By Ric Chapman
Vinery Stud has been looking for a colonial-bred freshman prospect of considerable worth for some time now and it seems the god of good gallopers has answered their prays.
Mossman, the Queensland-based first season phenomenon, will move to Vinery Stud near Scone, in New South Wales, this year.
A significant percentage of the boomed stallion by Success Express--Lichen Lady, has been purchased by Vinery Stud--and understandably so--as he is quite possibly the hottest sire prospect in Australasia.
Mossman, who already boasts more individual juvenile winners in Australia from his debut crop than any other freshman stallion, also is equal top in terms of individual winners on the overall juvenile list too. Those stats alone simply defy logic as he covered not just less, but profoundly less mares, than any other stallion currently listed in the top 30!
He will move from his home base of Noble Park Stud in Qld to Vinery Stud in NSW, April and his service fee will be adjusted to $15,000 plus GST.
"He has made a very impressive start to his breeding career already," enthused Vinery's general manager Peter Orton, who deliberately, along with Vinery's Spain-based owner Tom Simon, went to Warwick Farm Racecourse in January to watch Segments (by Mossman) run second in the $610,000 Inglis Classic.
Orton, like many breeding buffs around, believes Mossman's extraordinary conformation will profoundly suit Australian breeders.
How the deal came about is the stuff of considerable story telling.
Mossman, a juvenile gorup I winner for his owner/breeder, Peter Moran (who also owns the wonderful success story Success Express), knew the moment Mossman arrived as a gangly baby, that there was something special about him. "Presence, all the greats have it and he just looked like he'd be good," remembered Moran who was not the least bit fazed with Mossman's first race start.
"He ran third at Randwick on debut but he hit the line like he wanted further and I told his trainer Clarry (Conners) that day that this horse was gifted. Next start, he won at Canterbury by nearly five lengths in 1:09.8 and we both knew we had a potential topliner. As he grew he just got better and better as an individual and it was a very sad day when he retired as 3-year-old with a cracked sesamoid," said Moran, who put him straight to stud on his beautiful boutique Noble Park Stud in Beaudesert.
As a racehorse, Mossman had 22 starts and won $919,600 in stakes. The racing year he competed in was a blue chip one. The babies of Mossman's year included superstars like Sky Heights, Sunline, Arena, Mr Innocent, Shovhog, Happyanunoit, Dracula, and Dignity Dancer. It was a golden year and Mossman met them all over short trips and long. He ran in 12 group I races and picked up a check in nine of them. He won the group I Castlemaine Stakes over 1,600 meters and is to this day still the fastest 3-year-old over 2,040 meters ever around Moonee Valley.
Little wonder he was destined for a trip to the breeding barn, and in Moran's view, there is no doubt he now has the world at his feet.
"He was by far the best looking and put together son of Success Express I have ever seen and old Success can throw a sire son so I knew this bloke would create a big opinion. But, even I didn't imagine it would be as large an opinion as it has become."
In his debut year at stud, he served just 40 mares. That sort of figure is generally a death knell for young stallions. There was little fanfare and even smaller interest in him when first advertised. He did, however, cover two stakes winners and of the 40 he served, 26 were individual race winners, but commercial stallions get books of over 110 on debut--not 40.
From that first crop 31 foals were born and they are all in stables across Australia. Four individual winners including the brilliant stakes winner Segments (now strongly fancied for the Golden Slipper and earner by mid-January of over $110,000) had emerged by the start of 2004. That came from 12 to race, again more individual starters than any stallion who has a crop of 2-year-old runners.
So in his first three months of racing age he managed, with his incredibly small band of family members, to produce the most number of runners, the most number of winners, and be in fourth spot on the freshman sire list in terms of money earned behind lads of super farms like: Commands (121 mares on debut); Redoute's Choice (134 mares on debut); and the New Zealand-based Stravinsky (146 mares on debut).
"You clearly have to recognize that this is a stallion of considerable worth," added Orton when viewing the stats.
Moran couldn't be happier with his new part-owners.
"Last year Mossman covered 110 mares so he is, in my opinion, on his way now to reaching the very top. The boys there at Vinery all seem to believe in horses and treat them with enormous respect which is how I feel about Mossman."
Mossman's foals averaged a staggering $120,000 at Magic Millions this year from a debut season $4,000 service fee.