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New stallions figure in Milburn Creek’s plans

Omaha Beach has caught the eye of Milburn Creek's John Muir who spoke in

Thoroughbred Daily News Aus NZ about the exciting new stallions their select band of broodmares will visit this year.

The boutique Bowral operation is home to a select band of broodmares who have put the property’s name in lights through their progeny’s exploits on the racetrack and in the sale ring.

Those results have come through meticulous planning of each year’s matings, with Muir matching pedigrees and farm manager Scott Holcombe assessing the physical suitability of potential match-ups.

Muir told TDN AusNZ that this year’s plans will feature some of the newest names on the Australian stallion line-up.

“There’s certainly some very exciting new stallions coming in this year,” he said. “We’ll be sending a few mares to some of them.

“I haven’t had the chance to see Too Darn Hot in the flesh yet, but I’ve seen him on video and I’ll definitely be sending a couple of mares to him.

“Too Darn Hot has a lot to recommend him. He was Champion 2-year-old and 3-year-old colt in Europe, and he’s got a terrific pedigree. At $44,000 inc GST, I think he’s very reasonably priced.

“Exceedance also has plenty going for him, and another one I’ve been very taken with is Microphone. I’ll be sending mares to him this year, including Kissed By The Sun, who had a yearling sell for $400,000 on the Gold Coast this year.

“Another one who’s really caught my eye is Spendthrift’s new stallion Omaha Beach. He’s beautifully bred, was a very good racehorse in America and appears to offer exceptional value for money.

"One who’s really caught my eye is Spendthrift’s new stallion Omaha Beach. He’s beautifully bred, was a very good racehorse in America and appears to offer exceptional value for money." - John Muir

“Coolmore’s Magna Grecia, being a Group 1-winning son of Invincible Spirit, is another one I think has to have a very good chance at stud.”

Another rookie stallion has been booked in for high-profile mare Roses ‘N’ Wine (Can) (Broken Vow {USA}). The dam of Group 1 winner and sire Hampton Court, Roses ‘N' Wine’s last three yearlings to go through the sale ring have fetched $600,000, $900,000 and $500,000.

“She’s been a good mare for us and gave us another really good result at the Easter Sale this year with her Pride Of Dubai colt,” Muir said.

“She was in foal to The Autumn Sun but unfortunately slipped the foal this year, which was obviously a huge disappointment for us.

“She’ll go back to Arrowfield again and will go to Castelvecchio this year, who’s obviously a well-performed son of Dundeel. We’ve supported Dundeel himself as well – Secret Admirer is in foal to him at the moment.

“I think John Messara at Arrowfield is one of the best judges of a young stallion’s potential that I’ve ever come across. He’s got a proven record that speaks for itself, and it gives you confidence to send your mares to his new stallions.

“So the first-season stallions certainly do feature in our plans this year, but apart from that I’ll be sending a lot of mares back to the more proven and established stallions.

"The first-season stallions certainly do feature in our plans this year." - John Muir

“I’ll also have a few going back to The Autumn Sun, who I was very impressed by last year. And again, John Messara’s faith in the horse gives me the confidence to back up with that stallion again this year.

“We’re obviously in some very difficult times and uncharted waters at the moment, and I think perhaps some studs should consider having a look at their service fees. But, at the same time, there are a lot of good stallions out there who do deserve to have their fees at that sort of level.

“We do our best to pick matings for our mares that provide the best fit and maximise our chances of success, but as we all know, this is really a game of chance.

“It’s all about the unknown. That’s what really keeps us going. It can be a bit of a lottery. It’s a bit like talking to a girl on the phone, then finally going to meet her in person and hoping your dreams come true!”

Matings confirmed for well-performing mares

Milburn Creek amassed more than $3.5 million for their select group of yearlings at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale earlier this year, and Muir has carefully picked out the matings for those well-performing broodmares this year.

They include Delphic (Street Cry {Ire}), who is out of a half-sister to the champion Lonhro. She had a yearling colt by Capitalist sell for $375,000 on the Gold Coast in January.

“She unfortunately missed last year, which was disappointing for us, but this spring she’ll go to Pierata, who could be another new sire worth keeping an eye on,” Muir said.

Stakes-winning New Zealand mare Fascination Street (NZ) (Elusive City {USA}) was another Magic Millions standout, earning $425,000 for her colt by Not A Single Doubt.

“She’s in foal to Lonhro at the moment, and we’ll send her to either The Autumn Sun or Pierro this year,” Muir said.

Another North American import

Muir has enjoyed significant success with broodmares brought in from North America, with Roses ‘N’ Wine an obvious example.

“I’ve bought another mare from Kentucky to add to our broodmare band for this year,” he said. “Her name is Chocolate Martini, and she’s by Broken Vow, who I’ve had a bit of luck with previously.

“She’s a Group 2 winner and Group 1-placed, and she’ll be off to Snitzel this spring.”

Chocolate Martini was a US$435,000 (AU$608,447) purchase by Andrew Williams Bloodstock at last year’s Keeneland November Breeding Sale.

She won four races and more than US$500,000 (AU$699,364) in stakes, headed by the G2 Fair Grounds Oaks, and she finished third in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga. She is now a 5-year-old, and Snitzel will be her first mating.

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