Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday September 3

It is a long way from an 1100m maiden at Tatura to a Listed race over 1200m at Moonee Valley but we will be putting out faith in the Vancouver filly Night Raid to make the quantum leap in Saturday’s Atlantic Jewel Stakes.

The wide angle lens was needed for Night Raid's win at Tatura (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained filly won like the $1.20 shot she was at Tatura leading at every call in a 7-length romp.

That came some 32 weeks after her career debut over a 1000 metres at Flemington on New Year’s Day.

On that occasion, she raced just off the pace and looked likely to be swamped in the closing stages. However, she began to rally, and on the line ran up the backside of Bombay Rocket who was edged out by A Beautiful Night.

I can still get excited by seeing Bletchingly in pedigrees and when it comes through one of his greatest daughters it’s doubly exciting.

The story of Night Raid’s fourth dam Emancipation may have been done to death but it’s worthy of a quick recap.

Dubbo farmer Mark Hough went to a mixed sale in 1976 where he purchased the mare Ammo Girl for just $1,700.

Bred by Tommy Smith, Ammo Girl was a daughter of Smith’s great champion Gunsynd out of the Sostenuto mare Miss Wendy who was a Sydney winning half-sister to Smith’s Golden Slipper winner Hartshill.

The price reflected the fact that Ammo Girl was so upright in her pasterns it looked as if she was on stilts and was destined to never race.

There was no instant joy for Hough. Ammo Girl missed to Tattenham in her first season and then had a dead foal by Starplus. It was third-time lucky producing Emancipation to a $1,500 service fee by Bletchingly.  She missed the following two seasons to John’s Hope and Shifway before producing the Listed VRC Waltzing Lily Quality winner Deliberation (Shifway).

Renowned judge Les Young took a fancy to Emancipation when inspecting her in her paddock at Dubbo and took up an option to lease her for the Muskoka Farm syndicate.

Night Raid was a $160,000 Magic Millions Yearling

The gangling grey went on to win 19 races including the AJC Doncaster Hcp, George Main Stakes, All-Aged Stakes, STC George Ryder Stakes twice and the Rosemount Wines Classic at the highest level.

She was a great horse in a great era.

Emancipation had seven foals, five of them fillies with her best being the Group II AJC Frank Packer Plate winner and Group 1 AJC Derby runner-up Royal Pardon, a son of Vice Regal.

Three of her daughters produced stakes winners.

La Suffragette (Palace Music) is the dam of the Group 1 MRC Caulfield Cup and Group 1 AJC Metropolitan H., winner Railings (Zabeel).

Virage (Kenmare) is the dam of the Group 1 MVRC Australia Stakes and Group 1 QTC Sires' Produce Stakes winner Virage De Fortune (Anabaa) and the 4-time Group III winner Avenue (Anabaa).

Incidentally, I believe Virage De Fortune’s son Barbados (Redoute’s Choice) is an underappreciated stallion.

The third daughter of Emancipation to produce a stakes-winner is Animation (Vice Regal) the dam of the Group II VATC Perrier Stakes winner Magneto (Scenic).

A grey like her great-granddam Emancipation, Raid was a $380,000 Inglis Easter Broodmare purchase

Emancipation’s daughter Principation (Prince Echo) had a couple of stakes-placed winners and has a thriving line through her daughter Vanilla Sky (O’Reilly).

Purchased for $95,000 at the 2001 NZB Premier Yearling Sale the daughter of O’Reilly was a two-time winner and is the dam of five winners to date headed by Night Raid’s dam Raid (Pins) a 5-time winner including the Listed Lion Red Plate and was runner-up in the Group 1 Diamond Stakes and third in the Group II Matamata Breeders' Stakes and Karaka Million.

Vanilla Sky is also the dam of the very accomplished, stakes-placed Savabeel mare Cruising Speed as well as Purely Spectacular (Pins) the dam of that mighty warrior, dual Group 1 winner Stratum Star who like his sire Stratum and Bletchingly stands at the famed widen Stud.

Raid was a $250,000 purchase at the 2007 NZB Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka. She is carrying on excellent record on the track at stud.

Her first five foals are all winners with Mujallad (Redoute’s Choice) being Group III placed in South Africa and Tarismo (Testa Rossa) earning black-type in Macau.

Raid was purchased for $380,000 by the Paul Willetts Bloodstock Consultancy for Unencumbered Syndicate at the 2016 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale when carrying a filly by Shotting To Win.


Consigned to the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, the Shooting To Win filly made $200,000 to the bid of Barry and Jan McRostie.

Named Platinum Bullet she has won three and placed in three of her 13 runs to date in WA.

In 2017, Raid visited the Golden slipper winner Vancouver in his first season at Coolmore Stud and Night Raid is the result.

Consigned by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds to the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Night Raid was hammered down to Sheamus Mills Bloodstock (FBAA)/Mick Price Racing for $160,000.

It has not been smooth sailing for Raid since. She missed in 2017 and 2018 and was covered by the sub-fertile Kementari last spring before visiting Shooting To Win later in the season.

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