Justracing travelled to Warwick last week to catch up with Lyndhurst Stud boss Jeff Kruger and get his thoughts on this season’s stallion roster at the stud, along with Lyndhurst’s thoughts on some hot topics in the thoroughbred racing industry – namely prizemoney levels and the Hendra virus vaccinations.

The Lyndhurst Stud stallion roster for the 2013/2014 season consists of Sequalo, Hidden Dragon, Drumbeats and Rash Action, so I asked Jeff Kruger to give me his thoughts on all four stallions and advise their service fees. He stated: “Sequalo is basically retired, but if people are specifically wanting to use him they can give me a call and particularly if the mare is well bred and has something going for her. For instance, Eureka Stud supports the horse with a close relation to Spirit of Boom. Sequalo is 23YO, so we’ve got to nurse him along a bit. His fertility has waned a little bit, so we have to be mindful of those couple of facts with him. He got a 3YO stakeswinner with Bruce Hill’s Caliente last season and Spirit of Boom continues to race well for him as an older horse.”

“Rash Action was a good racehorse. He’s basically there to cover our foster mares, but he’s on the roster at $1,100 and he covers a few thoroughbred mares each year. He’s got a couple of well credentialed racehorses in far north Queensland. He’s got one horse up there called Fred The Legion and that horse has won 20 races and $203,000. That’s not bad for a $1,100 sire.

“Everyone is breeding to race 2YO’s, to have a crack at the QTIS money. Racing Queensland have just released the list of highest QTIS earners for the season (from the 2012/2013 racing season) and four of the top 20 are Lyndhurst bred. Sequalo has got two in the list, as has Hidden Dragon. So that’s proof that Lyndhurst stallions are throwing early running horses. Sequalo had Agitate and Missy Longstocking and Miss Longstocking should have probably won the category instead of being number 20. She tackled the big races, so she wasn’t chasing the QTIS money. I stand to be corrected but I don’t think any other 2YO in Australia won six 2YO races like she did in the just completed season. And included in those six wins were four stakes races and she was also placed in a Magic Millions. Whether she’ll train on to be a good 3YO is yet to be seen. I think off her record you could mount a case as to why she was the best 2YO filly in the State last season, even though Real Surreal won the Magic Millions.

“For his part, Hidden Dragon had Mythologist in the QTIS list and Mythologist won five out of six in Rockhampton. He won the Capricorn Classic and he won QTIS races at both Rockhampton and Emerald. He’s a serious horse for Central Queensland and I’m looking to get support from Central Queensland breeders on the back of Mythologist’s deeds.

“The other Hidden Dragon that appeared in the QTIS 2YO list was Sister Magic. She’s won her only two starts as a two-year-old in town and they were both QTIS races.

“Interstate last season, Hidden Dragon won a Group 2 race with Hidden Warrior at Moonee Valley during the Melbourne Spring Carnival for trainer Paul Perry, so he’s also getting to train on.

“Re Hidden Dragon’s service fee, we’ve dropped him back to $5,000. We had him at $8,000 last year and that figure might have just been out of some broodmare owners reach. Aside from his shareholders he wasn’t very well supported. So we’ve dropped his service fee right back. He’s doing a good job. He’s got his winners-to-runners ratio up to around 60%. He’s got two Group horses and he’s got nine stakes performers. He finished just outside the top 10 nationally for two-year-olds on earnings last year. He’s currently in the top 10 on general earnings in the new season figures. Like every stallion I think he needs just one good horse and then I think people will take him seriously.

“Drumbeats oldest progeny are yearlings. He’s coming into his third season and he’s had two very good books of mares – 112 and 120. He’s a very good looking horse. He was a high priced $380,000 yearling that Woodlands Stud bought initially then he was part of the Sheikh Mohammed/Darley changeover. We purchased the horse off Darley. He was a good racehorse, just short of top class. He was placed in a Doncaster behind Rangirangdoo. He was placed in an Epsom behind Rock Kingdom and he’s a multiple stakeswinner and he’s got good shareholders behind him and you know even though economy wise times are a little bit tough, he’s got shareholders to back him up, so he’ll get good numbers and get his chance. He stands for $7,000.”

I asked Jeff Kruger to comment on a couple of high profile topics in thoroughbred racing presently. When asked his thoughts on prizemoney in Queensland, Jeff stated, “Prizemoney is a big talking point across the whole industry. I mean away from the metropolitan area, provincial prizemoney levels are much the same as what they were eight or 10 years ago, yet training fees have gone up. We’re breeding and targeting the Magic Millions sales, the QTIS sale in March, and if we’re going to continue to get regional buyers to these sales to buy our yearlings, prizemoney has to be lifted right around the State, not just in the metropolitan area. The breeders are now working with Racing Queensland on revamping the QTIS Scheme to look at ways of making it better.”

Asked the stud’s view on Hendra virus vaccinations, Jeff Kruger called it “a very serious issue.” He added, “Breeders have been reluctant to vaccinate their mares, because the vaccines have only been with us for five minutes. We don’t know what repercussions there may be following vaccinations of pregnant mares. I don’t think people are too worried about vaccinating, but I think it’s the right thing to get as many racehorses as we can vaccinated, so that if we did have another outbreak in a racing precinct, that racing doesn’t stop, so the more racehorses that are vaccinated the better. Until there’s more testing done to see if there’s any follow-on effect after vaccinating pregnant mares and stallions, it’s a concern as to whether a stud like ours vaccinates their whole herd. It’s good to see in the last week or two though that Racing Queensland are encouraging all racehorses to be vaccinated and the first vaccine is going to be free and the subsidy will be on the follow-up vaccine, so there’s no excuse really for owners not to have racehorses vaccinated.”

Lyndhurst Stud can be visited on the web by clicking on the rotating banner above.

Today on there’s the “What’s In A Name” segment from last Saturday’s races. It features an exclusive photo of horses from the Doomben meeting being flown to Winton Sunday to do their future racing. On there’s the story of the man who has won six Group 1 races in the 2012/2013 racing season with three different horses, plus we profile the big cancer fundraiser night that is happening at Bankstown tomorrow night, whilst on Matt Nicholls looks at today’s Hawkesbury Cup.

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