Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Friday January 17

Placed behind subsequent Melbourne Cup heroine Empire Rose in the New Zealand Oaks, Eau D'Etoile (Sir Tristram) became that rarest of broodmares with three Group 1 winners and a Listed stakes-winner to her credit on the way to earning Broodmare Of The Year status and that should have been her crowning achievement.

But she became the centre of a storm that had the potential to shape the thoroughbred breeding industry.Eau D'Etoile in happy retirement at Tyreel Stud. She died in 2008 - image Mark Smith

As the result of a difficulty pregnancy, Eau D'Etoile had a history of slipping. She went through two successful embryo transfers, where the embryo was put into a surrogate mare. Those foals were refused entry into the Stud Book and owner Jim Fleming signalled a legal battle.

While that failed to eventuate, Eau D'Etoile’s legacy continues to grow.

Her daughter Bint Marscay won the STC Golden Slipper, while her son Filante won the AJC Epsom Handicap and Kenny’s Best Pal won the VRC Australian Guineas. Her first foal Temple Fire produced the Group 1 winner Stella Cadente who is forming a successful branch of her own.

At the recent Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Stella Cadente’s stakes-placed daughter Starfish had a magnificent American Pharoah (USA) filly in the Coolmore draft that was sold for $575,000.

 Bint Marscay, along with her Group 1 winning daughter Bollinger (Dehere) and Group III winner Mannington (Danehill) all spent time at stud in the United States.

Mannington was sold for a record $2.05 million to Darley Stud at the 2005 William Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale.Exceed And Excel the sire of In Flanders - image Mark Smith

Before she left for the States, Mannington produced the Victoria Derby hero Benicio and the Group II Moonee Valley Fillies Classic winner Romneya.

In Kentucky, Mannington had a Kingmambo filly named Rose Trail who failed to race but has two European Stakes winners by Pivotal in the French Group III winner Rose Imperial and the dual Listed stakes-winner Rosental.

Romneya’s first foal Matilija (Medaglia d’Oro) was quick off the blocks winning two races at Moonee Valley before a pair of thirds in the Group III Typhoon Stakes at Moonee Valley and the Group III PJ Bell Stakes at Randwick.

Matilija’s first foal, the Exceed And Excel filly In Flanders, makes her second career start in the Iron Jack Hcp (1100m) to open proceedings at Rosehill on Saturday.

The Godolphin homebred has not started since finishing a meritorious fifth in the Group III ATC Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick back on October 5 last year.

She had little luck that day in what looks a strong edition of the race with Every Rose defeating last weeks $2 million Magic Millions 2yo Classic runner-up Stellar Pauline.