Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday January 18

Godolphin’s return to the sales ring in 2018 has already reaped a huge reward with last week’s Magic Millions 2yo Classic winner Exhilarates and they will look to double up with a filly making her second start at Rosehill on Saturday.

In total, Godolphin spent a total of $6,455,000 on 20 yearlings but just one, the filly Avon River, is by a Coolmore stallion.

Consigned by Rushton Park to the 2018 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, Avon River (pictured as a yearling ) was purchased by Godolphin for a sales-topping $500,000.

A very rare daughter of Fastnet Rock to carry the Godolphin blue, Avon River is out of the former good racemare Lady Melksham whose five wins included the Group III Cockram Stakes.

The catalogue page of Lady Melksham may appear a little bit obscure but there was a time when the daughter of Artie Schiller (USA) represented the epitome of fashion in Australia.


It dates back to the time when Segenhoe Stud owner Lionel Israel purchased a mare that was to become a foundation for the famed Scone nursery.

In 1947, Israel purchased the Ajax mare Civic Pride for 2,200 guineas. Three years earlier, Civic Pride had won the Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick.

Civic Pride’s third foal, Pride Of Egypt, was sold for the same price as his dam. He went on to win the Victoria Derby, Rosehill Guineas and Canterbury Guineas.

Her next foal Ptolemy, who was sold for 2.600 guineas, proved a wonderful producer for Newhaven Park Stud leaving the stakes-winner Foresight, Pharaonic, Silver Spade and Threat.

Then followed the filly Amneris who, like Pride Of Egypt and Ptolemy, was by Nilo (GB). Amneris was also sent to sale but when the bidding stopped at 2,600 guineas Israel took her home. It was a wise decision. She went on to win the Flight Stakes and Wakeful Stakes and produced the Canterbury Guineas winner Egyptian and Keith Mackay Stakes winner Anemone

Another of Civic Pride’s daughters Ceremony ended up in South Australia.

The daughter of Pan II (FR) produced the AJC Canonbury Stakes winner Prince O’Jazz (Ragtime) and his sister Jazette who is the dam of the remarkably tough Mr Jazz whose lone stakes win came in the Tasmanian Derby but his career highlight came when third behind Kiwi and Noble Comment in the 1983 Melbourne Cup.

Jazzette is also the dam of the Vain mare Dancing Dollar the dam of the Bart Cummings bred and trained Cashier (Danehill) who won the Group II Silver Shadow Stakes and is the dam of the Group II AJC Royal Sovereign Stakes winner Flying Pegasus.

Ceremony is the third dam of the Group II SAJC Queen of the South Stakes winner Goblet. The daughter of the little-known Jim French stallion Loving Jim (FR) left little of note at stud although her unraced daughter Oak Park Carashan (Keltrice) breathed new life into the family as the dam of Lady Melksham.

Avon River is the second foal of Lady Melksham. Her first foal, also a filly by Fastnet Rock, was sold at the 2017 Premier Sale for $260,000.

Named Waldorf Astoria she broke her maiden over 20000 metres at Kenilworth, South Africa on December 22.

Avon River did enough at her first start when second to Hightail on the Kensington track on January 5 to be a live chance in Saturday’s 2yo handicap over 11000 metres at Rosehill.

Hightail franked the form with a close-up third behind Exhilarates in last Saturday’s $2 million Magic Millions 2yo Classic.

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