Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Thursday May 31

Racing or breeding thoroughbreds can be a great test of character but occasionally there are those rare jewels that prove heartbreakingly frustrating on the track that excels at stud.

For Paul Favretto and Paul Rowe that gem is Top Cuban.

A $92.500 weanling and a $220,000 Magic Millions Yearling, Top Cuban began her career on the track on a promising note.

Trained by Graeme Rogerson the daughter of Anabba was second at Canterbury on debut before breaking her maiden at her second start at Kembla Grange.

It encouraged connections to take a shot at the Listed Keith Mackay Quality at Randwick but she trailed home last of the eight runners and after that her career was largely a non-event.

After finishing last at Kembla and seventh in a class 1 at the Gold Coast, Top Cuban career closed with a record of 1 win and 3 places from 13 starts with earnings of $26,750.

Then the magic happened. In her relatively short stud career to date, Top Cuban has been nothing short of a goldmine.

The first four foals out of Top Cuban have averaged over $962,000 in the sale ring.

Her first date was with Starcraft and she left a colt that made $290,000 at the Magic Millions to the bid of Blue Sky Thoroughbreds.

That colt was named Havana who won the Group III Fred Best Classic at Doomben in 2014 and was third to Criterion in the Group II Todman Stakes when trained by Paul Messara.

Sent back to Starcraft, Top Cuban produced Jing Jing Win, a $360,000 Easter yearling purchase for the Hong Kong Jockey Club who won a couple of races for David Hall.

After missing for two seasons, Top Cuban foaled a Redoute’s Choice colt named Eltizaam who was knocked down to Shadwell Stud For $1.5 million at the 2016 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

He has yet to win in eight starts although he is not without ability having run three placings including a last start second at Pakenham. (Good timing  Eltizaam broke his maiden today at Pakenham) . His full brother is due to go under the hammer at the National Yearling Sale 

There is no disputing Top Cuban can leave a good-looking foal and her 2016 colt, by reigning champion Snitzel, elicited a bid of $1.7 million by George Moore Bloodstock at the 2017 Easter Yearling Sale.

Sent to Team Hawkes, that colt named Diplomatico (pictured as a yearling) will carry the colours of John Moore at his career debut in Saturday’s 2yo Handicap over 1200 metres at Rosehill Gardens.

There is plenty of depth to her pedigree. The daughter of Anabba is out of the Seattle Slew mare Super Seleccion (CAN) who is a three-quarter sister to Slew City Slew.

Winner of the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap and the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap, Slew City Slew proved himself to be one of the top sons of the champion Seattle Slew at stud.

He left one of the most popular horses to grace the turf in the US in the early part of this century, Lava Man.

Between 2005 and 2007, Lava Man who won three consecutive runnings of the Hollywood Gold Cup, consecutive runnings of the Santa Anita Handicap plus the Pacific Classic Stakes and the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap, all Grade Ones.

Slew City Slew’s dam and Top Cuban’s third dam is the durable Weber City Miss (Berkley Prince) whose 17 wins included the Grade I Beldame Stakes.