Encosta de Lago had already made an impact in the United States before his first northern hemisphere bred yearling sold for $500,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale last Wednesday.
The Coolmore shuttler hit the headlines a few years ago when his Australia bred filly Alinghi and Greta West sire Man Of Illusion won feature sprints in the States.
After a glittering career in Australia, Alinghi was transferred to North America where she won the G3 Ballston Spa Breeders’ Cup at Saratoga in 2005.
A year after Alinghi’s ground-breaking victory, Man Of Illusion won a G3 of his own in the Aegon Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks day. He set the track alight under the Twin Spires running the 1000m in 56.28s.
Encosta de Lago has won the last two Australian sires’ premierships and it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a renowned sire of sires.
Man Of Illusion (Encosta de Lago-Raunchy Ruler by Rancho Ruler) will have his first Super VOBIS yearlings available at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale in 2010 and Greta West owners Laurie and John McCarthy are confident they will be popular with buyers at Oaklands Junction.
“We are very pleased with his yearlings. They are big strong types that are very well developed,” Laurie McCarthy said. “He has a terrific temperament and seems to have passed that trait on to his foals as well.”
Only lightly raced, Man Of Illusion won five of his eight starts in Australia inclusing a class record at Doomben clocking 1.03.05s for 1100m. “The day he won in Brisbane, he was just like a machine,” McCarthy recalled. “He had the outside gate and had to work hard to get across and was entitled to get tired but just raced away to win by six lengths.
“He was a horse that had the ability to produce blinding speed at both ends of a race and that’s very hard to find.”
That blinding speed was one of the main factors that attracted the McCarthys to Man Of Illusion. “The good stallions all show speed. There is more to it than that but that brilliance is a big thing,” McCarthy said. “He fits the bill for our stud and client base given that he was a speedy son of Encosta and his service fee is value at $4,400.”
Man Of Illusion’s connections received several offers to stand him in Queensland but managing owner Bill Cotter was swayed by the McCarthys to stand him in Victoria.
Given his sireline and race record, both in Australia and the United States, McCarthy is confident of another strong book of mares for Man Of Illusion’s third season this year. “The response has been quite good and his book is continuing to fill again.”
Man Of Illusion’s dam Raunchy Ruler was a winner at 1100 metres and has produced seven winners from as many runners, including Listed Kranji Mile winner Really Good (Revoque) and promising galloper The Other Man (Delago Brom) who won at Warrnambool by six lengths on August 2.
Man Of Illusion will stand alongside consistent winner-getters Dangerous (Danehill) and King Of Prussia (Anabaa) at Greta West which is situated just south of Ned Kelly country at Glenrowan.