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Ghibellines makes auspicious start as sire

( El Gladiador (Chris Johnson) holds off all challenges to win at his first start)

White Robe Lodge sire Ghibellines realised the ambition of  studmasters Wayne and Karen Stewart when he left a winner from his first crop of foals. El Gladiador, a son  of Ghibellines, won the 820m dash for 2yr-olds at Wingatui on December 14 at his first start.

"It is a huge result for the stud to get a 2yr-old winner before Christmas in this part of the world,'' said Wayne.

"The whole accent is on horses that can get up and go early and be well matured 3yr-olds in contention for the classics."

Ghibellines won the group two Todman Stakes  (1200m) at Rosehill as a 2yr-old  in 2014 from eight starts. The son of Shamardal - Camarilla did all his racing in group or listed races and also had three minor placings. His first crop sold well at the 2018 yearling sales in New Zealand and Australia. A filly was sold for $A115,000 ( $NZ124,000) in Sydney. Three of his progeny averaged $80,000 in Book 1 at the Karaka sale with a top price of $115,000 and two others averaged $74,600 in Book 2. White Robe Lodge has five colts by Ghibellines entered for the 2019 yearling sales at Karaka in February. They include a colt out of Turn The Page, thus a brother to Ranger who has been placed at Te Rapa. El Gladiador is raced by his breeder Karen Parsons, the co-trainer with her husband, John. "We have had some from this family that were not worth a pie but he (El Gladiador) has been a nice horse all the way through,'' said John. El Gladiador is out of Querella (by the Irish horse Haafiz) and dam of the speedy but ill-fated Querer  (six wins).

Ghibellines as continued to attract support from breeders this season.

"He will have served his best quality book of mare this season. The stud has  sent Cherry Creek, Include, Willow, Fascinate, Inferno and Ears Carol,'' said Wayne.

The early success as a sire augurs well for Ghibellines. Mellay and Noble Bijou, the champion sires to stand at WRL, both sired  2 yr old winners from their first crops.

Dante Fire,  who won a 2200m maiden for the WRL stable on Friday, is the first foal of Inferno, who won the group three Canterbury Gold Cup in 2011 and 12 when trained by Brian and Shane Anderton. Dante Fire, a 4yr-old mare by Raise The Flag was bred by Brian and Lorraine Anderton, who race her with the All Blokes syndicate.

Gallant Boy (Gallant Guru - Mega Babe) kept the ball rolling for WRL when he won the $35,000 open 2150m handicap decisively at Invercargill the next day,

Ruby Guru, the daughter of Gallant Guru - On The Make, took her stake earnings  to $A110,000 when she won a rating 75 2040m at Doomben recently. She has now won five races. Ruby Guru was bred by Brian and Lorraine and consigned to "Ginger" and Rae Gleeson as a replacement for Gallantly, a half sister by Gallant Guru to Who Shot Thebarman. Gallantly went amiss after winning over 2030m on the Gold Coast in 2015 from eight starts. Ruby Guru is trained by Michael Noonan at Toowoomba. I M Best, a brother to Ruby Guru was sold to the China Horse Company for $32,000  at the 2016 SI sale. The only other progeny of On The Make (by Winning Boy) is On The Take, winner of five races when trained in Southland by Jo-Ann Dalton.