Lonhro Closes In On Maiden Sire’s Championship

By: Ryan Clark
June 15th, 2011

Benfica, who won The TJ Smith, is the third Australian Group 1 winner produced by Lonhro

Lonhro was one of the most recognisable racehorses around Australia in his prime and one of the true champions of the industry in this country.

He was one of the biggest crowd favourites ever to run and his name transcends racing circles and goes into the broader community.

Much like he made a name for himself on the track he’s made a big name off the track as well and as a sire he’s performing remarkably.

In fact Lonhro is all but assured of claiming the Australian Sire of the Year award for the 2010 / 2011 season after another hugely successful period.

Benfica’s win in The TJ Smith at Eagle Farm was the third Australian Group 1 winner produced by Lonhro.

It was his second in two weeks after Beaded triumphed for her maiden Group 1 win when holding on in the Doomben 10,000.

The pair join Lonhro’s first Group 1 winner Denman at the top of the tree, with another three offspring having claimed honours at both Group 2 and Group 3 level as well.

He was so very close to having a fourth Group 1 as well with Beaded falling agonisingly short in the Stradbroke Handicap to Sincero.

It certainly wasn’t a bad day at Eagle Farm though, in fact the prize money earned from that meet saw his progeny prize money boosted to just under $7.5 million for this season.

That puts Lonhro well and truly at the top of the chart in the rankings and a maiden Australian Sire of the Year title is just around the corner.

Lonhro was first retired to stud seven years ago so it hasn’t taken long for the ability of his offspring to shine through.

When you look at the horses he will beat to the title it’s another big tick alongside his resume at stuf.

High Chaparral and Redoute’s Choice have long been considered some of the best sire’s Australia had to offer but their dominance is now being tested.

It’s much like it was on the track for Lonhro, he swept aside just about all which stood in his way.

All up he had 35 career starts and won an amazing 26 of them with 11 coming at Group 1 level.

The biggest losing streak he ever sustained was two in a row during his entire career.

Lonhro began life as a sire at Woodlands Stud, the same place as his own sire Octagonal

He set a local record with his first season sire’s fee, $66,000 the opening price.

Woodlands was later sold to Darley Stud and Lonhro was moved to Aberdeen in New South Wales where he now stands alongside his own son, his first Group 1 winner Denman.

His service fee hasn’t skyrocketed drastically from seven years ago but after his performance this year it is expected to rise from the $77,000 currently being asked for.

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