Lonhro leads the way

Lonhro proved himself on the track, winning 11 Group One races and over $5.7 million in Stakes earnings. Now as a sire, with his eldest still just four-year-olds, the son of Octagonal has made an outstanding start to the new season

As the roses begin to bloom on the eve of the Spring Carnival, the progeny of Lonhro are firing on all cylinders, indicating that in the ensuing few months we could well see some further Black-type performers for the “Black Flash”. With his third crop about to hit the racetrack, it is Lonhro’s current crop of three-year-old which are taking all before them, with over $1.7 million in earnings already.

Headlined by G1 Caulfield Guineas aspirant Denman, Lonhro’s current three-year-olds have recorded four Stakes wins so far this season. A near black colt just like his sire, Denman got the ball rolling in August when he defeated a class field to take out the G3 Run To The Roses. Racing in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed, Denman’s win was the second successive year these silks were carried to victory in this race after Desuetude’s win in 2008.

At his next start, Denman raced away with the first G1 of the 09/10 racing season, recording a one-and-three-quarter length victory over Trusting in the G1 Golden Rose (1400m), to become his sire’s first winner at the highest level. Out of the Vain mare Peach, Denman joins Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Preserve (Canny Lad) as the mare’s second G1 winner and third Stakes winner overall. Dropping back in class in the G2 Stan Fox Stakes (1400m), Denman once again produced a stellar showing to record his sixth consecutive victory.

Although Denman has a long way to go to emulate his Champion racehorse father who was successful on 26 occasions, with 11 of those at G1 level, he is surely heading in the right direction.

Another of Lonhro’s Stakes winners this season is Denman’s stablemate Demerit. Bred in the purple, this three-year-old colt is out of the G1 Thousand Guineas winner Shame (Scenic), a winner of six races including four at Stakes level. After a debut second placing behind boom filly Black Caviar, Demerit broke his maiden by a widening four lengths. Jumping straight to the G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) at his next start, this highly-talented colt sat wide throughout but was still too good, defeating Trusting who at his previous start had run second to Denman.

Demerit will look to emulate his sire and dam with victory in a G1 when he lines up in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) down the famed Flemington straight towards the end of the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Having visited Lonhro on four occasions, the impeccably-bred Danehill mare Danislew is the dam of another of Lonhro’s Stakes winner this season in the shape of Deer Valley. A winner of three of her nine starts, this three-year-old filly has been a model of consistency, collecting a prize money cheque for connections at each and every start. Her biggest payout for connections came when she defeated Melito in the G3 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick.

It is not only Lonhro’s current three-year-old crop that are creating news, but also four-year-old horse O’Lonhro who has shown from his short six-start career that he is a galloper of immense talent. After two narrow defeats early on this campaign, he justified the early faith bestowed on him with a strong win in the G2 Chelmsford Stakes (1500m), a race won by Lonhro as a four-year-old and then again at five.

Although it has shown that the progeny of Lonhro appreciate time to mature, there appears to be no bias towards a favourable race distance. Both Euphemism and Heraklion are Stakes-placed at 1600m and beyond this season, with both heading towards this season’s three-year-old staying contests. Meanwhile two-year-old Lonhro Stakes winner Black Minx scored over a 1000m to record her first Black type in her sires’ initial racing crop. Lonhro has recorded 19 Stakes performers from two crops to hit the track, his versatility is abundant

Having finished just behind barn mate Exceed And Excel in both the first-season and second-season sires’ tables, it appears that ‘now is the time’ as Lonhro asserts his dominance, leading the third-season sire table by over $1million. With 22 individual winners this season from 74 starters (less than half the number of starts of his nearest rival), Lonhro’s progeny have done a tremendous job. As we progress through the remainder of the carnival, it would come as no surprise to see the progeny of Lonhro further enhance his burgeoning reputation.