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Blue Gum Farm Joins TrueNicks

Blue Gum Farm near Euroa, Victoria, has a 30-year history, and is famed for nurturing the early career of one of Australia’s outstanding sires, Encosta de Lago. Today, the farm is at the forefront of the Victorian breeding industry, and is home to one of the strongest stallion rosters in the state.

That roster includes the only European classic winner by Danzig standing in Australia, French champion 3-year-old miler Astronomer Royal (TrueNicks). The versatile runner captured the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I), and shortened up to take the Greenlands Stakes (gr. III) over 1200m. Astronomer Royal is out of Sheepscot, a stakes-winning daughter of champion U.S. 2-year-old and classic winner Easy Goer who has also produced graded stakes winner Navesink River. A half sister to grade I winner Vicar, Sheepscot is out of Escrow Agent, a stakes performer bred on the same Northern Dancer/Secretariat cross as Storm Cat, Dehere, and Chief’s Crown. Astronomer Royal served his first season in 2009, and his first crop are now weanlings.

While Astronomer Royal is a son of Danzig, Blue Gum Farm is also home to two representatives of the Danzig line via Danehill in Elvstroem and Churchill Downs. An international superstar, Elvstroem (AUS) (TrueNicks) won eight group events in Australia, including the C. F. Orr Stakes, Victoria Derby (video below), Caulfield Cup (video below), and Underwood Stakes (all gr. I). He also captured the Dubai Duty Free (gr. I) in the U.A.E., and while racing in Europe took second in the Prix d’Ispahan (gr. I) and third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (gr. I). A half brother to another international celebrity, Haradasun, Elvstroem is out of Australian Oaks (gr. I) victress Circles of Gold, and this is also the immediate family of Polar Success and Starspangledbanner. Champion first and second season sire in Victoria, Elvstroem is already sire of group II-winning and group I-placed Carrara; group stakes winner Viking Hero; stakes-winning and group I-placed Viking Legend; and stakes winner Innocent Gamble.

Churchill Downs (AUS) (TrueNicks) is bred on a very similar cross to champion 2-year-old and highly successful sire Danehill Dancer, and like that horse was a precocious juvenile who trained on to enjoy further success at 3. At 2, Churchill Downs captured the Widden Stakes and took second in the Magic Millions Two-Year-Old Classic, and third in the Golden Slipper (gr. I). The following year he added a win in the Bill Stutt Stakes (gr. II), and a third in the Ascot Vale Stakes (gr. I). Churchill Downs retired to stud in 2007 and was the leading first season sire at both the Sydney Classic Sale and Melbourne Premier Sale.

Blue Gum Farm guided the early career of Storm Cat’s son Statue of Liberty, whose offspring from his time at the nursery include sprint star Hay List. From that same male line Blue Gum Farm is now how home to the outstanding sprinter Turffontein (AUS) (TrueNicks). This tough and talented speedster won four black type events, including the William Reid Stakes (gr. I), Sir Rupert Clark Stakes (gr. I), and Queensland Guineas (gr. II). He was also six times group-placed, including when second in the Patinack Classic (gr. I) and third in the Doomben 10,000 (gr. I). Turffontein is by Storm Cat’s remarkable grandson Johannesburg, the world champion 2-year-old of 2001, and the first horse to capture group/grade I events in four different countries in the same year. Turffontein, who retired to stud in 2010, comes from the noted female line of Sovereign Edition (a brother to Turffontein’s fourth dam) and Smokey Eyes.

The Blue Gum Farm line-up is completed by Red Arrow (AUS) (TrueNicks), an accomplished sprinter from the Roberto line. A weight-for-age performer in Australia, Red Arrow then proved his merit in the U.S. with a win in the Los Angeles Handicap (gr. III, video below) over 1300m. Red Arrow is by Red Ransom, an outstanding sire in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, and now making his name as a sire of sires with such as Charge Forward and Domesday. Out of the multiple group I-winning Last Tycoon mare Lady Jakeo (also dam of millionaire Able Choice, and granddam of Miss Judgement and Fifth Avenue Lady), Red Arrow is bred on the same cross as champion Typhoon Tracy and group I winner Onemorenomore.

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