Last Friday night’s Maurice Holmes Vase winner, Thefixer, is leading a turn around in the fortunes of former star race mare, now broodmare, Tosti Girl, and her owners.
Bunty Hughes and John Green could have been excused for expecting a good horse from the brilliantly-bred and performed mare.
The daughter of Christian Cullen won six of 10 races and $180,000 before being sidelined as a three-year-old, taking out the Great Northern and New South Wales Oaks for them as trainers and owners Bill and the late Kerry Callaghan.
She is a sister to the big winning fillies Delightful Christian and Whambam while also being a half-sister to star Perth pacer Runrunjimmydunn.
However, Hughes and Green must have been beginning to wonder until her sixth foal in Thefixer came along, although as Hughes pointed out, Tosti Girl has had her fair share of bad luck at stud.
The Callaghan’s bred her first foal in Precious M (15 Aus wins, $85,000), who “wasn’t really up to much, although being by Red River Hanover, you wouldn’t hold that against the mare”.
Tosti Girl’s second foal in the Mach Three colt Sir Tosti Mach was promising enough as a youngster, but he never really went on with it, and only battled his way past 100k in stakes racing around Western Australia.
She then produced a Mach Three filly who was unsound, after complications from a conformation issue as a foal.
“Then Tosti Girl had a lovely Mach Three colt, but we found out he was a wobbler on the eve of the yearling sales,” said Hughes.
“Then the Bettor’s Delight filly Girls Are Bettor had some serious tie up issues and she only raced a few times as a two-year-old.”
Tosti Girl has also lost what would have been a four-year-old daughter by Somebeachsomewhere after she tore open a shoulder on a yard post.
Leading New Zealand Cup contender Thefixer is nothing less than what might have been expected from Tosti Girl and he has gone a long way towards the righting the ship, however.
He will certainly provide for confidence that Tosti Girl is no breeding dud, particularly when the first foal from that unsound Mach Three mare, Cullens Princess, is Gooddealehemily.
The latter has won three times to date and was good enough to line up in this year’s Northern Oaks.
Tosti Girl was also from Delightful Paula, a three-quarter sister to the top filly Paula Michele, who won the Northern Oaks in 1996 along with Sires Stakes finals at two and three, as well as good overseas performers Ari Vance and Paula’s Mate.
Hughes and Green never knew what to expect from Delightful Paula, however.
She was only broken in after a really bad virus wrecked her lungs and she was by a siring disaster in Jaguar Spur.
As far as they knew, Delightful Paula could have been completely hopeless, in keeping with the majority of Jaguar Spur’s progeny.
Thefixer has proved otherwise and now Hughes and Green are looking forward to Tosti Girl’s most recent foals in fillies by Art Major (2yo) and Rock N Roll Heaven.
Tosti Girl wasn’t bred last season after foaling late and she is booked to American Ideal, the sire of Runrunjimmydunn and Gooddealehemily and also the first foal from Girls Are Bettor in a yearling filly.
Having a sister to Thefixer in the broodmare paddock has really been the icing on the cake, now that he’s emerged as a legitimate Grand Circuit horse.