French Import Makes Her Mark on Sofia’s ATC Oaks

Caption: Sofia Rosa (NZ) (Makfi (GB)-Bislieri by Encosta de Lago (AUS))

While New Zealander Lib Petagna enjoyed a special day with victories by Sofia Rosa (NZ) (Oaks) and Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Queen Elizabeth Stakes) at Randwick on April 9, the Australian Oaks-Gr.1 winner brought back memories of former Pokey Hill Stud owner, the late Pam Rose. She purchased the mare Toscan Girl (FR), bred by the Rothschild family and a winner over 2100m at Longchamp in France, in the mid-1970s and she is the fourth dam of the Gerry Harvey bred Oaks winner, a daughter of Makfi (GB).

The wins of Sofia Rosa (ex Bislieri by Encosta de Lago) and Lucia Valentina (Savabeel-Staryn Glen by Montjeu (IRE)), both trained at Newcastle by Kris Lees, also provided a red-letter day for their trainer and for bloodstock agent Bruce Perry, who selected both from the ring at Karaka. Bred by Mrs H.G. and W.G. Bax, Lucia Valentina cost just $NS60,000 at the 2012 NZ Premier and her win in the $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1 (2400m), the major race of The Championships, took her earnings to $4.197m. Sofia Rosa, winner of five races and $898,853 cost $NZ65,000 in 2014. Her dam was also bred by Harvey, by this time owner of Bislieri, one of his huge band of broodmares in Australia and NZ.

Triple Gr.1 winner Makfi (Dubawi (GB)-Dhelaal by Green Desert), shuttles from France these days (Aga Khan-Qatar Bloodstock) after starting his stud career in England and is among a nine-strong roster at Harvey’s Westbury Stud in NZ. Harvey, co-principal of the Magic Millions auction house, also owns Baramul Stud in the Widden Valley and is a major stakeholder in Vinery, Scone.

Pam, who commuted from her waterfront mansion at Point Piper to the 130ha (325 acre) Pokey Hill at Mt White by helicopter piloted by husband Bruce, was a long time committee member of Thoroughbred Breeders’ NSW (and a life member). She enjoyed success as a breeder, particularly with Toscan Girl (Lyphard-Tamoure by Tanerko), breeding the dual Gr.1 winner Marwong (Whiskey Road (USA)) and the Blue Diamond Prelude-Gr.3 winner and sire Nanutarra (Biscay) from her, as well as the stakes placed sire Captain Piper (Kaoru Star).

Toscan Girl’s only producing daughter in five named foals was Biscay Dancer (Biscay), subsequently dam of the VRC Red Roses Stakes-LR winner Bislotto (Bellotto (USA)) and Group placed Kenzig (Kenmare (FR)), among her eight winners, most bred by Pam. Bislotto is the second dam of Sofia Rosa and is the dam of six winners including the Gerry Harvey-bred Gr.3 winner and sire Bel Danoro (Danehill (USA)) and Gr.2 runner-up and Gr.1 placed Tanith (Chief’s Crown (USA)).

Toscan Girl owned a pretty slick pedigree being by the Prix Jacques le Marois-Gr.1 winner Lyphard (Northern Dancer-Goofed by Court Martial), a champion sire in France and the US (112SW including Dancing Brave and Manila). She is from the French Gr.3 winner Tamoure (Tanerko-Gritti by Epigram), the third top filly on the 1964 French 2YO Free Handicap.

Bislotto’s daughter Bislieri (Encosta de Lago) failed to win in three starts but her three named foals are all winners and include HK performer Hang’s Decision (Postponed (USA)) and Macau runner Win Perfectly (Testa Rossa), as well as the $1m Australian Oaks-Gr.1 winner Sofia Rosa, who has now won five of her 10 starts plus a second and a third placing. Her dam produced a Postponed filly in 2013, a Makfi filly in 2014 and a Postponed colt in 2015 when she was again covered by Makfi.

These days Pokey Hill Stud has been renamed Strawberry Hill Stud and has been developed as a showplace by its owner of more than 25 years, businessman John Singleton, who for a time shared in the ownership of the Magic Millions with Gerry Harvey and Rob Ferguson before Harvey and his wife Katie took control of that company. Singleton, who has enjoyed major success as a breeder and owner through the likes of Golden Slipper winner Belle du Jour and champion mare More Joyous, was in the news at the Inglis Australian Easter Sale in early April when a colt he bred by Frankel and from Gr.2 winner and Golden Slipper placed More Strawberries (More Than Ready (USA)-Milva (USA) by Strawberry Road) made $1.6m with agent Guy Mulcaster securing the colt for the Chris Waller stable and with Singleton signing up for a share.

Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel-Staryn Glen by Montjeu (IRE))

Singleton part-owned Strawberry Road in the 1980s and that champion’s 17 wins included the Cox Plate and AJC Derby. Singleton also campaigned him in Europe and the US before selling the entire to Daniel Wildenstein who won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud with him before sending him to the US where he was runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. He was sold again to Allen Paulsen and Bruce McNall and won the Arcadia Handicap for them before Paulsen secured the 1983 Australian Horse of the Year (and 2009 Australian Hall of Fame inductee) for his Brookside Farm in Kentucky.

Strawberry Road’s daughter Milva, a half-sister to Gr.1 winner and sire Rock Hard Ten (Kris S), is from the Prix Morny-Gr.1 winner Tersa (Mr. Prospector) and also produced the Gr.1 winner and sire All American (Red Ransom (USA)), who moves from Arrowfield, Scone to Eddie Rigg’s Geisel Park Stud at Myalup in WA in 2016, where he will be joined by a Victorian “émigré” in Foreplay (Danehill) who moves from Woodside Park.

Whiskey Road
WHISKEY Road (USA) (Nijinsky-Bowl of Flowers by Sailor) won over 12f (2400m) at Leopardstown and placed second and third from four starts in Ireland at three but got his chance at stud as he was by an English Triple Crown winner and from a US champion two and three year-old filly and CCA Oaks winner who is a half-sister to major sires Graustark and His Majesty. He stood at Neale Lavis’s Strathallan Stud near Braidwood.
His 24 stakes winners also included a Melbourne Cup winner in Just a Dash, raced by Lloyd Williams, who tasted success over The Championships with imports, the Sydney Cup-Gr.1 winner Galante (IRE) (Montjeu) and The United States (IRE) (by Galileo (IRE), runner-up to Lucia Valentina in the Queen Elizabeth after winning the Ranvet-Gr.1 on March 19. Lavis, an Olympic gold medal-winning equestrian in Rome in 1960 was well know to the Rose family as Pam’s daughter Vicky, also a noted international equestrian and Olympian and her then husband Wayne, an Olympic coach and dual bronze medal winner, managed Pokey Hill for a time. Wayne’s father Bill won equestrian gold at Rome with Neale Lavis and Laurie Morgan.

Lucia Valentina
LUCIA Valentina, the second of Lib Petagna’s Gr.1 winners on April 9 at Randwick, was a training triumph for Kris Lees who produced the mare second up from a spell after she resumed on March 12 for a fast finishing fourth in the Coolmore Stakes-Gr.1 (1500m). Ridden, like Sofia Rosa, by veteran Damien Oliver, Lucia Valentina came with a brilliant finishing run from the back of the field to beat The United States by 2.25 lengths over the 2000m.

It was her seventh success and third Gr.1 win in 27 starts (Vinery Stud Stakes, Turnbull Stakes) and she also has thirds in the Ranvet, Australian Oaks and Caulfield Cup. A daughter of Cox Plate-Gr.1 winner and now champion NZ sire Savabeel (NZ) (Zabeel-Savannah Success by Success Express), she is from the placed Staryn Glen (Montjeu), a half-sister to the Gr.2 winner Silky Red Boxer (Casual Lies (USA)), both from the Star Way (GB) mare Soleil Etoile, a daughter of the imported Polly Soleil (GB) (Roi Soleil), whose descendants include the HK Sprint-Gr.1 winner All Thrills Too (St Covet). Polly Soleil, a sister to Polly’s Brother and half-sister to former NZ sire Avon Valley (GB) (Galivanter-Polaria by Polic), is also dam of Soleil Rouge (Red Tempo), a Gr.2 winner of seven races.

Bruce Perry purchased three consecutive foals from Staryn Glen, the first is Gr.3 winner Malandrino (Darci Brahma), the second is Lucia Valentina and the third is Vallone. (Mastercraftsman (IRE)), a $100,000 purchase who has won two of three starts and is now in HK (as You Have My Word), also home to Malandrino (racing as Best Show). The mare has a yearling filly by Exceed and Excel, a weanling colt by Savabeel and is back in foal to Savabeel.

Published May 2016