FREE TO SA BREEDERS
Major Secret standing his third season at Allenby Lodge.
It is fair to say that the introduction of the exciting stallion Major Secret to South Australia has created a renewed interest in breeding overall in this state.
For a long time the state’s breeding industry languished without a flagship sire, but in Major Secret, SA now has direct access to an exceedingly bright prospect within its own borders.
The quality of this stallion cannot be underestimated. It has been well documented how he won one of the strongest NSW Derby’s of all time in a then world record. Only two starters in the race finished their career with less than $300 000 in earnings.
That race was the pinnacle of Major Secret’s relatively short, but highly successful career in group racing, beginning as a precocious 2yo and extending into Cup class, before a troublesome fetlock drew an end to his racetrack achievements.
Steve Norman, principal at the famed Allenby Lodge Stud, had been on the lookout for a quality stallion for some time and was still looking when he got a call from Victorian journalist and breeding buff Peter Wharton.
“Peter had phoned me a number of times over the past couple of years regarding stallions” Steve related. “I’d said to him and others that I didn’t want to get a stallion just for the sake of having one. The horse had to be able – in my opinion - to contribute to the South Australian industry or I wouldn’t be interested.”
“When Peter mentioned Major Secret, I was intrigued – particularly as he was a young son of Art Major. It wasn’t until I started researching him more intensively, that I realized he was from the Larrakeyah Lady family. It was then that I got excited. A full analysis of his race record and then a picture of him sealed it for me – I had to have this horse.”
What may not be widely known, is that Allenby Lodge purchased Major Secret outright. “To an extent, it was a bit of a gamble at the time (to purchase) but I had so much faith in him as a prospect that I felt it was well worth it” Steve said.
In the stud game, numbers are everything and SA’s small pool of broodmares will make it tough for a new stallion to prove himself, but the interest is growing.
“Major Secret had more mares in his second season than his first and he’s likely to have even more this coming breeding season, which is unusual” said Steve. “But it’s all to do with the renewed interest in breeding for South Australians, as numbers grow – albeit slowly – year on year.”
“Throw into the mix that we actually have bookings from Victoria this season. We are also seeing repeat bookings for 2020. That is, people who have already been to him are booking again!”
“Two important aspects are that the quality of mares has been excellent and the type of foals we are seeing is remarkable.”