El Segundo thrills Ancroft Stud

Pins, sire of two Group One winners, Econsul and now El Segundo

Pins, sire of two Group One winners, Econsul and now El Segundo
El Segundo (Pins-Palos Verdes by Oak Ridge) did more than make himself favourite for next weekend's $A2.5 million Caulfield Cup when he won last Saturday's MRC Caulfield S. 2000m G1.

He also extended the impressive honour roll at the Brown family's Ancroft Stud, Matamata. Other Ancroft-bred stars include 2001 New Zealand Filly of the year Singalong, Battle Eve (25 wins), multiple Group 2 winner Commissionaire, G2 Crest Star, G2 King Delamere, G3 Reputed, G3 Na Botto, and a host of Listed Stakeswinners, among them Gold Deck, a relative of El Segundo.

The stud's Philip Brown bred the four-year-old gelding with his late father Bill and Australians Don Howell, Philip Murphy, Ian Hickey and his father Bill Hickey. Mr Howell is also one of El Segundo's owners.

The group owns Ancroft-bred Palos Verdes who won ten races, including the TRC Hobart Cup G3 and STC N.E. Manion Cup G3. By the very good, but under-appreciated sire Oak Ridge (5.3% SW/foals), Palos Verdes is described by Philip as "a very elegant mare, with a lovely head and eye." El Segundo, the second of her five colt foals to date, was sold for $140,000 to Michael Stedman as agent for trainer Colin Little at the 2003 New Zealand Premier Sale. Colin also trained Palos Verdes.

Philip recalls "He was the top-priced yearling by Pins that year and several buyers liked him - I think Dave O'Sullivan may have been the under-bidder."

"He was always a lovely, very powerful type and I thought he'd come earlier than he did. However, Colin said he had some immaturity in his knees as a younger horse."

El Segundo did not start at two, won three of his five starts in 2004-05 and has repeated that record so far this season. His earnings now stand at more than $A400,000.

Palos Verdes' first foal, The Snake (Umatilla) made $52,500 as a yearling but is yet to win, while her two-year-old colt by Elnadim, sold for $87,500 earlier this year, is reportedly pleasing the Moroney stable. El Segundo's yearling full-brother is entered for next year's Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Palos Verdes is due to foal to Pins and understandably her owners are hoping for a filly they can keep and race. Her 2005 mate is not yet confirmed, but Philip Brown says it is likely she will again visit Pins.

El Segundo represents the fourth generation of his family bred at Ancroft Stud. Philip recalls his father leasing his fourth dam Miss Spy (Red Mars) from Ted Laxon in 1971 and sending her to Ancroft's champion sire Battle-Waggon. This is the same branch of the Moth (1847) family that produced 1970 Melbourne Cup winner Baghdad Note and 1998 Victoria Derby winner Arena.

El Segundo's sire Pins has now left five SW (two G1) and ten stakes-placed performers from 93 runners. Himself an outstanding Group One-winning son of Snippets, Pins stands at Waikato Stud, Matamata at a fee of $15,000 (plus GST).

Near-neighbour Ancroft has not stood a stallion since 2001 when Exploding Prospect was transferred to Ohau Stud, near Levin. These days Philip and his wife Catherine are happy to breed and sell from their eleven broodmares, sell their own yearlings, provide agistment and management services for a small group of private clients (mostly Australians), and enjoy their racehorses, including promising three-year-old D'Lanach.

- Susan Archer


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