The foaling season is in full swing at farms across Australia and New Zealand, with Bhima Thoroughbreds welcoming much-anticipated foals from the first crop by Woodside Park’s Tosen Stardom (Jpn), Coolmore’s Merchant Navy and Cambridge Stud’s Almanzor (Fr).

Bhima owner and manager Mike Fleming said the Scone-based operation had been on alert for the past couple of weeks in anticipation of the foaling season beginning.

“We’ve been watching mares for a week to ten days and now we’ve had four in the space of 36 hours. It’s all kicked off in a bit of a hurry,” Fleming told TDN AusNZ.

 

One of the first to arrive was a filly by the dual Group 1 winning son of the recently departed Deep Impact (Jpn), Tosen Stardom.

“She’s out of a mare called Sidrah (Al Maher) that myself and my wife and Dean Hawthorne and his partner (Ingrid Dornan) bought this year. She was one of a few mares that we bought in foal, and we are very happy with the filly,” he said.

“She’s a nice filly with a bit of leg under her and she will develop into a nice yearling.”

Sidrah, the half-sister to G2 Dante S. winner Best Alibi (Ire) (King’s Best {USA}) cost the Fieldhouse Partnership $15,000 at this year’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.


Merchant Navy x Rina Bettina (NZ), pic at 2 hours old

The filly by Merchant Navy is out of Rina Bettina (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}), who was purchased by Haunui Farm for $340,000 on behalf of some key clients at the same Gold Coast Sale.

Rina Bettina was unraced but is a half-sister to the terrific producer and Group 2 winner (Our) Valpolicella (NZ) (Red Ransom {USA}), the dam of three Group winners as well as Group 1 placed mare Rondinella (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}).

“She’s a first foal and she’s a medium-sized filly but she will develop into a nice horse. Just being from a maiden mare, she’s going to take a little bit of time. She’s got some really nice quality,” Fleming said.

Almanzor has just returned for his second season at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand and has his first Australian-born foal, with the mare Savvy Dreams (NZ) (Savabeel) foaling a colt early on Sunday morning for New Zealand-based Milan Park.


Almanzor x Savvy Dreams (NZ)

“He’s a very impressive first foal. He’s got leg and bone, is a good size to develop into a nice horse,” Fleming said.

“He’s a very impressive first foal. He’s got leg and bone, is a good size to develop into a nice horse.” – Mike Fleming

Savvy Dreams was sent to Bhima by Milan Park’s Tony Rider recently after a race career which saw her win two races and place in a G1 New Zealand Oaks behind Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi {GB}).

That trio of newborns are part of the early batch of what Fleming expects to be around 100 foals at the farm by the end of the spring.

“That’s enough to keep us on our toes,” Fleming said. “It’s a busy time of year.”


With 100 foals expected to be born this year, Bhima is sure to be kept on their toes

“We have a couple of staff on nightwatch that do from 7pm until say 5:30am in the morning. We always have two very capable people watching them. When so much time and effort goes into getting these mares this far, they can’t be left alone at any stage through the day,” he said.

“We always have two very capable people watching them. When so much time and effort goes into getting these mares this far, they can’t be left alone at any stage through the day.” – Mike Fleming

“On-farm staff are constantly monitoring them during the day and we actually employ a few people from senior high schools in the afternoon just to keep a watch before nightwatch starts again.”

“By the time we are getting through to the end of November, foaling will quiet down, and we are then starting to focus on the yearling sales.”