Bianconi defends Victorian crown

Swettenham Stud stallions are finishing the season with a winning flourish and there’s none better than Bianconi who is on course to defend his Victorian crown this season.

Bianconi is currently entrenched in the Australian Top 10 for individual winners in 2009-10.  His tally increased to 97 so far this season when Fillydelphia won the Coca-Cola Amatil Handicap at Doomben on Wednesday.

Bianconi (Danzig) was Victoria’s champion winner-getter in 2008-09 with 91 individual winners in Australia and he has an unassailable lead over Bel Esprit this season.

There’s quality as well as quantity among his progeny.  Bianconi sprinter Nicconi was a G1 winner of the VRC Lightning Stakes and AJC The Galaxy before travelling to England.  He was a fast-finishing fourth in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last week and trainer David Hayes believes he will be better suited over an extra furlong in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket on July 9.  

Nicconi (5h  Bianconi – Nicola Lass by Scenic) will clash with fellow Aussie sprinters Starspangledbanner and Denman at Newmarket.  “The way he hit the line in the King’s Stand suggests the six furlongs of the July Cup will suit him,” Hayes said.  “We are going ahead with a good deal of confidence.”

Nicconi is the flag-bearer for Bianconi who has sired 356 winners at a 57% strike-rate.  His other domestic stakes winners include Above Deck, Classiconi, Mr Martini, Taken At The Flood, Andallthatjazz, Leigh Valley, Schilling, Streetfighter and Valparaiso.

Before settling permanently at Swettenham, Bianconi sired the North American stakes winners Redaspen (G2 Calder La Prevoyante Hcp) and Awesome Lady (Listed Santa Anita Monrovia Hcp).

His latest winner Fillydelphia is a filly with a future according to premier Queensland trainer Rob Heathcote.

Fillydelphia (2f Bianconi – Edel Vanessa by Encosta de Lago) could be destined for better things after coming from well back to score by a half-length over 1200m at Doomben yesterday.  “I’ve always liked her,” Heathcote said.  “She could go for a spell now but after the winter carnival there’s some nice two-year-old races for the picking.  I think she’ll make a nice three-year-old miler later on.”

Bianconi is by breed-shaping sire Danzig and his G1 winning dam Fall Aspen who founded a dynasty of her own.  Besides Bianconi, she is also the dam of Group 1 winners Hamas, Fort Wood, Timber Country, Northern Aspen and the dams of G1 winners Dubai Millennium and Elnadim.

Bianconi was named Ireland’s Champion 2yo after scoring a G2 victory in the 1997 Diadem Stakes at Royal Ascot.  He will stand for a $10,000 fee at Swettenham in 2010.