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Bluebloods : April 2010
BACK in 1911 about 80 horses arrived by boat from America in probably the biggest single shipment of thoroughbreds ever to come to Australia. The cargo included more than 60 mares, their offspring, and four stallions and the thoroughbreds were sent out in the ownership of I.H. Wheatcroft, a major breeder in America disgusted with the collapse of US racing following a wave of anti-gambling laws introduced in the 1900-1913 period. As well as Australia, many more American-bred horses ended up England and Ireland, much to the shock of the English lords and dukes who ruled the thoroughbred world at the time. Like many Australian thoroughbreds, a goodly number of the American-bred horses were not considered pure and were unacceptable to the 'holy bible' - the English Stud Book. In1913 Lord Jersey sponsored what was designated the Jersey Act, one which stated that for foreign-bred horses to be accepted into the Stud Book, they had to conform to the same standards as those that were English and Irish bred. It was by the way, not a Government Act but a rule adopted by the English Stud Book. In brief, in order to be admitted to that Stud Book, horses - whether home bred or foreign - must have had pedigrees that could be traced without flaw to progenitors entered in previous volumes. This ruling was not watered down to make 'colonial' strains acceptable until the 1940s. By this time Australian, New Zealand and American Stud Books had become pure, although quite a few 'colonial ' antecedents were obscure. Many of the horses Wheatcroft sent to Australia had the Jersey bar in their breeding. This included the king of the immigrant band, the proven sire Cesarion. He was by Faustus, a brother to a historic American influence, Domino, inbred 3x3 to Lexington, an earlier patriarch of the breed. Lexington failed the Jersey rule. Maternally however, Cesarion, was pure English thoroughbred, being out of the English-bred Cleopatra. She was a sister to the grandam of Tressady, a high class performer in England who became a competent Australian sire from use at Segenhoe, Scone and then with the Thompsons of Widden and Bylong. One of his daughters, Frances Tressady, in 1923 won the Victoria Derby and Oaks and in between was fifth in the Melbourne Cup. Both Tressady and the American import Cesarion on occasions had offspring in the same Sydney Easter yearling sales. The catalogues of that time were lavish in their descriptions of the sires represented and the compilers were fulsome in their praise of Cesarion, a resident at John Hart's Larbert Stud, Bolwarra, West Maitland, for his physical appearance, racing class and proven ability as a sire from earlier use in America. In their fulsome comment on his appearance, they described the 1892-foaled American as "a rich dark brown horse standing about 15.3 hands, on most perfect legs and feet and a model of symmetry and muscular development". "He is the possessor of a most wonderful temperament and constitution, and shows in a marked degree the individuality and masculinity of a high class sire," continued the commentary. A performer with an iron constitution, Cesarion was typical of many of the early American racehorses of his era and in six years of top level racing won 36 times, including 10 in succession. He was such an outstanding success with his American- sired progeny, he was described in an English publication as "one of the most successful sires in the world". He established a world record as a sire of two year-olds for 1909, 1910 and 1911 - the year he headed off to Australia - with an aggregate of 52 winners. That was a big score on the much smaller sized books of the time. Cesarion was second on the American juvenile list for 1912, despite the fact many of the crop had been shipped out, and on the general sires' list, he finished second in 1911, a year he led by wins, fifth in 1912 and eighth in 1913. One of his American-bred performers, Forward III, followed up five wins at home at two, by competing in England and beating some of their best sprinters, including subsequent leading New Zealand sire Absurd. The Australian breeders, probably carrying the same bias as their English contemporaries, stayed away from Cesarion here, and he does not appear to have done very well with his small number of Australian-sired foals. His best runners here seem to be two got in America, namely Conquistador (won 13 races in Brisbane and several in Sydney) and Cesarius (several wins at Randwick). Conquistador came out in the shipment as a weanling or at foot, and Cesarius was foaled here in March 1912. Most of the American mares in the shipment were sold off and distributed around Australia. Despite more than 60 mares being sent to Australia, only one appears to have left a lasting legacy and her family is still producing good horses. Named My Lady Frances, she was bred in America using Sain, a son of the St Simon sire St Serf, and Liberty Star, a mare out of a daughter of a pioneer Australian export, Darebin. An 1878 foal, Darebin after winning major races, including the Victoria Derby and Sydney Cup, went to America and became a good sire. The mainstay of the My Lady Frances family has been her 1918-foaled daughter Lady Pop, a mare by the local sire Popinjay, a Malster winner of the MRC Oakleigh Plate, Futurity Stakes, AJC Villiers and All-Aged Stakes. Two daughters of Lady Pop, Germain (by Corban (GB)) and Denis Pop (by Denis Boy), established long living branches of the family. Germain (1928), to start with, foaled to matings with Talking, an AJC and VRC Derby winner by Magpie (GB), Main Topic (won the AJC Derby and Metropolitan) and his sister Miss Talking, grandam of King Bogan (nine wins, AJC Hobartville Stakes, The Shorts) and On Your Mark (nine wins AJC Summer Cup, Anniversary Handicap). Mated with Beau Pere, Germain produced Anbeau, grandam of Beau Tirage (12 wins, STC Lord Mayor's Cup twice), and third dam of the In The Purple champion How Now, a winner of 10 races, including the MRC Caulfield Cup, Caulfield Stakes, Underwood Stakes, AJC Oaks and VRC Wakeful Stakes. How Now's son Brave Salute won the Sandown Guineas and her grandaughter God's Girl followed up racing success in Melbourne by producing eight winners, including Racer's Edge, a Rory's Jester winner of the MRC C.F. Orr Stakes, VRC Ascot Vale Stakes and Blamey Stakes. He finished third in the STC Golden Slipper, VRC Salinger Stakes and Sires' Produce Stakes. Other descendants of Germain include Adraanito (six wins, SAJC Queen of the South Stakes; second WATC Railway Stakes), Spargo (four wins, VRC Ascot Vale Stakes), Celestial Storm (seven wins, second Western Australian Oaks, third MRC Caulfield Cup) and Desert Chill (13 wins, QTC Brisbane Cup twice). There are not as many good performers under Denis Pop, but one of them is by far the most celebrated descendant of the American import My Lady Frances. He is the Victorian-bred mercurial Wilkes (FR) colt Vain, awesome winner of 12 of 14 starts, including the STC Golden Slipper, AJC Champagne Stakes and VRC Sires' Produce Stakes at two and the MRC Caulfield Guineas, VRC George Adams, Craven 'A' Stakes, Ascot Vale Stakes and MVRC Freeway Stakes at three and then a champion Australian sire by earnings, juveniles and broodmares from use at the Widden Stud. Vain is from Elated (10 wins), a good class sprinting sister by Orgoglio (GB) to Gr.1-winning sprinter Picca (13 wins, VRC Craven 'A' Stakes). They are from Rarcamba (Helios (GB)--Denis Pop), a half-sister to Denhoti (11 wins, MRC Merson Cooper Stakes, Debutant Stakes; second MVRC William Reid Stakes). Buyers have an opportunity to acquire a filly at this year's Inglis Easter yearling sale from the My Lady Frances family and she could add a new chapter to its history. Selling as Lot 419 on account of Toolooganvale Farm, Scone, she is by prominent Nureyev sire Stravinsky (USA) and from the Rory's Jester VRC Maribyrnong Trial Stakes winner Fashion Victim, a half- sister to Celestial Storm. The filly's third dam Adraanito (in the only crop of Adraan (GB)), won six races, including the SAJC Queen of the South Stakes-Gr.2, and finished second in the WATC Railway Stakes-Gr.1. Adraanito is a grandaughter of Catapult (Faux Tirage- Belle Amber by Genetout (FR)), a sister to Fair Diana, the dam of How Now. April 2010 BOATLOAD OF HORSES - Vain one legacy of 1911 shipment Fashion Victim (Rory's Jester-Add Tinsel (NZ) by Christmas Tree) M.K. 13
Inglis Sydney Classic
Tyreel Easter Yearlings