Familiar start by Vinery warrior Alligator Blood

The start of 2023-24 had a familiar ring about it for Vinery Stud when Alligator Blood continued a Group 1 journey for the ages with another epic victory in the MRC Underwood Stakes (Gr.1, 1800m) at Caulfield.

Alligator Blood was winning the Underwood for the second year in a row and he kept the momentum going at weight-for-age in the spring defeating Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare in the MRC Caulfield Stakes (Gr.1, 2000m).

The 7yo son of Vinery sire All Too Hard has won 15 races – 7 of them at the elite level – for earnings over $8.12million.  “He rolls up his sleeves and gets on with the job,” co-trainer Gai Waterhouse said.  “We’re very privileged to have him and we love him.

“I have probably only ever had one or two as good.  He’s such a special horse and who doesn’t have a soft spot for Alligator Blood?”

New Zealand 3yo filly Viva Vienna opened All Too Hard’s black-type account across the ditch in the Canterbury Belle Stakes (LR, 1200m) at Riccarton in September and weeks later, it was the turn of All Too Hard’s Kiwi mare Babylon Berlin to land black-type in the Legacy Lodge Sprint (LR, 1200m) at Te Rapa.

Vinery freshman Exceedance made an outstanding start to his stud career when his class colt Dublin Down opened Melbourne Cup Day with a professional debut in the VRC Maribyrnong Plate (Gr.3, 1000m).  Exceedance was emulating his own sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill) who kicked off his stud career courtesy of Exceedingly Good in the 2007 Maribyrnong Plate.

Dublin Down, who progressed to an autumn victory in the ATC Pago Pago Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) at Rosehill, was bred by Edinburgh Park’s Ian Smith.  “Exceedance looks the real deal,” Smith stated.  “He’s a son of Exceed And Excel and I booked in some quality mares after seeing him in the flesh at Vinery.”

Coinciding with Melbourne’s Spring Carnival was a Group 2 victory for Vinery-bred graduate Roots in the Hot Danish Stakes (1400m) in Sydney.  Roots (Press Statement) was bred and sold by Vinery partners Greg Perry, Steve McCann, Neil Werrett and Alan Green together with Brian Singer for $52,000 through Vinery’s draft to the 2020 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Vinery sire Star Turn entered the record-books at the NZB Ready To Run Sale when his colt from Commonwealth (Foxwedge) broke the Southern Hemisphere 2YO Sale record at Karaka.  He was knocked down to Mr Pato Leung for $825,000.

Vinery newcomer Ole Kirk went one better in the New Year at the Gold Coast Magic Millions with a $1million first-crop grey filly out of Supara (Domesday).  “Ole Kirk has the genetics and the race record to make a successful stallion,” winning bidder Robbie Griffiths said.  “He’s a son of Written Tycoon from the family of Black Caviar and All Too Hard who is doing such a great job at Vinery.”

Vinery stalwart Casino Prince sired Casino Seventeen win the $1million Perth Cup (Gr.2, 2400m) on New Year’s Day and Headwater mare Aitch Two Oh took centre stage in the SAJC Durbridge Stakes (LR, 1100m) at Morphettville on the Australia Day long-weekend.

The Ole Kirk bandwagon then rolled into Melbourne where his colt from Kibibi (Exceed And Excel) topped Day 1 of the Premier Sale.  “He was our flagship colt here,” vendor Ralph Satchell said following a $400,000 Sale.  “He looks readymade but I think he will develop into a very good horse at three, not unlike his sire.”

The spotlight stayed down south and this time the focus was on Moonee Valley and Vinery-bred graduate Growing Empire in the Valley Pearl (LR, 1200m).  He had been purchased for $700,000 by Yulong Investments and more would be heard from the Zoustar 2yo colt when he sizzled to a four-length victory in the SA Breeders’ Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) in April.

The Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale saw 14 Vinery yearlings knocked down for turnover of $4.70 million and they averaged $335,714 off a 78% clearance rate.  Top-price of $800,000 was shared by I Am Invincible fillies from Ballet Rose (Exceed And Excel) and Fast Fleet (Fastnet Rock).

Vinery also announced the signing of I Am Invincible’s Group winning sprinter Hawaii Five Oh to its 2024 roster and reminded breeders there are no service fee increases to the seven-strong line-up this year.

“Hawaii Five Oh was a superior racehorse as well as being well-balanced with a perfect conformation,” Vinery’s General Manager Peter Orton said.  “He will stand for an introductory $16,500 (inc GST) fee and, with breeders in mind, we have held all our other sires to the same level.

“We believe our stallions are of a very high quality, while also representing fantastic value and give breeders the best possible chance for a return on their investment.”