Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday July 30

The $550,000 outlaid by Hawkes Racing for the Star Turn colt Montana Flash represented a high mark for his sire and dam, who descends from a family that once ruled the ring.

In 1967, the Foyster brothers, 32-year-old Lloyd and 25-year-old John, rocked the racing world with a $95,550 spend on four yearlings at the Inglis Easter sale.

The most expensive of these was a colt by Wilkes (FR) out of the Summertime mare Blooming who set a new Australian record for a yearling when hammered down for $39,900.

That bettered the previous record set twelve months earlier when Tommy Smith bought an Agricola (GB) colt out of the Faux Tirage (GB) mare Pink Pearl for $33,600.

Neither were world-beaters, nor were they flops. The Agricola (GB) colt named Jupiter won seven and placed in nine of his 33 starts earning 23,710, while the Wilkes colt, High Sierra, won 14 and placed in 18 of his 81 starts while banking $25,805.

Eleven years after Blooming’s record priced Wilkes colt, Blooming’s daughter Valour set a new mark when her Mount Hagen colt became the first yearling to make $100,000.

Named Hipala, the Mount Hagen colt was injured before he raced and proved of little account.

Valour was a tough, hardy mare making 52 starts for nine wins and ten placings.

The daughter of Wilkes proved invaluable for Newhaven Park, leaving three stakes-winners, the dual Listed winner Artist Man (Boucher) and Sudden (Boucher) and Worth (Luskin Star), who both won the Blue Diamond Prelude.

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Sudden produced one of the best fillies to emerge from the famed Boorawa property, the 1992 2yo Triple Crown heroine Burst.    

Worth’s three-quarter-sister Best Effort (Luskin Star) won little more than a Mornington maiden in six starts. She is the dam of five winners, the best of which is the Hennesey (USA) mare Allez France.

When you name a horse after one of the all-time greats, you want to hope it can gallop. Luckily the Australian version could, with a win in the Listed AJC Keith Mackay Hcp, while placing in the Group III SAJC Ausraria stakes, Listed BTC Doomben Slipper and Listed AJC James Carr Stakes.

Allez France made a quick start to her broodmare career with her first named foal, Superfly winning the Listed AJC Widden Stakes and second foal Montelimar being stakes-placed.

While she has not built on that, Allez France has built a solid record. Her daughter Dukemore (Encosta de Lago), a $150,000 purchase by Mick Price at the 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, made just one start.

The $550,000 Star Turn colt Montana Flash

A heavily backed favourite to make a winning debut at Seymour, she trailed home last of the ten runners, and it was off to stud.

Traded twice in 2014 for $21,000 and $31,000, Dukemore had three yearlings go through the ring making $50,000 (by Smart Missile), $41,000 (by Rothesay) and $60,000 (by Rich Enuff) before Montana Flash entered the ring at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

So, when the gavel fell at $550,000, it proved a jaw-dropping result for the breeder Winjana Park and consignor Glenlogan Park.

It was a testament to the flashy chestnut’s striking conformation, bearing a striking resemblance to his sire Star Turn.

The Vinery stallion has made an excellent start to his stud career.  His total number of winners is second only to Capitalist among the first-season sires and fifth on earnings.

As we have said many times, check the service fee of those stallions around him, then the son of Star Witness looks a rare bargain at a fee of $16,500.

Montana Flash is likely to need further than the 1000 metres of the opening race at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

He has shown ability in five starts to date. He was less than half a length from the winner Zethus when fourth in the Group III Canonbury Stakes at Rosehill in January and has not been seen out since and even fifth in the Listed St Albans Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 13.

Star Turn

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