Three fantastic racemares and a classic three-year-old colt have propelled their dams into finalists for the Eight Carat Broodmare of the Year Award (sponsored by Arion Pedigrees) to be announced later this month at the Ebbett VW National Breeding Awards.
Extra Explosive (Ekraar[USA]- Explosive) the dam of the triple Derby winner Explosive Jack is among the nominees along with Far Fetched (Pins[AUS]-Beyond) the dam of Probabeel, Meleka Belle (Iffraaj[GB]-Empress Belle) the dam of Melody Belle and Opulence (Danroad – Mulan Magic[AUS]) the dam of Verry Elleegant.
Explosive Jack (Jakkalberry[IRE]-Extra Explosive) made his racetrack debut in late November with a maiden win over 1600 metres at Swan Hill. He ran fifth at his next start over 2200 metres before winning a 2400 metre event at Kembla Grange. That set the Ciaron Maher trained gelding on a path to black type success and he won the Listed Tasmanian Derby over 2200 metres at his next start.
Back on the mainland he finished second in the MVRC Gr.2 Alister Clark Stakes before winning the Bendigo St Leger over 2200 metres. A step up to 2400 metres again proved to be no trouble and he took out the prestigious Gr.1 ATC Derby, before heading to Morphettville to win the Gr.1 SAJC South Australian Derby over 2500metres. In an attempt to win a fourth Derby, he ventured north to Queensland where he finished third in the Gr.1 BRC Queensland Derby, ending his season with a great record of five wins from nine starts.
Explosive Jack is a half-brother to Pick Number One a former champion Griffin in Hong Kong, he is the fifth foal of Extra Explosive, and was bred by Luigi Muollo’s Explosive Breeding Limited.
In her four-year-old year Probabeel (Savabeel[AUS]-Far Fetched) continued the success she had shown at two and three winning four of her eight starts. She commenced in the spring with a second placing in the Gr.3 ATC Mostyn Copper Show County Stakes at Randwick, which was also the scene of her next two victories in the Gr.3 Bill Ritchie Stakes followed by the Gr.1 ATC Epsom Handicap.
She was unplaced in the Cox Plate and returned to New Zealand for a spell. In the Autumn she went back to Melbourne and won the Gr.3 MRC Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes and the Gr.1 MRC Futurity Stakes at Caulfield. At her next start in the hotly contested All Star Mile she finished unplaced but bounced back to be just nabbed on the line by Nettoyer in the Gr.1 ATC Queen of the Turf Stakes.
Probabeel was bred by Garry Chittick and is the only foal of Far Fetched. She is raced by Jo and Brendan Lindsay MNZM and trained by Jamie Richards.
A descendant of the fantastic Belle family, started by Annie and James Sarten and nurtured by their daughter Marie Leicester, Meleka Belle was represented by two stakes winners this season Melody Belle (by Commands[AUS]) and Tutukaka (by Tavistock).
Melody Belle also trained by Jamie Richards kicked off her six-year-old season unsuccessfully in Sydney in the Spring. She returned in time to take out the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate and Gr.1 Livamol Classic at Hawkes Bay, and once she had regained her form ventured to Melbourne to finish third in the Gr.1 VRC L K S McKinnon Stakes.
Following a brief break, she came out in January and won the time-honoured Gr.1 WRC Thorndon Mile, before scoring successfully again in the Gr.1 ARC New Zealand Stakes in March. She finished her career in Australia in the autumn where she was sold at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Broodmare Sale for $A2.6 million.
Melody Belle was again rated 116 on the 2020 World’s Best Racehorse Ratings, rated equal highest older mare in Australasia at the Intermediate distance with Verry Elleegant and Arcadia Queen.
The third quality mare in the trifecta was the Gr.1 MRC Caulfield Cup winner Verry Elleegant (Zed- Opulence) bred by Don Goodwin who retains and ownership share in the bonny mare. Already a group one winning three and four-year-old she excelled in her five-year-old year to win five races all at group one level. She was also placed twice from only nine starts from the stable of Chris Waller.
In the spring she raced first up in the Gr.1 ATC Winx Stakes and won it easily, before running fourth in the Gr.1 ATC George Main Stakes. Victories in the VRC Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington and the Gr.1 MRC Caulfield Cup followed, before a tilt at the Gr.1 VRC Melbourne Cup and a well-earned break.
In the autumn she added the Gr.1 ATC Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick and the Gr.1 ATC Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill, beating the 2020 fourth rated raced horse in the world Addeybb, to her trophy cabinet. But in her final race for the season it was he who had the upper hand when she finished second to him in the Gr.1 ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Verry Elleegant is the third foal from Opulence who has also produced the winners Black Lace and Verry Flash.
The trophy for the winning broodmare will be presented at the Ebbett VW National Breeding Awards dinner at Mystery Creek in Hamilton on August 21, along with the Dewar, Centaine and Grosvenor Trophies for the Champion Stallion, the Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan Breeder of the Year, the Small Breeder of the Year (sponsored by Luigi Muollo), the Mary Lynne Ryan Young Achiever Award (sponsored by Agrowquip), the Seton Otway Horse of the Year Award and the Personality of the Year Award.