Lion Hunter Rules at Flemington

Jungle Ruler revived memories of champion sire Lion Hunter when he won a heat of the VRC Winter Championship at Flemington on Saturday.

Jungle Ruler (7h Lion Hunter – Calista by Zeditave) is the only stakes performer among his sire’s dwindling progeny this season. The courageous grey galloper has won a total of 18 races and earned over $778,000 for his connections.

Lion Hunter died at Oaklands Stud in 2004 and, in his prime, was a prolific sire of winners. He was crowned champion Australian sire in 2006-7 with 133 individual winners to defeat Flying Spur (129) and Encosta de Lago (126).

His outstanding filly Gold Edition led the way that season in the G1 VRC Ascot Vale Stakes and the GCTC Magic Millions 3YO Trophy.

Jungle Ruler is from Lion Hunter’s penultimate crop and won his maiden at Yarra Glen in December 2006. “He’s been a great horse for us,” Mornington trainer Peter White said. “I bought him for $25,000 from Newhaven Park at the Gold Coast Magic Millions in 2005.

“We will keep on racing him, the way he is going,” White said. “It would be nice is he could achieve a goal of winning 20 races.”

Jungle Ruler is the sole winner for his dam Calista. The mare is from an Alleged half sister to Group 1 racehorse and sire Tobougg.

Oaklands Stud owner Neville Stewart has kept the Lion Hunter sireline alive and well with his stakes winning son Ferocity.

Ferocity will finish 2010-11 in the Top 10 of the Australian second-season sires’ premiership. He is a brother to the dam of champion colt Star Witness and will stand for an $11,000 (inc gst) fee this year.