ALTHOUGH they are not officially the breeders, the Marheines of the Stratheden Stud at Tamworth can claim much of the credit for the emergence of the 3-year-old Commands filly Calming Influence as an exciting sprinter.
It was one of their astute matings that produced her and their judgment in buying her as a yearling ($77,500 at the Gold Coast) and placing her with Chris Waller.
She has returned their faith by winning four of seven starts, including a dominating victory at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday, and looks a good prospect for Group level sprints.
The reason they had to buy her was because they sold her mother Calming at the Gold Coast for $145,000 to Rothwell Park Thoroughbreds, Murrurundi a few months before she was foaled. The Marheines were winding down their breeding and also put the stud on the
A typical tough racemare by now deceased Zeditave, a magnificent Australian racehorse up to1600m and a very good sire from use at the Newhaven Park Stud near Boorowa in NSW, Calming won eight sprint races, including a Listed event in Adelaide and five in Melbourne.
She has had five winners with another being Port Isabel, an Encosta de Lago Melbourne winner who has a Sebring colt on behalf of Burnewang North Pastoral in the catalogue for the Millions sale at the Gold Coast in January. The catalogue also includes a yearling from two daughters of Calming’s half-sister Royal Solitaire, namely Soleil Royale (represented by a Sebring colt from the Edinglassie Stud) and Sashenka (a Street Cry filly from Rothwell Park).
A Brocco winner at Ipswich and Gatton (by six lengths) and a placegetter at Eagle Farm, the Gold Coast and Ipswich, Royal Solitaire has also been the dam of a rather unique Aussie bred galloper in the John Muir Milburn Thoroughbreds produced Orpen (USA) gelding War Artist, a prominent northern hemisphere sprinter.
Sold at the Gold Coast yearling sales, he raced successfully in South Africa (Group1 winner), Germany (Group 2), France (Group 3) and Dubai (Group 3). He also proved a top sprinter in England, finishing second in the Royal Ascot Golden Jubilee (beat Takeover Target), third and fifth in the Newmarket July Cup and fifth in the Royal Ascot King’s Stand Stakes.
Calming Influence is not the first good performer to result from the Marheines’ use of her maternal grandsire Zeditave. In fact he keyed the pinnacle of their breeding achievement, being the sire of one of the first horses they bred after they acquired the Stratheden Stud, the Zeditave gelding Assertive Lad.
Standing high among the huge list of good graduates of the Magic Millions yearling sales at the Gold Coast, Assertive Lad was an Australian champion at two and three, running 16 times for eight wins and $3,358,275.
Group 1 efforts included wins at Randwick in the Champagne Stakes (1.3 lengths), Sires’ Produce Stakes and Doncaster Handicap (as a 3yo, by 2.8 lengths) and a three length third when favourite in the Golden Slipper. He won his first three outings at two, the third of them the Magic Millions 2YO Classic as favourite, in brilliant style.
Assertive Lad is a brother to Assertive Lass, another talented tough Zeditave performer, winning seven races, including in Sydney the Flight Stakes, Coolmore Classic, Light Fingers and Tea Rose, and finishing second in the Oaks. She is the dam of the stakes winners Reset (prominent sire), Stage Presence and So Assertive.
The wonderful success of the immediate family suggests that a filly in the 2014 Magic Millions catalogue bred by Stratheden could be a big prize as a performer and fashionable breeder.
An August 25 foal listed as lot 96, it is by the Widden Stud-based Redoute’s Choice Golden Slipper winner Stratum and from Sounds Assertive, a Zeditave three-quarter sister to Assertive Lad and Assertive Lass.
It is one of two Stratum yearlings bred by Stratheden in the catalogue, the other, lot 820, being from Fleuretta, a More Than Ready mare out of Magdalena (Ire), a mare by Polish Precedent, a very good name to have in a pedigree. He sired Rakti, in turn sire of this year’s Victorian Derby winner Polanski, and also Pilsudski, sire of the dam of the Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente.
A Polish Precedent mare, Snowdrift, produced seven runners, all winners including the Stratheden bred brother stakes winners and sires Snowland and Snippetson.
Stratheden has six yearlings in the catalogue with the others being colts by Fastnet Rock, Big Brown (USA) and Street Sense (USA) and a filly by the Red Ransom AJC Champagne Stakes winner Onemorenomore. They are all being prepared for the sale by Nick Hodges at Riversdale Farm, a leading Hunter Valley agistment and marketing complex at Scone, and are in the Riversdale draft for the Magic Millions sale.