Bright Stars on a Dark Night

“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the bightest stars.”

For the past 18 months the question of “can we stand continue to stand stallions” at Cornerstone Stud has been repeatedly scrutinised. The costs associated with staffing and advertising a stallion farm are prohibitive unless you can attract the right amount of mares at the right fee.

The recent injection of funds into the Racing Rewards SA has helped to throw a lifeline to the South Australian Breeding Industry. With TRSA now making a stronger connection between the size of local foal crops and race field numbers, the Racing Rewards SA scheme is once again giving us reason to “breed and race local”.

In the midst of all the analysis on the viability of standing stallions, the data produced by VALENTIA’s offspring started create pulses of excitement. Retiring to stud in 2016, the Group 2 winning son of FASTNET ROCK struggled to generate true commercial momentum. His 1st crop, that is now competing as 3yo’s, generated only had 29 named foals and from amongst those the following were notable upgrades on their pedigree’s;

  • FAYERRA – 4th in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes as a 2yo and 2yo career that had her Stakes Placed in a Slipper lead-up.
  • SMOKIN VAL – A bullet on debut for Jon O’Connor and a Adelaide Autumn Stakes winner in the making.
  • ANILLA – A six length trial winner for Will Clarken that was subsequently traded to David Hayes in Hong Kong.
  • LAND OF VALENS – A dual winner for Gerald Ryan

Then to further amplify the pulses of excitement, his only two runners from his second crop of 7 named foals both have won on debut and both will head towards the Autumn Black Type races in Adelaide;

  • KNIGHTSTOWN – A Morphetville debut winner and declared by Gordon Richards as “the horse to beat in the Sires”
  • VALENTIGRE – A Port Lincoln debut winner that beat subsequent Cinderella Stakes placegetter ROXY BLUE.

Although a fee is yet to be finalised, the platform has been set and a narrative been created to re-launch VALENTIA this coming season.