Winterbottom Win Rewards Segenhoe

It was a long time coming but few would begrudge Hunter Valley stud owner Kevin Maloney’s long awaited first Group One success with Voodoo Lad in the $1 million Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.

Winterbottom Win Rewards Segenhoe

It was a long time coming but few would begrudge Hunter Valley stud owner Kevin Maloney’s long awaited first Group One success with Voodoo Lad in the $1 million Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.

Voodoo Lad
Voodoo Lad Picture:Racing and Sports

The popular Maloney has poured millions into his racing and breeding interests since he purchased title to the famous Segenhoe Stud in 2010.

Established as a stud farm in 1913, the original Segenhoe property located east of Aberdeen between Muswellbrook and Scone, became a leader of the breeding industry under the ownership of the late Lionel Israel between 1938 and 1986.

Over the next 20 years a series of owners and syndicates carried on that tradition until the famous property again changed hands and became Vinery Stud.

In 2010 Maloney, a prominent figure in the business, mining and finance world, acquired the ‘new’ Segenhoe farm that had been established by Michael Sissian only kilometres from the original property. Sissian had retained title to the Segenhoe name in the sale to Vinery.

Maloney’s purchase was the fulfilment of an interest he had held in the Segenhoe business since the 1980s when he was chief finance executive of Elders Resources, a company that held shares in Segenhoe Limited – headed by Michael Sissian - during its time on the stock exchange as a public entity.

In less than a decade under Maloney’s ownership the new Segenhoe farm has doubled in size with the acquisition of five neighbouring properties and the development of a state-of-the-art 200-acre spelling and rehabilitation complex.

Maloney has resisted standing his own stallions, preferring to focus on the nurturing and marketing of yearlings bred from one of the finest broodmare bands in Australia supplemented by an extensive spelling and agistment business for clients.

To that end Maloney’s business plan has been a resounding success. Segenhoe bred products have sold for up to $1.6 million as yearlings and include G1 winners Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock), Eagle Way (More Than Ready) and Oohood, by Voodoo Lad ‘s sire I Am Invincible.

The latter has been one of Maloney’s ‘go to’ stallions from the time he started his stud career. I Am Invincible is also the sire this season’s impressive G3 Gimcrack Stakes winner Catch Me, another rising star wearing the Segenhoe brand.

Segenhoe is home to more than 100 of Maloney’s own mares. They include such notable race mares and producers as Hurtle Myrtle, Sister Madly, Mimi Lebrock, Set For Fame, Buckleupbuttercup, My Chicharita, Deer Valley, Swiss Rose and Radharcnafarraige.

Maloney, also a regular investor in yearlings at major sales, has the Segenhoe racing team – easily identifiable by the red and yellow Segenhoe colours - spread between trainers in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

With up to 40 horses in work he has enjoyed considerable success as an owner but a Group One win had eluded him until Voodoo Lad, a bargain acquisition, stormed to a memorable win in the Winterbottom Stakes.

Voodoo Lad was bred by Noel Leckie, the late Scone identity and former president of the Scone Race Club, and was offered by Yarraman Park Stud at the 2013 Scone Yearling Sale where he was purchased by Maloney for $36,000 after being recommended to him by his racing manager and former leading Sydney trainer Bill Mitchell.

Leckie, who passed away early in 2017, retained a share in Voodoo Lad Horseform after Maloney insisted he would only bid for the youngster if the breeder agreed to stay in the ownership. The sprinter now races for Leckie’s estate with Segenhoe and other partners.

Saturday’s win was Voodoo Lad’s sixth black type success among 13 career wins in 33 starts and took his earnings to only $34,000 shy of $2 million. It came at his tenth start in a Group One race that had included second placings in the Newmarket Handicap and Rupert Clarke Stakes.

Scone trainer Rod Northam had Voodoo Lad for his first eight starts resulting in four wins and four placings before an injury kept the sprinter out of racing for an extended period. On his return it was decided he need a new environment, resulting in his transfer to Darren Weir in Victoria.

He is among 32 stakes winners by boom sire I Am Invincible and was bred by Leckie when the stallion was standing his first season at Scone’s Yarraman Park Stud on a fee of only $11,000.

I Am Invincible is now among the top five sires in Australia with seven individual G1 winners to his credit including four this season. He commanded a service fee of $192,500 this spring.

Voodoo Lad joins Brazen Beau, Viddora, Hellbent, Oohood, I Am A Star and Media Sensation as I Am Invincible’s G1 winners

Voodoo Lad is the fourth winner and last foal from the Gilded Time mare O'Fortuna. She died in 2012 three months three months after foaling Voodoo Lad.

O’Fortuna’s dam Sabrina Fair is a Salieri sister to champion sprinter Schillaci from the Biscay mare Biscarina.

Damien Oliver, who teamed with Schillaci in many of his eight G1 wins, recorded his 115th G1 win aboard the Darren Weir-trained Voodoo Lad.

Now 46, WA born and bred Oliver claimed only his third G1 victory in Perth and his first in nine years.

It was only the second G1 win in Perth for Darren Weir but gave him his sixth major this season and lifted his career tally to 35.

I Am Invincible continued his stellar run of success when the classy mare Invincible Star won the Listed Starlight Stakes at Rosehill.

Her return to winning form has put the 4YO mare, a G1 placegetter 13 months ago, on track for the Magic Millions carnival at the Gold Coast in January .

"It's great to see her back. I think there is further improvement heading to the Magic Millions Sprint,” said co-trainer Adrian Bott.

Invincible Star was ruled out of the autumn this year after having bone chips removed before returning to racing in September with placings in the G3 Concorde Stakes and G2 Shorts.

The $200,000 purchase by Gai Waterhouse and Julian Blaxland at the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale has recorded al her three career wins in 11 starts in stakes races, earning $525,700 prizemoney.

Invincible Star is out of the Catbird mare Romany Flyer, dam of four winners and a winning half-sister to the G3 winner Viking Hero (Elvstroem) and stakes-placed Mabsam (Stratum).

Romany Flyer was served again by I Am Invincible this spring after producing a filly by Astern.

Racing And Sports

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