Matings Mix: Where are the Swettenham mares going this season?

7 min read
As we move closer to the start of the breeding season, The Thoroughbred Report has begun its 'Matings Mix' series, kicking off with Adam Sangster's Swettenham Stud. General Manager of Operations and Nominations, Sam Matthews, discusses some of the mares visiting the exciting newcomer Lofty Strike, as well as Toronado (Ire) and Wooded (Ire).

Cover image courtesy of Swettenham Stud

Excitement is rife at Adam Sangster’s Swettenham Stud, since the operation announced that the beautifully bred Lofty Strike will begin his stud career at the picturesque Nagambie property.

As the son of the four-time Champion Sire Snitzel and the G1 Golden Slipper victress Overreach, a daughter of another Champion Sire Exceed And Excel, Lofty Strike ticks the three Ps: Pedigree, Physique, and Performance.

Understandably, the reception has been positive since the announcement, especially after prospective breeders watched his swagger when parading at the Great Southern Stallion Parade in May.

Lofty Strike | Standing at Swettenham Stud

The Thoroughbred Report chatted with Swettenham Stud’s General Manager of Operations and Nominations, Sam Matthews, about some of the mares the stud is supporting, including Lofty Strike, Toronado (Ire), and Wooded (Ire) this season.

“Lofty Strike has been inundated with mares, especially since his parade at the Great Southern Stallion Parade. Breeders were certainly taken by him, and the response has been enormous,” Matthews told TTR AusNZ.

“For a $22,000 (inc GST) stallion, the quality of mares lining up for him is sensational. The good number of mares that he will cover is important, but it's these good mares visiting him that will give him a boost.”

“Lofty Strike has been inundated with mares, especially since his parade at the Great Southern Stallion Parade. Breeders were certainly taken by him, and the response has been enormous.” - Sam Matthews

Amongst the mares Swettenham has purchased for Lofty Strike is The Amazing Tahlia (Equiano {Fr}). She won three races and is from the Fastnet Rock mare Demasheen, who was a dual winner as a 2-year-old.

Demasheen has been a fabulous producer; her five named foals have all been winners. They include De Sonic Boom (Spirit Of Boom), a victress of the G3 Blue Diamond Preview (Fillies), who was sold at this year’s Inglis Chairman’s Sale for $725,000.

Her other stakes winner, Laverrod, is by Swettenham’s very own superstar Toronado (Ire). He has won the Listed Hareeba S. and seven races in total.

Toronado (Ire) | Standing at Swettenham Stud

“We recently purchased an Equiano mare named The Amazing Tahlia, a mare that carries the Swettenham brand. She is a half-relation to Toronado’s stakes-winning $792,000 earner Laverrod, as well as Group 3-winning 2-year-old De Sonic Boom, who recently sold off the track for $725,000.

“She will visit Lofty Strike this season as he will greatly complement her with his speed and scope. The Redoute’s Choice sire line has had a fair bit of success with mares carrying Equiano’s grandsire Royal Applause, including the Group 1 winners Giga Kick and Alabama Express.”

Toronado (Ire) mare Energy Within, a four-time winner, is another mare set to visit Lofty Strike. Energy Within is a daughter of the G1 Robert Sangster S.-placed Hidden Energy (Dehere {USA}).

“...The Redoute’s Choice sire line has had a fair bit of success with mares carrying Equiano’s grandsire Royal Applause, including the Group 1 winners Giga Kick and Alabama Express.” - Sam Matthews

“After visiting Wooded for her first two years at stud and producing a lovely colt by Wooded that sold for $60,000 at the Inglis Great Southern Sale, Adam Sangster’s mare Energy Within will now head to Lofty Strike,” Matthews said.

“She is a daughter of Toronado, out of the Group 1-placed mare Hidden Energy. The Toronado mares we have on the farm are producing incredible types; this mare particularly did a great job last season.

"As she’s an outcross mare and the High Chaparral blood nicks well with Snitzel, this mating is a no-brainer. I have 100 per cent confidence this pairing will produce a ripping foal.”

Adam Sangster and Sam Matthews

Swettenham Stud will also support Lofty Strike with another daughter of Toronado, Queen Air. She was placed in the G1 VRC Oaks and was fourth in the G2 Wakeful S. and the G2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic.

Queen Air is from the family of Shared Reflections (Umatilla {NZ}), who won twice as a 2-year-old, including the G3 Sweet Embrace S., and was fourth in the G1 Sires’ Produce S.

“Another Swettenham Stud Toronado mare visiting Lofty Strike is the G1 VRC Oaks-placed Queen Air. Not only will she be giving our new stallion Lofty Strike the best possible start at stud, but Lofty Strike will also give Queen Air a terrific boost to her career at stud. He has plenty of scope, substance, and quality, which is important when mating a maiden mare.”

Queen Air | Image courtesy of Sportpix

Rounding out some of the mares to visit Lofty Strike in his debut season is Admire Pink (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}), who was stakes-performed in Japan. Her dam, Studentessa (Arg) (High Yield {USA}), won the G1 Palermo G.P Jorge de Atucha in Argentina.

“We also recently purchased a Japanese King Kamehameha mare, Admire Pink, who is a stakes-placed daughter of a Group 1 winner. She will head to Lofty Strike, as the Japanese blood nicks well with Snitzel.”

Toronado on the rise

Toronado, the most expensive stallion on the Swettenham roster, remains at $88,000 (inc GST) for the upcoming season. He has enjoyed another sensational season on the track, including the Group 1 winners Bois D’Argent (GB) and Victor The Winner.

“Toronado’s book continues to improve in quality year-on-year,” Matthews said. “This year, Adam Sangster will support him with his four-time stakes-placed mare Decent Raine, who is currently in foal to our superstar son of High Chaparral.”

The daughter of Dissident won three races and was placed in the G3 Northwood Plume S., the G3 Scarborough S., the Listed Reginald Allen H., and the Listed Twilight Glow S. She was covered by Toronado (Ire) in her maiden season last spring.

Toronado (Ire) | Standing at Swettenham Stud

“The focus isn’t on breeding as many Toronados of our own as possible, as we want to share the success with our clients, and we don’t want anyone getting bumped because we’ve got our own to cover.

“It’s hard to name all of the incredible mares lining up for Toronado, but it must be noted that elite breeders Three Bridges, Murray Thoroughbreds, B2B Thoroughbreds, Torryburn, Gilgai, Longwood Thoroughbreds, Gerry Harvey, Daandine Stud, Gilgai Farm, Peters Investments, Victor Lee, Glentree, and Musk Creek Farm are among those with multiple mares booked to Toronado this season.”

Among the mares served by Toronado last season are the multiple Group 3 winner Annavisto (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}), the well-related Group 3 winner Baccaret Baby (Casino Prince), Atlantic Jewel’s (Fastnet Rock) half-sister Commanding Jewel (Commands), also a winner of the G1 Thousand Guineas, and Tuscan Queen (Fastnet Rock), victress of the G2 Western Australian Derby and the G3 Champion Fillies S.

Excitement builds for Wooded

Returning to Swettenham Stud this season is Wooded (Ire), a son of the sire sensation Wootton Bassett (GB). A victor of the G1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp, Wooded’s first runners have hit the track in the Northern Hemisphere.

He has been represented by 13 runners, three individual winners, and four placed runners. New Way Baby (Ire) has won twice, while Slava Oukraini (Fr) and Sardaigne (Fr) have also been winners.

“Wootton Bassett’s fastest son, Wooded, is returning to Swettenham for 2024. He already has 2-year-olds hitting the track in Europe and he’s off to a fast start with three early winners. Those winners, being out of Olympic Glory (New Way Baby), a son of Choisir; Dream Ahead, (Slava Oukraini), who is a son of Diktat; and Charm Spirit (Sardaigne), a son of Invincible Spirit, have given us great confidence that he will suit a wide range of Australian mares, as we have plenty of Choisir, Dream Ahead, and Invincible Spirit line mares down here.”

Wooded (Ire) | Standing at Swettenham Stud

Visiting Wooded this season is Bralca’s Gem (Fastnet Rock), a half-sister to Energy Within, who is being served by Lofty Strike.

“Although Energy Within will be visiting Lofty Strike this season, her half-sister by Fastnet Rock, Bralca’s Gem, will be heading back to Wooded. Bred by Adam (Sangster) and sold as a yearling for $675,000, Adam bought her back specifically for this stallion as the Fastnet Rock blood is ideal for Wooded, and her sister (Energy Within) had produced a magnificent foal by our son of Wootton Bassett.”

The Amazing TahliaEquiano Lofty Strike ---
Energy WithinToronadoLofty StrikeWooded
Queen AirToronadoLofty Strike---
Admire PinkKing KamehamehaLofty Strike-So You ThinkRussian Revolution
Decent RaineDissidentToronado ---
Bralca’s GemFastnet RockWoodedPalace PierFrosted-

Swettenham Stud
Sam Matthews
Lofty Strike