The attraction (and success) of Australian-bred mares on the international stage was clearly evident at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale last week.
When David Merrick started working for Widden Stud in 1992, breeding legends such as Bletchingly and Marscay were ruling the roost, Paul Keating was Prime Minister, the Brisbane Broncos won their first premiership, Mabo was decided and we were watching shows like Acropolis Now.
Named in honour of the recently retired racing immortal, Saturday’s Group One Winx Stakes would belong to the outsider, Samadoubt, who defied the odds by leading from go to whoa.
It’s been a big week for the South Australian breeding industry with the ‘unveiling’ of two likely spring stars in Golden Rose contender, Dawn Passage, and – on Saturday – Group Three David A Coles AM Spring Stakes winner, Dalasan.
They all started closer to the bottom of the racing ladder than the top, and they have all graduated to a level that makes them indispensable to the operation of one of Australia’s biggest industries. Johan Petzer, the Chairman of Stewards, Thoroughbred Racing South Australia and the Chairman of the Awards judging panel is a big supporter of the awards.
It’s somewhat fitting that Saturday’s Listed TAB Lightning Stakes winner, Assertive Approach, is out of a mare called Arrival.