THE spread and variety of racing over the weekend was quite staggering. Flat and National Hunt racing in Europe, Australia, the USA and in the Middle East has had me scrambling for space to get in as many of the big race winners, and stories, as I can.

I will start with a Group 1 victory at Flemington, in Australia, and this was Coolangatta’s success in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. This three-year-old daughter of Written Tycoon, a son of Iglesia (Last Tycoon), was just the third filly in a quarter of a century to win this race, the first since 2004, and this was her second win at the highest level.

Not untypical of racehorses in Australia, all five of Coolangatta’s victories have been gained in blacktype races.

A graduate of the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, when she cost her co-trainer Ciaron Maher A$280,000, she has now amassed more than A$3 million with this latest win, and she has now firmly established herself as one of the best of the classic generation, as this latest success came against older horses.

Among those she had in arrears at the weekend was Nature Strip, officially rated the best sprinter in the world, and after this latest win, Coolangatta’s other co-trainer, David Eustace (a son of Newmarket’s James), suggested that their star filly could well try to do what Nature Trip had done before, and win the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Coolangatta’s road to stardom started when she won the Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic, and since then she has won a couple of Group 3s and the Group 1 Moir Stakes. Her placed efforts include finishing second in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes, and she has only been out of the placings once in eight starts. She was bred by John Warren’s Highclere Stud in Australia and sold through the Milburn Creek draft at the sales.

John and Jake Warren purchased the dam of Coolangatta, Piping Hot (More Than Ready), as a yearling for A$320,000, and she was twice successful over six furlongs, including at two. Her first foal was Snitzonfire (Snitzel), an $A425,000 yearling who has only managed to earn back a fraction in his three wins.

Coolangatta is her second offspring, and the third is a two-year-old son of Dundeel (High Chaparral) who sold last year for A$300,000.

Most significantly, the fourth offspring of Piping Hot is an own-sister to Coolangatta.

Solid producers

A notable feature of this family is the consistency it shows when it comes to producing winners, and also some quality. Piping Hot’s Group 2 Moonee Valley Oaks-winning dam Ribe (Danehill) was fourth a few times when tried in Group 1 company, but she was an even better broodmare, leaving behind 10 foals, all of whom raced, and eight visited the winners’ enclosure.

The best of these by some way was the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Reaan (Hussonet), a leading juvenile but a disappointing sire.

Ribe was one of just three foals produced by Kapeskin (Kaapstad), and all three were above average. In addition to the Group 2 winner Ribe, she bred Group 3 winner Acetate (Hennessy) and the six-time winner and group-placed Gilded Youth (Gilded Time). The only weakness in the female line appears here, as Kapeskin only managed to be placed, and her nine named siblings included just two minor winners.

However, they were out of the Group 3 winner Pontiac Lass (Pevero), and she and multiple stakes winner St James (Sound Reason), who won 20 races up to Group 3 level), are two of the five winners from their dam, all of her offspring to race.

Dozen stars

Written Tycoon heads the stallion roster at Yulong Stud, and he is one of the premier stallions in Australia. Coolangatta is one of a dozen Group 1 winning sons and daughters he has sired, and his rise through the ranks has been truly meteoric.

Winner of the Group 2 Todman Stakes at two for owner Sheriff Iskander, who has maintained an involvement right through to the present day, Written Tycoon began his stud career in 2007 at a service fee of A$8,250, but most recently commanded a price of A$165,000. His meteoric rise started when he was crowned Australia’s leading first season sire in 2010/11, and a decade later was champion sire.

His 52 individual stakes winners include Group 1 Golden Slipper hero Capitalist, Group 1 Blue Diamond winner Written By, and fellow Group 1 winners Ole Kirk, Pippie, Tycoon Tara, Music Magnate, Despatch, Tyzone, Booker, Odeum, and Luna Rossa, the last named also being out of a mare by More Than Ready (Southern Halo).

Many of his sons are now forging their own careers at stud, including leading first season sire Capitalist, Rich Enuff, Winning Rupert, Written By and Ole Kirk. Written Tycoon’s yearlings are continually in demand, averaging over A$325,000 and selling for up to A$1.4 million in 2022.

As if he had not done enough, Written Tycoon, since he moved to Yulong in 2021, has been supported with better books of quality mares. During his first season at his current home he covered some of Australia’s most prolific mares, including 14-time Group 1 winner Melody Belle, top sprinters In Her Time and Viddora, Greysful Glamor and elite juvenile Catch Me, amongst others.

Another Golden opportunity for top sire Exceed And Excel

I CANNOT leave any mention of racing in Australia without a reference to the astonishing 209th individual stakes winner for Exceed And Excel (Danehill). The stallion’s final European crop, conceived at Kildangan Stud, are two-year-olds, and they sold for up to 350,000gns last year, on the back of his €40,000 stud fee.

Cylinder, making just his third start, won the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes for trainer James Cummings, and this Godolphin owned and bred colt will surely next appear in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes in March. Godolphin also has another son of Exceed And Excel who is a strong contender for the race, Barber. They are two of the four stakes-winning juveniles already this season for their sire.


When it comes to credentials for a big race winner, Cylinder is not to be found wanting. Placed on both his starts before his weekend success, Cylinder’s victory came immediately after his year older half-sister, Parisal (Astern), won on the same card, her third success. They are two of the first three foals from their dam, the Group 3 Flemington winner Circular (Street Cry). That cross, Exceed And Excel on a Street Cry mare, is previously responsible for the Group 1 winner Pittsburgh Flyer.

Circular’s third dam was the leading Australian two-year-old Shadea (Straight Strike), a New Zealand-bred who won a Group 3 but was runner-up twice in Group 1 races. She went on to have two Group 1-winning sons, the full-brothers Lonhro (Octagonal) and Niello. While the latter gained three of his four wins at Group 1 level, Lonhro was a champion on the track and a leading sire.

Horse of the Year

Winner of an incredible 26 races, 11 of which were Group 1s, Lonhro was Horse of the Year in Australia and champion three-year-old. He is just short of siring 1,000 winners, 94 of which are stakes winners, and his dozen Group 1 winners include notable sires Pierro and Denman.