Vow And Declare 2019
It can still be done! Hearty congratulations to Kitchwin Hill Stud and connections.
Featured Image: Stud staff at Kitchwin Hills celebrating a ‘win for the ages’ by locally bred Vow And Declare in the 2019 Melbourne Cup
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I think this is the first since Subzero in 1992? Perhaps I should leave it there?
Brian Russell writes:
Third Scone Cup winner in 27 years
When the chestnut 4yo gelding Vow and Declare outstayed some of the cream of European stayers and won the Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday November 5, he became the third horse sired in the Hunter Valley and raised in the Scone district in the past 27 years to succeed in this world iconic event.
He was preceded in1992 by Subzero, a grey gelding got by their imported sire Kala Dancer (GB) and raised on the Wakefield Stud, one established a short drive west of the town by the late Brian Agnew, and in 2009 by the stallion Shocking.
A son of Darley shuttled Street Cry (Ire), Shocking was bred by Scone legal identity George Fraser and his wife Felicity on their Ilala Stud on the southern Scone boundary. He is now a good sire at the Rich Hill Stud in New Zealand and was a bit luckless in not having the winner of this year’s Cup, his gelded son Surprise Baby finishing fifth, beaten a length.
Vow and Declare, this year’s Melbourne Cup winner, one got by Coolmore briefly shuttled Declaration of War (USA), was foaled (2015) and reared on Kitchwin Hills, an elite major horse farm watered by the Isis river about thirty minutes’ drive north east of Scone, but has a Queensland breeder, Noosa based construction company boss Paul Lanskey.
Lanskey tried to sell the colt through Kitchwin Hills at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, but it failed to reach the reserve of $60,000 and he now races him in a syndicate of 13, including six Lanskeys and former NSW State parliamentarian Geoff Corrigan (Camden).
Trained at Flemington by Danny O’Brien and ridden in his last two appearances, a second in the Caulfield Cup and then the Melbourne Cup victory (like Shocking jumped from 21) by 42 years old Craig Williams, Vow and Declare has raced 13 times for four wins, five minors and over $5.7million. As a 3yo in Brisbane last winter he was a close second in the Derby after being wide throughout and then crushed his ten opponents in winning the Queensland Tatt’s Cup, one extended for the first time to 3000m, at Eagle Farm by 3.25 lengths.
At first glance, Vow and Declare has a pedigree that suggests he would be more home at shorter distances, speed influences including an inbreeding 3×4 to Danzig, a dam, Geblitz, who won five races to 1400m, including appearances Sydney and Brisbane, by brilliant Testa Rossa and a grandam by awesome speed influence End Sweep (USA). Briefly used at Arrowfield, Hunter Valley and deceased in Japan at only 11, End Sweep began his stud career in Kentucky and had a first crop of 33 2yo winners, then a new world record.
On the stamina side, Declaration of War was a first class 1600m-2100m performer who won seven races in Europe and crossed to America for a third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Moved to Japan this year, the now 10yo Declaration of War was used at Coolmore Ireland in 2014 and at their Ashford Stud in Kentucky in 2015-18 and Australia in 2014 and 2015 (about150 foals). Coolmore have good reason to regret the decision to let him go to Japan as his stock, oldest four, have done very well in both hemispheres. His first two crops have supplied 186 winners including 24 successful in stakes races.
Five of the latter, including the Australians Vow and Declare, Warning (won the Victoria Derby on the Saturday) and Winning Ways (won Queensland Oaks last winter) have been successful in G1 races.
The Cup winner also absorbs some stamina through his third dam Young Vic. She did not earn in her only start, but is by the Sadler’s Wells Irish Derby and French Derby winner Old Vic. His flat runners did not do much, but they jumped very well, two of them winning England’s Grand National.
Melbourne Cup winning Vow and Declare is the third foal of Geblitz, the others being Lycurgus (Star Witness gelding (6 wins 1100m-2500m, inc MRC Galilee Series Final Handicap-L) and Blitz ‘n’ Magic (Magic Albert filly, placed Cranbourne, Moe, Warracknabeel).
Blitz ‘n’ Magic (pictured with her first foal) was purchased as a 3yo for the Fairview Park Stud, Grose Wold, North Richmond NSW out of an Inglis Digital Monthly Sale in 2018 and mated at the Vinery Stud near Scone with yet to be represented Star Witness sprint star Star Turn. She delivered a colt foal on October 7 and has been served at Coolmore by So You Think.
Fairview Park is a highly respected agistment farm on a property acquired in the 1950s by Max (now deceased) and Audrey Nutman. Early this century they stood two sires Jan Murray (USA) (by Storm Bird) and local Al Jaasi (by Kendor (Fr). One of Jan Murray’s offspring, Nan Tien, was a good sprinter who won eight of his first 11 starts, including two Listed stakes at Randwick. He was bred by the Nutman’s daughter Linda Duckworth, now co-owner with sister Heather McKinnon, of Fairview Park. Linda is married to resident veterinary surgeon Dr Ian Duckworth