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Great Villiers Winners Emerged From Obscurity



TWO of the greatest performers to win the Villiers Stakes, a1600m event first run at Randwick in1892 and taken out last Saturday by the Catbird 5-year-old gelding Monton, were a relation of his, Carioca (won in 1952), and the mighty Bernborough (1945). Both were unfashionably bred, started their racing in restricted events in Queensland and did not hit the limelight until they were veterans.


A son of the imported Gainsborough sire Emborough, Bernborough was bred in the Toowoomba region and, barred for much of his career from Brisbane because of an ownership registration dispute. He did all his racing until he was six at Toowoomba, winning eight times.  Transferred to Sydney and new ownership, he was unplaced the first time out, but then lifted the drifting war clouds that darkened the nation with15 straight wins, the first of them the Villiers and the others including the Caulfield Futurity,VRC Newmarket, AJC All-Aged Stakes, Doomben10,000 and Doomben Cup.


The sequence of wins came to an end when he finished fifth under10 stone 10 pounds (68.0kgs) in the 1946 Caulfield Cup. He broke down two weeks later in the Mackinnon and, withdrawn from the Melbourne Cup, a race for which he was loaded with 10 stone 9 pounds (67.5kg), was sold for stud in America, becoming a good sire.


Eight years younger Carioca was bred at Ulmarra near Grafton, NSW by H.P. Bailey using the resident sire Felt Yet, a Queensland Guineas winner by the Carbine line Melbourne Cup winner Spearfelt, and sold to his first owner, Queenslander J. Booshand, for the equivalent of $400.  Carioca’s dam Sing Again was by Australian Sun, an imported sire who, like 2011 Villiers winning Monton’s sire Catbird, stood at Yarraman Park, Scone, and from Beaupona, a half-sister to the dam of Poitrel. This Moses family of the Arrowfield stud, Jerrys Plains, Hunter Valley bred champion won the 1920 Melbourne Cup under ten stone (63.5kg).


The next dam was by Gozo, an Australian bred sire of two Melbourne Cup winners, The Grafter (1898) and Acrasia (1904).  Retired to stud in Queensland in1955, Carioca through his racing career appeared 44 times for 20 wins and15 minor placings. His first win was in a maiden at Eagle Farm and in his first three years he earned the equivalent of $1,290. However, at five he won seven Sydney races in succession, including the Villiers and Summer Cup, and later was successful in the AJC Metropolitan and Sydney Cup. He carried big weights into third place in both the Epsom and Doncaster Handicaps.


The relationship between Carioca and this year’s Villiers winner flows from Carioca being a brother to  Lady Yet, the fifth dam of the new star for the family, Monton. Now winner of six races, including two Group 2s, the Villiers and the Hobartville, the R. Kemister, NSW bred Monton was got by the Danehill Golden Slipper winner Catbird from Dynamic Flyer, a Marauding winner of one race (1250m at Canterbury) out of Bianco Flyer, a Godswalk Caulfield Thousand Guineas winner produced by the Rangong Perth Cup (3200m) and Sandown Cup winner Bianco Lady.


Monton was the only foal produced by Dynamic Flyer in her first six seasons at stud, but since she was sold empty for $2,500 to M. Ward, WA at the 2008 Inglis Australian Broodmare sales, she has supplied foals in 2009 (colt by Ustinov) and 2010 (filly by Snitzel).  An $80,000 buy at the Inglis Easter yearling sales for Sydney bloodstock agent David Lamond, one of the gelding’s seven owners, Monton is trained by Ron Quinton, a former craftsman in the saddle who guided home three Villiers winners.

 Courtesy of Brian Russell Bloodstock Media Service 

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