Celebrating a stallion’s first elite-level victory is an important milestone for any stud farm, but it is made even better when they race the Group One victor themselves.
That was the case for Windsor Park Stud at Hastings on Saturday when their mare Mustang Valley dominated the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) to win by 5-1/4 lengths, bringing up her sire Vanbrugh’s first Group One win.
“It was fantastic for Mustang Valley to get the Group One, she deserved it. She has been there or thereabouts in all of her races,” said Windsor Park principal Rodney Schick, who stands Vanbrugh at his Cambridge farm for a fee of $6,000+GST.
“It was great for Vanbrugh, who was a Group One winner himself.
“She is also Cream of the Crop’s first foal. It is Might And Power’s family, which we have had a lot of success with, so to get a mare from that family to leave you a Group One winner is exciting.”
The win extended Mustang Valley’s record to four wins and six placings from 14 starts, including victory in the Gr.3 Metric Mile (1550m) and runner-up results in the Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m), Gr.3 Sunline Vase (2100m), and Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes (1200m).
A trip across the Tasman could now be on the cards for the Andrew Forsman-trained mare.
“Hopefully she may even have a hit-and-run mission to Australia if she pulls through this race well,” Schick said.
“She looks like she has bounced through it so there is a chance she will be seen over in Melbourne at the end of the carnival.
“I think she is up to it and she has earned the right to jump on a plane.”
Bred by Windsor Park Stud, Schick was impressed with Mustang Valley from a young age, but it was a commercial decision to retain her rather than offer her at the sales.
“She was a lovely, big, strong, attractive filly, but at that stage her pedigree was a little bit light. It has paid dividends now,” Schick said.
Her dam, Cream of the Crop is set to foal to Hello Youmzain and will likely be covered by New Zealand Champion sire Savabeel, who sired another weekend highlight for Windsor Park.
His son Mr Maestro won his third consecutive race when taking out the Gr.3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) on Saturday for trainer Andrew Forsman, putting him in pole position for the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington in a fortnight.
Bred by Windsor Park, Mr Maestro was purchased by Forsman out of their 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $100,000.
“He (Mr Maestro) is by Savabeel out of one of our good mare’s that we lost, Let Me Roar,” Schick said.
“He was a beautiful animal (as a yearling). I was a little bit disappointed with the result at the time. He let himself down and was a bit colty at the sales.
“Andrew has had a bit to do with the family, having Lion Tamer and Let Me Roar, so he saw through that and got a good price.
“We are rapt to see him doing what he is doing. That is what we go to work for, to see these good horses competing so well.
“Andrew has done a great job with him and we are now really excited about the Derby.”
Schick was also jubilant about another of his farm’s graduates on Saturday, with Weona Smartone placing in the Gr.3 Sydney Stakes (1200) at Randwick on The Everest undercard.
“Weona Smartone ran third in the $2 million Group Three (Sydney Stakes) at Randwick, which he was a bit unlucky in. But that capped a really exciting weekend for us,” he said.
The Shamexpress gelding was purchased out of Windsor Park Stud’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by trainer David Vandyke for $160,000.