A multiple Group 1-winning son of champion sire O’Reilly, Grunt (NZ) displayed early speed and tenacity to claim all four starts in his three-year-old campaign.
Placing third to eventual Group 1 winner Aloisia on debut at two, Grunt broke his maiden and began his four-race winning streak first-up the following season.
His third victory came in the Group 3 C S Hayes Stakes, defeating Cliff's Edge and Embellish, with the campaign culminating in victory in the Group 1 Australian Guineas from a wide draw.
Grunt returned as a four-year-old and effortlessly won the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes by two lengths. Subsequently beating home eight Group 1 winners in the process, he is ranked as elite among his generation having achieved a Timeform rating of 123.
The journey to success began in the Karaka sale ring where Cameron Cooke Bloodstock and and trainer Mick Price secured the colt for NZ$220,000 out of the Premier Yearling Sale.
Bred by Trelawney Stud, Grunt has a pedigree to match his sensational form on the track and prize purse of nearly $1.4 million.
From a stallion-making family, Grunt's dam Ruqqaya is a half-sister to New Zealand Horse of the Year and promising young sire Ocean Park. She is a two-time winner who has also produced stakes performer Addison, while further back this is the family of Group 1 winners Prince Kaapstad, Courtza and Madison County.
Like promising young stallion Dundeel, Grunt carries Zabeel on his dam side and is free of Danzig blood.
Grunt is one of 14 Group 1 winners by dominant New Zealand sire O'Reilly, whose sons Alamosa and Shamexpress have sired six Group winners, including three Group 1 winners.
Grunt BR News
Yulong Credited With First VIC FoalWed, 31 Jul 2019
In breeding news out of Victoria, Yulong has been credited with the first foal in Victoria this year. According to tbv.com.au, the bay filly is out of the unraced but well-bred mare Descent (Street Cry). Both mum and baby are doing very well. Descent is one of Yulong’s 154 Australian-based mares. They also have 14 based in Ireland and 12 in New Zealand. This new filly is Decent’s second foal after she had a colt last year. She will be served this season by Yulong’s foundation sire, Gr1-winning miler Grunt (O’Reilly). “We are very happy with the support Grunt is receiving and he will cover a good book of mares this upcoming season,” said Yulong’s Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray. Yulong’s success on the racetrack this season has been well documented, including an impressive number of juveniles. Fairgray is equally as excited by their breeding futures, noting, “We’ve recently had three stakes-winning 2YO fillies. It’s exciting for their broodmare prospects going forward.”
Grunt will serve Descent this year (pic: Mark Gatt)
Mares In-Foal To Zoustar Sell For $250k EachWed, 19 Jun 2019
A pair of Victorian mares in foal to in-demand stallion Zoustar ended Tuesday’s broodmare session at Inglis’ 2019 Great Southern Sale as equal second-top lots. Yulong Investments went to $250,00 to secure Peninsula Miss (lot 724), which was offered by Woodside Park Stud, while Merricks Station also received $250,000 for their offering She Goes To Rio (lot 899), which was purchased by Bill Wong’s Hall of Fame Bloodstock. Peninsula Miss will “most likely” be served by Yulong’s foundation stallion Grunt this season. “We liked her when we inspected her a couple of days ago,” Yulong’s Luke Wilkinson said. “We love Zoustar, we’ve got some really nice weanlings on the farm and we’re supporters and believers so it’s good to get a mare in foal to him.” James Price of Woodside Park Stud said of the sale: “She was very well sought after throughout inspections. Being in foal to Zoustar she was always going to attract attention but the competition in the ring was pleasing to see.” Price revealed, “We’ve sold all our mares and weanlings that we have offered. It’s been a great sale.”
Fairgray Added To Thoroughbred Breeders Vic BoardThu, 6 Jun 2019
Sam Fairgray, chief operating officer at Yulong Investments which will stand dual Gr1-winning first crop sire Grunt in 2019 , will replace outgoing Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) board member Matt Tillett. President James O’Brien told racing.com, “While it is a loss to see Matt step down, in order to pursue opportunities within the racing industry, I would like to thank Matt for his hard work and dedication. In saying that, I am excited for Sam to join us on the board, where there is no doubt his experience, passion and skill set will help drive breeding in Victoria to new heights.” Prior to joining the Yulong Investments team in 2018, Fairgray held senior roles at Woodside Park Stud, Newgate Farm and Arrowfield Stud, and he brings a wealth of experience to the TBV Board.
Yulong Heads Inglis Breeding Stock Day-2 SessionMon, 6 May 2019
At the close of Day-2 of the 2019 Inglis Austraoian Broodmare & Weanling Sale, Yulong Investments finished as leading buyer by aggregate. The buyer of equal highest-priced Lot 406 (pictured) She Said No, in foal to Coolmore’s No Nay Never ($220,000) purchasing four lots for $517,000, conceding the amount paid for Lot 406 was more than he had planned to pay; “But the market is very strong for these good mares and we are happy to have her join our broodmare band. “We are obviously very keen to support Grunt with a significant number of nice mares in his first season. A number of those we have already bought will go to him and we will be looking for more. This Bernardini mare, in terms of physique and pedigree, matches our standards and requirements, plus in No Nay Never we believe he will prove to be a world-class stallion of the future.” The third and final day of the Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale begins at 10am Monday May 6, for which 175 mares have been catalogued.
Yulong Investments purchased Lot 406 She Said No (pic: inglis.com.au)
Grunt First Yulong Stallion At New FarmMon, 1 Apr 2019
New Zealand-bred Group Gr1 winner Grunt has been retired to stud for the upcoming 2019 breeding season, and will stand at Yulong Investments’ property in Nagambie, Victoria. Trained by Mick Price, lightly raced Grunt (O’Reilly-Ruqqaya, by Van Nistelrooy) retires to stud as a dual Gr1 winner of $1,382,450 after premium victories in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at weight-for-age and the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) for 3YO from only 12 starts. The entire showed an affinity for Flemington where he also finished fifth in the $5 million All-Star Mile behind Mystic Journey. Bred by Trelawney Stud and sold as part of its 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling draft for $220,000, Grunt is out of a half-sister to NZ Horse of the Year and Champion Australian Middle Distance Horse Ocean Park, winner of 5 Gr1 races including the Cox Plate. He is bred on a Rasmussen Factor mating, with Courtza’s dam Hunza featuring in a 3 x 5 cross in his pedigree.
Ball of Muscle Wins Gr2 Challenge StakesMon, 11 Mar 2019
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In Sydney at Randwick, Darley’s high-flying former shuttler Dubawi (Dubai Millennium-Zomaradah, by Deploy) notched another Gr2 victory when 8YO gelding Ball Of Muscle (Dubawi-Parfore, by Gold Brose) was tough in holding on for victory in a photo for trainer Joseph Pride in the $500,000 Gr2 Challenge Stks (1000m), defeating resuming 6YO gelding Redzel & 4YO gelding Viridine. Battler Ball Of Muscle did a lot of work early on to hold out Jungle Edge, and his age and race experience provided the grunt needed to circumvent a slashing run from dual-Everest winner Redzel in the final throes of the race, sticking his nose out when it counted. Ball Of Muscle today improved his impressive record to 13 wins (including most recently both the Gr2 Schillachi Stakes and Gr3 The Heath (both 1100m at Caulfield), and Gr2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick in the spring of last year) and 14 placings (including a second in the Gr1 The Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley) from 38 starts for $1,652,425 in earnings.
Aloisia Entry Boosts Inglis The Chairman's SaleMon, 11 Mar 2019
Aloisia, Caulfield’s 2017 Gr1 Thousand Guineas winner, is the latest high-profile entrant headed to the Inglis Chairman’s Sale. Aloisia first gave demonstration of her exceptional ability when breaking her maiden as a juvenile at Flemington, beating none other than dual G1 winner Grunt, before running a narrow second in the Gr1 JJ Atkins Stakes with the likes of Pierata and Melody Belle in arrears. It was however in the Spring of her 3YO season when she flourished to establish herself as a star of her generation. She won a vintage renewal of the Gr1 Thousand Guineas at Caulfield (pictured), defeating top fillies such as Shoals, Alizee and Booker before routing a field of colts and geldings in the Gr2 Vase at Moonee Valley. At the end of her 3YO campaign, her Timeform rating of 119 saw her rank as the joint-highest rated 3YO filly in Australasia. Aloisia will be offered by Newgate Farm as a racing and breeding prospect at The Chairman’s Sale, which will be held at Riverside Stables on the evening of Friday May 3. A member of an elite group of fillies that historically go on to be Group-class broodmares, she joins the likes of Srikandi, Norzita, Snitty Kitty and Now Now as headline entries in the sale.
One Thousand Guineas heroine Aloisia (pic: inglis.com.au)
Females Dominate Rehashed All-Star MarketTue, 5 Mar 2019
Now that the final pieces of the All-Star Mile jigsaw have fallen into place with confirmation that Mystic Journey, Hartnell and Hawkshot are the final three wildcard invitees, betting markets have been swift to react. Giant-slaying 3YO Tasmanian filly Mystic Journey has rocketed to near the top since her confirmed inclusion and is at $3.80, just behind favourite Alizee ($3.00). After an average run last Saturday Grunt is a $17.00 chance, while there'll be supporters of Happy Clapper ($5.00), Hartnell ($10.00) and the other 3YOs Hawkshot and Amphitrite (both $11.00) after their placings behind Mystic Journey in the Australian Guineas. Four, and possibly, five of the 14-strong field could start at $101 or better, with Urban Ruler ($251), Man of his Word ($201), Foundry ($151) and Balf's Choice ($101) aready there, and Mr Money Bags ($81) a possibility to ease to three figure quotes.
Yulong Secures Controlling Interest In GruntWed, 27 Feb 2019
A controlling interest in the Mick Price-trained dual Gr1 winner Grunt has been acquired by Yulong Investments, with the colt set to wear their green and white silks this Saturday when the son of Waikato Stud's O'Reilly resumes in the $160,000 Gr3 Shaftesbury Avenue over 1400m at Flemington, a track he has had considerable success at. A winner of four of his five starts at the home of the Melbourne Cup, Grunt's leading performances came in the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) as a 3YO followed by victory in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) three starts later during the spring of his 4YO season where the vanquished runners included the likes of Jon Snow, Kementari, Happy Clapper, Humidor and Black Heart Bart. Allocated 61.5kg in Saturday's Gr3 contest, Grunt will use the 1400m as a lead in race to the $5 million All-Star Mile where he is one of the 10 top-vote scoring runners to be guaranteed a position in the final field. Advance Yulong, the former German-raced Gr2 German Guineas winner Ancient Spirit, will be another runner for Yulong Investments in the Shaftesbury Avenue on Saturday. Trained by Chris Waller, the 4YO son of Invincible Spirit has finished in the top three on six occasions from eight starts to date.
Grunt will carry green and white silks on Saturday (pic: Mark Gatt)
Top Ten All-Star Mile Runners AnnouncedFri, 22 Feb 2019
Earlier today Racing Victoria confirmed the top ten voted entries into the final field for the $5 million All-Star Mile to be run at Flemington on March 16. In a surprise late move after the 72-hour black out period commenced, the Ryan Balfour-trained Balf’s Choice jumped from fourth of the top ten to take the top position, 1,365 votes clear of the second highest voted runner in the Chris Munce-trained Urban Ruler. Gr1 winners Grunt, Alizee and Amphitrite are all within the top ten runners, while Racing Victoria also announced multiple Gr1 winner Happy Clapper from the Pat Webster stable as the first of four wildcard entries into the final 14, with the other three set to be announced by Monday, March 4. Racing Victoria Executive General Manager Greg Carpenter revealed there had been almost 140,000 votes, with the official All-Star Mile website receiving 750,000 visitors, with 1.5 million page views. The full ten in voting order are:
- Balf's Choice (Ryan Balfour) – 9,793 votes
- Urban Ruler (Chris Munce) – 8,428 votes
- Grunt (Mick Price) – 7,097 votes
- Alizee (James Cummings) – 6,744 votes
- Amphitrite (David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig) – 5,784 votes
- Foundry (Terry Kelly) – 5,558 votes
- Material Man (Justin Warwick) – 5,358 votes
- Man Of His Word (Dean Krongold) – 5,135 votes
- Moss 'N' Dale (Peter Gelagotis) – 5,072 votes
- Mr Money Bags (Robbie Griffiths) – 5,013 votes
Urban Ruler Blots Record Ahead Of All-Star MileTue, 12 Feb 2019
He is still topping the leader board for the All-Star Mile, but Urban Ruler (Street Boss-Minnastar, by Black Minnaloushe) didn't help his cause on Saturday when he resumed at Doomben with a disappointing performance in the $75,000 Cascade Open Handicap (1350m). The 5YO grey gelding finished 13th of 14 runners, beaten 8.1-lengths, however he is still all but guaranteed a start in the $5 million Melbourne Mile on the 16th March with over 7,870 votes. Trainer Chris Munce is likely to give him another start in Queensland before heading to Victoria. Chris Waller-trained The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice-Azmiyna, by Galileo) has assumed the lead in the voting race from Urban Ruler albeit there is some conjecture as to whether connections would run him in the event or follow a more traditional path through the Autumn. Grunt holds down third, ahead of Moss 'n' Dale and Foundry.
Big Mile Still Within Reach For TomWed, 30 Jan 2019
Lucky for some, betting for crowd favourite Tom Melbourne (Dylan Thomas-Roshanak, by Spinning World) opened at a huge $101 for the All Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington in March, and has now crunched into just $26 at ladbrokes.com.au after his assertive 2.5-length win in the Carrington Stakes (1400m) at Randwick last Saturday. Frequently referred to as The Bridesmaid, the Chris Waller-trained gelding has shown his worth at a mile, most prominently in his 0.2L defeat to stablemate Shillelagh in the Gr1 $1m Kennedy Mile (1600m) at Flemington - incidentally the same track and distance as the All-Star Mile. Waller stable representative Charlie Duckworth told horseracing.com.au. “It’s huge that he has finally done it and it proves that he does have a willingness to win. Hopefully he can take some confidence out of today and people can all vote for him in the All-Star Mile and he can run in it.” His win on Australia Day will need to attract thousands of voters to add to his tally of (at time of print) 287 in order to join the likes of The Autumn Sun (4,279 votes) and Grunt (2,226) in the field of just 14 runners (10 leading votes & 4 discretionary), but like his Carrington Stakes drought-breaking victory, it is not inconceivable.
He's baaack. Tom Melbourne wins the Carrington S. (pic: Steve Hart)
Jon Snow Wins TrialWed, 28 Nov 2018
Meanwhile, Gr1 performed Kiwi stayer Jon Snow (Iffraaj-Orinda, by O'Reilly) also pleased connections when winning a trial over 1200m, defeating quality mare Our Abbadean, reports NZ Racing Desk. "It was a good win. We will see how he comes through it and decide if we give him a run here or back off him and prepare him for the autumn," co-trainer Andrew Forsman said. "The plans are a little up in the air to be honest, but we would like to press on to the Gr1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) on Saturday week and assess things off the back of that and decide what we do heading into the autumn." Forsman added: "We are looking at Sydney or Brisbane next year. Sydney would be ideal if we knew there was going to be some cut in the ground, I guess that is what we will have to weigh up. We will keep our options open." Jon Snow, whose best performance in the spring was a third to Grunt in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington, was spelled after tailing the field home in the Gr1 Caulfield Cup on 20 October.
Karaka 2019 Yearling Catalogues OnlineMon, 26 Nov 2018
Following another exceptional year where New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale graduates provided a total of 120 stakes wins and 18 Gr1 wins last season, 2019’s National Yearling Sales Series (NYSS) catalogue is now online, with printed copies arriving in letterboxes from early December. Featuring an outstanding showcase of 1,284 yearlings, Karaka 2019 (26 Jan to 3 Feb inclusive) will once again offer an extensive selection of kiwi sire power, along with strong representation from leading Australian sires and shuttlers. There are 116 stallion profiles represented across all three Books, including the first crop of 20 exciting young sires. “The support we have had this year from major breeders in New Zealand has been exceptional – the best I can remember in a very long time,” commented NZB Managing Director Andrew Seabrook. “With fewer horses going to Australian yearling sales to be sold, there has definitely been an increase in the strength of the catalogues.” In 2018, NZB introduced a format change that reached phenomenal heights in trading and the winning formula is set to stay for 2019 with a sensational week of selling, world-famous hospitality and million-dollar racing carded. Click here for the full release or click here to access online catalogues for Books 1, 2, and 3.
Grunt was one of 13 Gr1-winning NZB Book-1 graduates last season (pic: mark Gatt)
Manikato Next for KementariTue, 16 Oct 2018
James Cummings has confirmed that classy sprinter Kementari will make his next appearance in the $1 million Gr1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday week (26 October). Kementari was last seen finishing fourth behind Grunt in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. "Kementari has really enjoyed himself over the past month since arriving back from Melbourne. He's building up in condition and looks like a horse that's really enjoying his training," Cummings told Godolphin.com. Cummings added: "We're happy with how he looks, his body language is excellent and his trial this morning [Monday] was one of a horse who can be competitive anywhere over 1200m at WFA. We've experimented with blinkers and we'll be aiming towards the Manikato next week."
Kementari (image: Steve Hart)
Nine Rivals for Winx in TurnbullThu, 4 Oct 2018
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Nine horses have accepted the unenviable challenge of taking on champion Winx in the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday. The brave contingent includes dual Gr1 winner Grunt, who returns to his favourite track, leading Melbourne Cup fancy Kings Will Dream, and Winx's Queensland Oaks winning stable-mate Youngstar. Winx, who will attempt to become the first horse in history to win four Cox Plates at Moonee Valley on 27 October, will be chasing an unprecedented 28th consecutive win and her 21st at Gr1 level in the Turnbull. TAB have listed Winx as the $1.15 favourite for the Turnbull. Her nearest market rivals - Kings Will Dream & Grunt - are at double figure odds at $11.
Winx (image: Steve Hart)
Grunt To Boycott CaulfieldWed, 3 Oct 2018
Trainer Mick Price says top-class galloper Grunt will never race at Caulfield again. Grunt never looked comfortable trying to navigate the Caulfield circuit in the Underwood Stakes on Sunday, eventually finishing a disappointing 6th of 9 in the Group 1 feature. Price said he will now race Grunt almost exclusively at Flemington, the horse's favourite track, starting by taking on Winx in the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on Saturday. "His form at Caulfield is woeful with the worst three runs of his life at the track," Price told racing.com. "On the other hand his best three runs [all wins] have been at Flemington so we're looking forward to getting him back there even if it means we'll run into Winx." Price added: "We have now had to cancel out going to Caulfield but we're still intent on going to the Cox Plate and if I don't run on Saturday, you are forced to run again at Caulfield."
Grunt (image: Mark Gatt)
Jon Snow To Relish Turnbull TripWed, 3 Oct 2018
Co-trainer Andrew Forsman expects classy Kiwi stayer Jon Snow (Iffraaj-Orinda, by O'Reilly) to appreciate the big open spaces at Flemington when he lines up against Winx in the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) on Saturday. Jon Snow showed he was on track for his primary spring targets - the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups - with an excellent third behind Grunt in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) on 15 September. "Saturday looks suitable - big roomy track, up to 2000 metres looks ideal," Forsman told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "We want to get him away from Caulfield as much as we can. He's a big striding horse and he seemed to struggle getting around Caulfield last preparation. It would be nice to run him in the Caulfield Cup but ideally we want to give him his lead-up runs at Flemington."
Jon Snow (image: Steve Hart)
Oliver Cleared For UnderwoodFri, 28 Sep 2018
Damien Oliver says he is confident of being fit for Sunday's Gr1 Underwood Stakes meeting at Caulfield. An MRI scan cleared Oliver of any serious injury after he bumped his shin on the stalls when his ride Thousand Wishes reared in the gates prior to the running of the Rose Of May Handicap (1420m) at Flemington on Wednesday. The news means Oliver will be able to honour his commitment to ride dual Gr1 winner Grunt in the Underwood. "I'm pretty certain I'll be right by Sunday," Oliver told Melbourne's Radio Sport National. "The horse pinned my legs but fortunately there's no serious damage."
Underwood To Suit GruntThu, 27 Sep 2018
Top-class galloper Grunt will be aiming for a third top-flight success when he contests the Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Sunday, reports NZ Racing Desk. Prepared by Mick Price, Grunt won the Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) in the autumn before returning to form with a strong win in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington two weeks ago. The Underwood will be the first of two lead-up runs the Kiwi-bred has before the $5 million Gr1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on 27 October. "Grunt has had a couple of gallops. He galloped here (Caulfield) on Saturday morning and sat off Fighting Harada this (Wednesday) morning," Price said. "He's fit, he's sound and he's happy and he'll take his place on Sunday. I think if he gets a bit of free-running, he'll be right in the money." Price added: "The Cox Plate path with him is to go into the Caulfield Stakes (Gr1 over 2000m) after the Underwood, that's in two weeks, and then into the Cox Plate. I've got to fit in a Moonee Valley practice in there somewhere as well."
Grunt (image: Mark Gatt)