‘Colourful racing identity’ is not usually a euphemism you’d like to be loaded with, but taken literally, Victorian breeder Chrissie Ashmore fits the bill.
On Saturday, Ashmore’s home-bred, Shogun Sun, raced into Group One Golden Rose contention following an impressive victory in the www.walking2help.com.au Sprint over 1200m at Royal Randwick, against an impressive lineup of 3YOs.
Ashmore, with husband Gary, bred the Written Tycoon youngster at their Gisborne South property from the Belong To Me mare, Lady Somers.
The Ashmores, particularly the colourful Chrissie, were – for a number of years – popular fixtures at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale with their purple inspired marquee (not to mention well stocked fridge) with which to promote their stallion, King de Lago.
It was from that same venue the Ashmores purchased, among others, the mare Lady Somers for their breeding program.
Lady Somers has produced four to race for three winners and she is currently under John Kenneally’s care at Erinvale in the Western District and in foal to Melbourne Cup/Australian Cup winner, Fiorente.
“She’s always produced correct, athletic foals and full marks go to Chrissie from her judging days,” says Gary Ashmore, a leading event production manager.
“She bases her decisions purely on type when determining which stallion the mare will go to and it looks like she pulled the right rein with Written Tycoon who has been going gangbusters for the last few seasons.
“He (Shogun Sun) was an excellent foal. Very nice. Dean Harvey of Baystone Farm saw the potential and negotiated well to pinhook him to the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale where he was sold to Kelly Schweida for $80,000.
We’ve always thought her progeny would do well in the right hands and good luck to Kelly and the connections … it would be terrific for them if Shogun Sun wins the Golden Rose and a deserved reward for our favorite mare Lady Somers.”
After two nondescript performances in October and February, Shogun Sun won convincingly at Eagle Farm in March … followed up five days later with a second at Gold Coast … resumed with a second at the Sunshine Coast in mid-July … and now the win at Randwick, taking his earnings to $89,600. Enough for a start in the Golden Rose?
“I had a runner in last year’s Golden Rose (Oink) that would have had around the same money and Shogun Sun will have another run anyway before the Golden Rose (23 September),” Schweida points out.
“If he doesn’t win or run well in the lead up, he won’t be going to the Golden Rose anyway, but he’s definitely worth testing the water with. It’s up another few levels for him but he’s very promising.
“He was a bit gangly as a yearling – and he still hasn’t really grown into himself – but there’s a lot of scope and hopefully he’ll keep improving.”
Ironically, Shogun Sun’s racing colours are navy blue, white and … purple!
Note: Shogun Sun has been one of six winners already for Written Tycoon in the new racing season. Another eye-catcher over the weekend was debutant Wallace Street at Morphettville. Bred by Woodside themselves, the 3YO is trained by Richard Jolly and won by an eased-up 3.3 lengths.
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