The Grey Panel WRITTEN TYCOON


Tycoon writing his own success story

We have become accustomed to seeing stars born at the Magic Millions racemeeting at the Gold Coast ever since the fairytale kicked into gear when that superstar galloped his way into the public consciousness by taking the inaugural Magic Millions Classic in 1987. This year’s Magic Millions Classic winner had already shown his star quality (hence him starting the odds-on favourite) but the manner of his victory has confirmed that he really is a two-year-old from the very top drawer. This victory has also confirmed that his sire is one of Australia’s most upwardly-mobile stallions, writes John Berry.

The stallion game is a funny game, because – while we all like to have our hunches as to which of the unproven sires will be the next superstar – one just never knows. When written Tycoon retired to Eliza Park Stud in Victoria as a five-year-old in 2007, he clearly deserved to be given a chance at stud. However, he was merely in the same boat as a swag of other young sires – and the likelihood was that the majority of them were not going to make the grade. His credentials as regards his sire, dam and form were acceptable but not stunning, and it would have taken a brave man to predict that he was on the threshold of a rapid ascent up the ladder of stud success. That, though, is what seems to have happened.

Written Tycoon’s dam had been a decent sprinting filly in Brisbane in the 1990s, winning four races including a handicap at Queensland’s best racecourse, Eagle Farm. Very much in her favour was that she was by a very good stallion: the top-class French import , whose considerable contribution to Australian breeding is often overlooked simply because shortly after John Messara had pulled off a great coup in bringing the grey stallion to Australia, he trumped himself by bringing off an even greater coup when instigating, in conjunction with Coolmore, the shuttling of , into whose shadow all other sires were promptly relegated.

As regards the lower half of her pedigree, Party Miss came from a good (but not outstanding) family. Her dam, the city-winning and stakes-placed Vain mare , bred 10 winners including the city winner , dam of the top two-year-old Anthems as well as of the stakes-winning juvenile , dam of the top-class sprinter . Party Miss, then, was clearly a very respectable broodmare, even if not necessarily an obvious candidate to produce a top-class sire. In fact, if her merit had been that special she probably would not have done what she did for much of her breeding career: she paid several visits to the good Queensland-based sprinting sire . This proved a good mating because winners (including Written Tycoon) ensued – but, in reality, if she had been considered a true blue hen, she would probably have been visiting sires who commanded considerably higher fees than the $6,000 at which Iglesia was covering at Oaklands Stud near Toowoomba when Written Tycoon was conceived in 2001.

Iglesia, a son of the top-class sprinter/miler , had been a Group Two-winning juvenile who had progressed into a decent sprinter. Last Tycoon had already made a good impression in Australia, topping the General Sires’ Table in 1993/’94 thanks to some very good help from his outstanding son Mahogany, and Iglesia was merely one of several very fast, very tough sons whom he sired in Australia. Iglesia’s dam had been a very good filly for her owner/breeders Geoff and Beryl White (who will forever be best remembered for racing Yodells’ top-class sire ) and she also bred them another high-class racehorse: the massive stayer Yippiyo, winner of a Queensland Derby and a Brisbane Cup as well as finishing second to Brew in the 2000 Melbourne Cup.

The winners which Party Miss produced from her matings with Iglesia included Strumming, a winner at Eagle Farm in 2011, and she also bred Invited, who never raced but who eventually produced the stakes-placed multiple winner Big Chance. To other stallions she bred My Delight (by Distinctly North) who won in Hong Kong, Castro (by Anthems’ sire Palace Music) who won in both Australia and Malaysia, and Jayden And You (by Red Dazzler) who won twice in provincial New South Wales before being exported to Macau.

Written Tycoon raced for three seasons, but only won two races, both as a two-year-old. They were good ones, though: he followed up his victory in an 1100m juvenile contest at Randwick by taking the 2005 edition of the Group Two Todman Slipper Trial (now Todman Stakes) over 1200m at Rosehill, beating and . That proved to be his final victory, but he ran respectably in ’s Golden Slipper (finishing 11th of the 16 runners, finishing ahead of both and ) and in ’s Champagne Stakes (finishing eighth of the 13 runners, ahead of subsequent Group One weight-for-age winner ).

Written Tycoon then continued to race honestly (if, admittedly, infrequently) for two more seasons, most notably finishing second to in the Group Three San Domenico Stakes over 1000m at Randwick early in the spring as a three-year-old, with Snitzel back in third. He was still with Graeme Begg (under whose care he had recorded both of his wins) at the time, but he was subsequently switched to John O’Shea’s stable, and he ran some good races from there too. He finally retired to Eliza Park Stud as a five-year-old in the spring of 2007 at a fee of $8.250 (inc. GST) with a record of two wins and three minor placings from 11 starts. He had proved himself definitely the best horse bred by Party Miss, and one of the best horses sired by Iglesia, whose star the excellent filly , who came from the same crop as Written Tycoon and who won the Group Two Queensland Guineas at three and the Group One Winter Stakes at four.

As we know, one can never predict with certainty how a horse will do at stud. Many (or, more accurately, most) stallions do less well than hoped. A handful, however, do significantly better than most realists might have expected, and Written Tycoon has proved to be one of those. And he began to prove it quickly. He had his first two-year-old runners in the 2010/’11 season, the best of whom were the imposing Lee Freedman-trained colt who was Group One-placed behind in the Blue Diamond at Caulfield and the Graeme Begg-trained , a stakes place-getter in Sydney. This pair made a sizeable contribution to their father’s achievement of topping Australia’s first-season sires’ championship that term.

When these horses turned three, they maintained their sire’s progress, faring well in the good three-year-olds’ races in the spring. Masthead (who went on to show solid stakes form right into maturity) finished an excellent second to in the Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick and to in the Gothic Stakes at Caulfield, and occupied the same position in the Hawkes Bay Guineas in New Zealand. At the same time, Written Tycoon’s second crop of juveniles started smartly, with both and placed in stakes company at the VRC Carnival at Flemington.

Later that season, Written Tycoon’s first stakes winner finally arrived after a swag of stakes placings, his first-crop son taking the Gunsynd Classic at Eagle Farm as a three-year-old in May 2012. It was another first-crop son, though, who turned out to be Written Tycoon’s first proper star: followed in ’s footsteps by graduating from the Ramornie Handicap at Grafton to be one of the stars of the Spring Carnival in Melbourne, recording an excellent two-length victory in the Group Two Caulfield Sprint over 1100m in October 2012. Howmuchyouloveme has continued to run well ever since then: his tally of stakes wins now stands at five, with his most recent black-type victory having come in the Pacesetter Stakes over 1200m at Gosford on 8th January 2016. Another first-crop son who has proved admirably durable has been , who did not score in stakes company until he was five, but who now stands as the winner of three black-type races as well as twice having finished second in the Group Two Stanley Wootton Stakes over 1200m at Moonee Valley.

Written Tycoon had his first two-year-old stakes winner in the 2012/’13 season when landed the Elwick Stakes in Hobart, which victory he followed up by taking the Gold Sovereign Stakes in Launceston. Another smart juvenile was Written Tycoon’s fourth-crop son , runner-up in the Silver Slipper Stakes in Sydney in March 2014. A better member of that crop, though, turned out to be , who really came good as a spring three-year-old in Melbourne later that year, taking the Mitchell Mackenzie Stakes over 1200m at Moonee Valley, the Danehill Stakes over 1200 at Flemington and the Caulfield Guineas Prelude over 1400m at Caulfield before narrowly failing to justify odds-on favouritism in the Group One Caulfield Guineas, going down by a neck to with a length away in third.

Other good results for Written Tycoon last season included Group wins by and , and Listed wins for and . This season, though, has seen the stallion’s greatest star emerge. The unbeaten Capitalist, who changed hands for $165,000 as a yearling, has landed easy victories in the Breeders’ Plate at Randwick in October, the Magic Millions Wyong 2YO Classic in December and now the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast. A descendant of one of the best Magic Millions winners (, who won both the colts’ and fillies’ divisions in 1991), he now looks to have an excellent chance of following in the footsteps of and by completing the Magic Millions / Golden Slipper double – and, as Written Tycoon’s stock seem in general to progress very well as they mature, of going on to compile a truly magnificent racing record.

Written Tycoon is now standing at Woodside Park Stud, where he covered last season for $19,800 (inc. GST). His early seasons were spent at Eliza Park Stud in Victoria, which operation purchased him at the end of his racing days for $625,000 at the Inglis Great Southern Sale in June 2007. (And that fact shows how far he has already climbed in the sires’ rankings because, as a general rule, popular prospective stallions have their futures secured privately rather than via an auction ring). He stood his first five seasons at Eliza Park in Victoria before spending the 2012 season at the stud’s offshoot in Queensland, where Capitalist was conceived. This seemed to make sense as he was Queensland-bred and had been represented by some good winners up there, but as things turned out he did not get as much support from northern breeders as had been hoped. Consequently, Eliza Park was prompted to accept an offer of $3,000,000 for the horse from Woodside Park, which was clearly good business, including for the breeders who had bought shares in him at the outset for $15,000 and had had several years of use of him. As Eliza Park’s CEO Cameron Croucher commented at the time, “It has always been Eliza Park’s objective to look after its share-holders and, while Written Tycoon will be missed by all of us at Eliza, it has been a massive return for investors.”

It is now looking as if Woodside Park Stud too has done very well out of the deal. We shall watch the future of both Capitalist and his father (and his father’s stud fee) with great interest.

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Stakes performances by surface

100% Turf
0% Dirt
0% All Weather

Distance

Stakes Performers of WRITTEN TYCOON

Sire of 43 stakes performers since 2003

Horses by individual place achieved

Gr1 Gr2 Gr3 L/R
2018 3 2 7 10
2017 1 6 5 11
2016 3 9 8 11
2015 0 1 6 7
2014 1 4 3 6
2013 0 1 1 6
2012 0 1 1 6
2011 1 2 5 2

Performer
Br.Sire
Gr1 Gr2 Gr3 L/R
SUPER CASH 2 3 2 3
DASH FOR CASH
TYCOON TARA 1 3 3 0
ENCORES
MUSIC MAGNATE 1 2 2 2
DANEHILL DANCER
MASTHEAD 1 2 1 2
REDOUTE'S CHOICE
CAPITALIST 1 2 1 0
FUSAICHI PEGASUS
RICH ENUFF 1 1 3 1
SPARTACUS
LUNA ROSSA 1 1 0 1
MORE THAN READY
WRITTEN BY 1 0 3 0
TOBOUGG
BOOKER 0 2 4 0
FLYING SPUR
PRESS REPORT 0 2 2 0
DOLPHIN STREET
HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME 0 2 1 5
CELTIC SWING
IT IS WRITTEN 0 2 0 6
DANEHILL DANCER
VIBRANT ROUGE 0 1 2 0
WEST POINT
WINNING RUPERT 0 1 1 1
SHOW A HEART
PRESTIGIOUS MISS 0 1 1 0
HONOR GRADES
MEDIA BARON 0 1 0 2
FIMISTON
HETTY HEIGHTS 0 0 2 1
CATBIRD
GRANDE ROSSO 0 0 1 4
RORY'S JESTER
TRUMP 0 0 1 1
BLACK MINNALOUSHE
ANDRE ROO HOO 0 0 1 1
FLYING SPUR
ALEZAN THUNDER 0 0 1 1
THUNDER GULCH
WRITTEN DASH 0 0 1 0
DASH FOR CASH
WRITTEN CONSENT 0 0 1 0
OCTAGONAL
WRITTEN ERA 0 0 1 0
REDDING
NOVEL DANCER 0 0 1 0
STRATEGIC
HOT DIPPED 0 0 0 4
RUBITON
GRAND TYCOON 0 0 0 3
GRAND ROYALE
SANDHILL FLASH 0 0 0 2
BLUEBIRD
BALF'S CHOICE 0 0 0 2
CELTIC SWING
SHAKESPEAREAN LASS 0 0 0 2
DESERT SUN
DESPATCH 0 0 0 2
FASLIYEV
TYZONE 0 0 0 2
HUSSONET
ANELENE 0 0 0 1
BELLOTTO
SHOGUN SUN 0 0 0 1
BELONG TO ME
DOUBLE YOU TEE 0 0 0 1
FLYING SPUR
DANGER CLOSE 0 0 0 1
HONOURS LIST
WRITE CHEEK 0 0 0 1
JETBALL
SOPHIA'S SECRET 0 0 0 1
JOHANNESBURG
GAPS IN ME KNEES 0 0 0 1
KENNY'S BEST PAL
OXFORD TYCOON 0 0 0 1
MONASHEE MOUNTAIN
WRITTEN UP 0 0 0 1
OCTAGONAL
TELEPLAY 0 0 0 1
REDOUTE'S CHOICE
OVERPLAY 0 0 0 1
TAILINGS