Super stallion shines

More Than Ready clocks up miles


Opinion
Veteran stallion More Than Ready parading in fine fettle by Dean Macaskill at Vinery Stud, Scone in August. Photo by Virginia Harvey.

Veteran stallion More Than Ready parading in fine fettle by Dean Macaskill at Vinery Stud, Scone in August. Photo by Virginia Harvey.

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More Than Ready jetted out of Sydney last month for the 18th consecutive time to fulfil his stud obligations.

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MORE Than Ready jetted out of Sydney last month for the 18th consecutive time to fulfil his stud obligations – beginning February, in the northern hemisphere where the “book-full” sign is already swinging on the gate at WinStar Farm in Kentucky.

What a super-stallion the brown horse has been and still is for Australian breeders when standing at Vinery Stud, Scone, More Than Ready clocking up over 500,000 kilometres of frequent flyer points. 

Now 22-years-old, the US-bred son of Southern Halo sits at the “top of the tree” for winners with at least 1745 individual winners, the most prolific sire for victors in the world. 

How global the Thoroughbred breeding world has become, More Than Ready an example of the narrowing of world sirelines, the tough and reliable stallion shuttling to stand for southern hemisphere stud duties in Australia for 18 times.  

Commanding an $US80,000 stud fee at WinStar, More Than Ready’s advertised fee at Vinery, Scone, is $66,000 a reasonable price considering his yearlings have averaged over $200,000 at the sales over the previous three years.  

In addition, last year he had a colt command $675,000, while in 2017 another colt fetched a massive $1.3 million both selling at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sales.

There are 29 yearlings listed amongst the 888 catalogued during the four day/session of book one sale. Of these includes a filly from Redoute’s Choice stakes placed mare Lipari, dam of two stakes winners including this year’s ATC Australian Derby-G1 winner Levendi.   

More Than Ready is also represented with at least 190 stakes winners and is closing in on such greats as Danzig and his son Danehill, Sadler’s Wells and Galileo. 

Two of his best northern hemisphere performers this year includes US bred star Roy H who was last year’s champion US sprinter, and is likely to be crowned again as the 2018 US champion sprinter, and Hong Kong star but Australian bred son of More Than Ready, Eagle Way. 

Bred in Scone, Eagle Way swept to a recent track record breaking victory in the Jockey Club Cup-G2 at Sha Tin. Now his sons are being sought after to take his mantle, with Widden Stud quick off the mark to secure More Than Ready’s best sire son to date, Sebring, winner of the 2008 Golden Slipper Stakes-G1. 

Also commanding a $66,000 service fee, Sebring has been an outstanding and versatile stallion, siring at least 48 stakes winners including Australian Horse Of The Year Dissident (at Newgate Farm, Aberdeen) who is now represented with his first racing two-year-olds. 

Also shuttling to Vinery Stud is More Than Ready’s son Pluck who had a recent boost to his Australian sire record with the Port Macquarie trained Awesome Pluck finishing third in the $1.3m The Kosciuszko at Randwick last October.  While More Than Ready sire son War (at Blue Gum Farm) is Victoria based and is represented with winning three-year-olds, in Queensland the stallion is represented with sire sons including Citiwyse and younger sire sons Mahisara and Better Than Ready and who all have sired winners. 

The latter stallion of the trio - Better Than Ready, has been quick off the mark this season with winners now leading Australia’s first season sires list by numbers and earnings of $575,375 (to December 18). 

While More Than Ready sire son War (at Blue Gum Farm) is Victoria based and is represented with winning three-year-olds, in Queensland the stallion is represented with sire sons including Citiwyse and younger sire sons Mahisara and Better Than Ready and who all have sired winners.

Better Than Ready stands at the Kruger family’s historic Lyndhurst Stud at Warwick, in south-east Queensland, and among the brown stallion’s six winners includes two stakes winners. 

Just prior to Christmas, Better Than Ready had a “red-letter day” at Doomben with both of the meeting’s juvenile stakes races being won by the stallion’s progeny; the colt The Odyssey won the Spirit Of Boom/Phelan Ready Stakes-LR (for colts and geldings), and the filly Better Reflection won the Boomer Bloodstock Calaway Gal Stakes-LR (for fillies).  

What is in a name 

THERE are many good names for racehorses racing, but one that caught my eye recently was Queensland bred three-year-old gelding, Happy Birthday Dad. By the proven Irish bred import Immovable Option (by Northern Dancer’s Fairy King), Happy Birthday Dad has had three unplaced starts, his latest finishing eighth of eight runners at his third career start at Toowoomba last month. I had to chuckle when I read that Happy Birthday Dad was produced from Divine Lady. 

Dual licences in NSW 

FROM January 1, trainers can now ride their own trained gallopers in races in NSW. In a recent announcement from Racing NSW officials, the board determined that they will grant dual licences for a trainer and jockey to be the same person. In Victoria, well-known Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne has been allowed to ride her own prepared gallopers in her home state, but could not do that in this state until now. There are conditions, including a person may not hold a dual licence for more than five years to encourage a transition into training. 

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