WHILE the Lexus Melbourne Cup gets world-wide media coverage eyeing the numerous northern hemisphere-bred and trained entrants, it was great to see an Australian bred, trained and owned horse, Vow And Declare, snatch first place in the prestigious $8 million "two miler".
It was the first time - since the win of Shocking (by former shuttle horse Street Cry) in 2009, that the Cup has gone the Australian way with Danny O'Brien being the trainer and Craig Williams the jockey.
According to O'Brien, Vow And Declare was syndicated for $60,000 with many of the galloper's participants being first-time owners.
Vow And Declare had to fight off the strong finishing challengers including northern hemisphere bred Prince Of Arran (by German Derby winner Shirocco), Il Paradiso (Galileo), and Master Of Reality (by Galileo son Frankel), the latter being relegated from second to fourth place by stewards post-race. New Zealand bred Surprise Baby (Shocking) was fifth, with the Japanese favourite Mer De Glace sixth.
However, it began at the Upper Hunter Valley district property Kitchwin Hills, where Vow And Declare was foaled and reared, before the youngster was offered at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale. The chestnut was passed-in, and was retained to race in partnership with his breeder Paul Langsky.
The gelding - by former Coolmore Stud shuttle horse Declaration Of War has now won four races, had three seconds and two thirds and earned over $5.772m from 13 starts.
Declaration Of War stood two southern hemisphere stud seasons at Coolmore's Jerrys Plains property. He is by Danzig horse War Front who now commands a $US250,000 service fee at Claiborne Stud in Kentucky.
Another sire son by War Front in NSW is Brothers Of War, and is available to broodmare owners at Kooringal Stud, Wagga Wagga.
Interesting to note that from his two only Australian crop of foals, Declaration of War has also sired this year's BRC Queensland Oaks-G1 winner Winning Ways, and Warning, recent winner of the VRC Derby-G1 at Flemington.
Kiss retires with distinction
AFTER competing for the 102 time, grand galloper Destiny's Kiss has been retired. But the 11 year-old middle distance gelding has given racegoers loads of thrills during his nine racing seasons winning 19 including 10 black type Cup events, and had six seconds and 16 thirds for earnings of $1.569m.
Bred and raced by well-known Sydney fruiterer Nick Moraitis (also of Might And Power fame), Destiny's Kiss had a number of trainers his most recent being Joe Pride at Warwick Farm. Pride prepared the veteran to win his second ATC Winter Cup-LR in June after the galloper had first won that race six years ago.
The great Danehill had an input into Destiny's Kiss's breeding, the gelding being the best galloper sired by his sire son, Power Of Destiny.
Vale Paul Whelan
WELL known racehorse owner, breeder and industry participator, as well as a former NSW government minister, Paul Whelan, passed away following a long illness aged 75.
Mr Whelan served as a Sydney solicitor, barrister, and a mayor, before entering NSW state government politics, which included being police minister from 1995 to 2001.
Upon his political retirement Mr Whelan went into racehorse breeding and racing and was regularly seen at yearling sales as principal via his successful lower Hunter Valley farm Luskin Park Stud at Luskintyre.
For a time serving on the committee of Thoroughbred Breeders NSW, Mr Whelan also bred some top class gallopers including Foxwedge and Rock Classic, and part-owned and raced Group 1 winner Flying Artie, who is now a young stallion standing at Newgate Farm, Aberdeen.
Arrowfield buys into future stallion
ARROWFIELD Stud was quick to move on recent MVRC W S Cox Plate-G1 second place-getter Castelvecchio, with connections entering into an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in the three-year-old colt.
Winner of the Inglis Two-Year-Old Millennium before capturing the Group 1 ATC Champagne Stakes earlier this year, Castelvecchio franked his good form when second in the ATC Champion Stakes-G1, then another slashing second in the prestigious Cox Plate-G1.
The son of Arrowfield's prominent young sire Dundeel, Castelvecchio will remain in the ownership of Ottavio and Wendy Galletta but are joined by Arrowfield principal and racing manager John Messara.
While remaining in the Warwick Farm stable of Richard Litt, the colt will stand at Arrowfield Stud at the end of his racing career.