By Bren O’Brien of TDN Australia/NZ with compliments
Photos courtesy of Tracey Robertson of TREquine
The Victorian winter weather held off long enough for Rosemont Stud to showcase its two new arrivals to around 150 visitors as part of its four-strong stallion parade at its Gnawarre farm outside of Geelong on Saturday.
While the predictions for the weather weren’t ideal, with an Antarctic blast enveloping much of south-east Australia over the weekend, Stud Principal Anthony Mithen said the rain held off, allowing the parade visitors to get a good look at Shamus Award and Starspangledbanner, as well as Starcraft (NZ) and Nostradamus.
“We would have had probably 150-200 turn up and brace the elements. We got lucky with the weather. We were preparing for Armageddon, but we were lucky enough that it held off and the stallions paraded beautifully and everyone was suitably impressed,” Mithen told TDN AusNZ.
“It was nice to show off four really nice prospects for 2019.”
Shamus Award arrived from his previous home of Widden Stud, with plenty of momentum behind him with his first crop, headed by G1 Queensland Derby winner Mr Quickie, continuing to bolster his record.
Mithen has caused a bit of a stir with his comparisons between Shamus Award and Arrowfield’s Dundeel (NZ) in recent weeks, with the pair sharing similar statistics but a very different price point.
“The statistical data on Shamus Award had everybody rubbing their chins (on Saturday) and thinking ‘Gee whiz, we need to put him in a different echelon to your usual $10,000 stallion’,” Mithen said.
“I took the brave move to compare him to Dundeel, and all I was doing was pointing out what a good job that stallion has done and that on numbers Shamus Award, is one Australian stakes-winner behind him. On almost every other measure, they are level.”
“On numbers Shamus Award, is one Australian stakes-winner behind him. On almost every other measure, they are level.” – Anthony Mithen
“I like the analytical data and it usually forecasts the future. If I’m the only one reading it that way, I’m clearly a dunce, but I don’t reckon I am.”
Starspangledbanner’s recent arrival back on the farm marked a homecoming. He was born and raised on the property when it was Makybe Stud and returned to serve at Rosemont in 2014 when looking to re-invigorate his career after fertility issues, before going back to Coolmore.
He is back in 2019, and there is a real sense of a completed circle.
I posted some vision of him getting off the truck, and it was almost like when he got off there, he thought, ‘Where Am I? and then he stopped and looked around and said ‘Í know this place!’,” Mithen said.
“He’s settled in a treat, which was what we expected, given it was where he was born and raised and where he found a rejuvenated stallion career. He should feel at home as he is at home. It’s exciting to think that his biggest crop of Australian-bred horses are 2-year-olds this year.”
“He should feel at home as he is at home. It’s exciting to think that his biggest crop of Australian-bred horses are 2-year-olds this year.” – Anthony Mithen
Rosemont is also looking forward to the first crop of Nostradamus hitting the racetracks this season and Mithen is expecting them to make an early impression.
“We’ve got one with Phillip Stokes who Phillip feels could go to the first 2-year-old race of the season and there are few others with other stables as well,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a few nice runners by Christmas that puts him in people’s psyches.”
The fourth stallion on parade was Starcraft, who Mithen said made a strong impression and sold a few nominations.
“Mick Price texted me and said ‘Thanks for the day and I’ll book one of my mares into Starcraft’, so that was great,” he said.