Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday May 6

There are no shortages of challengers willing to spoil the party for Explosive Jack, who looks to add Saturday’s $500,000 Group 1 South Australia Derby to a trophy cabinet that already houses the Tasmanian and ATC Australian Derbies.

Just two fillies will take their place headed by the VRC Oaks heroine Personal (Fastnet Rock), who will need to overcome barrier 16.

Punters still crying over Deepstrikes luckless run in the Group III Chairman’s Stakes at Morphettville will be keen to back up here. A son of Tavistock out of a Zabeel mare, there is no denying Deepstikes credentials on breeding.

Liqueuro captures the Galilee Series Final (images Grant Courtney)

The Melbourne Cup hero Fiorente (IRE) has two chances in the Matt Cuani-trained Nobel Heights and the Cindy Alderson-trained Liqueuro.

We will settle on Liqueuro to provide Fiorente (IRE) with his first Group 1 winner.

The winner of four of his five starts, including a last-start victory in the Listed Galilee Series Final at Caulfield, Liqueuro has a decision over Explosive Jack in the St Leger Trial at Bendigo.

Supporters of Explosive Jack will rightly claim that he conceded Liqueuro 3kg that day and was taking ground off him quickly at the finish.

Still, Liqueuro hit the front a long way out, and he is a winner.

Passed in when failing to make his $30,000 reserve at the 2019 Adelaide Yearling Sale, Liqueuro races for a group that includes his breeder Dali Drazetic and the Satchell family whose Willow Grove Stud consigned the son of Fiorente (IRE).

There is no shortage of classic bloodlines in Liqueuro’s make-up.

His fourth dam, Kiss Me Cait (Showdown), won the 1971 VRC Oaks.

Bred to Planet Kingdom, Kiss Me Cait produced Catie’s Kingdom. Purchased by Dr George Footit Catie’s Kingdom never raced due to a heart strain.  She did, however, become an outstanding producer.

On the advice of Bart Cummings, Dr Footit sent Catie’s Kingdom to Water Mill in her first year. The result was Cate’s Mill.

Not suited to the hustle and bustle of a city stable Cate’s Mill found a home with one of Dr Footit’s patients, the Cranbourne trainer Paddy Lynch.

After breaking her maiden at Moe at her fifth start, it took another 11 runs for Cate’s Mill to salute again. It came with a three-length score in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2500m) at Flemington. Three starts later, she added the Listed Duke Of Norfolk Stakes (3200m) at Flemington.

So, Catie’s Kingdom was off to a fine starts in her broodmare career. She would leave four stakes-winners and a stakes-placegetter among her seven winners from ten to race, but there was little doubt her second foal was a standout.

He was Prince Salieri. As the name suggests, a son of Salieri, Prince Salieri won 10 races highlighted by the Group 1 QTC Castlemaine Stakes (now the JJ Atkins) and the Group 1 VATC Underwood Stakes.

Lamora, a daughter of Marscay and  Catie’s Kingdom, produced the Group 1 George Main Stakes winner Mr Celebrity.

Arias, a sister to Prince Salieri, was not in her brothers class, but she did win races at Newcastle and Kembla Grange in an 11-start career.

Her broodmare career was also undistinguished leaving four winners from seven to reach the track.

Liqueuro failed to make his $30,000 reserve at the Adelaide Magic Millions

One of those non-winners was Little Darring, who came from the second of five crops left in Australia by the great Galileo (IRE).

It took just one run by Little Darring to realise her future was not on the racetrack. She trailed home last of 13 runners in a 1400m maiden at Murray Bridge.

Before the emergence of Liqueuro, Little Darring had failed to distinguish herself with her first three foals failing to reach the winner circle.

After foaling a colt by Free Eagle (IRE) in 2018, Little Darring missed to Inference, and there has not been a mare return since.

Now under the management of Widden Stud, Victoria, Fiorente (IRE) needs a top-flight winner. His popularity has waxed and waned over the years. His book of 68 mares in 2020 was his lowest in seven years and less than half that of his previous season despite a significant drop in the service fee.

Here’s hoping that Liqueuro or Nobel Heights can put the VRC Melbourne Cup and VRC Australian Cup hero back in the spotlight on Saturday.

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