The future is bright on the Hillside
One of Victoria’s up-and-coming breeding farms, Hillside Thoroughbreds, is built on the smart business acumen of an enthusiastic owners Peter and Areti Arvanitis.
One of the yearling fillies on the farm caught his eye from day one, a brown daughter of Victoria Derby winner Monaco Consul from Sicile, who was bred in France by the legendary trainer Alec Head. Purchased at a Patinack Farm dispersal sale on the Gold Coast for $41,000 in 2012—with a colt foal at foot by Lope de Vega.
Named Starsky, it has won in Singapore.
The mare had been covered by Monaco Consul only a few days before the sale, so it was unsure if she was in foal or not.
The Monaco Consul filly was offered through Hillside’s first home-bred draft of yearlings at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, but wasn’t going to be easy to sell.
Caulfield trainer John Salanitri, liked her and indicated he’d be bidding. Salanitri thought he had the filly at $45,000 before he was gazumped by a late $50,000 bid from agent John Foote, acting for trainer Darren Weir.
That filly, named Tiamo Grace, gave the stud owners an enormous thrill last spring when, at only her fifth start, she won the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington. It was a tremendous boost for the fledgling farm.
The only person not smiling was Salanitri—plus the stable cat if he strayed too close to the trainer’s boot.
Hillside Thoroughbreds was established in 2012. Peter Arvanitis, who has a background in transport and property development, had built his wealth as the founder of aged care operator, Estia Health, in 1996.
Arvanitis has had a long- standing love affair with horse racing, in particular a desire to be involved in the breeding side of the industry. Hillside Thoroughbred fulfilled his dream and became his passion.
His mantra to build his thoroughbred business is based on three criteria—location, facilities and team.
It was logical that Arvanitis would source his farm at the centre of Victoria’s prominent thoroughbred breeding region near Nagambie in the state’s north-east. Location—tick.
The 95ha farm—formerly Mike Becker’s Independent Stallions—is on prime Goulburn River land. It features 14 large paddocks, nine spelling paddocks, foaling yards, yearling barn, mare and foal barn, veterinary area, horse walker and staff accommodation. Facilities— tick.
Last year was ground-breaking for Hillside Thoroughbreds. Apart from Tiamo Grace, the farm foaled down and raised top West Australian filly Whispering Brook, Robbie Griffiths’ smart juvenile filly Areti (raced by the Arvanitis) and the promising Classic Diva, also with Griffiths.
Hillside Thoroughbreds has a draft of seven yearlings in Session 1 of February’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale at Oaklands Junction and two—a colt and a filly by Sepoy— in Session 2. All the yearlings are Super VOBIS nominated.
It’s an eclectic mix of stallions featuring fillies by star sires Snitzel and Medaglia d’Oro and three youngsters by exciting first-season stallions Dundeel (filly), Camelot (filly) and Epaulette (colt).
However, it’s a filly by So You Think that will command most attention. Lot 244, she is a three- quarter sister to Tiamo Grace, whose sire Monaco Consul is by So You Think’s sire High Chaparral.
It’s a family that had a big impact in the spring. Not only did Tiamo Grace impressively win the Wakeful Stakes on Derby day at Flemington, but also the feature mares’ race on the program, the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m), was won by I Am A Star (by I Am Invincible), a close relation to Tiamo Grace.
Tiamo Grace’s grand-dam Spenderella (by Common Grounds) also is the dam of Star Band, the dam of I Am A Star. This is a famous family founded by the US Hall of Fame mare Franfreluche (by Northern Dancer) that also includes champion Australian stallions Flying Spur and Encosta De Lago.
Article from http://www.tbv.com.au