Cranbourne trainer Natalie Young is waiting for some more offers to come in from Hong Kong – a racing jurisdiction with plenty of admiration and cash for Ilovethiscity’s progeny – before the immediate racing future of Serangoon is decided.
With two wins and a third from just four starts, the three-year-old son of Noor Elaine Farm stallion IIovethiscity scored the most impressive victory of his short career in the Cranbourne Classic (2025m) at Cranbourne’s Cup meeting on Saturday.
A $40,000 purchase by Busuttin Racing at the 2021 Inglis Ready 2 Run Sale, the gelding and was bred by Roslyn Andrews who retained a share in the young stayer.
Serangoon is the first named foal out of Andrews’ mare Maraudamiss (Clangalang x Umansky) which also as a yearling colt by Ilovethiscity and was covered by Wandjina last season.
Young, who is co-trainer with her partner Trent Busuttin, was happy with Serangoon’s win on debut at 1400m at Ballarat when he started $1.50 favourite and then followed it up with a third over 1600m at Cranbourne when he got too far back.
“Then we sort of threw him in the deep a little bit at Flemington, but I thought we’d have a go and he didn’t really cop the wet track to be fair,” she said.
“But back on a good track on Saturday and I thought he hit the line really well and it was really good prize money for realistically what was a Class 1 race.
“To have a $175,000 race land on your door step, we had to have a crack and he was very tough as he looked a bit under the pump on the corner but once he straightened up he dug deep.
“He looks like he might be a nice little staying three-year-old going forward. A nice Adelaide Derby sort of horse in May and he’ll have a little rest now and we’ll bring him back in and work on that plan.”
Young said she didn’t know much about Ilovethiscity when she bought Serangoon but is aware that a couple that have been sold to Hong Kong are going well.
“I thought he was a nice athletic horse, was sound and so I thought he was a good horse and we’d have a little play around,” she said.
“I kept a fairly big chunk of him myself and he is my daughter’s favourite horse.
“She cracked me up because about 10 minutes after he’d gone past the post she had already sent me a text, worked out on pencil and paper, of how much I owe her because she has got 2.5 per cent of it.”
Young said that it was one way of getting 10-year-old Zara excited about maths.
She said there had already been some offers from Hong Kong but conceded that it could be difficult to pass their stringent veterinary examinations.
“We would really think about that,” she said.
“We are going to keep him in the stables this week in case we have to vet him if we get some proper offers. A good Hong Kong offer would be nice, but if not we have got a nice horse going forward.”
For Serangoon’s breeder Andrews it’s been virtually a case of instant success in the breeding game.
She originally raced Serangoon’s dam, the city winning Maraudamiss and decided to buy the mare on retirement.
“I feel really proud because I’m just a little backyard breeder who knows nothing,” Andrews said.
“This is my first time around by myself.”
The first foal out of Maraudamiss, Night Duty (Cluster), is still a maiden after eight starts but has been placed twice at the picnics.
Serangoon was next and then the mare missed to Bon Aurum but now has a yearling colt by Ilovethiscity which is headed to the Melbourne sales next year. The mare has just produced a colt by Wandjina but will be given this season off because of the late foaling.
Maraudamiss is on the property of Euroa horseman Chris Rentessis who has been a successful breeder with horses like Stakes winner King Of Hastings (Ilovethiscity).
Andrews said that Rentessis and her friend Kerry Selleck, who has helped with the breeding venture, believe the yearling colt by Ilovethiscity might have better conformation than his full brother.
“My girlfriend Kerry Selleck and I both bred Maraudmiss out of her mare Umansky (Umatilla x Oakley) and she had Consorting, Danestroem and Stroemsky,” she said.
“We had Maraudamiss and she won five races and won by 10 lengths on a heavy 10 at Yarra Glen one day.
“But she won twice at Sandown and then when she was ready to retire I couldn’t let her go and I ended up buying her back off everyone and started breeding with her.”
Andrews said she doesn’t know much about breeding – but is learning – and is assisted in all her decisions by Rentessis and Selleck.
Noor Elaine Farm stud manager Tim Jackson said it was good to see Serangoon win so well to remind breeders about Ilovethiscity.
He said the stallion would cover 55 to 60 mares this season.
“In this market, a small little stud like ours, that’s all right,” Jackson said.
“There is a big upside to him but it’s not an easy game and people are less patient with their horses these days and a lot of them go by the wayside because of that.”
Jackson said Ilovethiscity’s big season would be next year, off the back of serving his biggest book of mares – 124 – in 2020.
“They are yearlings now and they’ll be two-year-olds next year,” he said.
“The horse is capable of getting a good two-year-old and that Kings Consort of Freedman’s is going alright and he won’t come into its own until it gets to a mile.”
Jackson said it was disappointing to see a flagship stud like Blue Gum Farm get out of stallions and then sell their operation.
“It’s getting tougher and tougher,” he said.
“The big boys have got a market for everyone and we can’t do the deals that they do.
“We give a live foal guarantee but we can’t carry them over for another 12 months with payment on a live foal because we’d go broke.”
Jackson said Ilovethiscity progeny were obviously attractive to the Asian market, but the stallion was great for the owner/breeder.
The Cranbourne Cup meeting saw four track records broken, including local trainer’ Cindy Alderson’s family bred Jigsaw which recorded a time of 57.24 seconds to lower Don’t Tell Tom’s track record of 57.44s.
Jigsaw (Manhattan Rain x Demandz) was bred by Alderson’s mother Lynne who has had a lot of success with her homebreds.
Now with five wins from 15 starts, Alderson said she still didn’t know how Jigsaw, which she also owns in partnership with Marcus Price, won by three lengths in the $175,000 Apache Cat Classic (1000m).
“There was a fair bit of speed early and I expected him to be wilting,” he said.
As for the four track records, Alderson said it was pointed out with the Cranbourne Cup being a standalone metropolitan meeting it was probably the first time the club had hosted that class of horse on a dry track before.
Alderson said she had originally targeted the Christmas Stakes which is at Sandown this year, while the Doveton Stakes is at Caulfield.
“And he likes Caulfield so I might flip those races around,” she said.
Alderson said she originally owned all of Jigsaw but sold half to her client, Price.
With $400,000 in prizemoney, Alderson said Jigsaw had been a good horse to her.
“He is probably not finished yet as he is only four,” she said.
“He has still got plenty to go and hasn’t been over raced. And touch wood, he is sound at the moment.”