Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Friday April 12

It has been a tsunami of bad news for the breeding industry worldwide of late with the deaths of Sebring and Redoute’s Choice in Australia, American Pharoah’s sire Pioneer Of The Nile in America and in Japan Deep Impact has been withdrawn from service for the rest of the season.

But the thoroughbred world never stands still and the new season recruits are coming thick and fast in what is shaping as a golden year for first season stallions. Those that have already been announced include, Triple Crown winner Justify, Saxon Warrior and Mendelssohn to Coolmore, Written Tycoon and Trapeze Artist to Widden, Kementari and Harry Angel to Darley, The Autumn Sun to Arrowfield, Acclaim to Aquis, Grunt to Yulong Lane , Sioux Nation to Swettenham and across the Tasman, Roaring Lion to Cambridge Stud and Staphanos to Novara Park Stud.

We will look to our sadly missed old friend Sebring (image Mark Smith), a Golden Slipper winner for Star Thoroughbreds, and a great favourite of syndicators in the sale ring, for this week’s Best On Breeding.

There are eight Group 1 winners’ lining up Coolmore Legacy Queen Of Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday, which includes three of the four three-year-olds.

One of them is Sebring’s daughter Aphrodite who earned the honour in the Schweppes Thousand Guineas at Caulfield last October.

That was the culmination of four consecutive wins, which began with a maiden win at Sale barely a month previously.

Aphrodite (image Grant Courtney ) failed when stretched out to the Oaks distance but with a three-month refresher and a change of stable to Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig. she bounced back to win the Group III The Vanity (1600m) at Flemington in February, defeating Verry Elleegant and Fundamentalist.

Her next two starts were over 1600 metres, finishing third behind Mystic Journey in the Group 1 Australian Guineas before a sixth behind the Tasmanian superstar in the All-Star Mile.

A $50,000 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale purchase for Flying Start Syndicate/Darren Weir Racing from the Goldin Farms draft, Aphrodite has earned over $747,000 from a record of 5 wins, 2 seconds and 1 third from 12 starts.

Goldin Farms acquired Aphrodite’s dam Ocean Dream for $190,000 from the Wood Nook Farm dispersal at the 2015 Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale when carrying the daughter of Sebring.

It is a family that had been nurtured by Wood Nook’s former owner Bob Scarborough who raced Ocean Dream as well as her Group 1 VATC Toorak Handicap winning half-brother Marble Halls (Nassipour) and Group I MRC Blue Diamond Stakes winner Sleek Chassis (Flying Spur), who is out of Ocean Dream’s half-sister Tigereye (Kaapstad).

Ocean Dream’s dam Joolzy (Noble Bijou) is a three-quarter-sister to a remarkable mare named Powley who was bred on the magical Noble Bijou - Mellay cross.

As a 3yo, Powley won 11 of her 16 starts including the Group 1 NZ One Thousand Guineas, defeating the NZ Oaks winner Glamour Bay, which came in the middle of an eight-race winning streak.

Powley raced without a break from August 1980 to April the following year and was out of the first two just twice and was honoured as the Broadlands Filly Of The Year.

The following season, Powley won six of her 12 starts including the Group 1 WRC George Adams Stakes and when time was called on her career she could claim a record of 17 wins and 6 seconds from 28 starts, with 15 of her 17 wins coming in stakes races .

Ocean Dream couldn’t boast a similar record on the track although she had ability. She won two races in succession encouraging her owners to take a shot at the 2010 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill where she finished sixth behind Faint Perfume.

She had two winners by More Than Ready (USA) before Aphrodite took centre stage.

Ocean Dream has an unraced 2yo filly by Akeed Mofeed (GB) named Ocean Cruise and a yearling colt by Akeed Mofeed (GB). She was bred to the Hong Kong Cup winning son of Dubawi again last year having missed to him in 2017.