Sec­ond favourite unites par­ties

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

ence of be­ing in­volved with a head­line act in this week’s big­gest show on the rac­ing planet is one that Gra­ham and He­len-Gaye Bax will never for­get, but there’s more to that than a sin­gle horse-race.

The ink has just dried on a deal that has brought Wellington busi­ness­man Lib Pe­tagna into a 50-50 part­ner­ship with the Baxes in Bland­ford Lodge, the prop­erty just down the road from the Mata­mata race­course that they orig­i­nally owned in part­ner­ship with their in­ter­na­tional model daugh­ter, Kylie.

Sev­eral years ago Kylie sold her in­ter­est to in­ter­na­tional busi­ness­man Owen Glenn, and now he has put his Bland­ford Lodge hold­ing up for sale.

The twist is that new Bland­ford part­ner Lib Pe­tagna is also the owner of Lu­cia Valentina, hav­ing pur­chased her for $60,000 from the stud’s 2012 Karaka year­ling draft.

When he made that decision on the ad­vice of his blood­stock con­sul­tant, Bruce Perry, Lib was in fact go­ing back to the source of one of his good win­ners, Darci Brahma colt Ma­lan­drino, an older half-brother of Lu­cia Valentina that cost $95,000 from Bland­ford’s 2010 Karaka of­fer­ing.

Un­der his JML Blood­stock banner, Lib Pe­tagna has raced nu­mer­ous big win­ners over the years, one of the first of them the 2004 New Zealand 2000 Guineas win­ner Clean Sweep from Mata­mata’s Bal­ly­more Sta­bles.

At­lante won the same race in his colours last year, while with two group 1 wins and stakes in ex­cess of $1 mil­lion, Lu­cia Valentina is sur­pass­ing all be­fore her.

Lib’s decision to invest in Bland­ford Lodge is an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment for all par­ties and one the Baxes are look­ing for­ward to be­com­ing im­mersed in once the dust has set­tled on the Mel­bourne Cup car­ni­val.

‘‘We’ve known Lib and Bruce for a num­ber of years and they’ve al­ways been very good to deal with, so we’re cer­tainly look­ing for­ward to de­vel­op­ing a closer re­la­tion­ship with them,’’ Gra­ham said from Mel­bourne as counted down to the Cup.

Back at home base, Staryn Glenn, the dam of Lu­cia Valentina, re­cently foaled a filly by lead­ing Aus­tralian stal­lion Ex­ceed And Ex­cel, and she has since been cov­ered by Waikato Stud stal­lion Sav­abeel in the hope of repli­cat­ing her classy daugh­ter.

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Photo: SUP­PLIED

TO­GETHER: Star race mare Lu­cia Valentina has brought breed­ers Gra­ham and He­len-Gaye Bax and owner Lib Pe­tagna to­gether in a Bland­ford Lodge part­ner­ship.

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