Kerrin McEvoy and Bonvicini with the Group Three TAB Vanity Stakes (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)
It was quite the day for racegoers at Flemington on Saturday with the legendary Black Caviar paraded in the mounting yard just prior to the rather appropriately named Group One Black Caviar Lightning Stakes.
Seven years earlier, Black Caviar had won her third Lightning in succession and would retire, two months on, with her remarkable record intact – 25 from 25.
Six foals later, Black Caviar is still in great nick and if the adoring crowd lining the Flemington fence is any indication, she remains a tremendous drawcard.
It was somewhat fitting too that debutant, Ole Kirk, would win the first stakes race of the day at Flemington – the Listed Talindert Stakes – given that he is out of a sister to Black Caviar.
But it was likewise a memorable day for Vinery Stud with the exciting Alligator Blood capturing the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes in a thriller, while, up in Sydney, Sweet Deal won the Group Three Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes.
Alligator Blood is by All Too Hard – a 4-time Group One winning half brother to Black Caviar – while Sweet Deal is among 19 stakes winners for All Too Hard’s sire and barnmate, Casino Prince.
Yet, for many, it was Bonvicini – a daughter of former Vinery Stud based stallion, Myboycharlie – who really caught the eye with her victory in the Group Three TAB Vanity Stakes over 1400m at Flemington.
Stepping out for her sixth start and a winner of the Listed Morphettville Guineas last September, Bonvicini put her best hoof forward and swooped over the final stages to knock out Sandown Guineas winner, Pretty Brazen.
The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained filly now appears to be right on target for the Group One Vinery Stud Stakes (how fitting would that be?) at Rosehill Gardens on 28 March, or even seek to emulate Myboycharlie’s star filly Jameka by adding an Oaks to the resume.
(Trained by Maher, Jameka won three Group Ones and nearly $5 million in stakes).
Not surprisingly, Maher is a huge fan of the Danetime stallion, Myboycharlie.
“We might have to go on an European holiday and find where Myboycharlie is and bring him back here … I’m quite fond of training them,” Maher mused.
(According to Mark Smith of Breednet, Maher should try Turkey first as Myboycharlie was relocated to the Turkish Jockey Club this year from French stud, Haras du Mezeray).
Maher was also quick to pay tribute to Bonvicini’s breeder and owner, Greg Perry, who is currently holidaying with family in a somewhat sodden Queensland.
Perry bred Bonvicini from the Testa Rossa mare, Orvieto whom Perry had purchased, via Cliff Brown, for $220,000 at the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
A half sister to five winners from the stakes placed Radio Song – in turn a daughter of the multiple Melbourne stakes winner Adagietto – Orvieto would win three races for Perry before being sent to stud.
Bonvicini is her first foal.
“I breed from around 30 mares and usually sell most of their progeny, especially the colts,” Perry explains. “However, I’ll often retain some of the fillies to keep the bloodlines going and even when Bonvicini was a yearling running around the paddock (Vinery Stud’s Bloodstock Manager) Adam White phoned and suggested I not be too hasty in selling Bonvicini. It certainly paid off on Saturday!”
A Sydney based funds manager, Perry became a member of Vinery’s ownership group in 2005 despite being fairly new to the thoroughbred caper.
Since then, Perry has bred 4-time Group One winner, Atlantic Jewel, the Group One winning three quarter sister, Commanding Jewel, Group One Darley Classic winner, Delectation, Sezanne (who finished second to Global Glamour in the Group One Flight Stakes and is part of Perry’s broodmare band) and 2018 VRC Oaks winner, Aristia, whom Perry retained a small share in.
“I was pretty ‘raw’ when I first got involved with Vinery, but it’s tremendous being aligned with the stud and we’ve been fortunate to have some very good racehorses in the last 10 years or so like Samaready (Blue Diamond), Bel Mer (Group One winner) and now Exceedance (2019 Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes winner),” Perry adds.
“I really love the breeding side of it though and study the pedigrees for hours on end. The Myboycharlie mating wasn’t particularly fashionable and although there’s a lot of Danzig in Australia – especially through Danehill – Bonvicini’s 4 x 4 to Danzig is still pretty potent.
Bonvicini is the namesake of Italian artist, Monica Bonvicini, and Perry likes to name his horses – “it’s the hardest part of the entire process!” – with monikers that roll off the tongue.
“Bonvicini’s mum, Orvieto is named after an Italian city,” Perry reveals. “Matter of fact, my wife and I went through Orvieto on a train the night before Bonvicini’s first win. Should have been an omen.”
Although Orvieto missed to All Too Hard in 2016, her yearling colt – by All Too Hard – is one of the highlights among the 9-strong Vinery Stud draft at the 2020 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale from 1-3 March.
Orvieto also has a Dundeel weanling filly, while the mare is currently in foal to Press Statement.