Fireburn’s Golden Slipper


By club member and The Land’s Thoroughbreds writer Virginia Harvey

2022 Golden Slipper winner 2 year old filly Fireburn by Rebel Dane x Mull Over

 Brenton Avdulla celebrates as he guides Fireburn to win the Golden Slipper Stakes-G1 at Rosehill    Photo Virginia Harvey

OVERCOMING severe interference via a “scrimmage” before the home-turn, Fireburn showed she was the best juvenile in the land when taking the world’s richest two-year-old race the $5 million ATC Golden Slipper Stakes-G1 at Rosehill last month.

Positioned near the back of the field for most of the 1200 metres trip, jockey Brenton Avdulla had to weave an inside passage in the straight, luckily the runs came and Fireburn convincingly defeated the front-running Snitzel colt Best Of Bordeaux, with the favourite Coolangatta – a Written Tycoon filly, third.

Coming from a win in last month’s MRC Blue Diamond Stakes-G1, Daumier (by Epaulette) was fourth, while Godolphin stable companion Ojai (Exceed And Excel) was fifth.

It was a triumph for the Louis and Jill Mihalyka who head Laurel Oak Thoroughbreds as they bred and race the filly in partnership, as well as breeding and racing Fireburn’s sire, Rebel Dane.

In fact, Fireburn – via Rebel Dane, traces back to Laurel Oak’s important racemare Georgian Gold (Blue And Gold), one of the bloodstock company’s early successful Sydney winners in the late 1980s.

By Danehill’s California Dane, Rebel Dane won eight races including two Group 1 races in Melbourne and contested the International Sprint in Hong Kong.

Becoming the second Golden Slipper winner for her trainer Garry Portelli (following She Will Rein in 2017), Fireburn belongs to the second crop of Rebel Dane, while his first crop gallopers include Group winner Subterranean and stakes placed Lloyd's Crown.

Fireburn is the first foal of Mull Over, a winner by So You Think and which has thrust the High Chaparral sire into the broodmare sire spotlight.

Update: Fireburn wins the Inglis Sires Produce stakes convincingly, next mission the Champagne Stakes at Randwick on the 16th of April, the third leg of Sydney’s 2 year old Triple Crown.


   Shelby Sixtysix wins the 2022 The Galaxy Photo Virginia Harvey

 HERE are two different perspectives from both ends of racing’s spectrum, both equally important – particularly to the breeders and owners involved.

From the Golden Slipper to country meetings ,,,

ALSO on the Golden Slipper meet, Shelby Sixtysix went from a “Highway Horse” (horses racing in the country trained TAB Highway Handicap Sydney races) to a Group 1 winner when the gelding “got-up” near the line to win The $700,000 sprint The Galaxy.

Bred by Mario and Jenni Cesnik of Riverina Downs at Tarcutta, Shelby Sixtysix gave Goulburn trainer Danny Williams his first Group 1 winner. The five-old gelding becomes a new Group 1 winner for Swettenham Stud’s Irish bred shuttler Toronado (High Chaparral).

Another successful “out-of-towner” trainer at the prestigious Slipper-meet was Kembla Grange conditioner Theresa Bateup who prepared Lope de Vega mare Monegal to win the Epona Stakes-G3.

Earlier on the program the small Rosehill stable of Lee and Cherie Curtis, produced a winner when Achira won the Midway Handicap.

“I think that is our first city winner together for Cherie and I,” said a chuffed Lee Curtis after the win.

“Cherie was cheering at home looking after the (three) kids.”

Achira can be grouped with the Darby Munro Stakes-LR winner Mazu, both belonging to the first Australian crop of foals by Arrowfield Stud’s high Japanese bred Maurice.

        A close finish when racing at Condobolin picnic races on its dirt track.   Photo Virginia Harvey

 AND on the country circuits ,,,

 WHILE his first winner was Little Tiger Snake back in early 2013, little known stallion Chat Up Line sired his most important winner when Takissacod won a $130,000 race in Melbourne when taking a Saturday 1400 metres event at Caulfield recently.

Trained by Donna Scott at Albury, Takissacod – also twice Sydney placed, has won seven races had eight placings and $222,460 in prizemoney.

Bred by Noel Penfold at Euberta near Wagga Wagga (and who was visited by the ATBC bus trippers last June), Takissacod is one of only 66 foals by its former district located Chat Up Line, which in recent seasons had been installed at Denis Todd’s former Baradine property “Wheatfields”.

Bred by Swettenham Stud, Victoria, the unraced Chat Up Line (a half-brother to dual Melbourne stakes winner and sire of winners Kaphero) is by Irish bred Falbrav an amazing horse which won eight Group 1 races in eight different countries.

By Northern Dancer’s Fairy King (also sire of Encosta de Lago), Falbrav stood three southern hemisphere seasons at Arrowfield Stud, Scone, from 2004 and sired the memorable Australian bred galloper Fravashi (won three Group races in three eastern States).

Denis said that he has raced horses for over half a century. “It has taken me nearly 60 years to get 50 winners – mostly my home-bred horses, at different tracks,” Denis said.

To date Chat Up Line has sired 10 winners, with Denis breeding and racing six of these and have all won at least one race.

Denis’ current successful Chat Up Line galloper is the Brett Robb trained Combogolong, a six-year-old gelding and a winner of five races and having two placings from 14 starts and $22,505 in stakes.

Denis said that he also has 10 two-year-olds and seven yearlings to still race in the future.