If longevity is a sign of toughness – which it surely is – then Ustinov is a stallion who will inherit durability in spades!
The 16-year-old Moorookyle Park stallion, who has proven his ability to pass on his strength and honesty to his progeny, is the produce of parents who are still alive and kicking into their advanced age.
Ustinov is one of 91 stakes winners sired by the outstanding Mr Prospector stallion Seeking The Gold who is enjoying his retirement at historic Claiborne Farm aged 30. And his dam, the grand mare Let’s Elope who at 27 is the oldest Melbourne Cup winner – is still doing a great job as nanny to weanlings at Lauriston Park.
And Ustinov himself is thriving under the loving care of Moorookyle’s Nioka Wozny who has been smitten by the regally bred stallion from the very first moment she saw him.
“He is just a gorgeous horse and a pleasure to be around and a favourite with everyone on the farm.”
Wozny has been delighted with the recent run of form for the progeny of Ustinov whose progeny have won six races in the last six weeks – including the talented Sir Mako.
A horse who has shown great heart in a comeback from serious injury, the Chris Waller trained was impressive saluting at his first Australian outing at Randwick last week. Settling at the rear and gaining a split at the top of the straight, Sir Mako overcame trouble in running to salute by 3/4 length with plenty in hand.
“He won comfortably,” said jockey Rory Hutchings, “and there is still a lot of room for improvement – and the further he goes the better he will be.”
Stable representative Peter Muscutt is looking forward to watching Sir Mako progress, likening him to Who Shotthebarman and noting that “he is a typical tough Kiwi stayer who has settled in really well.”
The winner of three of his first four starts for owner/trainer Dan O’Leary, Sir Mako was off the scene for two and a half years with injury – doing a remarkable job in his comeback earning black type with a fast-finishing second in the Gr.3 Hawkes Bay Cup in April.
Stepping up to 2000m for the first time, Anna Kaye is another recent winner for Ustinov, the lightly raced four-year-old proving 1 3/4 lengths too strong for her rivals at Matamata on June 3.
“She has always shown promise and it was only a matter of time before she won a race,” said trainer Lee Somervell – “and the way she won today she could win a few more.”
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Rusharound was in winning form in Macau a couple of weeks ago whilst the consistent nine times winning eight-year-old Ask Me Nicely recorded his fourth consecutive placing in Perth.
Fellow eight-year-old Haslington has now won 15 races after his recent three length victory at Mount Isa; a fine achievement at start number 99!
Sir Manawa is also racing in great heart, winning on the flat and over the jumps in recent weeks whilst Bag Of Nickels was successful over 1900m at Canterbury last month.
“Ustinov’s progeny are sound, tough competitors who compete over a variety of distances and race on and on,” Wozny said. “He is the perfect stallion for the owner/breeder looking to produce a horse with longevity – and that is what we all want, a horse who can just keep racing and winning!”
For further information on Ustinov contact Nioka Wozny on 0427 456 385.