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High fives at Windsor for 'Monaco Counsel'

The win of 'Monaco Counsel' (High Chaparral-Argante) in the Group One Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney recently was cause for celebration at Windsor Park Stud as it represented the first Group One winner for their young stallion High Chaparral (Sadler's Wells-Kasora).

'High Chaparral (IRE)', sire of 'Monaco Counsel'
"It's always very satisfying to breed a Group One winner, but to have a stallion coming through who from his first crop has left three group winners in Australia is very exciting, we certainly haven't achieved that in the past at Windsor Park," according to Steve Till from Windsor Park Stud.

Monaco Counsel joins Shoot Out (ex Pentamerous) the winner of the Group Two QTC Sires' Produce Stakes and the Group Three STC Gloaming Stakes winner So You Think (ex Triassic) as High Chaparral's Southern Hemisphere Stakes winners. In the Northern Hemisphere he has already left 11 stakes winners.

"There was tremendous depth in his first crop and in again in his second crop. There is plenty of talk about his three-year-olds on both sides of the Tasman. They are winning every where and it's not just because of horses like Monaco Counsel and So You Think that we think he is doing the business."

Monaco Counsel will now head to the Group One AAMI Derby and according to his New Zealand trainer Paul Moroney, he has settled in very well in the Melbourne stable of his brother Mike Moroney and is on track for the Derby.

Paul Moroney has a reputation for selecting classic horses and had no hesitation in spending a $100,000 at the Select Sale at Karaka for the son of High Chaparral when his yearlings were first presented for sale in 2008.

"He was everything you would expect a yearling would be by a Sadler's Wells sire. He was a good quality individual, with plenty of scope who stood over a lot of ground, and he reflected the class and quality of his pedigree, said Moroney.

"I really like the High Chaparral's and we have a few more in our stables. I have a filly and a colt in my stable that will make terrific autumn three-year-olds, they have been in and out a couple of times, and Mike has a colt in Melbourne that he really likes."

On the subject of Monaco Counsel's pedigree, he is the seventh foal of the unraced Star Way mare Argante the dam of one other winner. She in turn is a sister to Con Air who won the Singapore Raffles Cup and a half sister to the dual Group One winner and successful stallion Military Plume. Argante is a daughter of the stakes placed filly Ultraviolet, herself a sister to the Group Two winner Frivolous Lass the dam of Wild Rampage, and a half sister to Sea Legs(Three Legs) a Group One winner in South Africa.

They are out of Frivole (Le Filou- Froth) who won five races and was Group Two placed, and a half sister to Laelia, Swift General and Frill the dam of Interstellar and Fluted and grandam of Horlicks, while Niconero and Zip Zip Aray also descend from Frivole.

Steve Till concurs with Paul Moroney about the class of Monaco Counsel.

"He's always been a classy type, he was a terrific foal, who developed into an outstanding yearling and now he is an impressive racehorse. I saw him win his maiden at Ellerslie and the turn of foot he showed over the last 300 metres was pretty special.

"He is the type of horse who has grown into himself and when he began racing he seemed to have too much ability for his frame, So You Think is the same, they will be much much better in 12 months time."

In the meantime though, after missing the start in the Caulfield Guineas, So You Think is hoping to gain a start in the Group One W.S. Cox Plate.

"Monaco Counsel is the best foal that Argante has produced, and even her filly by High Chaparral who is a year younger than him didn't have his class as a yearling, and she only sold for $9,000. Argante's Golan filly is in this summer's Premier Sale at Karaka, She is due to foal to King's Chapel, and will visit Guillotine. That foal will be closely related to Monaco Counsel.

"We have two daughters of Argante as well, Barrachdail Lass (Golan) who now has a positive to High Chaparal and thus carrying a three-quarter to Monaco Counsel and Queen of Avalon (Montjeu) a three-quarter sister to Monaco Counsel who will visit Volksraad.

"We bred Argante, in a foal share partnership with David Renton and when Ultraviolet was 20 something, he gave the mare to us and we sent her to Star Way twice and she produced Argante and Con Air," said Till.

The success of High Chaparral has not come as a surprise to the team at Windsor Park and somewhat vindicates their philosophy for stallion selection.

"When we sit down to select a stallion, we look at what he did on the race track, how he raced and what the class of horse was that he raced against and type of race he raced in. We also take into account at what age he performed the best, the environment he was in and whether the type of horse he would leave would suit racing in the Southern Hemisphere.

"A horse like High Chaparral ticked all the right boxes. What makes it even more satisfying is that he is achieving success and leaving group winners in both hemispheres and not a lot of horses can necessarily achieve that.

"Three of the best sons of Sadlers Wells are doing that, Galileo, Montjeu and High Chaparral, they were all classic racehorses and they are leaving classic racehorses in both hemispheres. Not all sire lines are dominant in both hemispheres to such an extent, and even the other two Sadler's Wells son's who came down before these high class classic horses, Victory Dancer and Scenic have made their mark down here.

"It lays to rest the theory that only certain sire lines work in the Southern Hemisphere and what is successful in the Northern Hemisphere won't necessarily be successful here. In the past sons of lesser stallions have produced high class horses down here but not necessarily anywhere else, for example Star Appeal with Star Way, Sir Ivor with Sir Tristram, Precipitation with Summertime, and Agricola.

"It's obviously a huge thrill to have a stallion of his calibre in our line up. He will not have any southern hemisphere yearlings to sell this summer as Coolmore didn't send him back due to the busy season he had in Ireland that year. He came back last year and served a full book and he has been fully booked since June with lots of interest for next year and we are pretty sure he will return.

"Coolmore are a good business partner and very good to deal with, they know what a valuable commodity High Chaparral is and providing we can get the support we need at a price that is acceptable to both of us we are confident he will return. We will sit down in February after the yearling sales and make a decision on his fee then.

In the meantime it looks like it could be quite an exciting spring for the High Chaparral camp.

- Michell Saba


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