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Sweet Leader's owners and breeders have a dream

Pic ex Trish Dunell – Sweet Leader (far left) accounts for Honey Rider (fence)

Pic ex Trish Dunell – Sweet Leader (far left) accounts for Honey Rider (fence)
Sweet Leader's owners and breeders have a dream and the O'Reilly colt might just be the one to help them achieve it.

Silas Yang, Alan Ho, Alvin Wong and Y T Cheung bred and race the winner of Saturday's Group Three Cambridge Breeders' Stakes and have their sights set firmly on international glory.

The Hong Kong based quartet are all partners or former partners at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong and their goal is to breed and race an international topliner of their own.

Sweet Leader, whose success on Saturday took his career tally to three wins, one third and a fifth placing from his five starts, certainly looks set to give Yang, Ho, Wong and Cheung further black type celebrations.

They have tasted previous international success with the trailblazing Rich Tapestry, purchased for them by Apollo Ng, who acts as their breeding and racing consultant. The Irish-bred son of Holy Roman Emperor and the Sadler's Wells mare Genuine Charm gained wide recognition when winning the Group One Santa Anita Sprint championship in 2014.

"But now, instead of running up against the big guns at yearlings sales, they are trying breeding instead," Ng explained.

"They have already bred some stakes and metropolitan performers in Australia, namely Smart As You Think (So You Think-Satirical Lady), Satirical Boy (Fusaichi Pegasus-Satirical) and Satirical Lass (Flying Spur-Satirical Lady).

As for their latest hope, Sweet Leader, his story began with Ng purchasing his dam, the Encosta de Lago mare Sweet Lady as a yearling.

"The mare raced fairly in Melbourne, under the training of Danny O'Brien. Upon retirement it was sent to New Zealand to be served by O'Reilly and Pins in recent years," Ng said.

Sweet Lady was a winner at 1400m in Australia but the daughter of the Group Three winner of nine races, Swiftsynd, boasts a number of group performing close relatives. She is a half-sister to the hardy Le Zagaletta, who amassed 14 wins in a career which included a trio of Group Twos - the Memsie Stakes, JJ Liston Stakes and Waterford Crystal Mile - and a second placing in the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap to Show A Heart.

Second dam, two-year-old winner Candysynd, was by the unforgettable Goondiwindi grey Gunsynd. Candysynd left 10 foals to race, of which nine were winners and, along with Swiftsynd, included the Group Two AJC Villiers Stakes winner Spot the Rock and Listed winner Candy Rock.

Sweet Lady's first foal by O'Reilly was Swift Lady who, from John Sargent's stable has amassed stake earnings of $103,125 from four wins up to 2000m.

The second foal, a colt by O'Reilly subsequently named Sweet Shamrock was knocked down to Segenhoe Thoroughbreds for $75,000 at the 2014 Ready to Run sale after being passed in at the Premier sale earlier that year.

Racing from the Toby Edmonds stable Sweet Shamrock has had just 11 starts and won three on end over November and December last year.

Sweet Lady also has a two-year-old daughter by Pins which has been named Voodoo Lady and sent to Australia. Her 2015 filly by Ocean Park was sold for $22,000 at this year's Select sale at Karaka.

Ng said the appeal of the Waikato Stud domiciled stallions was simple to explain.

"It's the toughness and good temperament of the Last Tycoon bred O'Reilly and Snippets bred Pins," he said.

"These two sire lines are renowned to produce champions in Hong Kong and Asia. Last Tycoon, in fact, is one of the most successful grandsires in recent Hong Kong racing history."

However, the partners have decided to go a little further afield with Sweet Lady for her next mating.

"We decided to send her to Japan to be served by Lord Kanaloa, a champion Japanese sprinter of recent years and she is in foal," Ng explained. "One of the partners is, in fact, visiting her at Hokkaido at the moment." - Mary Burgess