From a select group of only four broodmares based at Curraghmore, Sir Owen Glenn has now bred two Group One winners on opposite sides of the Tasman and over wildly different distances.
Three-year-old filly Ruthless Dame produced an outstanding performance to defeat older mares in last Saturday’s Gr.1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville.
It was just the sixth career start for the high-class daughter of Tavistock. She has now earned more than A$500,000 for an ownership syndicate that secured her for $90,000 from Curraghmore’s draft at Karaka in 2021.
Ruthless Dame has followed in the Group One-winning footsteps of Asterix, who captured the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie last March. He was a $450,000 purchase from Curraghmore at the 2020 Ready to Run Sale.
“Ruthless Dame’s win in Adelaide on Saturday was a big thrill,” Curraghmore owner and manager Gordon Cunningham said.
“It was an exceptional performance from a lightly raced three-year-old filly to beat older mares in that race.
“It’s quite amazing to think that Sir Owen has now bred two Group One winners by Tavistock. He had Asterix win the New Zealand Derby last year over 2400m, and now he’s bred a Group One-winning sprinting filly in Australia. It’s a phenomenal achievement.
“He has a total of four broodmares here with us, including one maiden mare. So for two of those mares to have produced Group One winners is exceptional.”
Ruthless Dame has been part of a highly successful season in Australia for her breeder, who also bred Group-winning two-year-olds Platinum Jubilee, Steel City and Red Resistance, who all made the field for the Gr.1 Golden Slipper (1200m).
Another of his well-performed graduates is Kundalini, by I Am Invincible out of the Karaka Million (1200m) and Gr.1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) winner Ruud Awakening. Kundalini has been placed in both of her two starts this season, including the rich Inglis Millennium (1100m).
“Sir Owen has obviously centralised a lot of his bloodstock in Australia, where he has had such great success with the likes of Criterion, and he’s going from strength to strength at the moment with an outstanding group of stakes-performed two-year-olds this season,” Cunningham said.
“But despite that, he’s always been a proud New Zealander and is very enthusiastic about retaining an interest in the industry here.
“Our association with him dates back to around the time he relinquished his interest in Blandford Lodge. He enquired about sending some mares to us, and we were delighted to take them. It very quickly proved to be an extremely worthwhile and rewarding association.”
Ruthless Dame is out of the Keeper mare Ruthless Lady, who herself was a winner and placed in the Listed Soliloquy Stakes (1400m). She is a half-sister to the stakes winners Oracy, Lady Maroal and The Lady.
Ruthless Lady is the dam of three winners from four foals to race, with Ruthless Dame now a clear headline act. Her win in the Robert Sangster Stakes is backed up by a victory in last year’s Gr.3 VRC Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), along with a close second in the Gr.1 Surround Stakes (1400m) and a third in the Gr.3 Manfred Stakes (1300m).
“Ruthless Dame was a filly that grew and developed particularly well in the spring of her yearling season,” Cunningham recalled.
“She was never a big filly, but she was always very athletic. She came into her sales preparation fairly late in the piece, but she had an exceptional mind. She seemed to really enjoy her sales preparation, she handled everything very well and she certainly put her best foot forward.”
Since Ruthless Lady produced Ruthless Dame in the spring of 2019, Sir Owen Glenn has sent the mare to a range of other high-profile names among New Zealand’s stallion ranks.
“She has an Almanzor two-year-old who’s trained by John Bary (named Langmore),” Cunningham said. “She’s been placed a couple of times from four starts.
“Then there was a Super Seth filly who was still a bit immature at sale time at Karaka in January. We ended up bringing her home, and she’s growing into a lovely filly now. I think she’s a definite chance to be a good racehorse.
“Her next foal was an Ocean Park colt, who we are looking forward to offering at Karaka next January.
“The mare is now in foal to Sword Of State, which is very exciting. By coincidence, Sir Owen actually bred Sword Of State too, so I’m sure that’s going to be a foal that he will be particularly interested in.”
Meanwhile, there could be more black-type success in store for Curraghmore graduates over the coming weeks. Perhaps the most notable is Kovalica, who runs in Saturday’s Gr.3 Rough Habit Plate (2000m) at Doomben and is the favourite for the Gr.1 Queensland Derby (2400m) on May 27.
The Ocean Park colt was offered at Karaka 2021 in the same Curraghmore draft as Ruthless Dame, and he was bought by Mulcaster Bloodstock for $110,000.
From seven starts, Kovalica has already won five races and more than A$480,000 in stakes. He charged home from well off the pace for a super-impressive win in the Gr.2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) on April 29.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed that Kovalica can continue his great form, and we’re looking forward to watching him on Saturday,” Cunningham said. “He seems to have the makings of a very good horse.
“He was sold through the same draft at Karaka as Ruthless Dame, which is fantastic and something we’re quite proud of.”
Curraghmore will also offer a select draft of seven weanlings in next month’s National Weanling & Broodmare Sale at Karaka.
The consignment includes sons and daughters of Sweynesse, Time Test, Contributer, Ocean Park and Churchill, and Lot 114 holds particular interest, being a three-quarter-sister to the Gr.1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) winner Lion’s Roar.
“We’ll be offering a small draft of weanlings from the farm, and I think there are definitely some good prospects among them,” Cunningham said. – NZ Racing Desk