From a remarkable winning streak in Singapore to the blue-blooded foals and yearlings in the Trelawney Stud paddocks, there are plenty of reasons for Brent Taylor to be entering the 2023-24 season with a spring in his step.
Perhaps the biggest source of excitement is the Group One-winning homebred mare Loire, who has returned from the northern hemisphere after two matings with Frankel. In what could be termed a perfect outcome, she has produced a filly and a colt by the legendary racehorse and exceptional sire.
Herself the winner of the New Zealand 1000 Guineas at Riccarton in 2019, Loire is by Redoute’s Choice out of Syrah, which makes her a half-sister to fellow Group One winner A Touch Of Ruby. Adding to the family’s Group One star quality, Syrah is a half-sister to Queensland Oaks winner Vouvray.
“Loire is back home with us and has done super well,” Taylor told RaceForm on Monday. “She’s got a beautiful Frankel yearling filly, which we’re going to keep for obvious reasons. We were hoping for a filly when we sent the mare all the way up there to go to Frankel, and in time, she will go into our racing team.
“Loire has given us another very good Frankel foal this year – a ripping colt who’s about a month old now and looks fantastic. The mare has just been covered by Savabeel in the last week or so, so there’s a bit to look forward to with her.”
This is a period of exciting renewal for Trelawney’s broodmare band. Another recent addition is Two Illicit, whose 21-start career produced eight wins and eight placings. The daughter of Jimmy Choux won six stakes races, headed by the Gr. 1 Captain Cook Stakes in December of 2021, and she also recorded top-level placings in the New Zealand Derby, Zabeel Classic and New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.
“She had her first foal just the other day – a Snitzel filly,” Taylor said. “She looks bright and healthy. She’s in Australia, so we’ve only had photos and video footage so far, but we’ve been very pleased with what we’ve seen.
“For her next mating, Two Illicit will either go to Wootton Bassett or Russian Revolution. We’re tossing up between those two and will make up our minds over the coming days.”
Dual Group Three winner Cheaperthandivorce has also recently joined the Trelawney broodmare band at the completion of a successful racetrack career, but Taylor described her as “ornery” and reported that she has so far not managed to get in foal.
There’s also an abundance of proven broodmares among Trelawney’s ranks, including Ruqqaya. A half-sister to elite racehorse and successful sire Ocean Park, she is the dam of five winners from five foals to race. Grunt won the Gr. 1 Australian Guineas and Makybe Diva Stakes and is now at stud in Australia, while Zayydani has been a three-time stakes winner in Australia in the Trelawney colours. Addison placed at Listed level.
Taylor backed Cambridge Stud’s exciting new recruit Hello Youmzain from the start by sending Ruqqaya to the multiple Group One-winning sprinter in 2021.
“She’s got a very, very good Hello Youmzain yearling colt who will be going to the sales this year,” Taylor said. “She went to Proisir after that and unfortunately didn’t hold last season, but she’s gone back to him again and has an early positive this time around.”
Meanwhile, Trelawney graduate Lim’s Kosciuszko is continuing his extraordinary dominance of Singapore racing. The reigning Singapore Horse of the Year scored another effortless win in Saturday’s Raffles Cup, which was the 16th win of a 20-start career.
The Kermadec gelding has outclassed his opposition in feature races across a wide range of distances. He has been a two-time winner of the Lion City Cup over 1200 metres, and has also won the Kranji Mile (1600m) and Singapore Derby (1800m).
Trainer Daniel Meagher is now pointing Lim’s Kosciuszko towards the 1800-metre Queen Elizabeth Cup on October 14, followed by the 2000-metre Singapore Gold Cup a month later.
A son of the Keeper mare Jacquetta, who was a Listed winner at two, Lim’s Kosciuszko was offered at Karaka as a yearling and again at the Ready to Run Sale. He was passed in on both occasions, with reserves of only $75,000 and $60,000 respectively. He has now earned more than $2 million in prize-money.
“He’s an absolute machine,” Taylor said. “To keep winning that often and at various distances, despite not being missed by the handicapper, is remarkable.
“He’s one of those ‘just too’ horses – he was just too small for the buyers, but has ended up being just too fast on the racetrack.
“We always thought he was a neat horse and a very nice type, but when there’s that many horses for sale, the buyers are looking for perfection. He just didn’t have the size that they wanted.
“But when a horse has the speed that he has, it doesn’t matter what size they are. It’s worked out fantastically well for his owners.”
Lim’s Kosciuszko was the first foal out of Jacquetta, who has since been represented by the placed Almanzor mare The Iberian. Three-year-old Almanzor filly Firestop Grinzing is in Australia, while an Ocean Park colt was bought by John Foote for $200,000 at Karaka in January.
“Jacquetta unfortunately died last year, but we’ve got a very nice Ocean Park filly who’s a yearling now,” Taylor said. “Over the next week or so, we’ll finalise whether we put her up for sale or retain her.”