The Australian thoroughbred breeding industry once again has strong cause to salute Rick Jamieson, the breeder who gave legendary sprinter Black Caviar to racing.
Jamieson is also the breeder of Jameka, the resolute four-year-old mare who turned back an international wave in the Group I Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday, putting a temporary halt to a rash of feature distance events going to runners bred outside this country.
The racing world had marvelled at Black Caviar in her defiance to lose any of her 25 career starts — and, perhaps, most famously when carrying the high expectations of the nation on her only test on foreign soil, the Group I Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, England, in June, 2012.
Two months after Black Caviar had won Europe’s richest sprint, Jameka was born on Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm, at Nagambie, in Victoria — six years and one day after Black Caviar was foaled on the same property.
And as he did with Black Caviar, breeder Jamieson sold Jameka as a yearling, for $130,000, at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier sale, with trainer Ciaron Maher signing the invoice.
Black Caviar was offered at the same sale in 2008, with trainer Peter Moody claiming the daughter of Bel Esprit for $210,000 — a mere fraction of the $7.6 million she would win in prizemoney for her owner partnership.
Jameka had already returned more than tenfold her yearling cost for a large group of clients Maher put together as a racing partnership when she took her place in the Caulfield Cup — her career earnings ballooning to $3,670,725 when she won the $3m feature.
The field of 16 comprised 11 stayers from New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, Germany and the United States but with Jameka as a patriotic race favourite to carry the Australian flag for the home defence of five.
Foreign-bred horses had won four of the past 10 renewals of the Caulfield Cup but Jameka effectively ensured there would be no further update this time.
She was the decisive winner with the imported Scottish and Exospheric filling the minor placings on their Australian debuts.
Jameka is the 11th mare to win the race in the past 45 years but, oddly, the first VRC Oaks heroine to do so. Indeed, past winners Swell Time (1973), Leilani (1974), How Now (1976), Imposera (1988), Arctic Scent (1996) and Ethereal (2001) had other versions of The Oaks fillies’ classic on their win record at thee years.
Jameka now bids to follow in the path of Ethereal, the 2001 Queensland Oaks winner who is the most recent female to complete the Caulfield-Melbourne Cups double.
The Caulfield Cup card of 10 events also featured the Group III Ethereal Stakes (2000m) — a VRC Oaks trial for threeyear-old fillies — and this $150,000 event was won by the Makfi filly Eleonora, a granddaughter of Ethereal.
Coincidentally, Jameka’s dam Mine Game can also claim Caulfield Cup history, albeit a fleeting slice — winning the opener on a 10-event card in 2008 which saw the imported galloper All The Good record a 40-1 shock win in the main event.
By the brilliant Group I winning sprinter General Nediym, Mine Game was bought at the 2007 Magic Millions yearling sale on the Gold Coast for $190,000 to race in Jamieson’s ownership — her Caulfield Cup day success her only win in 10 attempts.
Mine Game was bred and sold by Lee Fleming, of Eliza Park stud — the property where Black Caviar’s mother Helsinge was bred for the partnership of Fleming and Rob Crabtree.
Jamieson bought Helsinge, an unraced Desert Sun mare, as a broodmare prospect in 2005 for $115,000 and bred Black Caviar from her in the mare’s first season at stud.
Five yearlings he has bred from Helsinge have fetched $8.91m in the sale ring — the group including the national record $5m Redoute’s Choice colt in 2013.
Jameka is the second foal of Mine Game, who is one of eight winning foals of Aperto, a handy winner to 2200m and who was by the Sir Tristram horse Grosvenor,a Caulfield Guineas-Victoria Derby winner at three after having won the Group I VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at two years — a set-weight feature Jameka would also win in 2015.
Aperto was also the dam of the 2005 Group I Canterbury Guineas winner Jymcarew, who was by Danzero, a first-crop son and Golden Slipper Stakes winner of the great Danehill, nine times champion sire in Australia.
Jameka hails from the third crop of Irish-bred Myboycharlie, a former French Group I juvenile winner who is standing his eighth season on the Vinery Stud, in the NSW Hunter Valley, at a fee of $11,000.
Myboycharlie is by Danetime, a smart sprinting son of Danehill, his dam is the once-raced Dulceata, by the Riverman horse Rousillon, sire of Irish-trained Melbourne Cup winner Vintage Crop and damsire of recent Group I ATC Metropolitan winner Sir John Hawkwood. Danehill will have a place among the truly great thoroughbred stallions as the sire of a record 89 Group I winners worldwide, over a distance range of 1100m to 4100m.
Westerner, by far the best staying son of Danehill, figures in the pedigree of Jameka, a fact that might come into play when the Melbourne Cup field swings into the home straight of the 3200m contest.
Jameka’s fifth dam is the Blue Prince mare War Path, the dam of multiple US Group I winner Waya, in turn the mother of French Group I winner Walensee, who produced Westerner.
Champion stayer of Europe in 2004 and 2005, Westerner’s 11 wins included the Group I Prix du Cardran (4000m), twice, the Group I Prix Royal Oak (4100m), twice and England’s Group I Gold Cup (4000m).
Since foaling Jameka, Mine Game has left a colt by Snitzel and a filly by Cox Plate winner Shamus Award but has missed to Snitzel and Redoute’s Choice in the past two seasons.
Helsinge, Mine Game’s paddock mate at Gilgai Farm, has foaled fillies to Bel Esprit, Casino Prince and Canford Cliffs since her record Redoute’s Choice colt but she, too, has missed in the past two springs — to Snitzel in 2014 and Not A Single Doubt (2015).
Source: The Australian