A win in the French St Leger has a group of Goulburn Valley owners dreaming of glory on one of racing's greatest stages.By Chalpat Sonti
About this time last year, the Seymour Telegraph brought you the story of a group of locals aiming to win the nation’s greatest horse race.
A syndicate headed by Steve Clifton of Seymour and featuring locals Maxine Coulson, Sutton Waugh, Simon Boruch, Rod Chisholm and Jess Jackson as well as Carlee Mountjoy (Mansfield), Adam and Dean McLean (Alexandra), Matt Byrne (Wangaratta) and Terry Kelly (Benalla) bought into an Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock syndicate that purchased well-credentialled French galloper Tac De Boistron to contest the Melbourne Cup.
History tells us that Tac de Boistron didn’t quite do the job for them — he finished second-last in the Cup after a similar placing in his lead-up run in the Geelong Cup on unsuitably firm tracks — and matters didn’t get much better in the autumn.
The French-bred galloper was nominated for the BMW and Sydney Cup in the Harbour City, but he proved to be a sun-maker for trainer Mick Kent.
It was decided to stay at home and miss the BMW to focus on the Sydney two-miler, but while the former was run in almost knee-deep mud that might have suited, the Cup was soon crossed out as the weather almost miraculously improved at Randwick.
The Warrnambool Cup was supposed to be a consolation prize, but when the track there wasn’t wet enough, connections finally had enough. In June, it was decided to send the horse back to the Northern Hemisphere where he was put under the care of Marco Botti, who trained Jakkalberry to finish third in last year’s Melbourne Cup and Dandino to flash into second in the recent Caulfield Cup.
And hasn’t that proved to be a masterstroke. The grey has relished the softer, kinder galloping surfaces of home and thrived.
First up he ran third in a Group Two race over 2400
Tac De Boistron strode home by eight lengths in the listed race at Chester, and it was immediately decided to raise the bar.
His next start was on one of racing’s greatest days, featuring the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. The grey didn’t run in the world championship event, but a Group One race over 4000
He finished a creditable second to Altano and went back to the famous French course at the weekend to contest the Prix Royal-Oak (French St Leger), another Group One over 3100
Tac De Boistron was sent out favourite in the hands of Martin Harley and he duly strolled home by five lengths from 14 rivals, with Altano among the also rans.
It probably helps make up for another stroke of bad luck. Connections ruefully see Dandino, another ATB purchase, near the top of betting charts for the Flemington two-miler, and they could have purchased a share in him.
But Clifton summed up their feelings with the horse they’ve got.
‘‘We’re all pretty excited,’’ he said.
Connections are now eyeing a date with royalty and the Gold Cup next year at Royal Ascot.
Several have made the trip over to watch their horse race in recent starts, and there might be a mass Seymour presence at the great race meeting should he carry on with the form he’s in.
The Shepparton-based Ambulance Employees Union representative has slammed the latest wage offer from the Victorian Government as 'misleading and insufficient'.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
Dempsie Maconachie has been accepted into Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance in Melbourne.
Rochester resident Ken Hocking has chosen to use his Christmas lights display to draw attention to a support group for brain tumour patients.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.
Tim Hillier became the first Deniliquin Rhino to notch up a century in the Murray Valley Cricket Association with a sterling 104 against Cobram on Saturday.
Sheep producers backcrossing away from the Dohne breed to Poll Merinos with the perception of improving wool quality have been urged to consider their gross margins.
The hunt is on for a buyer for Benalla and Mansfield Toyota after the business went into receivership last fortnight.
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