Continuing my Victorian stud tour, I arrived at Godolphin's state-of-the-art Darley operation at "Northwood" near Seymour about a two-hour drive north of Melbourne close to the Hume Freeway.
Purchased by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed in March 2006, history shows Northwood was the earlier home of famous names including Mannerism, Tawriffic, Northwood Plume, while in the 1920s the famous Windbag graced its paddocks.
The farm's present-day most celebrated horse bred by Darley at Northwood is champion Australian two and three-year-old Sepoy (born 2008) who is now a sire of stakes winners including champion mare Alizee.
My host was Northwood's nominations consultant Lisa Manning, and together with stallion groom Jess Galvin, we walked around the stallions' yards viewing the horses happy in their environment.
For encouragement, Jess brought along a bunch of carrots with Frosted, Street Boss, Impending, Sepoy and Holler all appreciating the treats, however, I Am Invincible sire Brazen Beau proved too aloof, indicating that the orange vegetable was not among his menu pleasures.
The stallion barn awakes when the grooms start at 5.30am.
"We feed them, then groom them ready for their cover then head over to the preparation shed and get the mares ready to serve," Jess said.
"When the covers are finished the boys will come out to the paddocks while some of them do some exercise like lunging or on the walker - Frosted lunges every second day.
"Then we clean out the barn, get some boys in for 11am covers, and have a break wherever it fits in between. Sometimes there are lunchtime covers, then the boys come back out to the paddock, then we go for lunch.
"When the boys come back in, in the afternoon we groom them and hand walk them, then get them ready for covers again. After this, they then get fed and rugged for the night.
"My favourite is Street Boss - he's got the best personality and he seems to like girls; he's not a mean horse but he's a quirky horse; I think he is a lot more mellow this year - he and I get along like a house on fire."
Street Boss' juvenile colt son Hanseatic (trained by Anthony Freedman) won on debut as favourite for the $140,000 Thoroughbred Club Merson Cooper Stakes-LR (1000 metres) at Sandown in November.
South-west of Godolphin in the Kilmore district of Moranding, I visited a smaller breeding concern Glen Eden Stud, which prides itself on breeding, foaling care, mare agistment, weanling and yearling preparation.
A family-run 40-hectare operation, Glen Eden is managed by Sonia O'Gorman, her parents - John and Eva Lawrey, also lend a hand where possible, the day I arrived the pair were leaving with a mare in tow to be served by an outside stallion.
Owned by the family for about 20 years, the stud is situated on a beautiful tree-lined lane just east of the Northern Highway and west of the Hume Freeway.
The property also offers broodmare owners the services of three stallions - Australian bred dual Group 1 winner Rebel Dane and American bred sires Mint Lane and Giant's Steps.
Formerly at stud in New Zealand, Giant's Steps is the only commercial son in Australia by former Coolmore Stud shuttler Giant's Causeway, who now boasts triple championship sires honours in North America.
By champion US juvenile Maria's Mon, Mint Lane was formerly standing in South Australia, his best progeny to date being Willi Willi, winner of the 2018 Albury Gold Cup-LR.
Retiring sound as a seven-year-old after earning $2.4 million, Rebel Dane thrilled racegoers in Sydney and Melbourne where he defeated eight Group 1 winners including notables Chautauqua, Buffering and English when taking Moonee Valley's prestigious sprint test the Manikato Stakes.
Rebel Dane offers a different branch to the great Danehill dynasty, the brown stallion being by his deceased son California Dane, a Group 2 winner who has sired about a dozen stakes horses.
I also saw several foals on the property including a colt from triple winner producer Spartan Lady the colt being among the first foals by Melbourne Group 1 winner Bon Aurum, a son of wonderful Bowness Stud, Young, based sire Bon Hoffa.