Filly Out To Follow Up Criterion’s Derby Success

Blandford Lodge director Graham Bax has spoken of his excitement as Lucia Valentina (Savabeel) bids to land an Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) and Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) double for the farm at Randwick tomorrow.

Bred by Blandford Lodge, the David Payne-trained Criterion (Sebring) took out last weekend’s Australian Derby, following on from his win in last month’s Rosehill Guineas (Gr 1, 2000m).

Lucia Valentina, the TAB’s $2.50 favourite for tomorrow’s race, is also seeking a Group One double, having won the Vinery Stud Stakes (registered as Storm Queen Stakes) (Gr 1, 2000m) on 5 April and Bax told ANZ Bloodstock News the reports he has had in the build up have been positive.

“The reports I’ve had are that she is very, very well and we are expecting a good run,” he said. “She has showed from her very first run that she is a horse with real talent.

“The track shouldn’t worry her and there is no reason she shouldn’t be able to see out the Oaks trip.

“It’s a very exciting time for us and it’s all come about at once,” he added. “We sell about 15 horses a year, so to get two high-class Group One winners in a season is very special.

“We always do well, but this year it’s just gone to another level. It’ll be a hard act to follow but hopefully we can keep it going.”

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Industry News

AI Appeal Dismissed

Bruce McHugh has failed in his appeal to the Full Federal Court to overturn a ruling which found the Australian Stud Book rules prohibiting artificial insemination of horses was not a restraint of trade.

The three appellant judges unanimously rejected the claim and upheld the previous finding of Justice Robertson in December 2012, meaning the rules allowing only naturally conceived horses to be bred and raced as thoroughbreds remain unchanged.

The ruling was welcomed by the Australian Racing Board’s chairman John Messara, who said: “A great deal of industry time and financial resources have been spent over the past five year in defending this matter.

“The issue of artificial insemination is settled once and for all. We have said from the outset that our sport was not anti-competitive or a restraint of trade as proponents of AI are perfectly free to establish their own industry. Fortunately the Federal Court agreed with us.

“Racing and breeding has many challenges now and into the future and the finality of this case will allow to concentrate fully on what matters most to participants, punters and stakeholders.”

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Stud News

Yarraman Park Stud Release Fees

I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) will stand for for $27,500 (inc. GST) in 2014, up from $11,000, Yarraman Park announced yesterday.

The stallion has enjoyed a strong year so far, his 42 yearlings sold across all sales averaging an impressive $91,619.

He has also produced ten winners to date, led by stakes winners Vinnie Eagle, Fuld’s Bet and Bassillique.

The stud also announced first season sire Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock), whose first crop of yearlings have been well received, selling for up to $250,000 and averaging $123,077 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, will once again stand for a fee of $16,500.

Magic Albert (Zeditave), whose half-brother to the Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Mossfun (Mossman) topped the second session of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale when selling for a record $750,000, has had a fee reduction and will now stand for $13,750.

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