Moss ‘N’ Dale rarely goes home from the races without banking a cheque for Gelagotis Racing and Bluegrass Bloodstock (FBAA).
The NZ-bred miler was sourced by Bluegrass agent Lenny Russo from Te Runga Stud owner Wayne Larsen and they’re part of the large syndicate that celebrated his win at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Moss ‘N’ Dale’s victory in the Craig Opie Cup (1600m) was his 12th since crossing the Tasman in 2015. He sprinted away from the opposition and won with ease to send his earnings to $581,000.
“He’s a marvel,” stable manager Manny Gelagotis said. “He’s a trainer’s bread-and-butter horse. If you had 20 of him in the stable you would be going good.”
Moss ‘N’ Dale had been given a breather after pulling up short at Flemington last month. “Peter Gelagotis gave him plenty of TLC and was extremely confident on Saturday,” Russo explained. “That was very much vindicated when the horse dominated.”
Now a 6yo, he’s a son of Irish-bred sire Castledale (Peintre Celebre) who won a G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile and G1 Santa Anita Derby before retiring to Te Runga Stud. His dam is from a slow-maturing Kiwi family highlighted by Sphenophyta (G1 Turnbull Stakes) and Moss Downs (G1 Kelt Capital Stakes).
“They were both 6YOs before winning at Group 1 level and Moss ‘N’ Dale seems to following that trait of getting better with age,” Russo added. “Now he’s winning on firm tracks and running faster times than previous preparations, so maybe there might be a good race in him given the right conditions.
“He’s all heart and is giving all of us the biggest thrills.”
Russo led a loud reception for Moss ‘N’ Dale and apprentice Jack Martin when they returned to scale. “Jack rode him a treat and all credit to him after coming back from a serious injury. They have an amazing record together.”
Martin gave high-fives all-round including Russo’s daughters Isabella (5) and Mya (3) after closing out the card. Earlier on McEwen Stakes day, Bluegrass buy Lucky for All ran a cracking third in Race 2 after doing lots wrong in the straight. The Tavistock 4yo is a work in progress for Darren Weir and Spicer Syndications.
Fellow Bluegrass graduate Mr Sneaky (High Chaparral) was a close-up fourth in the Listed sprint at Moonee Valley. Anthony Freedman has him on track to go one better in the G1 Rupert Clarke Stakes later this month. He was beaten less than a length when runner-up to Santa Ana Lane last year.
Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) was formed in 1988 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of bloodstock agents throughout Australia. Its members operate with the utmost integrity and professionalism and are bound by the strict Industry Code of Conduct.