The two leading lights in last season's stallions' premiership - Exceed And Excel and Fastnet Rock - have flown the gates in the first month of the 2013-14 title race and another battle royale takes place at Randwick and Flemington on Saturday.
Fastnet Rock, with dazzling wins by Fast 'n' Rocking and Atlantic Jewel at Caulfield last weekend, has cleared out with a $200,000-plus lead over Exceed And Excel.
Fastnet Rock's 21 winners since August 1 have earned $848,335, while Exceed And Excel has produced 22 winners for $621,105.
Redoute's Choice has also had a good start, being in fourth place with progeny earnings of $583,510 from 12 individual winners.
Exceed And Excel has the numbers slightly in his favour in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday with nine starters, spearheaded by the Peter Snowden duo of Guelph and Safeguard. The sire's other runners are Tulla Touch, Kuroshio, Belloand Champollion at Randwick and Thermal Current, San Diego, and Just Discreet at Flemington.
Fastnet Rock has eight of his progeny running, four each at Randwick - Shahad, Destruction, Jade Marauder and Fast Dragon - and Flemington - Scandiva, Monkstone, Casquets and Hvasstan.
Redoute's Choice has seven: Royal Descent and Aussies Love Sport at Randwick and Albrecht, Alzora, Global Balance, A Time For Julia and Bonaris at Flemington.
Speedster's dream start
A sizzling breeze-up at the Gold Coast on Monday served notice that Gooree Stud owner Eduardo Cojuangco could have unearthed another promising stallion prospect in the shape of colonial-bred sprinter Dreamscape. A colt by Dreamscape, whose oldest progeny are two-year-olds, flew over 200 metres in 9.85 seconds in preparation for his appearance at the Magic Millions horses in training sale on September 24-25. The handsome bay sire won four races during his career with Gai Waterhouse, three in black-type company - the Stan Fox, Up and Coming Stakes and the Liverpool City Cup. Cojuangco bred Dreamscape, by Choisir from the US mare Faith In Dreams, and sent him to Widden Stud where he began his breeding career in 2010 for just $5500, including GST. The owner had Northern Meteor at Widden only to lose the champion first-season sire of 2012-13 a month ago after a colic attack, and also bred and owns Smart Missile, which has a full book this season at Arrowfield. Group 1 winner Your Song, a son of Fastnet Rock, was the latest retiree from Gooree, heading off to Widden after breaking through for his finest win in the BTC Cup at Eagle Farm by five lengths. His popularity with breeders at the Hunter Valley stud's recent inspection days was evident and his list of mares has been solid. Dreamscape's breeze-up winner is Lot 55, a chestnut colt from the Rory's Jester mare Jesta Sweetie and is being sold by Queensland's leading stud Glenlogan Park. The colt was the only breeze-up performer to break 10 seconds for the 200m. There are four of Dream_scape's progeny in at the Gold Coast and Widden's management will be keenly watching the outcome.
Hoofnote: The breeze-up sales switched to Seymour in Victoria on Tuesday and a Bel Esprit colt, closely related to the inaugural Magic Millions winner Snippets, was responsible for the fastest 200m in 10.67s on a surface softer than at the Gold Coast.
Makin's rich pickings
Australian owner-breeder Paul Makin will be the headline vendor at the biggest dispersal sales in the northern hemisphere this year, at Goffs, selling 25 of some of the world's best-bred broodmares and racing stock in an unreserved sale. Makin, a former Randwick boy, made his mark in Europe with the champion performer Starcraft in mid-2000 and has established a sensational harem of blue-hen mares since then. Among the group 1 blood Makin will sell in Ireland are this year's Irish Oaks and Prix Diane runner-up Chiquita and a Galileo half-sister to Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi. Others include Funsie, which is the dam of Epsom Derby winner Authorized and two-year-old Hydrogen, which fetched 2.5 million guineas ($4.7 million) last year as a yearling. Song, which is in foal to Frankel, is another, as is Gilt Edge, in foal to Redoute's Choice.
No stopping O'Brien
Coolmore's champion trainer Aidan O'Brien celebrated his 100th Irish winner of the flat season at The Curragh last Sunday with a bang, preparing four winners on the day. The horse to give O'Brien his century was the exciting three-year-old Great White Eagle in a group 3 event. The colt by Sepoy's sire, Elusive Quality, made it two out of two as a 3/1-on favourite. O'Brien took out his first Irish trainers' premiership in 1996 and has been invincible in the past five seasons. He has an unassailable lead this season.
Racing NSW has had a great response from owners for its BOBS bonuses for the 2013-14 season. BOBS began in 2002 and after last season had paid out $58 million to owners. Racing NSW has extended the deadline to September 9 to cope with demand. The fee is $990.
Email- johnhollysenior@ yahoo.com.au