Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Thursday August 9

It would be rare nowadays to purchase an I Am Invincible colt for $36,000 but even if you paid ten times that amount you would be hoping to get one as good as Voodoo Lad.

Bred by the late Noel Leckie, Voodoo Lad was consigned by Yarraman Park Stud to the 2013 Scone Select Yearling Sale where he was purchased by Kevin Maloney’s Segenhoe Thoroughbreds for $36,000.

Leckie kept a share but Voodoo Lad looked a long way off a future millionaire when he was beaten as an odds-on favourite in a 1000 metre 2yo maiden at Gunnedah in January 2014.

Incidentally, the winner of that race Benno’s Boy made his 109th start at Gundagai last Sunday. He beat just two home but with 11 wins and 29 placing with earnings of over $111,000 he has paid his way and given plenty of joy to connections.

Following his first-up second, Voodoo Lad rounded out his juvenile year with wins at Muswellbrook and in the valuable won the valuable Inglis 2yo Challenge at Scone.

After working through the grades at three, Voodoo Lad made his first trip to the big smoke where he finished third, as favourite, behind Artlee in the $400,000 Country Championship at Randwick.

Off the track for over a year, when Voodoo Lad made his first it was not for the Rod Northam stable but for the prolific Darren Weir.

He was never out of the first three in five starts, highlighted by a win a Moonee Valley and a stakes placing in the Listed Victorian Sprint Series Final.

Voodoo Lad really blossomed at five.

At his first start for the term, he won the Regal Roller Stakes at Caulfield from a couple of battle-hardened warriors, Jungle Edge and Fast ‘n’ Rocking the added the Listed Chandler Macleod Stakes at Moonee Valley.

Stepped up to the big-time in the Group I Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, Voodoo Lad found one too good, Bon Aurum, but he was back in the winner’s stall at his next start in the Group III Moonga Stakes.

Pulled up distressed after finishing unplaced in the Group I Cantala Stakes, Voodoo Lad put up one of his most notable performances when second to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 Newmarket handicap.

He struck heavy tracks in two starts in Sydney in the TJ Smith Stakes and All Aged Stakes to round out his most successful season to date.

Voodoo Lad’s form reads more inconsistent last season although he campaigned mostly at the elite level and he may be a length or two off Group 1 class.

He added the Group III The Heath 1100 and the Group III Sir John Monash Stakes but was clearly outpointed by Vega Magic at his most recent start in the season-ending Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield.

Saturday’s Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington throws up some new challenges for the newly turned 7yo gelding.

He has never won at Flemington and faces off against a well credential import in Home Of The Brave (IRE). The son of Starspangledbanner is reportedly working the place down but he is making his first starts since the Breeders Cup Mile last November.

Voodoo Lad is the fifth and final foal of the Gilded Time (USA) mare O'Fortuna who is a great-granddaughter of Forina who won the fourth ever running of the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes.

Forina was a daughter of Vibrant who was sent to Australia by George Moore in 1968. Moore had ridden the grey son of Vilmorin to victory in the Bunbury Cup.

Back in the day, Australian breeders could get excited by that.

Vibrant stood at three studs, beginning with Baramul, then Timor Creek and on to Bhima Stud.

The same year that Moore imported Vibrant he sold his property Yarraman Park to Major Mitchell and the property has been in the hands of the Mitchell family ever since.

Voodoo Lad comes from the first crop of Yarraman’s superstar I Am Invincible.

Back to Forina. She wasn’t the most productive of mares but she did leave the Widden Stakes winner Biscarina who produced two stakes winners including one of the greatest sprinters of all-time, the 8-time Group 1 winner Schillaci whose sister Sabrina Fair is the dam of O'Fortuna.

Another of Forina’s foals, Biancaneve, is the granddam of Group 1 winner Russeting.

(photo Grant Courtney)


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