been about 50 winners produced collectively by these eight mares with the best dam being Magic Star. All her seven starters were successful including Kolding, New Zealand Group 2 winner Sampson (Dubai Destination (USA) and Miss Upstart (Snippetson filly, NZ Listed winner).

These three winners came after NSW breeder Warren Pegg bought Magic Star carrying Miss Upstart for $34,000 at a Gold Coast mare sale. She is a half-sister to Make Mine Magic, a gelding bred by Sandra Pegler by Lyndhurst stud, Warwick used Canadian Silver (Can), bought and raced by the astute syndicator Peter Tighe (Magic Millions Racing) at a Brisbane yearling sale for only $5500 who won 14 races, including seven stakes up to Group 2 QTC Grand Prix and Byrne Hart. Make Mine Magic finished in the first four in 18 stakes, including fourth twice in the Group 1 QTC Stradbroke.

Ineligible for Challenge final

Polar Blast ridden by Les Tilley and trained by Janel Ryan, Tolga returns to scale after winning the Cairns City Cup. Picture - Mike Mills.

Polar Blast ridden by Les Tilley and trained by Janel Ryan, Tolga returns to scale after winning the Cairns City Cup. Picture - Mike Mills.

For the second time in succession Tolga trainer Janel Ryan has prepared horses that won qualifying races for the Battle of the Bush and Country Cups Challenge series but have been no-shows for the final.

Back in June, How Can I Help claimed the final spot in the second Battle of the Bush final by winning the postponed Mareeba heat reprogrammed to Cairns on Monday, June 10 however did not make the long trip south.

Then last Sunday, Ryan's horse Polar Blast won the 1400m Cairns City Cup - his third win in succession. However, one of the conditions for a horse to qualify is they must have started a minimum five times at a non-TAB meeting in the last 12 months.

"Unfortunately, the only non-TAB meeting he's started in was at Innisfail where he won at his previous start, so he's not eligible for the final," she said.

A 6YO gelding by Smart Missile from the Storm Cat (USA) mare Driven Snow (USA) - a daughter of four time USA Group 1 winner Wandesta - Polar Blast now has nine wins and nine placings from 27 starts.

While Polar Blast is ineligible for the Country Cups Challenge final, Janel Ryan does have another horse qualified because at the same Innisfail meeting, her 6YO gelding We Just Love It won the 2000m Innisfail Cup. Both winners were ridden by Australian Hall of Fame jockey Robert Thompson.

With Polar Blast ineligible, runner-up in the Cairns City Cup, Buxton should be the substitute qualifier for the final. In fact, it will be second time lucky for the 5YO gelding trained by Mareeba-based Lisa Donovan as he was also runner-up to Mason's Chance in a qualifying race at Bowen.

San Vincenzo is multiple Cups winner

San Vincenzo was bred and bought to be a 'Cups horse' and now he has four - the 1200m Wandoan Cup, 1400m Tambo Cup and 1500m Jandowae Cup last year plus last Saturday's 1400m Yeppoon Cup, which is also a qualifying race for the Country Cups Challenge final to be held in Brisbane on November 30.

A member of dual Cox Plate winner So You Think's first foal crop, 6YO gelding San Vincenzo is from the winning Desert Prince (Ire) mare Stage Beauty who is a half-sister to dual Group 2 winner I Am A Ripper and Murphy's Arch - dam of Group 3 winner Murphy's Blu Boy.

With such pedigree credentials, bloodstock agent Paul Moroney paid $310,000 for him at the 2015 Magic Millions yearling sale and gave him to his brother - Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mike Moroney.

San Vincenzo began his racing career as a 3YO in Victoria where he won races at Ballarat and Benalla. However, his form slumped as an early 4YO so he was sold online through Inglis for $22,500 to St George-based Graham Whipple and family who placed him with Roma trainer Craig Smith.

Under Smith's care, San Vincenzo won three Cups races last year at Wandoan, Tambo and Jandowae before it was decided to try him on bigger tracks in central Queensland. He was subsequently transferred to Rockhampton trainer Ricky Vale who prepared sprinter Mr Attitude to be Racing Queensland's Provincial Horse of the Year for the 2018/19 season. The move has paid off with two further wins at Yeppoon plus placings at Rockhampton and Mackay.

Aquis spills tears for Spill The Beans

Spill The Beans, who shuttled to the National Stud for the 2018 northern hemisphere breeding season, died suddenly at Aquis Stud, Canungra on Friday morning, November 1.

The son of champion sire Snitzel captured the Group 2 QTC Cup as a 3YO before retiring to Aquis Farm's stallion base in Canungra, where he had been in high demand throughout his short career at stud, covering 489 mares in his first three seasons. Spill The Beans covered 202 in his first year alone, making him the most popular newcomer to stud in Australia in 2016.

Among his first crop of runners are his sons Tennessee Boy and Molongle Drifter, who completed a quinella for the sire at Townsville last Sunday, October 27.

Aquis managing director Shane McGrath said: "It's always devastating to lose a stallion, but with Spill The Beans we felt we had something very special. As one of the first stallions secured to stand at Aquis, he had a special place in the hearts of the entire team."

Spill The Beans began his career with back-to-back wins to end his juvenile season unbeaten. At three, he captured the Group 3 Hawkesbury Guineas before highlighting his class once again when successful in the Group 2 QTC Cup, which was to be his final race start.

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