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Vandalo makes it a day to remember for Jim Campin

Jim Campin didn't really need any more evidence to show how worthwhile his purchase of several Gleam Machine mares from a stud dispersal in the late 1980s was, but he got it on Saturday anyway.

On a day when New Zealand-bred Master O'Reilly ran away with the Caulfield Cup, Campin's product Vandalo made it a day to remember for New Zealand-breds when he won the Winning Edge Presentation Cup (Listed-1400m)

The three-year-old became the first southern hemisphere stakeswinner for Trelawney Stud shuttler Van Nistelrooy, and yet another success story for Campin from mares by Gleam Machine, a son of Seattle Slew.

Nine stakeswinners have been produced from mares by Gleam Machine, and six have been from the mares Campin bought when Anton Koolman sold most of his stock which he had stood at Gressier Stud in Otaki.

"I've had a lot of success with them, particularly with Deputy Governor. Most of those mares have produced stakeswinners," Campin said.
Those mares included Centrepoint, who produced two South African stakes winners – Brutal Force (by Vice Regal) and Star Deputy (by Deputy Governor) -- and Art Lover, dam of Strength 'N Honour (by Deputy Governor), a stakes winner in Singapore.

However, by far the most successful has been Riverly Lass, bought as a two-year-old from Koolman.

"We raced her and she did all right. She won four but had some ability," Campin said.

"She had a fractured cheekbone which affected her as a racehorse, but she didn't do too bad. I remember she won a welter on Sydney Cup day at Randwick and paid about $80."

Riverly Lass, who comes from a good family which has produced horses such as Sports, Seika and Top Charger, went to Vice Regal in her first year at stud and then went to Deputy Governor for the next six seasons.

The first two, Ruby Turner and State Command, were both stakes-placed, but it was the last of those, Zirna, which really boosted the family. Zirna won the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (G1-1600m) and then went to Singapore and won the Singapore Derby Trial, Singapore Gold Cup and Raffles Cup.

Riverly Lass then visited Campin's less successful stallion Green Perfume three times, and produced three winners. "All of them won races but they all had temperament problems," remembers Campin.

At that stage Riverly Lass had produced six winners from nine live foals but just the one stakeswinner. But her next two foals would put her in a more elite class of broodmare.

Returning to Deputy Governor in 2002, she produced Amazing Me, who won the Northland Breeders' Stakes (Listed-1200m) at Ruakaka as a two-year-old. The next foal was Vandalo, the first foal the mare bred to a non-Chequers Stud stallion, though the mare didn't have to go far – Trelawney Stud is on the same road, less than 2km away.

"I was involved with Van Nistelrooy every season he was here and bred up to five to him every year," Campin said.

Like most of the Riverly Lass foals, Vandalo was not large. "He was a bit small but I always thought a lot of him," Campin said.

"We took him to the Premier Sale but I turned down $77,500 (his reserve was $90,000) because I thought he was worth more. I decided to take him back to the Ready To Run sale and he made $115,000, so it was definitely worth the wait."
Vandalo has made a very good start to his career for Seymour trainer Shannon Hope. He's now won two of his six starts, and is set to seek out further black type this spring in races such as the Carbine Club Stakes (G3-1600m) on November 3 and the Sandown Guineas (G2-1600m) on November 17.

Campin then sent Riverly Lass to Montjeu before selling her to Westbury Stud. She foaled a filly there and has since visited Captain Rio twice.

"Westbury were keen on mares in foal to Montjeu and she was 19 at the time and we were offered a very good price," Campin said.

The sale has cut Campin's ties with the family as he has not kept any of Riverly Lass' filly foals, something he is philosophical about. "All the foals she has produced were fairly small and would probably produced small foals themselves, and the yearling sales buyers don't tend to like small horses."

- Alastair Bull