Of course, Old Comrade has a Kiwi connection...

Old Comrade (Old Spice-Belgravia by Ksar) scored a memorable triumph for Western Australia in Monday's VRC Australian Cup 2000m G1 at Flemington.

In fact, the result was pretty much a whitewash for WA, with second placing going to last year's winner Northerly, also bred, owned & trained by Western Australians, and ridden by WA-born Damien Oliver.

But go a couple of generations back into Old Comrade's pedigree and there she is: a fine old New Zealand-bred mare by the name of Cordonniere (The Cobbler-Tiki Belle). She spent much of her stud career at Chequers Stud, Cambridge, mostly in the ownership of South Australian Joe Peleska who bred 1984 AJC Derby winner Prolific (Vice Regal) from her. Cordonniere had 13 named foals in all and 12 of them were winners, a thoroughly admirable record for any mare. The best of her other progeny were Melbourne G2 winner Guns Away and Tokay (nine wins in Western Australia).

Cordonniere's 1978 daughter by Bismark II, and therefore a three-quarter sister to Prolific, was Power Girl who won in South Australia and left four winners, among them the stakeswinners Power Prince and Powerful Prince.

Power Girl's three unraced progeny included Old Comrade's dam Belgravia who is maintaining the family tradition of producing a high percentage of good winners. She's the dam of four living foals, three of which have raced and won. Old Comrade's older brother All The Aces was a Group 3 winner and Old Comrade has now won four Group One races, including this summer's big double in the West, the Railway and the Fruit 'N Veg Stakes.

The Doncaster at Randwick on Easter Saturday moves to the "walk-over-broken-glass-to-see-it" category with the news that Old Comrade will now line up among the challengers to Sunline.

- Susan Archer