In what can only be described as a revelation for Australian breeders, Vinery Stud has secured a significant shareholding in the Champion Racehorse Big Brown. Currently standing at Three Chimneys Stud in Kentucky, Big Brown will shuttle to Vinery Stud in the Hunter Valley commencing this 2010 breeding season, pending shareholder approval.

It goes without saying that Big Brown was certainly one of the greatest racehorses to grace the racetracks of America in the modern era. With just 8 lifetime starts in his career, the good looking bay horse was only defeated on one occasion and amassed over $US3.6million in prize money.

Big Brown showed his brilliance early, dominating a 2yo race on Saratoga’s turf course by 11 ¼ lengths on his debut (View Races Here). At three he came back even better; after winning an allowance race over 1600m at Gulfstream Park, he entered Group 1 company for the first time (at just his third career run) in the Florida Derby, winning by a comfortable 5 lengths. At his fourth start in the Kentucky Derby, Big Brown delivered again despite jumping from the outside gate 20 (something no other horse has done in the history of the race). Sitting four wide for most of the journey, he stalked the leaders before drawing off at will and posting a 4 ¾ length victory in devastating style. In doing so he became the first horse since 1915 to win the Kentucky Derby at just his fourth career start.

The electrifying Derby win caught America’s attention, and all eyes were on Big Brown leading up to the Preakness Stakes. Again he delivered. Once more breaking from the outside gate, he won eased down to little more than a canter, crossing the line under wraps by 5 ¼ lengths.

A severely quartered foot prevented Big Brown from completing the Belmont stakes and therefore not being able to bring home the Triple Crown which he was so perfectly poised to do (he would have been the first horse to do so since Affirmed in 1978). Big Brown returned to racing after the Belmont Stakes to win his remaining starts; the $US1million Haskell Invitational and the $US500,000 Monmouth Stakes (again run on turf).

A handsome and imposing individual, Big Brown has a fascinating sire’s pedigree. He is a son of sprinter Boundary (a sire boasting over 78% winners to runners), who in turn is by Danzig, a stallion that has re-shaped the Australian thoroughbred for generations to come. Big Brown also carries four crosses of blue hen mare Selene, the fourth dam of multiple champion Australasian sire Sir Tristram. With a pedigree better suited to turf racing, Big Brown defeated the best in the country on dirt but not before showing his skills on turf at his first start and again as a 3yo; on both occasions blowing his rivals away.

“It is a great thrill to be standing a horse of the caliber of Big Brown” said Vinery’s Peter Orton, “he was the most superior racehorse of his generation, showing a devastating turn of foot to dominate the best horses in the land. Even more appealing to us is his pedigree, bred to run on turf yet brilliant enough to beat the best on their terms on dirt. What might this horse have achieved in Europe running in the classics there also”?
“After inspecting the stallion last week, I’m delighted to say he exceeded my expectations on conformation and his suitability to the Australasian style of racehorse. He stands just on 16.1 hands, possesses a particularly kind temperament and handles himself in the covering barn like a real professional. The most pleasing aspect for the future of this stallion is the quality of his first foals that are now arriving in Kentucky. They are all strong compact types with good strong shoulders and powerful hindquarters, typical of the Danzig line progeny we see here that are so successful in our conditions”.

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