Stratheden Stud

Stratheden loses foundation mare on eve of sale

THE MARHEINES of the quality Stratheden stud near Tamworth were very pleased to be presenting some of the jewels of the Magic Millions yearling sale this week, but at the same time they went to the Gold Coast with sadness in their hearts following the death at the age of 26 last week of the queen of their broodmare band.

Grandam of a Sebring colt, lot 462 to be offered on Friday, and third dam of a Casino colt, lot 771, listed for Sunday which are in a consignment of five bred by Stratheden being offered through the Riversdale agistment farm at Scone under the banner of Southern Cross Breeders, the mare is the American bred Sommes Sound.

Purchased for Stratheden not long after they acquired the stud farm, and also resident sire Switch In Time, off John and Kay Park, Sommes Sound at that time had six seasons with the Kellys of Newhaven Park, Boorowa but her progeny had not had the chance to prove their mettle in Australia.

Not long after Sommes Sounds transfer ownership, one of her Newhaven Park foals emerged as the top filly Assertive Lass, a winner of seven races, including two Group1s, the AJC Flight Stakes and STC Coolmore Classic, and runner up in the AJC Australian Oaks.

Assertive Lass�s exploits, stimulated the Marheines to send Sommes Sound back to her sire, the Newhaven based Zeditave.The result was a four years younger brother who under the name of Assertive Lad in the Waterhouse stables became one of the best performers of his time, winning eight of 16 starts, earning over $3.3million and the title of champion Australian juvenile.

His Group1 efforts included wins in the AJC Champagne Stakes, Sires� Produce Stakes and Doncaster Handicap and a third in the Golden Slipper. He also won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

All told, Sommes Sound through to her retirement in mid 2008 had been responsible for 12 named foals, ten runners and nine winners. Her first foal, Colony Sound, was bred and raced in America, winning 21 races on mid class tracks.

The best broodmare daughter of Sommes Sound has been Assertive Lass, producer for David Esplin of three stakes winners, including unbeaten Zabeel colt Reset, now one of Darley�s best sires.

Sommes Sound has left a solid legacy for Stratheden in her daughter Assertive Sound, a sister to Assertive Lass and Assertive Lad, and their three-quarter three-quarter sister by Zeditave, Sounds Assertive. Assertive Sound is the dam of three foals, two fillies by Lonhro and the Sebring yearling, and currently carries a foal to Sebring, while Sounds Assertive, dam of the Casino Prince yearling, is the dam of five foals, including Singapore winner Sky Prot�g�. Sounds Assertive was served on September 14 by Stratum.

A minor winner at 1700m in America, Sommes Sound had a tough pedigree that suggested durability. She was a half-sister by Assert, a Be My Guest Irish and French Derby winner, to Group1 winning First Approach and from Fast Approach, a daughter of First Landing, a champion American 2-year-old, Kentucky Derby winner and Group 1 winner at four. He is the sire of the third dam of Sebring�s sire More Than Ready.

There is a chance for both those looking for racing and breeding stock to get into this family at the Classic yearling sale through lot 59, a bay filly born August 9 by top sire Stratum and from Quadrophonic Sound, a Sydney winning half-sister to Assertive Lad and Assertive Lass being offered by Noorook Farms, Mount Russell (Inverell). The filly is a half-sister to six winners, including Sakima (won 2011 Perak Derby in Malaysia), Sounds Ready (seven wins) and Read the Book (also seven).

Brian Russell Bloodstock Media Service

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