Telemon Thoroughbreds - Slipper City!

Sponsored Content - by Greg Tobin - Thursday October 14

It’s a term usually associated with boxers rather than beefy 550kg thoroughbreds, but Dan Fletcher makes a good point by claiming that – ‘pound for pound’ – Telemon Thoroughbreds is one of the most successful stud farms in Australia.

Since being developed in the 1990s by Peter and Wendy Moran, the Queensland property has produced a host of racetrack stars, including Zoustar, Buffering and Gold Edition, while quite a few notable sires have graced the stallion barn too : among them Success Express, Mossman, Written Tycoon (all sires of Golden Slipper winners) and Bel Esprit.

Relaunched as Telemon Thoroughbreds in 2018 by Dan and Rae Fletcher, it didn’t take long for the ball to get rolling again when Kiamichi, by first season sire, Sidestep captured the 2019 Group 1 Golden Slipper.

Sidestep stands at a fee of $11,000, click for more information.

Standing the Exceed And Excel Group winning 2YO (AND Golden Slipper runnerup) in association with Darley, Fletcher is convinced the best is yet to come for Sidestep.

“He (Sidestep) has had four winners in the past week and that was a very good run by his very first QTIS 2YO, Spanish Angels, when third at Eagle Farm last Saturday,” Fletcher points out.

“His runners in Europe are doing the job as well with Theleme winning a Group 1 in France last year and Real Appeal taking out a Group 2 in September – his second Group success since June.

“Commercial breeders including Godolphin have supported Sidestep with some much better mares over the last couple of seasons and they’ll be coming through over the next 12 months or so.

“When you look at what the sires of Golden Slipper winners over the last 10 years or so are standing at, Sidestep – with two Group 1 winners already – represents outstanding value for money ($11,000 fee).”

Jungle Cat (IRE) stands at a fee of $11,000, click for more information.

The association with Darley has also reaped a star prospect in the Iffraaj stallion, Jungle Cat: a Group 1 winner in both hemispheres and a stallion whose first yearlings will be offered at sales in 2022.

Local broodmare owners might not be as familiar with Ifraaj as Kiwi counterparts, but the Zafonic stallion has been nothing short of sensational with 147 stakes horses world-wide – 10 of them Group 1 winners.

And the fastest of all those elite level winners is Jungle Cat who was a Group performer at 2, 3, 4 and 5 before capturing the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai at 6 on his way down under.

At his first start in Australia, Jungle Cat won the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (the only other entire in the last 20 years to do so, while carrying top weight, was none other than exceptional sire Testa Rossa) and finished third to Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 VRC Classic at his farewell to racing.

“Sidestep was heading into his second season after siring his Golden Slipper winner and I approached Vin and Alastair at Darley about Jungle Cat,” Fletcher recalls. “They were set to launch another son of Iffraaj in Ribchester that season, and the prospect of a clash on their roster, plus the success we’d had with Sidestep, opened the door for us.

“To be fair, at that stage we loved Jungle Cat’s raw speed and the fact he was an outcross. We couldn't have imagined then the incredible rise in the standing of Iffraaj as a sire of sires. At Longchamp on Arc day, two of Iffraaj’s sons – Wootton Bassett and young sire Hot Streak – sired Group 1 winners and that has rightly captured breeders focus on this bloodline.

“He’s producing some exceptional types (last month Jungle Cat’s sole entry in the Tattersalls Yearling Sale sold for 60,000 guineas - AUD 115,000). We're very much looking forward to offering his first yearlings In 2022.”

History might be poised to do a good job of repeating itself with the final member of the Telemon roster in 2021 … Zoustar’s flashy performer, Sun City.

Sun City stands at a fee of $7,700, click for more information.

A pre-Christmas, Group winning 2YO, Sun City won the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes and finished runner-up in both the Listed Maribyrnong Trial and Listed Phelan Ready.

Trainer Tony McEvoy, who knows a thing or three about the Zoustars having trained his best runner to date in Sunlight, had a huge opinion on Sun City and believes: “(Sun City) was a genuine Group 1 talent but sadly injury prevented him fulfilling that potential”.

Sun City filly from Transonic.

Fletcher is certainly confident that Sun City will realise that potential from the breeding shed – particularly given the first foals he’s producing.

“Zoustar was bred by Kevin Dixon, who took over the property from the Morans,” Fletcher explains.

“Zoustar has proven himself to be one of the most exciting stallions in the country and that sireline – all the way through … Northern Dancer, Fairy King, Encosta de Lago, Northern Meteor, Zoustar has had, and is having, a massive influence on Australia’s breeding landscape.

“Aside from the Zoustar factor and his genuine precocity, we couldn’t be happier with his first foals and it’s always a good sign when breeders book mares back in again based on what they’re seeing in the foals.”


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