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Stryking Top Form

With no further runners this week, the racing season is over for Three Bridges Thoroughbreds foundation sire Stryker, whose first crop results have been more than pleasing with a brilliant stakes-winner, two stakes performers and three metropolitan winners making for a memorable 12 months.

Champion sire Fastnet Rock has made every post a winner this season with his young sons Hinchinbrook (NSW) and Rothesay (Queensland) leading the freshman sire division by earnings and winners.

Another blue-blooded son of Fastnet Rock, Stryker has more than held his own to give Victorian breeders a commercial avenue of their own to pursue what promises to be a highly successful sire dynasty.

Running tenth on the Australian First Season Sires List by earnings and equal fifth with Starspangledbanner for individual winners, Stryker has made a keen impression and along with Starspangledbanner is the only other Victorian based first season sire to post a stakes-winner.

While Starspangledbanner stands at a fee of $44,000 this year, Stryker is available at just $11,000 and a close look at his runners to date would suggest his star is only just starting to rise.

Some of his brightest prospects for spring are in the care of leading trainers with Lee and Anthony Freedman putting the polish on his stakes-winner Strykum, while Andrioli runs for Robert Smerdon and Labdien for Chris Waller.

All three fillies shave shown well above average ability and while Strykum has already proven herself in Black Type company, plenty of good judges believe it won’t be long before the other two follow her lead.

Already with Black Type, but still to break the ice as winners, Miss Loren and New Zealand based She is Stryking have only to follow the Fastnet Rock trend of improving at three to make their mark in better races, while Ascot winner Sonesta looks set to fly the flag for Stryker in WA.

Stryker has had 21 runners this season in Australia and New Zealand, 14 of them finishing in the first three, so 66% of his runners have placed.

Results at the yearling sales earlier this year for Stryker reflected his growing stature as a sire with three of his youngsters averaging an impressive $105,000 at Magic Millions and a further three averaging $68,333 at Inglis Premier. 15 of his rising two year-olds have been entered for the 2016 Group I ATC Golden Slipper including his most expensive colt and filly.

A $165,000 Magic Millions purchase for McEvoy / Mitchell Racing from the Three Bridges draft, the Stryker two year-old colt from Live in Black has been entered by Tony McEvoy, while the Stryker filly from Group I winner Recurring that made $100,000 at Magic Millions for Three Bridges when bought by Aston Bloodstock has been entered by John Thompson.

Conceived from an $11,000 fee, his 2015 yearlings have offered a widespread positive return for their breeders and with burgeoning results on the track, there is every reason to believe Stryker stock will only continue to grow in value.

“Taking the decision to stand stallions at Three Bridges was a natural step in our progression as a leading commercial Victorian breeding operation and Stryker has vindicated our faith in him at every turn,” said Toby Liston.

“He gets lovely types with great temperaments. They have proven popular with trainers and shown good ability so we couldn’t ask for more at this point in his career.

“He’ll cover another quality book this year and is again being supported by some very good breeders that have been with him from the start.” Three Bridges also launched a new stallion last year with Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Unencumbered joining Stryker on the roster at a fee of $13,200.

“A brilliant precocious two year-old by outstanding sire Testa Rossa, Unencumbered covered 119 mares and we can’t wait to see his first foals,” Liston added.

Watch this space!

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