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A Great Start to the Spring for White Robe Lodge

Who Shot Thebarman (Photo: NZTM)
Who Shot Thebarman (Photo: NZTM)

After two commanding distance wins in Melbourne this spring Who Shot Thebarman (Yamanin Vital – Ears Carol) is shaping up as another staying star graduate from that fine South Island nursery White Robe Lodge.

For nearly six decades the Anderton Family have been producing quality stayers. They have produced Derby and Oaks winners on both sides of the Tasman, a Wellington Cup winner, an Auckland Cup winner and five New Zealand Cup winners. Their stallions have produced Melbourne and Caulfield Cup winners, Derby and Oaks winners and Who Shot Thebarman has the goods to add more to that list.

The six-year-old gelding went to Australia after winning the group one Auckland Cup last March and had a crack at the Sydney Cup in April. His owners the O'Leary brothers from Taranaki decided to leave the horse with ex pat Champion trainer Chris Waller to build towards the ultimate goal on the first Tuesday of November.

After two starts in Sydney in August over shorter distances Waller sent him to Melbourne and in mid- September he dished out a galloping lesson at Flemington in an open handicap over 2000 metres, and a fortnight later he improved on that run and over an extra 500 metres ran away to win the Group Three Bart Cummings Stakes, easily beating Marksmanship and Anudjawun.

That takes his race record to eight wins from 14 starts.

Watching the action at Flemington on television the team at White Robe Lodge had plenty to be excited about.

"It was a good result and a great race, we were all pretty excited as the third horse Anudjawun (ex Perceptible) is a close relation to Who Shot Thebarman," enthused Brian Anderton, "it's great for the family."

"Perceptible won 11 races including the Group Three White Lodge Robe Stakes and the Dunedin, Southland and Gore Guineas.

"Anudjawun and Who Shot Thebarman are both by Yamanin Vital and have the same third dam in Auditory. He is an underrated horse who has been badly placed, he has won two races and over $300,000. He has run second and fourth in a Group Two Chairman's Handicap, third in a Lexus stakes, and a Caloundra Cup and fifth in the Sydney Cup."

Who Shot Thebarman was purchased privately by Michael O'Leary from White Robe Lodge as a weanling for $10,000, and was syndicated amongst his brothers Shaun, Humphrey, Dan and Dan's wife, Jane.

He is the third foal of the Carolingham(AUS) mare Ears Carol who was unraced due to injury.

"I sent her mother Auditive (Random Chance) to Carolingham when he was at Little Avondale to try and inject some speed into the family, but she didn't get to the races so it was off to stud."

"Ears Carol is about to foal to Raise The Flag(GB) and has a lovely Nom de Jeu two-year-old filly. We were very happy to get a filly, if it's no good, it will be because she is in-bred and if it is good, it will be because she is line bred!" quipped Anderton when referring to the fact that Nom de Jeu also descends from the same family."

Her first two foals were bred by Brian Olsen, of Christchurch.

"I had a client Brian Olsen lose a foal, so I lent him the mare to breed a foal from and he bred a couple including Vital Organ (by Yamanin Vital), who has won five races in Queensland. Then we bred Who Shot The Barman and Wollongong and then a lady from Christchurch Shelia McLaughlin wanted to breed a foal to Gallant Guru(AUS), so I leased Ears Carol to her and she bred a filly.

"I couldn't believe it when it went through the ring at the South Island sale so I bought it for $1200. A mate of mine in Brisbane, Ginger Gleeson, wanted to lease a filly from me, so I rang him up and said I can't lease you a filly because I have bought you one for $1200! Her name is Gallantly and she hasn't raced yet.

Auditive was by Random Chance and won three races, she left two winners.

"This is a family we have been breeding from for six generations. We bred Attentive out of Lochlisten in 1968, she was by Ruddington, who stood at stud here, and she won a McLean Stakes here at Wingatui. She had 12 foals, and six of them were winners including Auditory (13 wins including the Riverton Cup), Prince Trelay seven wins, second in the group one St Leger, and Treaura (Trelay) who was the grandam of the group one winner Prized Gem, who left the AJC Derby winner Nom de Jeu and group two Counties Cup winner Jeu de Cartes.

Auditory also left six winners from 12 foals including the stakes performer Kakaho (Personal Escort) who won five and Auricle (Famous Star) who won two and is the dam of Perceptible (the dam of Anudjawun) and Auditive (Random Chance) three wins, who is the dam of Ears Carol.

There is a host of other good performers from this family as well, mostly with names associated with listening and hearing, although Brian admits it's been a little bit quiet lately.

"Prized Gem's progeny have kept the family to the fore, now we have this horse, it's had a wee bit of a lull but I think it's on its way again now. I have a lovely Gallant Guru colt out of Cochlea which I think is pretty smart, named Ultrasonic he won a trial recently and will race soon. His three-year-old half-sister by Raise the Flag won an 800 metre heat on the same day.

"We always try to breed stayers, and source our stallions specifically to do that. We have bred Derby winners, Oaks winners, four or five New Zealand Cup winners, a Melbourne Cup winner, a Caulfield Cup winner and two New Zealand Derby winners.

"Yanamin Vital didn't really have a chance, he hardly had any decent mares apart from my own, yet he was able to leave a Derby winner in Cut The Cake. They are good endurance horses, they can win over two miles (Cluden Creek Wellington Cup, Trebla New Zealand Cup and who Shot Thebarman Auckland Cup), and his stock have won numerous Great Northerns and Grand Nationals both hurdles and steeples.

"He had a fabulous pedigree by the great sire Sir Tristram(IRE) out of the American bred Caucasus, mare She Might Hula(USA) his half- brother Hulastrike (Straight Strike) won the 2000 Guineas. We liked him because he was a fast stayer and went under 2 minutes over a mile and a half twice. He did a fine job and we have a few mares by him.

"Gallant Guru is doing a good job and I think this will be his big year, he has Le Filou and Balloch in his pedigree as well, and we have several in the stable that are ready to fire.

"Raise The Flag has had good support again this year, his oldest are now three so should start to show something. A lot of good judges have said they are happy with them; the reports coming back are very good. Darren Weir has a nice one and one trainer liked them so much he has sent a mare here."

In the meantime the team at White Robe Lodge will watch with interest the major staying events over the next few months on both sides of the Tasman, and see how many more 'Cups' they can add to that impressive list.


- Michelle Saba