When Shocking retired from racing his record made for pretty impressive reading. 7 wins and 8 placings from 27 starts including a Melbourne Cup, a Group I Australian Cup at weight for age and a Makybe Diva Stakes at weight for age over 1600m and total prizemoney of close enough to $5 million.
Shocking is exceptionally well bred, being by Street Cry, winner of the Dubai World Cup and sire of world champion mare Zenyatta out of a Danehill mare.
You would think with a CV like that one of the studs in Australia would want to stand him but amazingly that wasn’t the case and he stands at NZ’s Rich Hill Stud.
Rebel Raider, winner of the VRC Derby in 2008 is a similar story. By undefeated stallion Reset and therefore carrying the best staying sireline in Australasia through Sir Tristram and Zabeel. Nobody wanted to stand him at stud either before he ended up at Wyndholm Park Stud via Carin Park in Hamilton, Victoria.
Presumably it’s because they didn’t win the Golden Slipper or Blue Diamond, in fact I don’t think either of them did much at all as 2 year olds.
Australian trainers will squeal like stuck pigs again this year when European horses fill three quarters of the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup fields and duly take at least one of, if not both of The Cups off shore. The same trainers will rush to the sales next year and spend hundreds of thousands on yearlings by Stratum, Redoutes Choice and Sebring.
How many years did Helenus spend in WA? He had to throw a BMW winner and an ATC derby winner before there was enough interest to bring him back east. Refuse To Bend won’t shuttle back to Australia due to lack of interest, even the great Galileo, sire of the best horse in the world, has been described as a stud failure in Australia.
If Australia can breed the best sprinters in the world, there’s no reason why we can’t breed the best stayers as well. It takes patience and foresight but it can and should be done.