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Windsor Park Juggernaut

The Windsor Park winning juggernaut swathed its way through the Autumn Carnival in Sydney and is continuing its dominance at the Queensland Winter Carnival.

Hot on the heels of a trifecta of Windsor Park stallions in the Group Two Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast on the opening weekend of the carnival, came a first and third in the Group Three Chairman's Handicap when Ballack (Montjeu – Trephina), beat Rabbuka and Sir Slick (Volksraad-Miss Opera) at Eagle Farm last week.

This season alone their former shuttle stallion Montjeu has left six individual stakes winners in Australia; Roman Emperor (ex Gussy Godiva), Harris Tweed (ex Sally), Guillotine (ex Refused The Dance), Fulmonti (ex Grosvenor's Pride), Majestical (ex Grosvenor's Pride) and one here in New Zealand in The Meista (ex Zablinka).

And for good measure Windsor's evergreen stallion Volksraad sits at the top of the stallion premiership here in New Zealand, having left seven individual stakes winners this season: Sir Slick, Dezigna (Label Basher), Izonit (Label Basher), Veloce Bella (Wave To Lottie), Gin Dartre (Rapida), Butch James (Gillygate), Richard Beymer (Westside Story), and Orange County (Saffie) in Australia.

However it's not just group winners that get a horse to the top of the premiership, and he has had 54 winners of 80 races. Recently at Tauranga when Jim Pender trained four winners on the card, three were by Volksraad, and for good measure the fourth was by another Windsor Park stallion the promising Thorn Park.

And according to Steve Till of Windsor Park, there is plenty more to come.

"After Ballack's win in the Chairman's, the O'Brien stable is pretty confident that the horse can kick on for the rest of the Carnival - I guess they have the Brisbane Cup in their sights. It was after all one of his best efforts in the Chairman's. He showed a good turn of foot coming from the back of the field."

Ballack has now won five races, including the Group Three Carlton Tattersalls Cup over 2200 metres at last years Queensland Carnival. He has also been Group One placed in the West Australian Derby, and ran third in the Group Two Perth Cup and in the VRC St Leger.

He is the first foal of Trephina, a winning Last Tycoon mare Nelson Schick purchased as a yearling from the Sydney Easter sales for A$160,000.

"Nelson had picked this filly out in the sale, as she was from a good performing, strong Australian family and Last Tycoon was all the rage. She was a neatly well made and balanced yearling, but she had a nasty gash on her hind leg but it was only superficial, so we felt she wasn't bad buying at that price.

"Her dam Procastinate had won six races including the Group Three Tristarc Stakes, and she was a half sister to a Group Three winner in Galapagos Girl (Dehere) and another stakes winner Kampaign (Kampala) who won 11 races, and they were out of a sister to Centaine (Century-Rainbeam), so it was a pretty strong family.

"Trephina was the second foal. The first foal was by Danehill and turned out to be the Champion South African mare Laisserfaire, so that turned out to be a bonus," he mused.

Since then Procrastinate has left three listed winners - Foreplay (Danehill), Personify (Galileo) and Time Thief (Redoute's Choice) and he has been Group One placed twice this season. She also has a Danehill Dancer daughter Patasi who was stakes placed at two and three.

"Roger James trained Trephina for us and she showed a lot of promise, she won a race and then something went amiss and she retired to the broodmare paddock, "said Steve.

Ballack was the first foal. Her next foal is a four-year-old named Novatech (Kaapstad) who has won two races out of Mark Walker's stable, and the third foal is Centennial Park by Thorn Park. He has now won three races in Sydney including the listed Darby Munro Stakes. Her 2006 colt by King's Chapel was the highest priced King's Chapel yearling at Karaka and he was bought by Magus Equine of Hong Kong for $260,000.

"This year we sold a full brother to Centennial Park for $390,000 and that has also been purchased by Hong Kong interests. Trephina is now in foal to Falkirk and has a weanling filly by that sire as well.

"It's a family that continues to improve and the Last Tycoon factor is a big help as well. Already this season the Montjeu/Last Tycoon cross has produced the Group One AJC Derby winner Roman Emperor (Gussy Godiva).

"We have had some success with the Last Tycoon mares we own. Tycoon Babe (Last Tycoon – Splash of Beauty) has left Shuttleworth, and Grand Princess (Last Tycoon – Grande Jette) has left two stakes performers in Captain's Command and Inshelucky, all by Volksraad.

"It's very satisfying to see the stock of Montjeu doing so well - he was pretty heavily scrutinised as a stallion and now he is being appreciated. There was always the perception that maybe Sadler's Wells horses would not go so well down here. It's blood that takes time and when Montjeu didn't get instant results like he did in the Northern hemisphere he copped a bit of criticism.

"However now it seems that trainers understand them better and appreciate what he offers as a stallion. From every crop he has produced in both hemispheres he has had runners in the Derby, and although his fillies didn't set the world on fire on the track he will make a wonderful broodmare sire,' Steve concluded.

- Michelle Saba


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