In this modern era of stallion making Group 1 races it’s Royal Randwick’s 156th running of Schweppes All Aged Stakes that has attracted seven Group 1 winners in a full field of 14 runners, including four three-year-old’s, many looking towards future stallion careers.
Although missing The Championships the French 2000 Guineas winning international Olmedo will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy having been unplaced in the Ajax Stake following a 23 week spell. Purchased by Aquis Farm from trainer Jean-Claude Rouge’s stables he is now with Kasey Fogden at Aquis Farm.
At two-years Olmedo won over 1500m and placed second in the valuable Grand Criterium, going on to win the Prix Gontaut-Biron at four. By War Front’s son Declaration of War, a former Coolmore shuttler, he is from the winning Pivotal mare Sugar Pie, the family of Group 2 winner Super Celebre.
With punters now showing interest in supporting last year’s race winner Pierata in betting markets, bookmakers have shortened his price to $4.60 with multiple Group 1 winning favourite Santa Ana Lane at $4.40, with the three-year-old Bivouac $4.60. The Royal Randwick track is rated a Soft 6.
Pierata is looking for back-to-back victories in the weight-for-age Group 1 All Aged Stakes of 1400m having defeated Osborne Bulls last year. To be ridden again by Tommy Berry, he previously finished fourth to Nature Strip in the TJ Smith Stakes.
Selected as a stallion prospect by Aquis Farm last season, Pierata was subsequently returned to trainer Gregory Hickman to target The Everest as the Aquis popular sire Spill The Beans was becoming fully booked, only to die mid-season. Pierata will now join Olmedo at Aquis Farm for next season.
The winner of $5.6m including the Redzel Stakes, Pierata was a $160,000 buy at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, being by Leading 3YO Male WTR Sprinter Pierro from the Group 3 winning Flying Spur mare November Flight and half-brother to Skyline Stakes winner Ashokan.
The Anthony Freedman trained Santa Ana Lane will again be ridden by Tim Clark as his regular jockey Mark Zara is under COVIT-19 quaritine. Again he is coming off a second in the TJ Smith Stakes, the race he won last year.
Being a gelding he may be heading for the likes of Living Legends on retirement and is already the winner of over $7.3m having also won the Stradbroke Handicap, VRC Sprint Classic, Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Goodwood Handicap.
Purchased by Flemington Bloodstock at the 2014 Victoria Premier Yearling Sale for $80,000 he is by the French Derby winner Lope de Vega, from the winning Fastnet Rock mare Fast Fleet, the family of Blimey O’Reilly, Doublemint and Petala.
The All Aged Stakes has been instrumental in the career of numerous stallions, with Trapeze Artist winning as a three-year-old for trainer Gerald Ryan in 2018, and crowned Champion Australia 3YO Colt on entering Widden Stud in the Widden Valley.
The Australian Horse of The Year of 2014-15 Dissident won in 2015 and was also Champion Sprinter and Older Horse that season. Standing at Newgate Farm his first runners include the Flemington TCL TV Stakes winner Pancho with his yearlings selling up to $800,000 at auction.
All Too Hard also claimed Champion Australian 3YO Colt honours in winning the All Aged Stakes in 2013, having also won the Caulfield Guineas, Futurity Stakes and CF Orr Stakes that season.
Standing at Vinery Stud, All Too Hard continues to featured prominently in the top sire listings and yearling sale averages, with Alligator Blood recently winning the Australian Guineas.
In more recent years the champion New Zealand mare Sunline won in both 2002 and 2000, the duel NZ Horse of The Year Rough Habit in 1992 and 1993, Queensland top-liner Dalrello 1976, 1977, Kilshery in 1962, 1963, Yaralla 1942, 1943 and the champion Ajax successful in 1938, 1939 and 1940.
First won by Maid of The Lake in 1865 when run over 1 mile, or 8 furlongs, the race distance was reduced to 1400m in 2004. However it was the highly influential Australian and English sire Carbine that winning in 1889 and 1890 counted amongst his 33 race wins.