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Golden Rose could set up Libertad to be ‘flagship Victorian stallion’

Trilogy Racing-owned Russian Revolution colt ready to bounce back in million-dollar Group 1 race at Rosehill on Saturday

Tim Rowe, ANZ Bloodstock ~ 21 September 2023

Dual Group-winning colt Libertad (Russian Revolution) could one day find himself serving mares, but exactly where is less certain.

It’s a potential conundrum that fledgling studmaster Jason Stenning is hoping he has to weigh up. Stenning, who owns the fast-growing Trilogy Racing empire and Victoria’s Blue Gum Farm with his wife Mel, and Sean and Cathy Dingwall, has the impressive three-year-old set to line up in Saturday’s Golden Rose (Gr 1, 1400m) at Rosehill.

By Newgate Farm’s champion first and second season sire Russian Revolution (Snitzel), if the Kindergarten Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) and San Domenico Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) winner is able to add Sydney’s premier spring three-year- old Group 1 race to his CV, there is little doubt the Hunter Valley will be calling.

However, Stenning was more circumspect this week when asked about potential long- term plans for the Annabel Neasham-trained Libertad, an Inglis Ready2Race Sale graduate, who was unable to gain clear running second- up in the Run To The Rose (Gr 2, 1200m), which was won by Golden Rose rival Cylinder (Exceed And Excel).

It’s a discussion between the Trilogy partners - as well as their fellow shareholders in Libertad - that Stenning hopes he can have at a later date.

“Our primary focus is always going to be Blue Gum, as we want to set Blue Gum up for further stallion success on the back of its rich history, so it doesn’t just come down to economics for us,” Stenning told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“He could be a flagship stallion in Victoria or he could potentially be another stallion in the Hunter Valley.

“We’d have to weigh up our options at the time if and when it happens.” Stenning is optimistic that Libertad, who has drawn barrier seven with regular rider Chad Schofield in the saddle, can deliver in the Golden Rose and bounce back from his first defeat. He puts no blame on the jockey for that loss.

“Historically, he’s settled outside the leader or (off the fence) with cover and basically he’s come around them, using his turn of foot to win his first three starts, so I think it was a whole new scenario for him, being on the rail and covered up,” the owner said.

“It was pretty obvious to me and everyone else watching that they weren’t going to let him out and that’s ok. That’s racing.

“I was talking to Chad Schofield [on Monday] and told him that I’d watched the stewards’ footage from head on and the rails run may have possibly been there, but it closed up very quickly and I actually said to Chad that I really respected his decision to look after the horse and his own safety, rather than trying to take that run.

“We were quite happy to have that hit-out and make sure everyone’s safety was put first.” A win would also add to the value of Libertad’s dam, Electric Charge (Charge Forward), who Trilogy paid $360,000 for through an Inglis Digital auction in April.

“Sean and I have always appreciated Russian Revolution and that he could be a star at stud,” said Stenning.

“We’ve bought a lot of them and we’re now breeding a number of them, so when Electric Charge came up for sale, I was not going to let her go without securing her for Blue Gum.

“She has just foaled down a beautiful Prague filly, and she’ll be going back to Russian Revolution.”

Trilogy Racing is also a member of Newgate Farm-China Horse Club colts partnership, sharing in the ownership of two of that group’s representatives in the Golden Rose, dual Group 1 winner Militarize (Dundeel) and Snapback (Snitzel).

The powerful colts partnership, overseen by Newgate’s Henry Field, also has weanling purchase Don Corleone (Extreme Choice) in the $1 million feature.

The new chapter of Blue Gum Farm is also well under way, about ten months after the Stennings and Dingwalls purchased the renowned stud from Philip and Patti Campbell.

They officially took possession last December, and they were able to maintain the stud’s status by once again being crowned the leading vendor at this year’s Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne. Flying Artie (Artie Schiller), the sire of dual Group 1-winning sprinter Artorius, relocated from the Hunter to Euroa as Blue Gum re-emerged as a stallion operation under the new ownership; while high-class two-year- old Sejardan (Sebring), a winner of the ATC Breeders Plate (Gr 3, 1000m), the Golden Gift (1100m) and the Todman Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m) at two, joined him soon after. Importantly, it’s so far, so good in the breeding shed, with Sejardan recording a 100 per cent in-foal strike rate with his early season mare covers.

“He’s taken to it like a duck to water and his first three covers have resulted in three pregnancies and our reproductive vet has said his fertility and virility is very high and we couldn’t be any happier. We’re just really excited,” Stenning said.

As for Flying Artie, Stenning maintained the Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner was “a safe bet”.

“He’s got some really good crops coming through and we’ve got a good book of mares to him and we’ll keep doing that, we’ll keep promoting him,” he said.

“As Sean says, he has to be the best value stallion in Victoria. He just is. He is a very good option for breeders who want to race and also commercially as well.”


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