The Winners Continue

With the shorter-than-normal gap between another exciting Cup Week and the looming Hong Kong International Racing tour, our November edition of Grandstand View is a little late this month and is a compact version.

It has been a fun time at Laurel Oak with the team racing well amidst an intense racing-related social schedule that doesn’t look like easing up between now and Christmas.

And to add to the excitement and interest the Magic Millions catalogue has arrived with Inglis Classic and NZB Karaka expected soon as well, and we get to do it all again in 2018.


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.

Bid Of Faith was very strong to the line third-up from a long spell, scoring a good win at Canberra on Melbourne Cup Day (photo courtesy Bradleys)

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.

Nothing like a winner to lift the spirits as Bid Of Faith’s owners celebrate. For some of them, it was a double for the day as they are part-owners of another of the Keith Dryden/Scott Collings double on the day (photo courtesy Bradleys)


MONASTERIO followed a similar path to Bid Of Faith in that he ran an encouraging fifth first-up, was placed second-up, and then won impressively third-up.

Second-up from a spell at Doomben, Monasterio drew the outside gate and had to go back to last in a 1600m race. Jockey Matthew Cahill was continually held up getting a run, and had to pick his way through the field, but when clear Monasterio motored to the line for a very good second that made many of the horses to follow analyses.

On the strength of that impressive run, trainer Chris Waller decided that another run in the same grade over the same distance on the same track would suit him well, but once he drew wide again our optimism diminished. On this occasion though Matthew Cahill was able to push his way to the outside so Monasterio had clear running and once again he motored to the line, this time reeling the six-length deficit on the home corner to record an emphatic victory.

Monasterio was another who powered to the line to score a good win third-up from a spell. He gave them six lengths’ start on straightening at Doomben but mowed the leaders down for an impressive win (photo courtesy Trackside)

We expect him to be better suited over further, and Chris is yet to decide whether he will run over 2000m on 9 December at either Doomben or Rosehill, or wait till 16 December for another 1600m run at Doomben.


Aside from our winners, the Laurel Oak team has generally been racing extremely well. Since the last newsletter the following horses have all been placed – CONTEMPLATE, second on debut at Bathurst, and runs again this afternoon at Mudgee; PERFECT PITCH, third on debut at Canterbury, and runs again tomorrow, 2 December, at Rosehill; STAR ASPIRATION, first-up second at Rosehill, unlikely to return there tomorrow due to a wide gate, and may run next Wednesday 6 December at Warwick Farm; ATLANTIC SENTINEL, first-up second in Canberra on Cup Day, followed by a very good fourth at Goulburn against the bias prevailing on the day; RADETZKY, first-up second at Orange, and returns there next Tuesday, 5 December; and FLASH IN THE DARK, third at Goulburn after a wide run, and heads to Canterbury tonight (1 December). Also the Laurel Oak-managed, Matt Dunn-trained RUNWAY READY and VIVID PINK were also placed second at Ballina and third at the Gold Coast respectively.

Other news is that COLIZANI, our Congrats/Galizani filly with Matt Dale, debuts in Canberra today, 1 December, in a race that she is likely to find too short.

The disappointing news in the camp was the injury to SIKHING GLORY. After completing a winning hat-trick when he won at Warwick Farm, he suffered a tendon injury which may keep him off the track for up to twelve months.


Some industry news this week that will be of general interest is that Sir Patrick and Justine Hogan have sold their iconic Cambridge Stud in New Zealand. This stud has arguably had a greater influence on Australasian breeding than any other farm over the past thirty years as they stood Sir Tristram, Zabeel, and, more recently, Tavistock.

While they had offers to buy the farm from all over the world, they were delighted to be able to sell it to Kiwis, Brendan and Jo Lindsay. The changeover will happen in April 2018, so Cambridge Stud’s yearling draft at the Karaka sales next month will be Sir Patrick’s last.


Another great Melbourne Cup week has been and gone. It was another intense week from the Laurel Oak point of view, with almost 190 people booked into the Panorama Restaurant over the four days in addition to our other activities including Carbine Club lunch, Call Of The Card, and After-Derby Day.

Our annual Melbourne Cup Preview was not as accurate as in 2016, but we did have the first two home, Rekindling and Johannes Vermeer, in our top seven picks.

The evolution of the form continues as Rekindling was the first winner since Vintage Crop in 1993 to have not run here before contesting the Cup.

A real sign of the times, though, is that the first twelve horses home were all Northern Hemisphere-bred, while the first three home were all Irish-trained. Some more factors to ponder when we apply our minds to the 2018 Cup winner!


Another of our 2yos has now been named. The Pierro/Indian Ocean filly with Chris Waller has been named ARAVINA. Like “Pierro”, Aravina is a winery in the Margaret River district in WA, and adding to the relevance the Margaret River of course flows into the Indian Ocean.


The following are the links to additional information, and the password to access these links is laureloak.


This is the link to our Stallion Update, which will be updated quarterly. This link takes you to the current 2017/2018 season results, which have been updated to 22 October. The Stallion Update will be updated in time for the next newsletter.


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 in 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, in expected date order of race start.

This summary is being updated regularly as the information on the individual horses comes to hand and has been advised to the owners of those horses, and is currently up-to-date to 30 November.


This is the link to our summary of Social Calendar and Major Tours.  This remains the same as it was in the October edition, and will be updated in time for the next newsletter. All urgent Social Calendar and Tour matters have however been communicated via the dedicated email lists, or via the Grandstand View email list, as appropriate.


This is a link to the Laurel Oak Client Business Directory.

We encourage you to support Laurel Oak clients wherever circumstances allow. In this Business Directory you will find reference to businesses such as accountants, solicitors, the best deal on a Toyota car, finance and superannuation, commercial real estate agent, airconditioning services, funeral director, and equine art.


This is a link to the Laurel Oak Co-Owner Agreement.


Until next month, happy racing!



Promoting the Ownership of Thoroughbreds and the Enjoyment of Racing

PO Box 6806 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153

Tel + 61 (2) 8883 1066, Mobile + 61 (0) 418 962 858


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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.