New-look roster at Swettenham Stud

Swettenham Stud has announced Trust In A Gust and Puissance De Lune (Ire) will join its new-look roster at Nagambie this year.

TRUST IN A GUST is among Australia’s leading Group 1 sprinter-milers and was bred and reared at Swettenham.   He will be retired after the Brisbane winter carnival where the targets will include the G1 BTC Cup, G1 Doomben 10,000 and G1 Stradbroke Hcp.

“He’s got a tremendous will to win like all good stallions,” Swettenham owner Adam Sangster said.  “He’s a fighter and he’s got an exceptional pedigree – we’re excited to welcome him back home.”

Sangster has kept close tabs on Trust In A Gust since the colt was beaten a nose on debut in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush at Bendigo as a March 2YO.  Trainer Darren Weir brought him back the following season to carve up the lucrative VOBIS Gold events as a three year-old.

Trust In A Gust won the VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m) at Ballarat and VOBIS Gold Carat (1200m) at Caulfield and was also runner-up in the VOBIS Gold Eldorado and VOBIS Gold Reef at Flemington.

It was no surprise when he was the unanimous choice as 2013-14 VOBIS Racehorse of the Year at the Crown Casino awards last August.  “He’s a great racehorse to train,” Weir said.  “He’s sound, tough and makes his own luck.  He’s perfect.”

It was the launching pad for a spring campaign that saw Trust In A gust complete a Group 1 double at Caulfield starting with a G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m).  He was headed in straight but fought back to defeat Dissident who was gunning for a Group 1 treble following victories in the Makybe Diva Stakes and Memsie Stakes.

The time-honoured G1 Toorak Hcp (1600m) was next and Trust In A Gust denied several challenges after being left in front a long way out.  “I never had any doubts because he just tries so hard,” jockey Brad Rawiller said.  “It felt like he had topped on his run at the furlong but, when I asked him to go, he found again.  He keeps stepping up and is just a super horse.”

Trust In A Gust is due to resume in the VOBIS Gold Sprint (1200m)at Caulfield on Saturday week, April 18.  Appropriately, it’s part of the Victorian Owners and Breeders Race Day that will showcase VOBIS Gold races totalling $1.24 million in prizemoney.

His sire Keep The Faith was bred as part of an Australian – Japan accord between Arrowfield and Shadai Studs.  He was installed a pre-post favourite for the 2003 Golden Slipper Stakes after a brilliant debut victory for Sheikh Mohammed and he franked that form as a three year-old in the LR Schweppervescence Cup (1600m) at Caulfield before transferring to North America.

A son of super-sire Sunday Silence, Keep The Faith became the fastest 1200m horse to ever race in the United States when clocking 1.06.82s on turf at Belmont.

Sangster bought his dam Subtle Breeze for $140,000 at the dispersal of his father’s prized bloodstock assets at Keeneland in November 2007.  “She’s big and strong, a typical Storm Cat and is a three-quarter sister to Balanchine,” he said.  “It’s a beautiful pedigree and I also felt a sentimental connection to her.”

Back in 1993, Balanchine won two juvenile races in England by a combined 10 lengths before Robert Sangster sold the filly to Sheikh Mohammed.  “She went on to win the Irish Derby and English Oaks and was a pivotal part of Dad’s history.  Now she’s a part of mine through Trust In A Gust.

“Sunday Silence has nicked very successfully with Storm Cat and we’re confident the cross will be just as effective in Australia.”

Trust In A Gust will stand for a $12,500 (plus gst) service fee at Swettenham Stud and lifetime rights are available for $30,000.

PUISSANCE DE LUNE has been retired to Swettenham Stud after a leg injury ruled out any further racing for the son of champion sire Shamardal.

Owner Gerry Ryan has decided against giving the grey another campaign to stand him at Swettenham.  The Irish bred stallion joins Ryan’s Melbourne Cup winner Americain on the roster at Nagambie.

“We’ve decided to pull up stumps,” Ryan said.  “He’s been a really good horse and now he can do the job as a stallion.”

Puissance De Lune arrived from Europe for the 2012 Victorian spring carnival and made a huge impression with runaway victories in the LR Bendigo Cup and G3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Winning jockey Glen Boss compared him to Makybe Diva and So You Think after cruising home by five-lengths at Flemington.  “I haven’t had that feeling on a horse for a really long time.  He relaxes and conserves a lot of energy in running and when you ask him…it’s instant power.  He’s a superstar!”

Puissance De Lune returned for a short autumn campaign to win the G2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and, after a winter spell, he looked on course for a stellar spring carnival with an explosive first-up victory in the G2 Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.

He went down narrowly in the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes and again in the G1 Turnbull Stakes when Boss blamed the hard track at Flemington.  Punters sent him out favourite for the 2013 Cox Plate but he injured a tendon that continued to hamper his career last year.

“It’s a shame we never really saw the best of Puissance De Lune,” Swettenham owner Adam Sangster said.  “Glen said he had the speed to win a Newmarket and his family is on fire in the northern hemisphere.”

Ryan bought Puissance De Lune from France on the advice of leading agent Rob Roulston for 100,000 euros.  Roulston had also organised the purchase of Americain.

“Rob certainly finds us some very good ones,” Ryan added.  “He rang me to say he had this nice horse named Puissance De Lune.  He was a reasonably good bargain and exceeded all my expectations.”

Puissance De Lune’s three-quarter brother topped the 2014 Tattersalls December yearling sale when making 325,000gns (AUD 653,425).  He is also a half-brother to the dam of Group 1 filly Rizeena who won the 2013 Moyglare Stud Stakes and 2014 Royal Ascot Coronation Stakes.

Their second-dam is a sister to Serena’s Song who was the Champion 3YO Filly of her generation in the USA winning the G1 Beldame Stakes, Hempstead Hcp and Haskell Invitational.

His sire Shamardal won the G1 Dewhurst Stakes at two and completed a classic double in the 2005 French 2000 Guineas and French Derby.  He has already been represented by 13 Group 1 winners including Hong Kong superstar Able Friend.

Shamardal colt Lope de Vega emulated his sire in the 2010 French 2000 Guineas and French Derby and he was Europe’s Champion first-season sire last year.

Lope de Vega has made a similar impact with his first Australian bred two year-olds and fellow Shamardal stallions Captain Sonador and Shamoline Warrior are also off the mark with winners this season.

Puissance De Lune will stand for an introductory service fee of $11,000 (inc gst) this year.  Swettenham also has lifetime breeding rights available for $25,000.