Victoria has a proud history that has long been known as ‘The Thoroughbred State’.
There is good reason for that, with almost 6000 participants across the state and a staggering economic benefit of over $193 million dollars generated from the breeding industry alone.
Coupled with the world leading incentive scheme, VOBIS, which has been evolving with more lucrative bonuses for participants, ideal conditions for breeding horses and not forgetting world class racing attractive supporters from around the globe, this really makes Victoria the Thoroughbred State.
Victoria is where greatness begins, and we have celebrated many champions over the years that have been bred in the state.
Showcasing this greatness is the VOBIS Sires race series which includes the VOBIS Sires Showdown worth $1 million dollars for 2YOs run over 1200 metres and the VOBIS Sires Guineas worth $500,000 for 3YOs run over 1600 metres for the progeny of VOBIS Sired horses.
In April 2019, the inaugural running of the $1 million-dollar VOBIS Sires Showdown occurred with Prince of Sussex, the son of Swettenham sire Toronado taking out first place. This year the $500,000 VOBIS Sires Guineas was added to the VOBIS Premier Race series program enhancing the Victorian Owners and Breeders Day even further. Florent a daughter of Sun Stud sire Fiorente claimed the victory.
This year’s Showdown made history for trainer Matt Cumani who celebrated his biggest win since the start of his training career in 2016, with Khoekhoe, a son of Blue Gum Farm sire Turffontein.
“That win in the Showdown was truly something special. However, to train a good two-year-old like Khoekhoe – one that you purchased at sale and has basically been with you every step of the way – is truly special. I really didn’t expect him to be doing what he’s doing this early and he has the potential to be my best horse yet” commented Matt Cumani.
Riding Khoekhoe to victory was Matt Cumani’s stable jockey, apprentice Fred Kersley. Fred not only achieved the biggest win in his career combined with Matt Cumani but he was the only apprentice jockey in the race.
Since the VOBIS Sires Showdown the trainer, jockey combination have been unstoppable.
“I just thought Fred was brilliant on him. He didn’t panic, he just was waiting, waiting, waiting for the gap and it opened perfectly for him and the horse did the rest. It’s just a fantastic result,” remarked Matt.
A resident of Victoria is Blue Gum Farm sire, Turffontein, who has already sired Group winner’s Widgee Turf and Fontein Ruby and he has now added Khoekhoe to his impressive progeny, inheriting the fast turn of foot from Turffontein to win the VOBIS Sires Showdown.
Khoekhoe is out of the Cape Cross mare Walvis Bay, bred by Susan Keating of Liverpool Farm. In addition to her ten broodmares, Susan also holds a full-time role in the army. After breeding a stakes winning mare, Lyuba to Turffontein she felt it was a ‘no brainer’ to send her mare Walvis Bay to him. Susan has a long-established relationship with Hollylodge Thoroughbreds.
Since 1990, Hollylodge Thoroughbreds have been part of Victoria’s history and Khoekhoe who was born and raised on their Avenel farm, will be remembered for years to come after his win in this year’s VOBIS Sires Showdown. Daniel Nevill of Hollylodge Thoroughbreds recalls that the talented galloper had promise from day one.
“He was outstanding and I mean that quite literally as we foaled Khoekhoe down on farm and let him grow out before sending him to (breeder) Susan Keating’s property. I knew he’d catch the eye of a good judge and congratulations to Matt who is a top young trainer, while it’s also fantastic for Susan who is such a terrific supporter of the farm.” Daniel remarked.
Khoekhoe and Florent are just two of the horses who will continue to add to the chapters of this history book and as part of the State’s history in the years to come.
This all-round Victorian story couldn’t make you prouder to call Victoria home.
This is Victoria, where greatness lives.