Trelawney Out to Rule in Another Cup
17 Oct 2008On Caulfield Cup day four years ago, New Zealanders Brent and Cherry Taylor hoped they would be standing in front of the winner's stall as the runners came back to scale.
It was not to be and they watched Elvstroem return to the plaudits of the crowd a few metres away as their Queensland Oaks-winning mare Vouvray finished an unlucky fourth.
Tomorrow, the Taylors will be at Caulfield hopeful that one of the two horses bred by their Trelawney Stud can take out the group 1 handicap. Trelawney was set up by famed New Zealand breeder Seton Otway in 1930 and seven Melbourne Cup winners emerged from its paddocks, as well as 1957 Caulfield Cup winner Tulloch, during Otway's ownership.
The Taylor family took over Trelawney in 1994 and have continued the tradition of excellence, breeding the likes of Amalfi, Perlin and Carnegie Express. Tomorrow, it is the turn of Boundless and Red Ruler to fly the flag.
Boundless has already tasted group 1 success, winning the NZ Oaks this year, while Red Ruler, a group 2 winner, was runner-up in the AJC Australian Derby and last start was second to Princess Coup in the Kelt Capital Stakes.
Both horses were sold at the NZ Premier sale but there is an additional attachment to Boundless, as Cherry Taylor is also a part-owner. Trevor McKee bought the Van Nistelrooy filly for $80,000 but unbeknown to her husband, Cherry bought back into her. "I was in a selling mode at the time, but Cherry had always like her so approached Trevor and he was happy to take her into partnership. It has been great for her," Brent Taylor said.
Before Boundless, her dam Nothing Less, by Star Way, had produced five winners, including three stakes-placegetters, but none had been able to win a stakes-race.
But Taylor said that one of them, Our Dance, was first over the line in a listed two-year-old race and died soon afterwards after a tetanus infection. "Our Dance and Boundless were similar types and they have turned out to be the best," he said.
Van Nistelrooy, a $US6.4 million yearling who shuttled to Trelawney for four seasons, was a smart two-year-old winning to group 2 level and was second in the National Stakes at the Curragh behind Refuse To Bend.
Nothing Less was unraced but the staying ability that Boundless exhibits was also possessed by her granddam Limitess, a Sir Tristram mare who won a Brisbane Cup.
Red Ruler is from the first crop of Viking Ruler, a horse destined to be a stallion from the day he was born. By Danehill from AJC Sires' Produce Stakes winner Tristalove, Viking Ruler is a member of the famous Eight Carat. Despite an injury-shorted racing career, Viking Ruler won the group 1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick before being retired to Cambridge Stud.
Red Ruler's dam, Ransom Bay, a daughter of Red Ransom, won two minor races in America and is a half sister to a minor listed winner but Red Ruler looks to be a cut above his close relations.
Desptite producing two top-class horses from one crop, unfortunately for the Taylor's there are no relations to send to the yearling sales in years to come.
Two years ago Brent and Cherry bought out the rest of the Taylor family's equity in Trelawney and in the process sold off some of the mares with the dams of Boundless and Red Ruler among them. Nothing Less went for $35,0000 and Ransom Bay for $20,000.
"We were going into debt and I decided to cut the number of mares from around 60 to 45 that we thought would be better chances," Brent Taylor said. He said he realised there would be a big chance a good horse or two would emerge from the progeny of those mares but it was a business decision that had to be taken. "The mares we sold had been well bred and the progeny well reared and gone into good stables so it is no surprise that there have been some good winners," he said.
Nothing Less is now at stud in Victoria but despite the performances by Boundless, her yearling this year by promising sire Elusive City was passed in for just $7000 at the Inglis Autumn sale. Rasom Bay headed further afield and is now at stud in South Korea.
Taylor had been pleased with the look of Red Ruler and sent Ransom Bay back to Viking Ruler before she was sold. She produced a filly who would no doubt be among the most valuable horses in South Korea if her brother was to be first across the line in the Caulfield Cup.
Another Caulfield Cup winner would sit nicely among the Trelawney alumini but if it doesn't happen this year, there are others in the pipeline. The stud is not standing stallions this season but has an outstanding band of mares that includes Vouvray, Pernod, Carmel Valley (the dam of Hill Of Grace) and Maybe Yes (the dam of The Mighty Lions).