When the showy Soho Tribeca-Our Star Dust colt steps into the sales ring for the Australian Pacing Gold sale at the Oaklands Junction auditorium on Sunday, February 4 he will bring up a milestone for nonagenarian Goulburn Valley breeder Helen Head.
It will be the 35th consecutive year that Helen has been a vendor at the Victorian sales.
Helen and her late husband Graham, a board member of the Victorian Trotting Control Board, began their association with the yearling sales in 1990 when they put through their first draft at an auction at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
Since then Grenada Park has bred and offered numerous classic and cup winners at the annual sales. She has bred 33 horses to earn $100,000 or more and over 30 sub 2:00 performers including two in the 1:50 list.
The best pacer she has bred was Safari, a Fake Left horse who reached Grand Circuit level. He won 28 races including the Breeders Crown and a string of Victorian country cups and $535,445 in stakes.
The outstanding racemare Tell Me Tales, the former 2YO of the Year The Storm Inside, the Derby winners Garnet River, Astronaut and Lively Exit, the Oaks winner Indigenous and the Vicbred champion Our Maid Marianne are among the list of top performers that first saw the light of day at Grenada Park.
The winner of the 2007 Victorian Breeder of the Year award, Head will offer two royally bred youngsters at this year’s Melbourne APG sale.
The first is Lot 186, a bay colt by the seven-time Group winner Soho Tribeca out of the Mach Three mare Our Star Dust (1:54.2), a half-sister to seven winners including Safari, Astronaut and Our Maid Marianne, all Group or Listed winners.
Our Star Dust, a descendant of Head’s foundation mare Madame Han, ranks as the dam of last season’s smart two-year-old filly Eureka Jo, a placegetter in the $400,000 APG Final, the $150,000 Vicbred Final and the Breeders Crown semi-final.
The other entry is Lot 209, a bay filly from the first crop of the wickedly fast American import Capt Midnight out of the unraced Shes Offlimits, an Art Major half-sister to the multiple Group winner and dual Vicbred champion Tell Me Tales 1:49.3 ($360,870). Shes Offlimits’ first foal, the three-year-old Letsgetrowdy, won in 1:58.7 at Maryborough on Monday.
Kilmore horsewoman Monique Burnett, who is preparing both of Grenada Park’s yearlings at her Grand Lodge property, is understandably upbeat about the pair.
“The colt is a very nice type with good size and the filly is a great doer and a pleasure to do anything with. She will go early.”
The Grenada Park brand will be part of the Victorian yearling sales scene for a few more years, at least. Helen, who turned 96 last year, bred five mares in the closing season in Tell Me Tales, Shes Offlimits, Our Star Dust, Amaretto Bromac NZ and Trojan Fire.
Intending purchasers at this year’s sale are in for an unexpected windfall. The catalogue is offering only 53 fillies and 52 colts eligible for the APG Race Series for two-year-olds with separate $150,000 Finals to be held at Melton in 2025.
For full details and catalogued yearlings in the 2024 Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sales, Online Sales Catalogue or Register as a Buyer now.