Bid Of Faith Wins Impressively

Coming back from a long injury layoff, BID OF FAITH put the writing on the wall with an encouraging second-up placing at Moruya in October. Third-up this Keith Dryden/Scott Collings-trained mare won impressively at Canberra on Melbourne Cup Day.

Ridden by Brendan Ward, she settled well back in the field and gave them a good start on straightening, but powered to the line to score an emphatic win. There was much celebration in Canberra where she was one of a winning treble for the stable.

There was also plenty of cheering at Flemington where a number of the owners were in our party in the Panorama Restaurant.

She appears to be in good form going forward, and was scratched from a strong race at Goulburn last Sunday due to a wide gate, and runs again this afternoon (Friday 1 December) in Canberra, but has a wide gate to contend with again, so will need a lot of luck.

Stakes Win #4 As Maygrove Goes For Gold

Australian-bred Maygrove returned to the top of his game at Awapuni in New Zealand on Saturday, capturing the Listed Feilding Gold Cup over 2100m in a gutsy performance.

Winner of four stakes races across the ditch, Maygrove has been out of the winners’ circle since October last year, but fought back strongly when challenged in the Gold Cup.

Having no luck at his most recent outing in the Listed Rotorua Challenge Plate, when second up from a spell, Maygrove had to overcome a wide draw at Awapuni, taking up the lead 600m from home and then holding on gamely.

“He (Maygrove) had to overcome the draw and a big weight (59kgs), but it was a tough effort from the horse,” an admiring trainer, Andrew Forsman, said after the race.

The flashy grey is something of a crowd favourite in New Zealand and has now compiled eight wins – including the Group Two Wellington Cup and Group Two Awapuni Cup – and 15 placings from 47 starts for over NZ$400,000 in stakes.

Now a 7YO, Maygrove was bred in NSW by the Laurel Oak Lady Zhivago Syndicate, which is managed by leading bloodstock agent, Louis Mihalyka.

“We’ve always had an opinion of Maygrove and were actually the underbidders when he sold to Bruce Perry Bloodstock for NZ$110,000 as a yearling,” Mihalyka points out. “He is by the former Darley stallion, Authorized: a son of Montjeu who won the 2007 Epsom Derby. John O’Shea really liked the horse at the time and said to me that he wanted to train him, but obviously the other mob were keen to buy him too.

“Laurel Oak raced Maygrove’s mother, Lady Zhivago, which we’d purchased at Easter for $120,000 and she ended up winning a couple in Sydney and a VRC race at Bendigo.”

HOOFNOTE: Mihalyka has an interesting story as to how Maygrove got his name.

“When he was being sold as a yearling, some people from a local rest home were there at the sale for a day out. Maybe they liked him because he was a grey, but anyway the new owner got wind of it and decided to name the horse after their rest home … Maygrove. Evidently they now take a bus load to the races to follow the horse whenever he goes around.”

News from Aushorse

Fourth Black Type Win For Laurel Oak Bred Maygrove (NZ)

Bought for $110,000 at Karaka in 2012, accomplished stayer Maygrove (Authorized) took his prizemoney earnings to almost four times that amount with another tenacious performance in Saturday’s $50,000 Listed Ricoh Feilding Gold Cup (2100m) at Awapuni.

Ridden by Johnathan Parkes for Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Maygrove trailed the early leader and then made his move as the field rounded the home turn.

The grey kicked away and opened up a clear advantage, then stuck to his guns under 59 kilograms to win by a long neck.

Raced by Lib Petagna’s JML Bloodstock in partnership with Patrick O’Rourke, Maygrove has now had 47 starts for eight wins, 12 placings and just over $409,000 in prizemoney. This was his fourth stakes win, having previously won the Group 2 Wellington Cup and Awapuni Gold Cup along with the Listed Jakkalberry Classic.

Maygrove was bred by the Laurel Oak Lady Zhivago Syndicate.

Copy: NZB, Image: Maygrove claiming the Listed Ricoh Feilding Gold Cup – Race Images PNth

Sikhing Glory wins again plus other news

I love an interim bulletin edition of Grandstand View. It means we have a winner or have other good news to report.

Sikhing Glory made it three in a row when he won at Warwick Farm last Wednesday.

We will also take this opportunity of an interim bulletin to rectify a ‘wrong’ of last week. When the October edition of Grandstand View went out it turned out that the links to the last three articles were chopped off. These included ‘New names’ and ‘Links to additional information’ which included the Summary of Laurel Oak Horses and Social Calendar.

It turns out that this was due to the length of the newsletter so we will be watching that in the future.  (Hooray I hear you say!)

These stories and links are included here again.

I have just returned from my 24th consecutive Cox Plate. Over that time we have seen some sensational races and some great horses, but none better than Winx over those years. It was an absolute pleasure to see her complete her Cox Plate treble, albeit slightly more nervously than expected. Not quite the jangled nerves of Black Caviar’s Royal Ascot win though!

Sikhing Glory Hat-Trick 

Winning hat-tricks are difficult for horses. It may not seem so when referring to Winx and her 22 straight wins and Cox Plate hat-trick. But for the more humble steed the handicapping system is designed to even things out to make that more difficult.

So were extra-delighted when Sikhing Glory completed his winning hat-trick at his first attempt at city racing when he won really well at Warwick Farm last Wednesday.

Trainer Joe Pride had worked out the best riding pattern for the horse – on pace but with cover – and at his last two starts Jay Ford has executed that perfectly. Sikhing Glory had a good trail to the corner but was pocketed entering the straight, but once the run appeared he stretched out beautifully to record a strong win.

Sikhing Glory was very strong to the line completing his hat-trick in what was a good quality midweek race at Warwick Farm on 25 October (Photo courtesy Bradleys)

From here his next start is planned for Rosehill on 11 November over 1100m before heading for a well-earned break to mature a little more.

Bred by the Laurel Oak Soul Diva Syndicate Sikhing Glory has now recorded four wins and three placings for his last seven starts for career earnings of $84,780.

Happy owners, happy horse after Sikhing Glory’s Warwick Farm win (Photo courtesy Bradleys)

Two back-to-back winners

Welcome to the October edition of Grandstand View, the second in our new format.

As part of our new newsletter system, we have sent out two interim reports to-date, celebrating the win of CONFIDENTIAL in Canberra and sharing our excitement in having EXCELTIC as our first-ever runner in the Breeder’s Plate, the first 2yo race of the season. Unfortunately the latter did not eventuate. We sent the pre-race report on Wednesday; by Thursday there was an element of doubt as to whether Exceltic would be right to run; and by Saturday morning he was scratched from the race as it was clear that he had had enough for the time being and a spell would do him more good than a race start.

To their credit, the Australian Turf Club still provided Member’s passes for all attending owners, as a lot of owners had planned to be at the big Epsom Day race meeting, but suddenly did not have a horse racing.

Off the track it was a very big month for Jill and me as our only son, Alex, whom many of you know as part of the Laurel Oak team, married his sweetheart, the lovely Rachel, on 7 October. With overseas relatives staying with us for almost two weeks before and after the wedding, a lot of our focus in that time was on the wedding itself (which went off superbly), and pre- and post-wedding celebrations and activities.

The newlyweds Alex and Rachel look so happy together. Early reports from Rachel say that Alex does what he is told and from the evidence of this photo I can understand why (photo courtesy of Ian Mathieson)

It is obviously a very exciting time of year, with the Sydney Spring Carnival culminating in The Everest now concluded, and the Melbourne Spring Carnival building up to its highlight, being Melbourne Cup Week. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we will have a Laurel Oak runner competing in the big events this year. Social media reminded us that Caulfield Cup Day was the 12-month anniversary of Laurel Oak’s best-ever day at the races, when REBEL DANE won the Gp 1 Manikato Stakes and SIR BACCHUS won the following race at the Moonee Valley meeting to make it a sensational double for our owners. Runner-up to Sir Bacchus that night was Redkirk Warrior, who subsequently went on to win the Newmarket Handicap, and then earlier this month ran in The Everest.

Rebel Dane is of course now retired and at stud, whilst Sir Bacchus is having an extended spell recovering from a cracked pelvis. While our racing team appears to be oozing with talent, so far none of them has emerged to prove to be as good as Rebel Dane or even Sir Bacchus at this point in time, while timing has not worked out right for our proven Saturday-class horses and potential Carnival horses to be running in big races this spring.

Fortunately, away from big Carnival races, the team is racing well. While we haven’t had a lot of runners in the past few weeks, compared to some months of the year, there is a wave of horses in work and getting near the trial or race stage, so there will be increasing action to report in the coming weeks and months.

From our recent runners though SIKHING GLORY and FLASH IN THE DARK both made it back-to-back wins.


Our regular summary of all Laurel Oak horses and where they are up to can now be accessed via this link. The horses have been split into the main categories of Current 3yos and Older, Current 2yos, Horses Under Management, Broodmares, Broodmares Under Management, and Stallion Shares, with other categories included whenever appropriate. The horses are listed under alphabetical order within their category, with the information relating to upcoming runners being replicated in a separate summary under the heading of Upcoming Runners at the start of the summary.

This summary will be updated regularly as the information on the individual horses comes to hand and has been advised to the owners of those horses.

Access password is: laureloak

Summary of Laurel Oak horses

Exciting News – Laurel Oak Breeders’ Plate Runner

We certainly do not plan to bring you an interim Grandstand View update every time we have a runner, only when we have an extra-special runner. (All our runners are special, and render us excited pre-race, hence the need for “extra-special”!)

For the first time in Laurel Oak’s history, we will have a runner in the $150,000 Listed Breeders’ Plate, the first 2yo race of the season for colts and geldings, run this Saturday, 30 September, on what is Epsom Handicap Day and Sydney’s premier spring raceday.

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Confidential in impressive win

Two weeks ago we introduced our new format of Grandstand View, which gave us the flexibility to bring you interim news messages on a more timely basis.

Unusually for Laurel Oak these days we went thirteen days without a runner, but pleasingly the thirteen days were book-ended by two wins. Thirteen days ago it was SIKHING GLORY, and now we are delighted to celebrate the win of CONFIDENTIAL in Canberra last Friday, as the first of our interim updates.

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Grandstand View has a new format

Welcome to the first edition of the new format of Grandstand View, Laurel Oak’s monthly client newsletter.

This is a combined August/September edition that allows us the time to establish this new format, and a fuller explanation can be found here.  There will be two stages to the format change, and this newsletter will reflect the first of those, which will also be explained in greater detail later in this newsletter.

The purpose of the new format is to be able to provide you with more timely information between Grandstand View editions, and also to make the newsletter more concise whilst still providing you with access to the information that you would normally have received in the newsletter.

But first, we will focus on what we really like to do best, and that is our Laurel Oak racehorses.

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