Aethero Taking Tyreel Stud to the ‘Next Level’


Aethero | HKJC photo


HONG KONG–A little more than an hour north and west of Central Sydney sits Tyreel Stud, situated on 100 acres of land in the Hawkesbury Valley which the late Jim Fleming developed into one of the more formidable broodmare operations in the Southern Hemisphere in the late 1980s.

Following Fleming’s passing in 2007, Tyreel continued operating for a time under his sons Dean and Paul, but the stud was sold in early 2014 to Linda and Laurence Monds. A little more than five years later, the couple is set to be represented by one of the most exciting young horses in the world, the 3-year-old Aethero (Aus) (Sebring {Aus}) in Sunday’s G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin Racecourse.

“This is what dreams are made of for small boutique breeders such as ourselves, and it gives us confidence in the business model we have created for ourselves, the broodmares we are investing in, the matings we are creating and the development of our young stock,” said Linda Monds, who bred Aethero in New South Wales under the banner of Wallings Bloodstock Pty Ltd.

A Great Start…And That’s No Lie…

Less than four months after their purchase of Tyreel, Linda and Laurence Monds went shopping for mares and a very well-related filly–still shy of her fifth birthday–caught the couple’s eye. Some A$320,000 later, Pinocchio (Aus) (Encosta de Lago {Aus}) was theirs.

“Pinocchio was purchased from the Milburn Creek broodmare draft at Magic Millions [Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale],” Linda Monds commented. “We inspected her several times during the sales period. She was a beautiful steel-grey mare who was powerfully built with a lovely, loose walk. We were very much attracted to her physical appearance, her kind eye, relaxed demeanour and outstanding pedigree that is littered with speed.”

Pinocchio offered a big pedigree bang for the buck, as she was an own sister to champion and five-time Group 1 winner Racing To Win (Aus) and a half-sister to G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude winner and future sire Purrealist (Aus) (Tale of the Cat). Pinocchio was sent through the ring carrying to Foxwedge (Aus).

Monds continued, “Pinocchio is everything that we desire in a broodmare with great hind-quarter strength, a strong gaskin, strong shoulder, strong forearm and deep girth. She was purchased with a plan to create fast-sprinting types like her family suggests, but also that can go the further distance. She was in foal to a first-season sire, but my plan was to give her every opportunity over the coming years to send her to proven sires, all the time critiquing the physical article we were creating and trying to enhance this. Pinocchio has proven that her strong genetics are stamping her babies every time.”

Pinocchio’s First Mate? No Doubt About It…

With the above very much in mind, the Tyreel braintrust elected to send Pinocchio to Arrowfield Stud and a date with Not A Single Doubt (Aus) for her first cover under her new ownership.

“I absolutely love Not A Single Doubt,” Monds explained. “Whilst we need to breed a great physical specimen, we also need to follow that up with genetics and the desire to create an athlete, therefore sending Pinocchio to Not A Single Doubt was a must. Our business is breeding, nurturing, growing, developing and selling yearlings at all the major Australian yearling sales, but we do all this with a plan to producing an athlete who will perform on the racetrack.”

Put in foal on an early cover date, Pinocchio dropped a colt on Sept. 8, 2015.

“He was a character from birth,” Monds recollected. “He was very sociable, had a big personality and was a favourite of all the staff. He was a strong, solid boy who was quite like his mum. He developed a splash of white across his rump which gave him individuality in his appearance. He always had a loose walk and grew into a strong, robust yearling.”

Consigned by Tyreel to the 2017 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale, the colt was purchased by Carmel Size for A$400,000. Owner Boniface Ho turned the horse, now named Classique Legend, over to trainer Les Bridge, same as he did with another son of Not A Single Doubt, the Hong Kong-trained and G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase-bound Southern Legend (Aus).

Classique Legend’s racetrack career was off to a flying start, as he won three of his first four races, including the G2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint during The Championships this past April. Mooted as a possible starter in the Sprint, he was a troubled sixth in The Everest in October, but only 10th in the Nov. 2 Golden Eagle. For now, at least, Hong Kong will have to wait.

What To Do For An Encore?…

The breeding barn at Widden Stud was the next stop for Pinocchio, as the Mondses elected to mate her with Sebring (Aus) not long after she produced the colt who would become Classique Legend.

“The decision to send Pinocchio to Sebring was due to our desire to add a bit more length of leg and that is exactly what we got,” Monds explained. “We also love the Sebring x Encosta De Lago broodmare nick. Aethero–like his brother–was strong and relaxed. He had the most amount of bone on a yearling that I have seen. He was a big boy, but was balanced and athletic. He turned heads at the Inglis Easter Sales in 2018, not only with his size but he was just so strong.

She continued, “He was born 62.5kg, which is a good, average-sized foal, but grew into a lovely, well-developed, big, strong yearling. His size did not create any issues with his management here at Tyreel. He grew continuously, but maintained balance and athleticism. Aethero possessed a loving nature, and for a big boy, his size could be said to be intimidating. But he was certainly not that.”

His disposition combined with his physicality and conformation had Monds thinking big as the Easter sale approached.

“With Aethero, his sheer strength and power from his hind quarters, shoulder, gaskin and forearm, it was so obvious from early on he had the physical attributes to become a champion,” she said. “Then watching him throughout every process of his development from weaning and then towards the yearling sales, his relaxed nature, loose walk and the way he used his body was impressive, we just knew he would have the maturity, mentally, to be a performer.”

George Moore saw off all would-be suitors for the strapping colt at A$575,000 and Monds was always of the mindset that he would make a good horse in the equine hustle-and-bustle environment that is Hong Kong.

“100%,” she affirmed when asked if she thought he was a horse that could thrive there. “Aethero was the one that we were sure was going to Hong Kong and we had no doubt that he would be able to cope with the system. His size, his nature, being a colt and his athleticism had him tipped as a possible Hong Kong purchase.”

While Aethero was one of the more high-profile sales for Tyreel, the nursery also clearly prides itself on serving the entire market.

“We have sold horses at all levels and aim to continue to do that into the future,” Monds said. “We have achieved some outstanding results in the time we have been presenting our yearlings. It is important to always try to meet the market at every sale and we believe we have done that. We are grateful to have been supported so well by the industry and investors which have given our babies the opportunity to go on to achieve the results they have. We could not provide a better base to grow and raise our young stock with a strong emphasis on nutrition and developing them towards the yearling sales. Once at the yearling sales, we are confident that we could not have possibly done any more for these babies and the rest is ‘in the lap of the gods.’ We just hold our breath and hang on tight.”

A Star Is Born…

Aethero has certainly come a long way in a short time.

Untouched in three starts at two–each at long odds-on and in one case, a money-back proposition–Aethero had trainer John Moore thinking Hong Kong Sprint as far back as the summer. His current preparation was off to a rocky beginning, as he finished a troubled third in Class 2 company Oct. 1, necessitating some outside-the-box thinking from his connections. A remarkable $4.30 chance in a Class 2 up the Sha Tin straight course 11 days on, he pummeled his rivals by 2 1/2 lengths and most recently led throughout to win the G2 Jockey Club Sprint, his final clocking of 1:07.58 just outside the track record held by champion Sacred Kingdom (Aus) (Encosta de Lago). The chestnut stands to make history on Sunday, as no 3-year-old has ever won the Sprint. To say Monds is bursting with pride would be an understatement of monumental proportions. She is, however, taking nothing for granted.

“He has to win the Sprint first, then he has created history,” Monds hastened to mention. “To have created the mating, foaled him down, raised him at our farm, prepared him in our yearling barn, presented him at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales and sold him with our brand to now watching his career take off is ‘next-level’ for us. There are no words for the pride that we feel and the respect we have for the horse himself and to everyone that has held his hoof along the way. The journey our team that surround us–farm, family and Pinocchio herself–is on was planned for, but we all know plans generally don’t go the way they were intended–this is one plan I am so glad we stuck to.”

Pinocchio, one of about 32 members of the Tyreel broodmare band, is the dam of a yearling colt by So You Think (NZ), who will be aimed for the 2020 Easter Sale, and Monds knows full well that success between now and then by Aethero and/or Classique Legend, will make that produce that much more desirable.

“He is very much the same model as his brothers. Pinocchio firmly stamps her babies,” Monds said.

In the space of just five years, Tyreel has become an important participant on the Australian breeding and sales scene, a true feather in the cap of Linda and Laurence Monds.

“There are no words to describe how special it is to have bred such outstanding athletes who have not only performed within Australia, but also to have international success and recognition as well with the likes of Aethero and Classique Legend,” Monds said.

And things stand to get even better this weekend.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.