Roberts leaves growing legacy

The successful old breeders may pass away but their legacy rarely dies.  Often it grows.

Take the late John Roberts, billionaire founder of the building giant Multiplex Constructions, chairman of the Western Australian Turf Club and owner of Egerton Stud.

In his ‘Breeding to Win’ column in the West Australian newspaper, Barry Farmer reports that Roberts imported Pert Lassie from England amongst a small, select band of mares aimed at bolstering his breeding stock the early 1980s.

Pert Lassie was by the unbeaten 1966 Irish and English Champion 2YO Bold Lad.  She had won four times over five furlongs as a juvenile, taking the historic G3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.

Bold Lad was by Wheatley Stable’s Bold Ruler, the eight-time leading US stallion and sire of legendary 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

Pert Lassie was entitled to be a stud success.  And she was.  Her seven winners were headed by the Godswalk filly Cheeky Trot, winner of the G2 Karrakatta Plate and LR Aquanita Stakes.

Pert Lassie’s immediate family also includes Holy Grail (G1 Hong Kong Derby), Clint (G1 Singapore Derby) and Pulcinella (G2 NZ Avondale Guineas).  But it does not end there.

Orion Star, the dam of Fair Hunter, the staying find of the Belmont Park season, is a grand-daughter of Pert Lassie.  She was also bred by Roberts and won on debut at Ascot in 2002.

Fair Hunter is by Alwyn Park-based Trade Fair, who was bred by Prince Khalid Abdullah, the owner-breeder of unbeaten world champion Frankel.

Fair Hunter made it five middle distance wins in succession when taking the Westspeed Stayers’ Bonus Handicap (2100m) under 59kg on Saturday.

And two hours before Fair Hunter’s win, Storm Burst, from the Roberts-bred Storm Fille, who was placed in both the G1 WATC Derby and G2 WA Oaks, won the Sportingbet Hcp (2040m) at Moonee Valley.

New York Yankees baseball superstar Babe Ruth got it right.  “Heroes are remembered,” said Ruth.  “But legends never die.”

Promising Perth stayer descends from Pert Lassie