Rebel Dane primed for William Reid return

There is not as much prestige and a considerable difference in stakes than the obvious alternative.

But for Sydney sprinter Rebel Dane and his trainer Gary Portelli, winning the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley promises to be just as significant as a victory in the TJ Smith Stakes.

Looking to Rebel Dane’s future beyond the racetrack, Portelli and the horse’s syndicate of owners have chosen the lesser of two Group One sprint races run eight days apart in setting the entire for a first-up Melbourne win.

Rebel Dane is also already a Group One winner but another success at racing’s elite level would add value to his career as a commercial sire.

“We are probably a better chance of winning a Group One if we go to Moonee Valley rather than go to Randwick and be a ten-to-one shot and run another place in the TJ Smith,” Portelli said.

Rebel Dane Boss

“The William Reid is a Group One race, he’s a stallion and it’s very important for him if we can get him over the line.”

Rebel Dane earned $450,000 in finishing second to Lankan Rupee in last year’s TJ Smith and he gets $240,000 for a William Reid win.

“It would have been great to race him in both because it’s hard to turn your back on a race worth two and a half million dollars,” Portelli said.

“We ran second in the TJ last year with him but it wasn’t going to be any easier this year. Terravista is going to be there and so is Chautauqua.

“Around the Valley he’s been competitive against Lankan Rupee and Buffering but on the bigger tracks they’ve just had that little bit on us.”

Rebel Dane was among a host of unlucky runners when figuring in a blanket finish behind Lankan Rupee in last year’s Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley and Portelli says his horse is due for a change of fortune at the track.

“He’s had a couple of goes at the Valley and he’s been unlucky so hopefully his turn comes this time,” Portelli said.

“The field is a rung below the TJ Smith but there’s still genuine Group One horses like Angelic Light and Famous Seamus so it’s not going to be a walk in he park for anyone.”
News from Just Horse Racing

Premier Yearling Purchases

In what was a really good sale for Laurel Oak Bloodstock, we were fortunate enough o secure four yearlings, outlined below.

Lot 113: Fastnet Rock x Dance To My Tune colt from the draft of Newgate Farm (as agent for Morning Rise Stud) was purchased from the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for $140,000.

The colt is the first living foal of the dual Listed-winning, Group One placed Stravinsky mare Dance To My Tune.

Mares by Stravinsky have produced four Group One winners to date, and three are bred on the Danehill-line x Stravinsky cross – Lankan Rupee, Mosheen and Pataques, while the other is the three-time Group One winner Rip Van Winkle.

To view Pedigree, please click here.

Lot 113 - Laurel Oak


Lot 269: Fastnet Rock x Valkyrie Diva filly from the draft of Milburn Creek (as agent for Makybe) was purchased from the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for $280,000.

Out of the Group 3 winner Valkyrie Diva (Jade Robbery), a half-sister to none other than Makybe Diva, as well as stakes winners Musket and La Amistad, this colt is a three-quarter brother to the Listed winner Wales (Redoute’s Choice).

This pedigree cross of Fastnet Rock x Jade Robbery mare has produced one winner from one runner, the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner Jade Marauder.

To view Pedigree, please click here.

Lot 269 - Laurel Oak

Lot 319: Reward For Effort x Lickety Lemon colt from the draft of Chatswood Stud was purchased for $60,000 from the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

From the second crop of the Group One Blue Diamond winner Reward For Effort, the colt is the second foal out of the Listed winning Lemon Drop Kid mare Lickety Lemon, a half-sister to Street Cry’s Listed winner Cry Of Freedom.

From the family of Group 1 winners Seven Springs, Distant View, Regal State, Pleasantly Perfect and Elusive Kate, mares by Lemon Drop Kid have produced almost 40 stakes performers.

To view Pedigree, please click here.

Lot 319 - Laurel Oak


Lot 697: Star Witness x Long Long Ago colt was purchased for $85,000 from the draft of New Zealand vendor Henley Park (as agent) on the final day of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

From the second crop of the dual Group 1 winner Star Witness, this colt is the first foal out of the winning Lonhro mare Long Long Ago, herself a daughter of a sister to Group 1 winners Universal Prince and Universal Queen.

To view Pedigree, please click here .

Lot 697 - Laurel Oak

Posh Rock Pounces At Ballarat

The saying “I’ve been everywhere man”….really applies to our four-year-old Fastnet Rock mare Posh Rock, having done her earlier racing in Victoria before a few runs in New South Wales and then back to Victoria where she was successful at winning the Maiden Plate over 1400m at Ballarat on Thursday for trainer Tony Noonan.

Finishing just over two lengths in fourth position when racing fist-up this time in, the step up in trip really helped the mare to break her maiden and start to show some promise.

Jumping away with the rest of the field, she went forward to settle in fourth position with the favourite on her inside.

Never letting the well-backed runner out of his sight, jockey Jake Noonan had the favourite pocketed and kept him there, stuck right behind the leading duo with nowhere to go.

Posh Rock surged late to take the event by a head with favourite backers left wondering what may have been.. but oh well.. Posh Rock won and that is all that matters!

Posh Rock

Purchased from the Magic Millions Yearling sale from the draft of Newhaven Park Stud, Posh Rock is a full-brother to the Group Three-winning, Group One placed We’re Gonna Rock from a family that includes the Group One Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso.

Not only do the connections take home the first place prize money collect, but the also had an additional $20,000 VOBIS Gold bonus added in!

Well done to Laurel Oak Harriet (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Mystery Downs (Mgr: F W Cook), A N Fitzgerald, Glenloth Racing (Mgr: P W Hickey), T D Millard, A R Bennett, J D C Allen, Grant Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: S P Grant), Talbot Racing (Mgr: E T Aldridge), Ms C Munnich, R J Barker and Mrs R C Fitzgerald on the victory of the well bred mare.

A special mention to trainer Tony Noonan, with the victory of Posh Rock foillowing on from the recent wins of Grand Orator and Swiftly Red in the past month!

Swiftly Red went on to finish third two races after Posh Rock was successful at Ballarat.

Dissident Was Simply Orr Some…

When it was made public that shares were available in Group One winner Dissident as a stallion prospect, Laurel Oak Bloodstock jumped at the chance to secure a small share.

On Saturday we were rewarded when the Peter Moody-trained runner crossed the line in front, claiming his fourth Group 1 victory – the CF Orr Stakes.

Below is The Racing Network’s report on the victory.

Dissident added a fourth Group 1 victory to his name after winning Saturday’s $400,000 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

Settling fourth with cover away from the fence, Dissident ($2.80 favourite) sprinted best to overrun early leader Entirely Platinum ($13) by 1½ lengths.

Dissident-CF Orr Stakes 20150214-3645_edit

Mourinho ($21), who settled behind the leader, finished third a further long neck away.

Java ($8.50) raced outside Entirely Platinum in the lead and stuck on admirably for fourth in the on-pace dominated race.

Dissident’s victory provided Moody with his fifth win in the C.F. Orr Stakes in the past six years.

Moody has won the race with Typhoon Tracy (2010 and 2011), Black Caviar (2012) and Moment of Change (2014).

“I’m just proud of the horse, he has done a tremendous job,” Moody said.

“It’s good to see him bounce back from the Valley (when third in the Australia Stakes) and over seven furlongs to a mile he is almost unbeatable, certainly under these conditions.”

Dissident has raced 19 times for six wins and seven placings with prizemoney now just below the $2.1 million mark.

The four-year-old entire by Sebring will have his next start in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 28 before being sent to Sydney for a tilt at races such as the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and Doncaster Mile (1600m).

However Moody is mindful of protecting his stud value and should the weather deteriorate during Sydney’s autumn carnival, he might be retired to stud immediately.

“It’s not a matter of not running him in races he can’t win, it’s a matter of not running him in conditions he can win as he’s not at his best on soft ground,” Moody added.

Grand Orator surges at Mornington for strong win

Grand Orator proved too strong on his home track for Mornington-based trainer Tony Noonan who is having a stellar week with his third winner in five days.

Settling at the back of the field in the Chadwick Grimmond Engineers Handicap over 1200m under New Zealand apprentice Michael Dee, Grand Orator created a few nervous furlongs for Noonan and connections.

“Coming into the turn, you’d have probably ripped your ticket up but on his home track, we knew he was capable of doing that uphill work in the straight and Michael rode him with good confidence,” Noonan said.

“He’s still only lightly raced for a 6-year-old and he’s one of the most honest workers you can find in a stable.

“It’s just a great win for Louis (Mihalyka) at Laurel Oak and his entire team.”

Grand Orator 11-02-2015

Giving the leader eight lengths at the top of the straight, Dee pulled Grand Orator out to be the widest runner upon straightening.

Once balanced up, Dee pulled for the whip 100m from home where the Grand Orator ($6) responded gallantly to produce an electric burst of speed to score by half-a-length from Spencer Street ($8) and Count The Interest ($13) in third.

The win was Dee’s second metropolitan win for Noonan from as many rides for the stable since the apprentice’s arrival in Australia.

“We watched him (Dee) a lot in New Zealand and were amazed that he could claim 3(kg) in the city,” Noonan said.

“He did the job for us on Saturday and again today so I have no doubt he is going places.”

Today’s win brought Grand Orator’s prize money earnings to $119,223 from 22 starts.

News from Tony Noonan Racing

Classic Yearling Sale Purchases

At this year’s Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Laurel Oak Bloodstock were fortunate enough to secure four yearlings.

Three of the lots secured were fillies that were purchased by clients and the opportunity could present itself later in the year for Lease Share opportunities.

The remain lot purchased was a Smart Missile colt for the Keith Dryden Stable that is currently being filled by laurel Oak and Dryden Stable clients.

Below is a brief outline of each of the purchased lots and if you would like any further information, please touch base with the Laurel Oak Bloodstock office by clicking here.

Lot 180: Bay Filly, Domesday x La Belle Chataigne, Amarina Farm – Pedigree

Lot 180 - Laurel Oak Bloodstock

The second foal from the stakes placed Catbird mare, herself a half-sister to Luskin Star’s stakes placed gelding Galileo, as well as the Rory’s jester colt Marcel. This is also the family of the Group Three winner Chez Paree, the Listed-winning, Group One placed Prophet’s Kiss and the Listed winning sprinter Juggling Time.

By Darely’s Group Two-winning son of Red Ransom in Domesday, he is a tough and consistent site, having produced the Group One winner Pressday, which was sold through the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale ring a few years back.

Lot 216: Brown/Black filly, Manhattan Rain x Lynstel, by Elusive Quality, Marquee Stud (as agent) – Pedigree

Lot 216 - Laurel Oak Bloodstock

This filly is the first foal of the winning Elusive Quality mare Lynstel, a daughter of the Listed VRC Chubb Stakes winner Sojustrememberthis, who is herself a half-sister to the dual Group Three winner Fouardee.

From a pedigree that also includes the Champion Sun Classique, and Australian bred who raced with success in South Africa as well as in the UAE, our filly is by Encosta de Lago’s Group One winner Manhattan Rain, whose progeny are highlighted by the Group Two winner Moonovermanhattan.

Lot 441: Bay Colt, Smart Missile x Surfer Rosa, by Encosta de Lago, Rheinwood Pastoral Co, (as agent) – Pedigree

Lot 441- Laurel Oak Bloodstock

This classy specimen is the third foal of the Encosta de Lago mare Surfer Rosa, a half-sister to Zabeel’s Group Two performer Sunnah, as well as a half-sister to the dam of the Group Three-winning, Group One placed Full Of Spirit and the Group Three winner Lady Cumquat.

From the family of Champions St Reims and Champagne, who between them won four Group One races, this colt is from the first crop Fastnet Rock’s Group Two-winning, Group One placed son Smart Missile, the colt who put an end to Sepoy’s unbeaten juvenile winning streak.

Lot 534: Bay Filly, Oratorio (IRE) x Aussie Enchantee, by Alhaarth, Middlebrook Valley Lodge (as agent) – Pedigree

Lot 534 - Laurel Oak Bloodstock

The fourth foal of Aussie Enchantee, who is already the dam of the ever consistent filly Doubtfilly, the winner of the Listed BRC Ascot Handicap, as well as finishing a gallant fourth in the Group One Golden Slipper of her year behind Pierro, Snitzerland and Samaready.

Swiftly Does It!

If you take a look through the Steward’s Report of Swiftly Red (Testa Rossa) you can see that she has had excuses in many of her races, but in what was a great effort, the mare finally produced the goods to win the Sale Signtorque Maiden Plate over 1205m (even though the jockey lost the whip!!)

The now four-year-old mare appears to have matured and could be back on track to show the promise that everyone always felt she has possessed.

Jumping away well from barrier 6 in the large field of 16 runners, it looked as if the Swiftly Red was going to have a hard luck story once again as she started to over race, but jockey Nick Hall managed to get her to settle and she started to travelled well once she went forward.

Getting some clear running, a gap appeared and the mare raced through it, accelerating away to hit the lead with about 150m to go before holding off Sequins ‘N’ Spice to record a nice length and three-quarter victory.


Trainer Tony Noon had set the mare for this race, and was reward with the win.

“With the VOBIS bonus available here, we targeted the mare at this race and it’s just a great feeling when plans come to fruition like this because we knew she had the ability to win and it was just a matter of getting her to focus.

“At the start of the prep, I was confident that she would be racing in the city by the end of this prep so I look forward to seeing her work through the grades.”

A special congratulations to trainer Tony Noon and to her patient owners; Laurel Oak Jane Syndicate (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), A N Fitzgerald, Mrs M D Turnbull, Boeara Holdings Syndicate (Mgr: Mrs D A Dunphy), D A Jeffery, Mrs C J Jeffery, Miss A L Goble, K E O’Brien, Mrs T O’brien, P W Hickey, Mrs A M Hickey, Mrs M V Horrigan, P Sutton and Mrs R C Fitzgerald.

Now that she has broken through, fingers and toes are crossed that she can continue her winning ways!

Mighty Maygrove All Class In Wellington Cup

Having always shown staying ability, as was evident by his path to the Group 1 New Zealand Derby during his Classic season, it is as four-year-old that Maygrove, a product of the Laurel Oak Zhivago Breeding Syndicate has really come into his own, having record six top three placed efforts prior to his start in the Group 2 staying contest.

By Darley’s Epsom Derby winner Authorized, out of the former Laurel Oak Bloodstock raced Zabeel mare Lady Zhivago, it was always evident that Maygrove was bred to stay, and stay he did.

MG1A narrow second last time out in the Listed Marton Cup over 2200m, the step up to the 2400m of the Wellington Cup say the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained grey started the race favourite once again, and after jumping away well from the gates, he settled just ahead of mid-field.

Challenging when it was clear he was going better than anyone else in the race, jockey Matthew Cameron allowed his mount to stride forward, and he pulled his way clear of the rest of the field to record a commanding two length victory.

“He has been very impressive,” commented Forsman.

“Even when he raced in the Derby he was a very immature horse and is still a bit immature now but he is slowly getting there.”

“He has always shown ability and we always thought he would be up to this level, it was just a matter of waiting for him and letting him do it in his own time. The key has been not rushing him and letting him come through the grades and finding soft options for him on his way through.”

When he was a yearling and going through the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales, we were actually the under bidders on the colt, but the good news for the Lady Zhivago Breeding Syndicate was that the other party was too strong at $NZ120,000, so they had a good result in the sale ring.

Currently in foal to Reliable Man, a winner of the Group 1 French Derby (2100m) and the Group 1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), we wait with anticipation until next Spring, where the resultant foal will have a nice and healthy black type pedigree behind it come sale time!

To view a race replay, please click on the below image.

Maygrove wins

Exciting Win by Exciting Stayer

Exciting young stayer Maygrove (Authorized) achieved an impressive first stakes victory in the $200,000 Group 2 Platinum Homes Wellington Cup (2400m) at Trentham yesterday.

Maygrove WC Trish

From the stable of Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Maygrove has produced five wins from his 20 starts. The four-year-old gelding has had a stellar season, placing in seven of his nine starts this campaign including four wins with his last result running second in the Listed Gallagher Marton Cup.

“He has been very impressive,” commented Forsman. “Even when he raced in the Derby he was a very immature horse and is still a bit immature now but he is slowly getting there.

“He has always shown ability and we always thought he would be up to this level, it was just a matter of waiting for him and letting him do it in his own time. The key has been not rushing him and letting him come through the grades and finding soft options for him on his way through.”

Jockey Matthew Cameron rode Maygrove to victory after a steady start to the race with the pair going forward from barrier five. Cameron and Maygrove sat comfortably ahead of mid-field throughout the 2400m journey.

Challenging the rest of the field, Maygrove progressed forward and confidently headed for home for a two-length victory. Powering along the outside was Perfect Start (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) who took second place and She’s Insatiable (NZ) (Ustinov) finished in third position.

The son of Authorized earned $118,750 in yesterday’s victory, increasing his total stakes to $189,260 for Lib Patenga’s JML Bloodstock Ltd & P W O’Rourke.

“There are no immediate plans for him,” said Forsman. “He will go to the paddock for a couple of weeks now. There are no firm plans but the owners are keen to have a go in Australia at some point.

“We are very lucky to have the backing of Lib (Patenga) and Bruce (Perry), it is a big boost to us. Bruce buys very good horses, he does his homework and he is a good judge so you are a very good chance when you get one of their horses into the stable.”

Maygrove was purchased by Bruce Perry Bloodstock for $110,000 at the 2012 Karaka Select Yearling Sale from Haunui Farm. Haunui Farm has 13 horses catalogued in this year’s Karaka Premier Sale which commences tomorrow.

Bred by Laurel Oak Lady Zhivago Syndicate, Maygrove is out of winning Zabeel mare Lady Zhivago (Zabeel), who is a three-quarter-sister to stakes winner Zaza (Zabeel), winner of the Listed South Island Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.

Story from New Zealand Bloodstock

Photo courtesy of Trish Dunell.

Good Day at the “Farm”

With three runners set to race at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, all for trainer Gary Portelli, the Laurel Oak Bloodstock team ended the day with a winner and a second placed performance – not a bad effort at all.


Last start winner Tuscan Falls (pictured left), headed back to the city after impressively breaking his maiden at Newcastle on Boxing Day to step up to the 1000m of Race 2: Drummond Golf.

Ridden by James McDonald, the well-bred Nicconi three-year-old finished second, clearly indicating that there is talent there, he just has to put it all together.

Congratulations to his connections; Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd ( Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Hon. W R Haylen, J M Ryan, J T O’brien, N Macdonald, S C Cook, Mrs K Fraser, M R Tudehope, D Monch, M J Baumann, K Macdonald, J R Wilson, C J Reynolds, R H Spee, W A Chalker, S M Sandridge, M J Clift, R I Cullen and P Mckenzie on the effort.

Two races later, our special mare All My Loving headed to the barriers as one of the outsiders of the field behind the short-priced favourite Artibai.

Having finished third last time out of 2100m at Gosford where she was beaten less than a length, trainer Gary Portelli decided to step her up to the 2400m for the first time, a distance her pedigree may suggest that she wouldn’t run out, well at least her sprinting sire Not A Single Doubt would have something to say about that!

Settling towards the rear of the field for Winona Costin, the Laurel Oak Rose (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Jalana (Mgr: D Gremmo), A N Fitzgerald, L J Carpenter, Mrs K A Carpenter, Ms K L Benson, Mrs S L Grant, S James, S E Johnston, Mrs P Hunter-Knight, Mrs J C Mcauliffe, Mrs V Racovalis, Ms A Kung, Mrs C A Mathieson, Mrs R C Fitzgerald, G M Fitzgerald and L A Brennan-owned mare started to make ground around the field as they headed for home.

Looking a live chance to catch the leaders with 200m to go, her group of owners could be heard cheering her on extremely loudly as All My Loving surged to recorded her third career win, getting up to defeat the favourite by a head margin, with a further length and a quarter back to the third horse.


Secured at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Cathy Hain’s Burnewang North, All My Loving is out of the Black Minnaloushe mare Valentine Rose – this is where she gets her ability to run a trip.

With three wins and seven placed performances from 19 starts to date, it is great to report that 10% of her prize money goes to the Breast Cancer Foundation!

We would like to thank trainer Gary Portelli for a good day “out at the farm” and we are looking forward to the carnival getting underway in a few weeks’ time!!

Thanks to Burnewang North for uploading the below picture of All My Loving as a foal…

All My Loving as a foal

Cannonball Goes Bang!

With four prior starts to his credit, the Tony Noonan-trained Cannonball Express headed to Bairnsdale on December 30 to contest the Pallots Jewellers Maiden Plate over 1600m.

Settling in a mid-field position on the rails after jumping away from the inside barrier for jockey Reece Wheeler, Cannonball Express drifted back a little due to the hot tempo set up in the lead by Berkley Gardens, the short-priced favourite.

Slowly making up ground along the rails, the Al Maher gelding pulled himself into a clear third before the home turn before knuckling down extremely well to chase the leader and produced a top-quality effort to take the race by a length margin, with Flytir a further five-and-a-half lengths back in third .

Despite original tactics going out the door upon missing the jump, trainer Noonan never panicked.

“He’s been a bit of a grinder but in his last gallop, we sat him off his companion and taught him a little bit about chasing and he replicated his training effort today,” Noonan said.

“We purchased him with a view of turning him into a stayer and although his runs to date over shorter distances haven’t looked flash on paper, Louis Mihalyka (part-owner) has been patient with this gelding.

“It’s always a thrill to get a win for Louis and his group and we hope this will be the first of many because this horse will only improve as he gets out further.

After attempting to dig Cannonball Express out of the gates to find the lead to little luck, Wheeler took the sit and settled midfield on the gelding who appeared to be travelling sweetly.

Al Maher x Espresso Cavallo7

“If he missed the kick, Tony said he would be happy just to give him plenty of room,” Wheeler said.

“It was a good strong win in the end.

“He’s looking for further and that will do him the world of good and get him some confidence because he’s on the way up.”

A special congratulations goes out to the fellow owners in Cannonball Express; Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Tony Noonan Racing Pty Ltd, Mr S C Cook, Mr M J Birrell, Mrs N C Birrell, Mr G M Muir, Club Number One, Mr G L Blenkinsop, Mrs K E O’halloran, Mr P D O’halloran, Mr T Kinnear, Mr P Crichton, Mr D A Russell, Mr G Kinnear and Mrs C Kinnear.

Cannonball LOB

With the 2014 coming to a close, Laurel Oak Bloodstock have been lucky to have some further success in the past few days highlighted by the win of Tuscan Falls, as well as some of our runners performing extremely well at the barrier trials with both Texardini and Court Martial Miss both winning their recent trials.

Easy start to preparation for Better Land

Better Land is expected to make a low-key return to racing in the coming weeks following an easy jump out at Caulfield on Tuesday morning.

Trainer Peter Moody is keen for the well-bred colt to kick-off his preparation on the right note and is not afraid to find the easiest race possible.

“At the end of the day, all he has won is a Sale maiden,” Moody said.

“I like to see my horses do everything right on race day and win.

“He lost his way a bit towards the end of the preparation and I’m keen to start from scratch, look to give him a ‘kill’ and then proceed from there.

“I’d say he will be ready to return in about mid January.

“He wasn’t out to do much in the jump-out, just a nice look around for him.”

BETTER LAND_5_RW_09082014__B081.jpg

Better Land, by Shamardal out of Amelia’s Dream, finished second behind Scissor Kick in the Listed Rosebud before being pushed off the track and finishing fourth in the Up And Coming Stakes.

He then started a well-backed $5.50 chance in the Golden Rose but raced well below his best, finishing down the track behind Hallowed Crown after being caught wide from a awkward barrier.

Stablemate Dissident was also sighted at Caulfield on Tuesday morning, galloping before stewards and given the all-clear to continue his preparation after suffering a bleeding attack last preparation.

News from Racing Network

Newcastle victory for Tuscan Falls

Having shown early promise with some very good barrier trial wins, it was great to see our three-year-old gelding Tuscan Falls finally put it all together on the track, breaking his maiden on Boxing Day to give his connections a late Christmas present with a length victory in the East Cessnock Bowling Club Maiden over 900m at Newcastle.

Dropping back from two 1100m runs at his past two starts, the Gary Portelli-trained Tuscan Falls managed to finally have a bit of luck in the run, also having the race run to suit.

Settling back past mid-field and with Andrew Gibbons in the saddle, and with a fast pace upfront, Tuscan Falls was able to come to the outside of the field when needed and produced a great turn of foot to charge late to take the win!

Showing that he appreciated being ridden that way, it would be no surprise to now see him continue to be ridden back in the field and come with a late rush.


Purchased from the draft of Turangga Farm at the 2013 Easter Yearling Sale, Tuscan Falls (pictured below as a yearling) is by the Widden Stud-based Nicconi out of the General Nediym mare Queen Of The Falls, a half-sister to the Group Two-winning, Group One placed Elite Falls (More Than Ready), both daughters of the Danehill mare Niagara Falls, a Group Three winner herself.

Tuscan Falls

Congratulations to the winning connections; Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd ( Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Hon. W R Haylen, J M Ryan, J T O’brien, N Macdonald, S C Cook, Mrs K Fraser, M R Tudehope, D Monch, M J Baumann, K Macdonald, J R Wilson, C J Reynolds, R H Spee, W A Chalker, S M Sandridge, M J Clift, R I Cullen and P Mckenzie.

Great return for Anaphora on Sunday

Resuming from a spell on Sunday at Mornington, our three-year-old Dylan Thomas filly Anaphora produced an outstanding turn of foot to come from well back in the field, from the tail in fact, to finish a very good second.

Having had only two starts in her first campaign, the Tony Noonan-trained three-year-old filly produced two very good efforts finishing third on debut before fourth next time out which then resulted in the filly heading for a break.

While it wasn’t a win, she looks to be back with a bang, and we are excited to see what she produces as her campaign moves forward.

By Dylan Thomas, Anaphora is our of the Bahhare mare Power Of Love, a mare we also raced with Tony Noonan.


Tuscan Falls Dead Heats For Second

Resuming from a spell, Nicconi gelding Tuscan Falls showed some of the potential we now he possesses, finishing a good second over 1100m at Hawkesbury with Brenton Avdulla in the saddle.

Recording some very good trial performances last time in, the Gary Portelli-trained runner didn’t manage to produce that at his only start at the track last campaign.

Coming home well from a mid-field position, Tuscan Falls’ second placed finish indicates that he looks to have matured during his spell and we look forward to seeing what he can produce this campaign.

Likely to step up again in distance next start, fingers crossed the next story you read about him is that he has broken his maiden!

Purchased from the draft of Turangaa Farm at the 2013 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Tuscan Falls is pictured below as a yearling.

Tuscan Falls

Vale Patrick Brain

It is with heavy heart that we bring the news to his many clients and friends that Patrick Brain passed away in his sleep in England on Sunday night a few days short of his 71st birthday.

Unbeknownst to us, Patrick had been ill for two weeks, and only his family were aware that his condition deteriorated quickly in that time.

While bringing you this sad news, it is important to reassure our clients that Brain Pedigree Analysis will continue without change into the future.

As part of succession planning for just such an event, Patrick’s son, Will, has been working with Patrick for eight years, with the past five years being on a full-time basis. In that time Will has done basically all the analysis work, initially under Patrick’s close supervision, and then as the computer systems were developed to a more advanced level Will has been doing the analysis work unsupervised as the computer analysis accurately reflected Patrick’s research findings and theories.

As computer technology became more advanced, the analysis programs had been developed to a level where the computers were able to do most of the analysis work and Patrick focused more on research and development while Will had been completing the analyses.

You will have noticed that in recent years the turnaround time of analysis work has been much quicker and has effectively been 24 to 72 hour turnaround times compared to what were once two to three week turnaround times for analysis work under the older computer programs. This faster turnaround period has coincided directly with Will’s commencement full-time in the business and the development of the computer technology to accurately reflect Patrick’s findings without his subjective review and input, which is how the system originally developed in the early 1990s.

This is a very sad day at Laurel Oak, as Patrick has become a close friend and business partner over the years. I first met Patrick at Hawkesbury races in 1987, when he and a friend, Peter, had a runner in the first race on the program. I went there for a day out with our trainer at the time, Kerry Walker, as he had a large team in that day. He asked me after the first to ‘look after’ the two gentlemen, and we ended up having an extremely jolly day in the Hawkesbury bar.

We subsequently became very good friends with both Patrick and Peter – friendships that have remained to this day. It was Peter who recommended Laurel Oak to Patrick in 1991, when Patrick was looking for an Australasian agent after completing his first year of commercial pedigree advice, coinciding with the English breeding season. When that first European season’s work started to taper, he realised that the Australian breeding season would complement the Northern Hemisphere work to provide a year-round income.

After a few phone calls and faxes back and forwards (there were no such things as emails back then), we realised that the extent of Patrick’s pedigree research put our amateur readings of various breeding publications to shame, and we took on the role as his Australasian agent. The rest, as they say, is history and we have been faithful devotees ever since.

Patrick Brain has serviced the Australasian breeding industry for 23 years. During that time, we have built up a strong and loyal client base that has enjoyed tremendous success in Australasian racing at all levels. Through Patrick, we have learnt so much about pedigrees that we hope to be able to continue to use for many years to come to provide Laurel Oak owners with successful racehorses, and all our Brain clients continued service with Will Brain now at the helm.

Even last Saturday there were winners Australia-wide up to Group 3 level that were bred and raced by clients following analysis recommendations by Brain.

Patrick Brain’s inquisitive mind and determined and relentless approach to research saw him develop a hobby interest into an internationally used pedigree-analysis tool.

We will miss Patrick greatly but we look forward to Patrick’s legacy continuing for many years to come, helping all owners and breeders buy, race and breed better racehorses.

Class Record For Our Miss

Raced in partnership with her breeders and fellow owners, four-year-old War Pass mare Court Martial Miss achieved back to back wins for the team, producing a class record performance over the 1000m in the Southern IML Pathology Benchmark 60 Handicap.

Ridden by Andrew Gibbons, who had ridden the mare to her prior win, the Gary Portelli-trained mare is now unbeaten this time in and has a great record of two wins from three starts to date.

From the first of only two Australian-bred crops of the now deceased War Pass, Court Martial Miss is out of the Zeditave mare Grand Juror, herself a winner of five races and six placed efforts from 26 starts and almost $140,000 in earnings.

With Grand Juror now retired from the breeding barn, Court Martial Miss is the final “female” runner for her dam, with the current two-year-old from the mare named Plea Bargain, being a yet unraced gelding.

All at Laurel Oak Bloodstock would like to congratulate trainer Gary Portelli and the owners; Grant Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr K R Lowe, Mrs M P Lowe, Mr M A Couter, Mrs K Couter, Mrs E K Grant, Pardon and Mr G A Pointon on the win and we look forward to many more!


Court Martial Miss Breaks Maiden

Having only her second career start, and her first of this campaign, four-year-old mare Court Martial Miss headed to Newcastle on Saturday to contest Race 4 of the day, the 3M Maiden handicap over 900m.

Trained by Gary Portelli, the mare was passed in as a yearling (pictured below) in the draft of Widden Stud and it was decided to keep her and Laurel Oak Bloodstock race her in partnership with breeders and a few other owners; Grant Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: S P Grant), M A Couter, Mrs K Couter, Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Pardon (Mgr: K G Sheppard) K Lowe, Mrs M Lowe, Mrs E Grant & G Pointon.

Court MM

Jumping out of the barriers well for Andrew Gibbons, the mare headed along the rail and she settled not too far from the leaders over the short trip.

As the home turned was reached and the leaders appeared to tire, the mare was pulled from around the heels of those in front to start to make her run.

The only danger to Court Martial Miss appeared to be the fellow Gary Portelli-trained runner, but our mare was too tough, taking the race by a narrow head margin from Lot Three Four One, with race leader First The Musket a length and a half back in third.

With only two starts to her resume to date, the War Pass mare still has a lot of racing in her and being the only filly to have raced out of the Zeditave mare Grand Juror, it would be great to get some more wins on the board to add to her residual value.

Court Martial Miss and owner (2)


Rebel Dane Ready For Manikato Return

Connections of Rebel Dane continue to make the best of the hand they’ve been dealt heading into Friday’s Manikato Stakes.
Rebel Dane had his spring campaign derailed by a stone bruise after his first up run and while his pet trip is 1400m, was impressive last start in the Moir Stakes.

“I think he is best over seven furlongs myself however unfortunately the programming doesn’t allow him to race in seven furlong races,” trainer Gary Portelli said.

“I missed my opportunity in the Memsie with the stone bruise and it reoccurred going into the Tramway and from there on the only races which have been available for him have been at the 1200m.”

He will remain at 1200m off another let up on Friday night in the Manikato Stakes.

“Our foreman Greg Miles is looking after him down there,” Portelli told Sky Sports Radio.

“He has reportedly travelled down beautifully.

“He is a seasoned campaigner. Travelling doesn’t seem to knock him around.

“If he can produce his last run and gets any luck at all, I am sure he will be thereabouts.”

It has been a relatively quiet month of stable life for Rebel Dane Horseform since the Moir Stakes.

“We backed off for the first week and a half,” Portelli said.

“He only lost 7kg from the trip which was good and he is back to just 1kg lighter from what he was when he went down for the Moir.

“We are happy with that. After the first week and a half of just trotting and cantering we started to ramp it up and by Saturday morning just gone we gave him a good strong gallop over 800m where he ran 49.5 out wide on the course proper and finished off in about 22.5. His work was strong late.

“He came back and by the time he got to me he was fully recovered so he is ready to go.”

Rebel Dane produced a closing fifth in the 2013 Manikato Stakes after enduring a far from ideal run in transit.

He has drawn more favourably for the 2014 renewal with barrier 3.

“This race will be run at a different tempo,” Portelli said.

“I am more happy to be there (Barrier 3). You need the softest run and all the luck.

“I would rather be there than last year where we drew 7. We were hoping the field would be strung out but it wasn’t and we were three deep.

“There was a bumping duel with Samaready down the back. We were put out of play before the turn and then he stormed home to get beaten just a length.”

Rebel Dane is currently quoted at $9.00 for Friday’s Manikato Stakes with TAB Sportsbet Fixed Odds behind Terravista Horseform and Lankan Rupee Horseform who are vying for favouritism.

Never Fazed About This Winner

Having his second start for Peter and Paul Snowden, Testa Rossa four-year-old gelding Never Fazed headed to Newcastle on Saturday to contest the final race of the day, the Strathayr (Benchmark 65) over 1200m.

A first-up fourth almost three weeks back, Never Fazed appeared slightly uncomfortable on the heavy track that day, and back to a good surface on Saturday, everything fell into place for the Finemore Thoroughbreds, Planette Thoroughbred Trading Pty Ltd, Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Boeara Holdings, Mr P J Duggan, Mr P J Macbeth, Mr A N Fitzgerald, Mrs K A Fraser, Mr D A Jeffery, Rdfit Pty Ltd and Mr R Ward-owned runner.

Ridden by Mitchell Bell, never Fazed defeated Dylan’s Rojo by a head, with a short head to Star Thriller in third.

If you’re a watcher of the trials and the form, Never Fazed was a certainty as in his final trial before his first-up run this time in he finished third, beaten one-and-a-half lengths by Dear Demi, with that mare proving too classy in the Group Two Stock Stakes on Friday night – but then again, there are no certainties in racing!!


Top effort by our Dane..

Contesting the Group One Moir Stakes on Friday night, there was clearly a lot against our Group One winner Rebel Dane – 1200m, an extremely small field, and once they jumped away from the gates and he found himself back in the field, it was always going to be hard.

But once again, he knuckled down late and flew along the inside for jockey Craig Williams to be beaten into third, a short head behind the World’s Top Rated Sprinter Lankan Rupee who was second, beaten a short head being Buffering in first.

All in all it was a very sound run considering he was coming off a seven week let up and we are looking forward to the rest of his campaign!

Congrats to trainer Gary Portelli and all involved with Rebel Dane.

Rebel Dane on the inside finishes a gallant third in the Group One Moir Stakes

Rebel Dane on the inside finishes a gallant third in the Group One Moir Stakes

Trainer Gary Portelli was hoping for bigger field for Rebel Dane in Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley

ONLY four rivals – including Lankan Rupee – was the last thing trainer Gary Portelli wanted for Rebel Dane in tomorrow night’s Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

“He needs a fast run race but when it’s stop and start and tactical it makes it harder for him to use his powerful closing sprint,” Portelli said.

“Looking at Friday night’s field, he might have to contend with that again.

“I’m not scared of Buffering as there’s not much between them when they’ve met, but if Lankan Rupee brings his A grade form then that’s another story. Lankan Rupee gave us a fair touch-up in the T.J. Smith Stakes. In the small field we’ve got a fair task ahead of us.”

Lankan Rupee has opened at $1.50 with TAB, and Rebel Dane is fourth favourite at $7.50.

Portelli said he was looking forward to Rebel Dane returning to Moonee Valley.

His only run at the track was last year’s Manikato Stakes when he finished fifth, beaten a length behind Buffering when he came home strongly off a slow pace.

Trainer Gary Portelli says a small field in the Moir Stakes will hamper Rebel Dane’s powerful closing sprint.

Trainer Gary Portelli says a small field in the Moir Stakes will hamper Rebel Dane’s powerful closing sprint.

“I go in confident that he handles the track well,” he said.

Portelli said a perfect example was Rebel Dane’s only run this time in when he finished third in the Missile Stakes, which also developed into a sprint home .

Portelli said he was also happy to have the tactical nous of jockey Craig Williams in a small field.

Portelli said Rebel Dane’s spring preparation was hampered by a stone bruise before the Tramway Stakes and it flared up again before the Memsie Stakes.

“After that we regrouped and decided to head to the Moir and then the Manikato and then the Darley Classic,” he said.

Portelli said he did not consider Rebel Dane trying to make it back to back Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes on Sunday because he would get too much weight.

“Our aim is to try and win a Group 1 sprint with him, but it’s going to be hard taking on Lankan Rupee every start,” he said.

Portelli said Rebel Dane would have to be in a big field in a race run at a fast pace to win a Group 1 weight-for-age sprint.

“It’s hard to make ground when everyone is recording fast closing sectionals,” he said.

He said he was looked forward to taking on Lankan Rupee in the Darley Sprint Classic (1200m) as he believed the big field and the straight would suit Rebel Dane.

News from Herald Sun

Warinda’s Winning Ways

Having not finished worse that fifth in his ten runs since his last win, our four-year-old War Pass gelding Warinda mange to get his head down when it counted, winning his second career victory when taking out the Bottle Mart Plate (1600m) at Canberra on August 29.

Starting the race favourite based on his utter consistency, the Keith Dryden-trained Warinda settled midfield before producing and effort to win the race by a half head margin from Sindariya with a length back to the third placed Bank On Henry.

A graduate from the Widden Stud draft at the 2011 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, Warinda has never finished further back that fifth, and while everyone would like him to win more often, he is very consistent and now that he has managed to secure another victory, we hope he can now go on with it.

Out of the Woodman mare Tolinda, herself a half-sister to South Africa’s Champion Two-year-old Male Tytola (Last Tycoon), both out of the dual Group Three-winning, Group One placed Tolanda, Warinda’s extensive list of owners include; Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd Synd (Mgr: L Mihalyka), D & Mrs C Jeffery, D Caldwell, W Seay Jnr, R Wise, D Emmerick, K Hudson, P & Mrs A Hickey, S Cottle, Ms L Hanrahan, D Ulrich, P Hart, Mrs J Murray, G Luton, B Luton, M Duncan, G Hargraves & Redbank North Pty Ltd Synd (Mgr: J Middleton) and we would like to congratulate them on the victory.


Better Land to stay in Sydney

Last Saturday’s desperately unlucky runner Better Land will stay in Sydney and take his chance on making the field for the $1 million Golden Rose.

Trainer Peter Moody has decided the fourth placegetter in the Up And Coming Stakes is better off staying in Sydney and chancing his arm on getting a start.

BETTER LAND_5_RW_09082014__B081.jpg

When the ATC released the latest Order Of Entry into the field yesterday, Better Land was in 59th position, but there are many horses above him who will not start in the race.

This morning (Tuesday) at Caulfield, Moody told TVN’s Bruce Clark he had decided to roll the dice with the horse and hope he could squeeze into the final field.

He finished fourth in a rough-house affair last Saturday behind Scissor Kick, when he looked a ‘good thing beaten’.

A win in the Up And Coming would have assured Better Land of a place in the Golden Rose field, to be run at Rosehill Gardens on September 13.

“If he doesn’t make the Golden Rose field there is a Listed race at Flemington over 1400 metres on the same day, so he’ll run in that race if he misses a start in Sydney,” Moody added.

Reported by Neale Donnelley on The Racing Network

Scratch Me Lucky Ready For Spring Return

Brisbane’s newly-crowned premier jockey Tim Bell will return to Sydney to ride Group One placegetter Scratch Me Lucky in the Run To The Rose.

Bell, 21, served most of his apprenticeship in NSW and capped his first season as a senior rider with the Brisbane premiership and his first Group One win on Tinto in the Queensland Oaks.

Bred by by Ramsey Pastoral Co Pty Ltd and Laurel Oak Bloodstock, the Paul Perry-trained Scratch Me Lucky finished second to Peggy Jean in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes and just missed a place in the Champagne Stakes.

Both races were run on wet autumn tracks and the same conditions have been forecast for Saturday’s Rosehill meeting.

Perry has entered Scratch Me Lucky for several major spring races including the Epsom Handicap and the Cox Plate but says he will take it one race at a time.


“He has grown into a darn nice horse. He has had two easy trials to get ready for the Run To The Rose,” Perry said.

“Tim Bell is coming down to ride him.

“We want to get him started and see where we are at. If he goes well on Saturday and then runs in the Golden Rose we will look at things after that.

“He could go to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas Prelude or he could stay here.

“The weather will play a part because we know how good he is in the wet.”

The colt was one of 14 entries taken on Monday for the Group Three 1200m sprint as the three-year-olds scramble for berths in the $1 million Golden Rose (1400m) two weeks later.

The nominations are headed by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Almalad, the only colt to win a juvenile Group One race last season when he beat Brazen Beau in the J J Atkins in Brisbane.

Brazen Beau will be among his rivals on Saturday with trainer Chris Waller also nominating Law and Sniper Fire.

Gerald Ryan, who enjoyed a stellar season with two-year-olds in 2013/14, entered Washington Heights and Ygritte.

He gave thought to nominating Bachman but said he would stick to his plan to go to the Golden Rose first-up.

Bachman has risen in the order of entry after Saturday’s Up And Coming Stakes during which some of his potential opponents were knocked out of the prize money by the wayward Liberation.


News from Caryl Williamson, AAP

Still searching for luck…

Whether you are a “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” kind of person or not – no one can deny the fact that Better Land “could’ve, would’ve and should’ve probably won in Saturday’s Group Three Up And Coming Stakes at Randwick!

Settling on the outside of the field after jumping away from one of the outside gates, Better Land was travelling extremely well for jockey Glyn Schofield, but when the Peter Moody-trained three-year-old looked as if he was going to play a huge part in the finish of the Group Three race, the wayward leader Liberation veered, seemingly from nowhere, right into the path of Better Land – taking his running and literally ending his winning chances. Check out the pictures below of the incident Liberation (Orange Silks) and Better Land (Red Cap and white blaze).

Such wass his determination, Better Land got going again but the same thing happened with Liberation making it clear Better Land was not to pass him.

Finishing fifth across the line, and eventually promoted to fourth in the Steward’s Room, Better Land is now in a precarious position of not having enough prize money in the kitty to make the field of the Group One Golden Rose (1400m) in three weeks’ time.

Post-race, trainer Peter Moody was obviously quite angry about the interference caused to his runner, especially as the culprit had previously behaved in the same manner on the track.

“He doesn’t have enough money to get into the race now and really has left us with some decisions to make about where next,” Moody said.

“He was going that well I thought he was going to win by a couple of lengths and Glyn (Schofield) thought the same thing. He was about to let down and got smashed.

“He picked himself back up and was about to go again and (Liberation) got him again. He was never tested to the line. We know we have a very good horse but we might not be able to get to the race we want now.”

Schofield described Better Land as “the meat in the sandwich” in the first incident. “I just got corkscrewed and then got going again somehow and (Liberation) run out again,” he said. “He should have won.”

All in all, the positive we can take away from the race is that Better Land is a colt with immense promise and while he may not make the field for the Group One Golden Rose (sigh), there are still a lot of opportunities for the colt to aim towards during the spring and we wish all the owners the best of luck.






Beckon Bounces Back

While on paper it appeared as if our Charge Forward six-year-old had been having a bad run of late, but all things were turned around on Saturday when Beckon thundered out of the pack and held off all challengers to win the St Johns Park Bowling Club (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens.

Showing plenty early on in his career when winning his first two starts, things went slightly awry after that and the well-bred Beckon was gelded to help keep his mind on the job! A full-brother to Group One winner Headway, the Peter Moody-trained Beckon had not won since November 2012 when winning at Gosford with the beaten brigade that day including Masterstroke, who was also competitor on Saturday.

Forced to take a 45 weeks spell, Beckon resumed his current campaign in May of this year and while it has taken a few months for everything to fall into place, they finally did on Saturday and his large group of owners could not have been more excited!!

Ridden by Josh Parr, Beckon settled up handy in about fifth position on the rail from barrier two. With last start winner Runway Star ensuring there was a good tempo in the race, Parr pulled Beckon out wide as the field rounded the home turn to start to chase down the leader.

With Maroon Bay going to the inside of the leader and Beckon on the outside, these two pulled away from the rest of the field with Beckon getting his head in front of Maroon Bay to take the win, Masterstroke worked home well into third.

With four wins and a five placed efforts from 21 starts to date, Beckon was secured from the 2010 Magic Millions Yearling Sale from the draft of Turangga Farm and is raced by Laurel Oak Bloodstock Synd (Mgr: L J Mihalyka), Lanista Thoroughbreds Synd (Mgr: S C Cook), D J Daniel, A N Fitzgerald, G S Tucker, A G Charlton, S M Sandridge, S W Hackney, W Gest, K C Ooi, M D Jackson, Mrs K J Hanckel, Ms N Mayhew & Mrs R C Fitzgerald.

Beckon Winners

For more images, head over to the Laurel Oak Facebook page by clicking here.

How to Have The Best Vacation

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The Time is Now

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So close..

Heading to Royal Randwick on Saturday with two live chances in black type races is always great, and although neither crossed the finish line in front, both ran extremely positive races and highlights what hopefully will be a fruitful campaign for both.

The first of the team to head to the starting gates was our three-year-old Shamardal colt Better Land who was having his second career start, stepping up to the Listed Rosebud over 1200m against a handy line up of runners.

Trained by Peter Moody, the Inglis Easter yearling sale graduate was unfortunately planted three-wide in the run after jumping from the outside gate, but produced a brilliant turn off foot when it mattered to go down by three-quarters-of-a-length to last start winner Scissor Kick – pictured below.


Producing what many considered to be the run of the race, it is interesting to note that 12 month prior, trainer Peter Moody also finished second in the race, also with a horse that jumped from barrier 8. That horse was Dissident, who would go on to win the Group One Randwick Guineas and become a very valuable commodity!

We can all hope that down the track we are in the same situation as our son of Shamardal is extremely well-bred being out of the former high-class juvenile Amelia’s Dream who could have been anything!!!

The very next race of the day saw Rebel Dane start first up in the Group Two Missile Stakes over 1200m with new jockey Blake Shinn in the saddle.

Starting the race favourite, the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane settled mid-field in fourth while the four-year-old mare Sweet Idea got a cosy lead.

When the field headed for home, jockey Blake Shinn produced the now five-year-old to make his run, charging at the leaders to be beaten a long head x long head into third, with promising galloper Messene finishing second to Sweet Idea.

With both horses putting in great runs, all at Laurel Oak Bloodstock are excited to see how they progress during this campaign and fingers crossed we will be reporting about victories at their next starts #onwardsandupwards

Fastnet Rock Mare In The Money

Heading back to Wyong after her narrow last start second, our Fastnet Rock mare Posh Rock once again produced a very encouraging run to finish second.

Starting one of the race favourites in the Moneywise Super Funds Maiden over 1350m, the Tony Noonan-trained mare jumped away a little slowly from the inside barriers before jockey James McDonald drove along the rail to sit in third position on the rail behind the leader Crimson Ruby.

With the leader getting a good run in front, when the field turned for home, Crimson Ruby kicked and while Posh Rock continued to make ground on the leader the whole way down the straight, the three kilo weight difference came into play.

Finishing a half-length second, Posh Rock has now recorded back to back second placed efforts and fingers crossed the Magic Millions graduate can go one better next time out as she steps up in trip.

PR Finish

Better Land gets chance to prove his talent

Peter Moody is giving blueblood three-year-old Better Land an early opportunity to prove precisely how good he is.

The champion Melbourne trainer is giving the son of Shamardal and former brilliant filly Amelia’s Dream a crack at the $100,000 Listed The Rosebud (1200m) at just his second start.

The only time the colt has been to the races was for a three-length Sale maiden win in April and while Moody is not convinced he will measure up to the top level, he said he might have struck the right year to have a crack at the early three-year-old features.

“He’s like everyone’s three-year-olds; we’re just hoping they improve sufficiently to measure up to the better grade,” Moody said.

“Probably all of this season’s three-year-old colts are in the same bracket because none of them actually shone at two.

“The two best two-year-old colts (from last season) are maidens – Jabali and Cornrow – so anyone with a three-year-old that they’ve got any opinion of are entitled to have a crack at what is supposedly the better grade.

“Is it six months too soon? Yes, I think it is, but to get seasoned he’s going to be taking on the better class.”

Better Land will tackle a Rosebud field full of horses in a similar boat. None of the field have had any more than three starts and two rivals – John O’Shea-trained favourite Sarajevo and Gai Waterhouse’s Echo Prince – have had just one start for a win in maiden grade.

Inkling, Bold Circle and Scissor Kick are other last-start winners in the race, while the remaining runners – Nayeli and Hero I Am – are also winners.

None of Better Land’s rivals are as well-travelled as the $400,000 purchase from last year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale (pictured as a yearling).

Better Land Yearling

Sent out to the far east of the state for his debut run and spent the bulk of the winter spelling in Queensland, where he trialled before heading down to Moody’s Randwick stable late last month.

How he performs in The Rosebud, in which he will be ridden from Kerrin McEvoy and start from the outside barrier in the field of eight, will determine future plans but Moody did use last year’s race to launch the campaign of Dissident, who went on to run second to Zoustar in the Group 1 Golden Rose.

“I did a similar thing with Dissident, but bear in mind he was a bit more experienced,” Moody said. “He’d had a couple of runs and ran in a Blue Diamond, so he was more seasoned.

“But this guy is a well-bred colt that I’ve always had a good opinion of.”

The Rosebud is the key support race on an exciting Randwick program that includes a sterling edition of the Missile Stakes.

Boban, Hawkspur, Kirramosa and Weary are among the possible Spring Racing Carnival stars who will launch their campaigns in the event that also contains Group 1 winners Rebel Dane and Laser Hawk and classy types Messene, Sweet Idea and Thump.

Story by Brad Bishop, Racing Victoria

Missile Mission – Portelli Looking For Rebel To Show True Colours

The Sportsman’s Ray Hickson speaks to Rebel Dane’s trainer Gary Portelli about his chances first up in Saturday’s G2 Missile Stakes.

Trainer Gary Portelli admits his star sprinter Rebel Dane could be at a crossroads if he doesn’t finish in the first two, or maybe three, when
he returns at Randwick tomorrow.

The five-year-old looked in for a big autumn and winter when he chased home Lankan Rupee in the TJ Smith Stakes during The Championships but came up winless in three subsequent runs.

Added to that is the surprise defeat in his barrier trial a couple of weeks back that Portelli is hoping was just due to being “a bit fat”.

To read the complete article, click the below image.

Missile Mission - Rebel Dane


Better Land Looking To Bloom In Rosebud

Jumping from a maiden victory at Sale to a stakes race at Royal Randwick, three-year-old Shamardal colt Better Land has shown enough to give trainer Peter Moody the confidence he is capable of the massive leap.

Scoring by three lengths as a the race favourite back in April over 1100m at Sale on debut, the colt was immediately put away and sent north to the warm weather in Queensland for a spell.

Sent to Doomben a few weeks back to trial over the 1000m, Better Land showed he had relished the Queensland sun, taking the trial by a neck margin.

After the win trainer Peter Moody told AAP that, “He is a nice horse and he might have a start in Brisbane before we bring him back south. I would be looking at some of the nice three-year-old races for him.”

Since the colt has now headed to a Stakes race, this in itself must suggest the high held opinion of the well-bred colt.

Brillant Land

The first foal to race out of the former brilliant two-year-old Amelia’s Dream (Redoute’s Choice), herself an unbeaten winner of the Group Two Silver Slipper (by over six lengths), before injury resulted in retirement, Better Land was purchased from the 2013 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Edinglassie Stud for $400,000 by Peter Moody Racing.

In what looks a field of up and coming horses, that includes Group Three winner Nayeli, the David Payne Bold Circle as well as last start winners Inkling, Scissor Kick and Echo Prince, Better Land has drawn the outside gate in the field of eight, but will have Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle to work his magic. The final field and the form for the race can be viewed by clicking here.

Laurel Oak Bloodstock wishes our fellow owners; Mr R A Pegum, Laurel Oak Shamrock, Ramsey Pastoral Company Pty Ltd, Mr D J Tamblyn, Mr R S Willis, Mrs J M Tamblyn, Mr D J Tamblyn, R V 8, Mr M R Tudehope, Mr B N E Hastie, Mr M J Forsdick, Mr A N Fitzgerald, Lanista Thoroughbreds, Mr A W Reichard the best of luck for the race in what could be the first leg of winning stakes double for us with Rebel Dane contesting the very next race of the day (click here to read all about it).

Rebel Dane Aiming For A Missile Strike

With an outstanding first-up record, five-year-old Rebel Dane looks set to start one of the favourites in Saturday’s $175,000 Group Two Missile Stakes over 1200m at Randwick on Saturday.

Having won three times fresh from four attempts, including the Group Two Show County Quality over 1200m this time last year, the Gary Portelli-trained stallion prospect will jump from barrier four on Saturday with top class jockey Blake Shinn in the saddle.

Taking on a field of high class runners (click below for form) which includes Group One winners Boban, Laser Hawk, Hawkspur and Kirramosa as well as the upcoming promising runners Messene and Weary, Rebel Dane has been readied for his first up assignment with a pleasing third in a barrier trial on July 25, followed up by a hit out between races at Rosehill last Saturday with Shinn in the saddle.

Rebel Dane Field

A winner of six from 16 starts that includes a stunning victory in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) during last year’s Spring Carnival, the son of Danehill stallion California Dane will target the Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) on the final day of August – a race won in the past by the likes of Atlantic Jewel (2013), So You Think (2010), Weekend Hussler (2008), Miss Finland (2007), El Segundo (2006), Makybe Diva (2005), and Sunline (2000 and 2001).

Best of luck must go to the large group of owners of Rebel Dane, pictured below after one of his earlier wins; Laurel Oak Bloodstock Pty Ltd, Mr J V Murphy, Rdfit Pty Ltd, Mr P M Kite, Mr M W Powell, Mr C J Baker, Pardon, Mr S J Lindley, Mr R H Spee, Simpson-Morgan, Mr T J Gleeson, Mr N A Parbery, Mr G Zivkovic, Mr A N Fitzgerald for Saturday’s race.


Tuscan Falls Again

Yet to hit the track on race day, Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s now three-year-old Tuscan Falls produced another exciting trial effort on Monday at Rosehill, taking his heat by one-and-a-quarter lengths over the 900m.

Trained by Gary Portelli, the Nicconi gelding has had three trials to date and looks one to watch as we hopefully head to the races with him in the coming weeks – you can read about his previous trial win by clicking here.

Partnered by Tye Angland on Monday, Tuscan Falls went forward after jumping away well from the gates and settled in second place.

Wearing blinkers, Tuscan Falls came up on the outside of the leader who was under pressure and allowed to coast to the line in fine style (pictured below).

As his pedigree does suggest, he looks a smart horse in the making.

A graduate of the Turangga Farm draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, the Nicconi gelding is the first living foal of the General Nediym mare mare Queen Of The Falls, herself a half-sister to the Group Two -winning, Group One placed Elite Falls, both daughters of the Group Three-winning Danehill mare Niagara Falls.

TF Trial

First Up Third for Out Of The Night

Back from a spell, and having just turned three, Fastnet Rock colt Out Of The Night travelled to Bairnsdale on August 3 for the 1200m Four’n Twenty Maiden Plate.

With a small field to contest with, the Tony Noonan–trained colt finished third over what many may suggest an unsuitable distance based on pedigree.

Although by Champion Sire Fastnet Rock, Out Of The Night (pictured below with Louis) is the first foal out of the dual Group One Winning New Zealand bred mare Zarita, a winner of the South Australian Derby and South Australian Schweppes Oaks double.

Zarita was one of the best of her age group not only being a dual Group One winner, she was also successful in another five stakes races.

With nine wins from 33 career starts and over $1.6 million in earnings we hope that Out Of The Night can be half as good as his mother – and fingers crossed we are heading that way!

Louis and Out Of The Night

Rock Looks Ready To Roll

Trained by Tony Noonan in Melbourne – our three-year-old filly was sent to Sydney and after a barrier trial at Rosehill Gardens a week back where she finished fourth, Posh Rock headed to Wyong on Tuesday for the Pure Blonde Maiden Plate over 1350m.

Ridden by leading jockey Blake Shinn, Posh Rock settled back in the field with only a few behind her but made her run like a good horse, to narrowly go down, beaten a half-head margin by the Les Bridge-trained Myladyluck.

The first two cleared out from the remainder of the field, with the third placed Crimson Ruby three-and-a-half-lengths way.

Secured from the draft of Newhaven Park at Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Posh Rock (pictured below as a yearling) is a full-sister to the Group One performer We’re Gonna Rock, as well as being related to Group One winners Bluebird The Word and Porto Rocca, who is in turn the dam of Group One Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso.

Posh Rock (2)

With an impressive pedigree, the filly is clearly one to watch on the track as her residual broodmare value will increase if she continues to perform.

Congratulations to the owners and at this stage it is likely she will head to a similar style of race to break her maiden in the coming weeks.

Consistency plus…

While winning is everyone’s ultimate goal, finishing second is better than finishing third and our rising four-year-old War Pass gelding Warinda finished an agonisingly close short neck second – his third successive second place, and sixth overall.

Racing at Moruya in the Moruya Panel And Paint Class Two over 1300m on a Dead rated track, Warinda, who started the race favourite settled back in the field and just failed by a whisker to defeat Pendragon three-year-old Dragon Affair.

Having had 11 starts to date for eight top three finishes, the connections of the Keith Dryden-trained galloper can’t complain, but we are all excited to see him cross the line in front in the coming weeks.

Having never finished further back that fifth in all of his runs so far, Warinda was secured from the draft of Widden Stud at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale back in 2012 and is fifth runner and winner out of the Woodman mare Tolinda, herself a half-sister to South Africa’s Champion Two-year-old Male Tytola (Last Tycoon), both out of the dual Group Three-winning, Group One placed Tolanda.


Tuscan Trials In Style

While most at the Warwick Farm barrier trials on Friday were expecting Rebel Dane to set tongues wagging, it was in fact his stablemate Tuscan Falls that produced the goods.

The veteran of only one prior trial – back in October where he finished third, two-year-old Nicconi gelding Tuscan Falls impressed all at Warwick F arm with a very impressive performance in his trial.

Jumping from the middle of the line in Heat 11 over the 800m, jockey Brenton Avdulla hunted him forward to take the lead. Sporting a pair of blinkers, the gelding maintained his lead of about a length until the home turn.

As they came wide when teh field rounded the home turn, Avdulla asked his mount for more, and he really extended to take the heat by an impressive three length margin from the Clarry Conners-trained He’s A Given.

Secured at the 2013 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale as Lot 473 from the draft of Turangga Farm, Tuscan Falls (pictured below as a yearling) is the first living foal out of the winning General Nediym mare Queen Of The Falls, herself a half-sister to the Group Two -winning, Group One placed Elite Falls, both daughters of the Group Three-winning Danehill mare Niagara Falls.

Tuscan Falls

Trainer Gary Portelli was suitably impressed by the rising three-year-old and will wait to see how he pulls up before he decides on which direction to take.

Earlier in the day, Laurel Oak Bloodstock’s Group One winner Rebel Dane was in action, contesting Heat 7 over 800m.

Ridden by Hugh Bowman, Rebel Dane settled out wide in a mid-field position during the run. Pulled even wider on the turn, he worked home well to take third, beaten a head x half head by Celtic Prince and Dear Demi with the beaten brigade including Laser Hawk, Bull Point, Tougher Than Ever and My Kingdom of Fife.

After the trial Portelli was pleased with the effort but stated on Twitter that “he pulled up really big and that he had only had one decent gallop since Stradbroke Handicap.”

With Portelli also indicating that since Rebel Dane is older, he requires more work to get fit.

In what was a great day at the trials for the Laurel Oak Bloodstock horses, we really look forward to the coming weeks and months of the Spring Carnival when we see these two, plus a host of other runners head to the track!