Wet welcome at Rangal Park

The winter rains were a welcome sign for incoming Rangal Park studmaster Tim Jackson.

Rangal Park borders Seven Creeks at Euroa and everything’s blooming now that the drought is over for Victoria’s stud country.

Jackson relocated from Hay in NSW where it’s an altogether worse scenario.  “I grew up around Hay and spent the last five years there on a mustering contract,” he explained.  “The drought still hasn’t broken and it’s really affecting the local economy.”

Jackson is grateful to Rangal Park owner Eric Buttler for giving him the opportunity to get back into the industry.  “I was with the Kelly family at Newhaven Park for 20 years,” he recalled.  “They stood Wilkes and he was Australia’s champion sire three times in the 1960s.

“In my time, it was still among the top studs in NSW with Marauding and Zeditave on the roster.”

But the writing was on the wall for the Boorowa based stud.  The Kellys gradually downsized when it became too hard to compete with the Hunter Valley heavyweights.

Jackson branched out and began breaking-in yearlings nearby at Goulburn.  “I worked alongside Rick Worthington and we had a wonderful teacher named Henry Davies.  He was one of the best horsemen in the business.”

Jackson put that know-how to immediate effect at Rangal Park after taking over from Graham Burley.

“Graham retired in July and he was a great help when I arrived,” Jackson said.  “He was here for 20 years and was only too happy to let me pick his brains during the changeover.”

Notwithstanding all that advice, Jackson is his own man and he was forced to hit the ground running when the Rangal roster mushroomed from two stallions to five in August.   Former Independent Stallions residents US Ranger and Kempinsky were relocated at short notice to join evergreen sire Keltrice and young gun Danerich.  

Jackson also rejuvenated the stud career of Ne Coupez Pas after his fertility dropped through the floorboards last year.  “I tried a few different things with our vet Peter Bartram and so far, so good.  He got six of his first eight mares in foal during September.”

It was worth persevering with Ne Coupez Pas.  He is a son of Nijinsky and has built up a 60% winners-to-runners strike rate.  “He deserved another opportunity on the back of those figures,” Jackson claimed.  “With the right mare, and handled properly, he should be able to cover a limited book.”

Keltice is part of the fixtures and fittings after 16 seasons at Rangal Park.  In his younger days, Keltice served upwards of 100 mares at a $10,000 service fee.  He’s more than paid his way and nowadays keeps active with no more than 30 mares.

US Ranger was a bit of a handful when he first moved across from Independent Stallions but has settled down and is stopping his mares straight away.  He was a short-course specialist and, being a son of Danzig, should also get early-comers.

Ironically, his dam My Annette (Roberto) is a three-quarter sister to Dynaformer who is the sire of Melbourne Cup winner Americain.

Danerich was one of the last sons of Danehill to go to stud and he was represented by first-crop fillies Wealthy Elsie and Rebel To Riches at the Cranbourne trials earlier this month.  “They were very impressive,” Jackson said.  “The Danerichs want to race and a few of them should be ready shortly after Christmas.”

A couple of winners before the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier will help sell Danerich’s second crop of yearlings at Oaklands Junction.

The signs are also encouraging for Jackson who has quickly settled in with his wife Christine.  And there are more willing hands on deck with their three sons William, Henry and Walter all helping in the day to day running of Rangal.