Darley’s pinup stallion Lonhro continues to create headlines and he was at it again on Saturday when providing the winner and fourth in the Group One Blue Diamond at Caulfield.
Lyre in Godolphin’s blue silks won the $1 million event for trainer Anthony Freedman while Athiri ran fourth for Godolphin.
Lyre is the sixth individual stakes winner for Lonhro this season and he’s also had another six stakes placed performers.
“Lonhro just continues to get good horses,” said Ontrack’s Grant Morgan.
“He has an incredible strike rate of 72.8% starters to winners and he really is an amazing stallion.
“His horses win from two through to aged horses and they win as two-year-olds and train on over middle distances.
“It’s incredible to think that he’s left two Group One winners so far this season – Lyre as a two-year-old over 1200 metres and Aristia in the VRC Oaks over 2500 metres.
“Lonhro is always the most popular stallion on our Hunter Valley Horse and Wine tour and people on the trip love getting a photo taken with him.
“Ontrack bought a lovely Lonhro colt at the recent Magic Millions Sale and he’s started breaking in with master horseman Greg Bennett at Canungra.
“The colt is going to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and there’s no a better stable for a Lonhro colt as Gai put the polish on Pierro, who was the stallion’s best performer,” said Grant Morgan.
This year’s Royal Ascot carnival could see major involvement from Australian stables.
Ontrack Racing’s 2019 Royal Ascot tour is sold out and participants look likely to have plenty of Australians to cheer on said Ontrack’s Grant Morgan.
“It’s looking likely Magic Millions winner Houtzen and triple Group One winner Trapeze Artist will run at Royal Ascot, while leading trainer Chris Waller has flagged Ascot ambitions for three-year-old colts Autumn Sun, Zousain and Lean Mean Machine.
“While there’s a lot of water to flow under the bridge before Royal Ascot, it’s great to have so many great Australian sprinters pencilled in.
“Houtzen and Trapeze Artist are the most likely participants, while The Autumn Sun was inoculated this week for a potential Royal Ascot trip,” said Grant Morgan.
Houtzen is trained on the Gold Coast by one of Ontrack’s main Queensland trainers Toby Edmonds and the trainer is just back from an information gathering exercise.
“I flew over to check out stabling at Newmarket and to take a look at Royal Ascot and it’s all go,” said Toby Edmonds.
“Houtzen will fly out late in March and we’ve arranged stabling at Newmarket.
“It was an amazing experience to visit Newmarket and see Royal Ascot first hand and the whole stable is excited about having its first ever runner at an international meeting,” said Toby Edmonds.
Grant Morgan said the Royal Ascot experience is always fantastic, but to have a runner at the meeting takes it to another level.
“We have had some great tours there, but nothing compared with having Brazen Beau there to compete in the Diamond Jubilee back in 2015.
“It is a truly unforgettable experience having a runner at Royal Ascot and Ontrack will be proud to cheer on Toby with Houtzen as well as Bert Vieira with Trapeze Artist and Chris Waller with one of his colts,” said Grant Morgan.
Rich Hill Stud is always a popular destination on Ontrack’s New Zealand Horse and Wine Tour and the stud looks to have a promising new stallion in Proisir.
A son of champion stallion Choisir, Proisir retired to Rich Hill after a short but successful career from Gai Waterhouse’s Tulloch Lodge and his first crop are now racing in New Zealand and Australia.
Proisir had his first winner when Tappy’s One scored for co-owner Trevor McKee of Sunline fame at Tauranga in late January and his stocks were bolstered on Saturday when his daughter Harlow won impressively on debut at the Te Rapa feature meeting.
“John Thompson and his team at Rich Hill are great hosts and the Ontrack tour always enjoy a wonderful visit there,” said Ontrack’s Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“Rich Hill is a beautiful property and is typical of many New Zealand studs that we visit during the Ontrack tour in that it has fantastic fertile rolling country that grows great pasture and puts great bone into young horses.
“John has enjoyed some great success with stallions such as Pentire and Shocking and it is great to see the stud kicking goals with Proisir.
“The farm has produced horses such as Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance and multiple Group One winner I Am A Star in recent years and looks to have produced another promising type in Harlow.
“She will head now to the black type Matamata Breeders Stakes and a win there will give Proisir a fantastic push.”