Drop in number of new stallion imports.
By Peter Wharton
LAZARUS winning the Inter-dominion in Perth
The quantity of ‘new’ stallions available to breeders in Australia this year might be an all-time low, however the lack of numbers is more than compensated by the quality of the imports.
In 2019/20 there will be eight stallions standing their first season ‘down under’ - five pacers and three trotters. And, only four will be standing here in the flesh. The quartet are former Kiwi superstar Lazarus(pictured above), the world champion Mel Mara, the royally bred Rock N Roll World and the European Grand Circuit trotter Volstead.
The remaining four stallions – pacers Luck Be Withyou and Helpisontheway and the champion trotters Tactical Landing and Up And Quick – are all accessible via frozen semen.
Lazarus is slated to stand his first southern hemisphere season at Yirribee Pacing Stud, Wagga, Mel Mara is lining up for his initial season at Northern Rivers Equine Veterinary Clinic, Kyabram, Rock N Roll World will stand at Allwood Stud, Bullsbrook (WA) and Volstead will be located at Haras Des Trotteurs’ Ballarat farm.
Tactical Landing, the fastest son of the great Muscle Hill, is part of the Stallions Australasia sires’ roster, while the frozen semen sires, Up And Quick, Luck Be Withyou and Helpisontheway, are all available from Niota Bloodstock, near Shepparton.
Unquestionably the headline act among the new brigade is the mighty En Zedder Lazarus, whose lifetime stakes tally of $4,125,988 ranks him as the richest standardbred stallion in history to stand stud anywhere in the world.
Named New Zealand Horse of the Year twice, 3YO, 4YO and Aged Pacer of the Year and Australian Horse of the Year, as well as dual Australasian Grand Circuit Champion, Lazarus met and defeated the best horses in four countries, winning 37 of his 51 starts and being only twice unplaced.
The mighty son of Bettor’s Delight was a 15-time winner at Group 1 level, established five track records in NZ and a further three in Australia and he paced seven miles in 1:50 or better. He took his lifetime mark of 1:48.4 winning the $177,000 Hoosier Park Pacing Derby and was race-timed in 1:46.6 after sitting parked at The Red Mile.
Lazarus won the NZ Cup twice, the Inter Dominion, the A. G. Hunter Cup in track record time, the Victoria Cup, the NZ, Great Northern and Victoria Derbies, the Harness Jewels in Australasian record time, the NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Championship and Chariots Of Fire.
Mel Mara 1:47 ($1,028,397), a world champion racehorse and who paced 15 winning sub 1:50 miles, is regarded as one of America’s top free-for-allers in recent times.
He took his record of 1:47 at The Meadowlands, defeating the two fastest horses in history, Always B Miki and McWicked, equalling the world record for an older pacing stallion on a mile track in the process.
Among his other successes were the $130,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Series 3YO Final, a division of the Bluegrass Stakes at The Red Mile and two eliminations of the Ben Franklin Pace.
A commanding individual, 16 hands, foaled in 2009, Mel Mara is the fastest and richest son of former champion pacer Lis Mara and is a member of one of America’s greatest families – that tracing to Jessie Pepper – a tribe noted for producing top racehorses and leading sires.
Bred on a classic cross of blood – being by Rocknroll Hanover out of an Artsplace mare - Rock N Roll World is without doubt one of the best bred and performed stallions ever to stand stud in this country.
In a nutshell, Rock N Roll World is by a champion sire out of a champion racemare, who is a sister to a champion racehorse and sire. His dam, Worldly Beauty 1:49.6 ($1,900,255), the USA 2YO and 3YO Filly of her year, was a full sister to the dam of champion colt pacer and last year’s leading USA two-year-old sire Captaintreacherous 1:47.2 ($3,148,657).
Furthermore, Rock N Roll World ranks as a full brother to the multiple Stakes winner and now 1:50 sire World Of Rocknroll 1:50.6 ($338,561) and belongs to the immediate family of successful sires such as Art Major, Western Ideal, American Ideal, Real Artist and Perfect Art.
Rock N Roll World displayed brilliant speed and stamina, winning on half-mile, five-
eighths and mile tracks in Stakes and Invitational company from two to five years and, in all, he won 18 races with 27 placings for $712,737 in stakes.
Volstead, a Swedish Group 1-winning stallion Volstead, who went 1:51.5 on a 1000 metre, track, will join the stallion strength at Haras Des Trotteurs, Cardigan (near Ballarat) for the coming season.
The beautifully American-bred stallion will be the first son of Cantab Hall, a leading sire of sires, to be available as a chilled semen option in the Southern Hemisphere.
An outstanding competitor in Sweden’s elite gold division, Volstead raced out of the top Swedish barn of Stefan Melander and won 23 of his 72 race starts including the Group 1 King’s Cup and the prestigious Sweden Cup, or Little Elitlopp, in 2015.
He qualified for the Elitloppet the following year where he just missed out on the final (won by his stablemate Nuncio) and was also an unlucky second to Nuncio in the Group 1 Swedish Sprint Masters, after sitting parked the whole race, getting to the front in the shadows of the post only for his stablemate to come off his back and nab him on the line.
“Volstead was very fast from the beginning when we started training him and was a very very strong horse,” Melander said.
“Volstead could race on the outside the whole race. If it was a distance race or a mile race, it didn't matter and he could still win racing outside the entire race.”
Melander bought Volstead as a yearling because of his great conformation and excellent pedigree (by Cantab Hall from a Yankee Glide mare) with a tremendous number of stakes winners and racehorses, he said.
‘I have retained breedings to breed my own mares in USA as I can see Volstead within the next five years becoming highly successful and one of the top trotting stallions in the world,” Melander said.
Volstead will stand for a fee $5,500 (GST inclusive) in Australia and $NZ5,000 plus GST in New Zealand.
Boasting a lifetime record of 1:50.4, Tactical Landing is the fastest ever son of former champion racehorse and sire and now a leading sire of sires, Muscle Hill.
The winner of $812,300 from only 16 starts, Tactical Landing has a real Breeders Crown pedigree; not only was he a Breeders Crown champion himself but he was sired by a dual Breeders Crown champion in Muscle Hill, his dam, Southwind Serena was a Breeders Crown winner and his full sister, Mission Brief, was a Breeders Crown champion.
Besides his Breeders Crown triumph, Tactical Landing captured a leg of the time-honoured Kentucky Futurity and finished second in the Final in a world record 1:50, a division of the Bluegrass Stake, an elimination of the Hambletonian (3rd in Final) and the $350,000 TVG Championship.
An $800,000 yearling, Tactical Landing lacks nothing on the score of blood. His dam, Southwind Serena, a daughter of the great Varenne, also produced the dual world champion and USA 2YO and 3YO Trotting Filly of the Year Mission Brief ($1.5-million), while his grand-dam, Spice On Ice, was the second dam of the Kentucky Futurity winner Ice Attraction and the Canadian 2YO Filly Trotter of the Year The Ice Dutchess.
Up And Quick, the French-based dual world champion, has been one of Europe’s most outstanding trotters in the last decade.
The winner of $3.6million, the son of the legendary Buvetier D’Anou won five races at Group 1 level in France including the prestigious Prix d’Amerique in 2015 and the Grand Prix de Paris in 2014 and 2015 and set world records of 1:51.6 for 1609 metres and 1:55 for 3000 metres.
In his Prix d’Amerique triumph, Up And Quick sat parked most of the way before easily accounting for Europe’s best trotters in a 1:56.1 mile rate over 2700 metres trip – only 0.4 outside the race record.
Luck Be Withyou, a $1.45-million winning son of Western Ideal, and a member of the prolific Three Diamonds tribe, was a brilliant colt pacer who later competed with real distinction in free-for-all company.
As a two-year-old he captured the $500,000 Breeders Crown in 1:52 and the Champlain Stake, at three he won an elimination of the Messenger and finished second in the Final, while at four he led from end-to-end in the $500,000 Ben Franklin Pace in 1:49.
Luck Be Withyou took his record of 1:47.8 winning the $75,000 Ben Franklin Consolation at Pocono Downs’ five furlongs track as a five-year-old.
Upon his retirement, Luck Be Withyou entered stud at Maple Lane Farm, Indiana where he served 136 mares in his initial season in 2018 at a fee of $US4,000.
Helpisontheway, one of the second crop of dual Breeders Crown champion Chapter Seven, sire of the world’s fastest ever female trotter Atlanta, raced only at two and three years, winning 10 of his 24 starts, $610,446 in stakes and taking a record of 1:51.8.
His most important wins included flour legs and the final of the New Jersey 3YO Sires Stakes, the John Simpson Memorial and the Tompkins-Geers Stakes, while he finished second in the Yonkers Trot and an elimination of the Empire Breeders Classic.
A foal of 2015, Helpisontheway has just completed his first season at stud in Indiana, standing alongside Luck Be Withyou.