Breeder of General Nediym passes away

Regimental Gal and Au Chocolat provide epitaphs for Ron Ashdown

  The sale of Regimental Gal for a winter sale record price of $800,000 at the Gold Coast on Friday and then the success of Au Chocolat in the $100,000 Gai Waterhouse Classic for fillies and mares at the Ipswich meeting on Saturday provided epitaphs for Ron Ashdown, the ebullient Queensland breeder who died suddenly earlier in the week while on a visit to Rome in Italy.

  Mr Ashdown had established the Glengarry stud at Harrisville near Ipswich in the early 1990s and one of the first horses he bred was General Nediym, a son of the stud's foundation sire Nediym, an imported Northern Dancer grandson.

  Ashdown got stuck with the horse which was to become General Nediym when the buyer at $20,000 at the Gold Coast yearling sales reneged on the purchase later in the day.

  His loss was Ashdown's gain as General Nediym went on to win in his part ownership 13 races in 21 outings including the VRC Newmarket Handicap and the Lightning Stakes and the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and to finish fourth as a short priced favourite in the Golden Slipper, earning over $2million and the title of Australian champion sprinter.

  Installed at Glengarry as a sire, General Nediym was an immediate success, supplying12 winners of 18 races and $1,425,930 in his first crop of two-year-olds, in the process capturing Australia's leading first crop sire title and being third top juvenile sire overall.

  All told the first crop produced seven stakes winners including the Regimental Gal and the Ashdown bred Au Chocolat, Ra Sun and General's Dynasty. He was also instrumental in the breeding of  VRC Lightning Stakes and MVRC William Reid Stakes winner Regimental Gal as he sold her dam cheaply to his stud secretary Sue Griffiths and provided her with a service to General Nediym. Griffiths got $16,500 at the Gold Coast yearling sales for the filly which was to become Regimental Gal and had the mortification of seeing her go on to earn $1,585,350 and then sell as a broodmare prospect for $800,000.

  Interested in travelling, Ron Ashdown closed the Glengarry Stud after General Nediym's first season and leased him for three years to Lee Fleming's Eliza Park Stud. After that stint, Ashdown moved General Nediym to the Hunter Valley and he is now standing with his sire Nediym at the Widden Stud.

  Nediym and his son General Nediym were two of five sires stood at Glengarry with the others being the importations Heart of Darkness, Tong Po and Snappy Landing.

  Many of their winners were bred on Glengarry and gained extra physical development on the stud through a special exercise program combining work outs in a rotary walker and then a swim in a cricket pitch length trench which enabled the youngsters to be led through it by a groom on either side.

  Being returned to Australia for his funeral, Ron Ashdown is survived by his wife Helen and three daughters.

European Danehill world champion stayer

  Westerner, a six-year-old stallion got at Coolmore in Ireland, appears to have shaken off last year's Melbourne Cup runner up Vinnie Roe for the honour of being the best longest distance racehorse in the world of the last three years.

  He added to his claim for this distinction by taking England's premier staying test on the flat, the Ascot Gold Cup over 4000 metres, last week only a couple of days after Portland Singa, daughter of the Danehill sire, Danasinga, had provided the male line with its third successive victory in the Brisbane Cup over 3200 metres.

  Westerner's effort in the Gold Cup, a race which was run this year at York as Ascot is being redeveloped, was no surprise as he had been runner up in the event last year and two-times the winner of France's stamina demanding Prix du Cadran, also at 4000 metres, and of their St Leger, an event of approximately 3100 metres.

  Raced by his breeders, France based Wildensteins, a family famous in the art world, Westerner has a stout maternal pedigree, being from Walensee, a Group1 winner at 2400 metres by English and Irish Derby winner Troy and out of Warsaw, a Listed winner by Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Bon Mot.

  Warsaw was a half-sister to the American Group1 winner Warfever, the grandam of the brilliant Snippets galloper High Rolling, a resident of the stallion yards at the Riverdene Stud at Wagga Wagga, and the third dam of Jymcarew, the Danzero gelding who won this year's Canterbury Guineas.

  Alyxia, the fourth dam of Westerner, was a three-quarter sister-in-blood to Gaul, a high class stayer in England at 3200 who got many good winners in the Hunter Valley including Gallic Temple, a winner of the Sydney Cup.

  Danehill, the sire of Westerner, has the distinction of being one of only three sires in Europe in modern times to be represented by Group1 winners three and up from 1000 to 4000 metres. The other two, both like him brilliant horses who could get no further themselves than1600 metres, are Warning and Machiavellian.

  The now deceased Danehill has undoubtedly been one of the greatest sires of all time from his use at the Coolmore studs in Ireland and the Hunter Valley.

Overseas sprinter a new Choisir

  Cape of Good Hope, the England bred Hong Kong headquartered seven-year-old gelding who raced here twice earlier in the year for a win in the Group1 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley and a third in the VRC Lightning Stakes has done a Choisir. The latter, a son of Danehill Dancer now doing sire duty at the Coolmore studs in the Hunter Valley and Ireland, followed up a win in the Lightning Stakes and a third in the Oakleigh Plate by startling the world with two wins in a week at the Royal Ascot carnival in 2003, appearances in the Golden Jubilee Stakes and King's Stand Stakes.

  Cape of Good Hope showed last week again that a winner of a major Australian sprint can follow up with a top Royal Ascot performance by taking out the Golden Jubilee Stakes.

  It was his first start since being third in an International at Japan but not his first appearance at the Royal Ascot meet, one this year run at York, as he had made a very favourable impression when he visited England, the previous year. Although a win eluded him on that visit, he showed up as a leading international sprinter by landing second money in the King's Stand Stakes, third in the Golden Jubilee and fourth in the July Cup at Newmarket.

  One of the most travelled sprinters of all time, appearing in England, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia, Cape of Good Hope has won six sprint races including four in Hong Kong. However, he has had to play second fiddle to the sensational Australian bred Hong Kong sprinter Silent Witness every time they met including a second and a third in their International Sprint.

  The only stakes winner under his first four dams, Cape of Good Hope is by Inchinor, a good class English sprinter-miler by  Ahonoora, a leading sprinter who unfortunately died while on a visit from Ireland to the Segenhoe Stud in the Hunter Valley.

  Ahonoora was by Lorenzaccio, the horse who defeated Nijinsky in winning England's Champion Stakes. After being disappointing at stud in England, Lorenzaccio was imported for the Dawson Stud, now Woodlands, at Cootamundra, NSW and got Brewery Boy winner of the Victorian and South Australian Derbys.

Intergaze star catching the gazes

  One of the most exciting sprinters currently in Sydney is the first crop Intergaze three-year-old Mastermind. In the Randwick stables of leading Queensland trainer Bruce McLachlan, Mastermind made it six wins from seven starts when he powerhoused his way to a four lengths victory in a 1200 metre event at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

  He was got by the Widden Stud based Intergaze from Glow Bug, an Adelaide winner by triple Group 2 winner Almurtajaz, a son of the Northern Dancer sire Danzatore and champion Australian 3YO filly Toltrice.

  Owned by Queensland breeder Dr G.W. Welsh, Glow Bug is from Beau's Desire, an Adelaide juvenile stakes winner by Beau Brummel, a top grade American performer by Round Table who was a foundation sire when the late Alfred Grant set up the show place Gainsborough Lodge Stud near Toowoomba.

  Sold as a weanling at the Magic Millions winter sale at the Gold Coast for $15,500, Mastermind is among a number of promising gallopers by Intergaze with the others including the Sydney winners Gaze On (a stakes winner at two), Regal Gaze, Interche and Clevergaze and the Brisbane winner Noble Gaze.

  Standing the 2005 season on $5500, Intergaze was a magnificent Australian racehorse himself, winning 12 races including eight Group1 events, succeeding every year from two to six and earning over $3.7million.

  Bred at Middlebrook Valley Lodge near Scone, Intergaze was the first foal by Integra, a son of the Widden Stud's highly successful imported sire Lunchtime who looked like becoming an outstanding galloper when injury brought his racing career to a halt as an early three-year-old.

  Integra started his career as a sire at Middlebrook Valley Lodge but is now on a fee of $2200 at the Phalaris Stud, Rylestone, NSW.