Champion 3YO Helenus has joined the Independent Stallions roster. News the 10 year-old stallion would be returning to Victoria coincided with the win of his classy son Mega Steel at Belmont last Saturday.
Helenus was the best Australian bred galloper sired by Helissio while the Arc de Triomphe winner shuttled to Widden Stud. He was trained by Leon Corstens and was a class above his classic contemporaries in the spring of 2002 winning the G2 MVRC Bill Stutt Stakes, G1 MRC Caulfield Guineas, G2 MVRC AAMI Vase and G1 VRC Victoria Derby.
The following autumn he reasserted that superiority with another G1 triumph in the Rosehill Guineas at the expense of Mummify, Sunday Joy and Clangalang.
Helenus stood at Alwyn Park in Western Australia after being purchased by a syndicate led by Trevor Delroy. He has sired 22 winners to date including the stakes performers Mega Steel and The Corporation.
Mega Steel (4g Helenus – Cabernet Queen by Marauding) has won 4 races including last year’s Listed Belmont Classic for owner Russell Roberts. “He has enormous potential,” trainer Colin Webster said after the Classic. “He’s still learning but can find another gear.”
Roberts knows all about good horses. He raced legendary pacer Pure Steel who won 68 races including four WA Pacing Cups, three A G Hunter Cups and the Miracle Mile. In 1982, the Australian Trotting Council voted him the best standardbred since World War 11.
Roberts also owned 2003 WATC Kingston Town Stakes winner True Steel (Jeune). He bought Mega Steel as a foal for $30,000 at the 2006 Magic Millions Key Farm Dispersal Sale in Perth.. The gelding now stands 17 hands!
Mega Steel is now prepared by Russell Stewart and, when he won the Become A Perth Racing Facebook Fan Hcp last Saturday, it was Stewart’s first Saturday city win as a trainer. “That was pretty special,” Stewart beamed. “He had been showing good form at 1400 and 1600 metres but he looks a better horse over 2000m.”
Mega Steel is from a half sister to former top class Perth sprinter Barossa Boy whose record included a G1 victory in the Doomben 10,000.
Helenus has also sired The Corporation who won on debut as a December 2yo at Ascot. He returned this season to earn black-type in the G2 W.A. Guineas, G3 Lee-Steere Classic and Listed Fairetha Stakes.
Saranda was another Helenus galloper heading for better things after winning at Sandown on debut. He was also trained by Leon Corstens and was rated higher than stablemate Fernandina who went on to claim the Listed Vain Stakes and G3 Guineas Prelude at Caulfield. But, while Fernandina was sold to Hong Kong, Saranda developed a mystery illness that hampered his career.
Independent Stallions studmaster Mike Becker will stand Helenus for a $6,600 (inc gst) fee in 2010.