It's In The Blood
Sometimes looks can be deceptive. But sometimes results can be too, especially when there’s a learned eye involved.
Linda Monds, who bought the famed Tyreel Stud in 2014 and became the breeder of Everest (1200m) winner Classique Legend (Not A Single Doubt), went to the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale in 2016 to expand her breeding stock. Among others, she had her eye on a mare named Couredge (Show A Heart).
She’d done precious little on the track, claiming a Wyong maiden in 2013 among ten starts for Chris Waller, but was from a tidy family. She was also in foal to Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) winner Shamus Award (Snitzel). Moreover, she had a weanling, by Choisir (Danehill Dancer), at the same sale. Monds cast her eye over him, very much liked what she saw, and her mind was made up to go hard for Couredge when she entered the ring.
But she wasn’t the only one.
“I had to fight pretty hard for her,” Monds tells It’s In The Blood. “There were a lot of people there who’d identified her as a mare they’d like in their band.”
It took some, err, courage, but Monds won out, purchasing the then six-year-old Couredge for $190,000.
“She didn’t do a lot on the racetrack, but she’s a lovely looking mare herself, and I’d checked out the Choisir yearling and he was an outstanding type. When you see what they can produce, you can have a fair bit of confidence that they’ll do it again,” Monds says.
“Plus, she was a Show A Heart mare – I didn’t have one of them – so I just felt that she was a great outcross, and in foal to Shamus Award, and just felt I liked that mating.”
Still, some results have been encouraging, but others less so.
Couredge’s first foal, for her previous owners, became the Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) gelding Smartedge, who has won five from 31 for Team Snowden, including four in town, before moving north to the Tony Gollan stable.
A few months after Monds bought her, Couredge threw her Shamus Award colt. Fetching Monds $150,000 when sold to Darby Racing at the 2018 Inglis Classic sale, he’s become the now four-year-old gelding named Academy – winner of five from 16 for Warwick Farm trainer Mark Newnham, including three in town.
Following his birth, the first thing Monds did was send Couredge back to Choisir, hoping for something that might look as attractive as that weanling. In September, 2017, a filly arrived.
Though two years apart, the two full siblings began racing around the same time.
That weanling, who fetched a hefty $325,000 as a yearling at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast sale, became a Hong Kong gelding called Moon Peaks, who so far has found more troughs. Debuting in November, 2019, he had 13 starts for one placing, finally breaking through for a win last Boxing Day, and now has a record of 16: 1-1-1.
Thankfully for Monds, her judgment has been validated by his little sister, who’s turned out quite differently. Sold, again to Darby Racing, on the Gold Coast in 2019 for $160,000, she also went to Newnham and was named Every Rose.
A striking chestnut with four white socks and a broad white blaze, she won her only attempt at a barrier trial, at Warwick Farm, and then, a month before Moon Peaks’ modest debut in Hong Kong, she won the Gimcrack Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) on debut at Randwick.
She was placed in stakes class at her next two starts but unplaced in her next four, amid light preparations as she grew into her skin. But last Saturday at Randwick, resuming from a spell, the three-year-old gave a loud sign of some possibly greater glories ahead. First up from a spell and defying a $26 price, reflecting her mixed form, she crossed from gate 14 of 14 to lead, kicked clear at the top of the straight and fought doggedly to win by a neck in the Light Fingers Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m).
“She was always that tough looking type, just a really solid girl from day one,” Monds says.
“She’s got such a strong hindquarter, which is what I’d seen in Moon Peaks as well as a weanling. But I saw Every Rose win on Saturday and just saw a different horse to earlier on. She’s a lot more mature and just looked like she wanted to be there, and she definitely wanted to win that race.
“I’d never make a trainer because I’d have probably withdrawn her, being a wet track from a wide gate and her first run back,” she adds with a laugh. “But Mark Newnham felt very confident she’d run a good race. Plus she got a damn good ride by Josh Parr. He rode her like she was the best horse in the race.
“When I bought Couredge, I needed to increase my broodmare band at all different levels. I just thought she was a good middlelevel mare. She had a nice appearance herself, she produced a nice physical article, and it was always my goal to purchase at all different levels, so she fitted into that. But I think she’s raised the bar a bit on herself now.”
More recently, Monds “added some leg” by breeding a Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock) filly from the mare – which Darby backed up again to buy for $250,000 last Easter – and which is now in work with Newnham as Brooke’s Edge. Then a Hellbent (I Am Invincible) filly fell to Greg Hickman on the Gold Coast last month for $150,000.
Couredge now has an Exceed And Excel (Danehill) weanling colt on the ground, and is in foal to the same stallion again, a mating Monds believes “hits the nail on the head”.
Looking deeper into Every Rose’s pedigree, there was more cause for optimism than mere looks.
Couredge’s dad Show A Heart (Brave Warrior), who formerly stood in Queensland, continued to perform as a broodmare sire from limited opportunities. He’s currently 28th on that table in Australia, his daughters’ progeny also include Sovereign Award (Shamus Award) and smart twoyear-old Extreme Warrior (Extreme Choice).
Couredge’s dam Alternative Edge, a two-time city winner by Rory’s Jester (Crown Jester), was a prolific producer, with more than a dozen named foals. Her second one Youth’s Edge, a gelding by Jeune (Kalaglow), won seven races including over 2500 metres in Listed class in Adelaide. Her fifth was the mare Vintedge (Flying Spur), who won two black-type races including the Matriarch Stakes (Gr 2, 2000m) of 2011.
Though now 25, Alternative Edge still has her own offspring racing, with Sausedge – also by Shamus Award – a Rosehill winner who placed twice in Sydney last month.
Alternative Edge herself had the pedigree to do well, as a sister – out of city-winning Godswalk (Dancer’s Image) mare God’s Girl – to Racer’s Edge, a multiple stakes winner who claimed the CF Orr Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) of 1996.
God’s Girl was out of How Bright, named for her sire Bright Finish (Zilzal) and a certain mare named How Now. That daughter of In The Purple (Right Royal) was of course an outstanding galloper of the 1970s, winning a host of races including four Group 1 equivalents in the Caulfield Cup (2400m), Caulfield Stakes (2000m), AJC Oaks (2400m), and VATC Underwood Stakes (2000m).
For Every Rose to approach the status of her fifth dam will take some doing. But going on Saturday’s win, her future looks how bright now?