Ross Hatton

published: 01 Aug 2014 in Q&A

Since being founded in the late 1960s by the fabled Colin Hayes Lindsay Park Stud at Angaston in South Australia has, for the main part, been a leading player on the Australian thoroughbred breeding scene.

However, by the time Sam Hayes and Darren Thomas took over the stud it was evident that the operation needed revitalizing.

As part of this process the property underwent a name change, to Cornerstone Stud, in May of 2011.

Impetus was added to the stud’s resurgence last year when the Aga Khan’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winning horse Dalakhani was secured for duties along with Darley’s Group 2 winner Ambidexter.

As the new breeding season approaches, in the first of a two-part piece, Stallions questioned Cornerstone’s client relations and nominations manager Ross Hatton about the presence of star stallion Dalakhani.


Q.: What is the latest news on Dalakhani’s already impressive record as a sire

A.: Dalakhani has been in terrific form as a sire in Europe this season. He is again in the United Kingdom Top 20 by winners and of those he is leading sire by winners-to-runners. By adding Integral, who is from a Danehill mare, as his seventh Group 1 winner he is able to boast a 10 per cent strike rate of Group 1 winners-to-runners. There is no better outcross than Dalakhani for breeders looking for a suitable match for their Danehill-line mares.


Q.: His presence must be quite a feature attraction for the stud

A.: When you stand a stallion with Dalakhani’s credentials, both on the track where he was a champion and at stud where he is now considered a proven source of high-quality racehorses, he will always receive top billing. Interstate breeders are not only visiting our pristine Barossa Valley for the wine tasting but to patronize Dalakhani and our other stallions.


Q.: No doubt everyone is looking forward to the arrival of the first Australian foals by Dalakhani

A.: Definitely! The Aga Khan, who has been breeding for a lot longer than most and with more success than most, is shuttling Dalakhani to Australia as he believes the make-up of our Australian-bred mares will suit the horse completely. Having already enjoyed success with the likes of Reliable Man, there is a sense of great expectation from breeders. Personally I have seen dozens of foals by Dalakhani in the past and there is a reason they averaged 177,000 Euros at the European yearling sales in 2013 . . . and that is because they are exceptional types and we cannot wait to start showing them off.


Q.: Could you name some of the higher profile foals expected

A.: Numerous sisters to Derby and Oaks winners visited the horse last year, including the dam of 2014 South Australian Derby winner Kushadasi. Imported sisters to Dalakhani’s previous Group 1 winners Conduit and Moonstone are both expecting to him, while the dams of Alcopop and Able Friend are other Group 1 producers in-foal to him. We also had a fantastic response from some very reputable breeders, such as those who have bred Happy Trails, Hawkspur, Atlantic Jewel and More Joyous, sending mares to be served by Dalakhani.


Q.: How is his 2014 book shaping up.

A.: He is currently on a par with last year, when we ended up serving a full book. With the bookings coming in at a steady pace we are expecting the same full book this year. In fact if all the leads and interest in Dalakhani we have noted on the office whiteboard made their decision in one day he would be full by lunchtime. It’s all looking very good.


Q.: When did his first southern hemisphere-bred foal arrive

A.: On July 21. She is a beautiful filly from the Blevic mare Need to Fly, so she is bred on the famous Dalakhani/Sadlers Wells cross that has produced Reliable Man amongst others. Our congratulations go to Nigel and Helen Atkin for breeding the filly and bringing up another first for Dalakhani in Australia.






Cornerstone Stud at Angaston in South Australia’s Barossa Valley occupies the site of one of the most successful thoroughbred breeding grounds in the nation.

Originally operating as Lindsay Park Stud – under the direction of the late Colin Hayes – the property underwent its name change in May of 2011.

With Sam Hayes and Darren Thomas at the helm Cornerstone is well on the way to establishing itself as a significant name in the Australian breeding industry with the Aga Khan’s Dalakhani and the highly respected Hussonet among those stallions gracing its pastures.

In the second of a two-part piece Stallions questioned Cornerstone’s client relations and nominations manager Ross Hatton about Hussonet’s continuing success, young sire Ambidexter, Good Journey and other matters.


Q.: It is pleasing that Hussonet is continuing to enjoy success

A.: Yes, like a fine Barossa Valley vintage, he is getting even better with age it seems. He leads the top 20 Australian sires list by percentage winners-to-runners at 57 per cent and after years of success with Danehill mares, it seems that the latest cross to watch is one with Redoute’s Choice because has had three stakes winners from Redoute’s Choice mares this year. With Angel of Mercy just touched off when running a mighty second in the Tattersall’s Tiara, his 30th Group 1 winner might not be too far away.


Q.: This has meant his progeny are being well received at the sales

A.:  Absolutely! His 2014 yearling sales average was up by about 50 per cent on last year. It was also four times his service fee. His runners in Asia, Group 1 winners such as Glorious Day and 2013 Singapore Champion Three-Year-Old  Stepitup, mean that his progeny are very commercial in that market, not just in Australia. Success for his broodmare daughters, selling for up to $1.9 million, has meant that his fillies are being sought-after with an eye to the future.


Q.: It is obviously a boost that Hussonet’s broodmares are proving their worth

A.: Yes, we believe as do many clients, that Hussonet’s name will be entrenched in Australian bloodlines for decades to come. Broodmare sire of seven Group 1 winners in South America already, his young Australian-bred daughters are beginning to have their first runners and already they have had success at stakes level. Worth noting is that the leading two-year-old in South Africa, Majmu, is a product of the Hussonet/Redoute’s Choice cross in reverse.


Q.: Will he have another solid book in 2014

A.: He served 91 mares last season and would serve the same again if allowed. However, this year we want to try to prolong his career to be like his sire Mr Prospector, who lived and served mares until he was 29. Hussonet’s book is filling fast as a result and places are limited, but if as a breeder you always wanted a Hussonet then there is no better time to breed to win, especially at his lowest-ever fee.


Q.: The stud has an exciting young sire in Ambidexter

A.: Yes, he ticks all the boxes because he has pedigree, the looks, temperament, race record and is highly fertile. He is probably one of the best lookers in the stallion book this year and with his pedigree local breeders are flocking to him in droves. With his sire Commands passing recently we certainly hope Ambidexter can do his father proud in the future. click here


Q.: He is standing at a most attractive service fee

A.: His name is ever-present in conversations with local South Australian breeders, as well as many Victorian breeders. At just a fraction of the fee his sire stood at until his death Ambidexter is seen as terrific value at $6,600. We have been easy to negotiate with on that, especially with those breeders sending him two or three mares this year.


Q.: Good Journey continues to make his presence felt

A.: He does. Good Journey had 26 winners in 30 days across the United States and Australia during the month of June. He also added two new stakes performers, one of which is a three-year-old filly named Griante, who we are hopeful may take over the torch from Happy Trails in the future. With over double the amount of Cornerstone Stud-bred runners now on the track, arguably we are yet to see the best of his progeny emerge.


Q.: Presumably mares have been arriving at Cornerstone from all around Australia

A.: We have had mares come from every state last year and also from New Zealand and this season is shaping up as being the same. As you could imagine the mares have been arriving on a daily basis.


Q.: How is everything been shaping up at the stud

A.:  Earlier this year Kushadasi became the first Group 1 winner to have been sold under the Cornerstone banner since the rebranding by Sam Hayes and Darren Thomas of the business,  which previously operated as Lindsay Park Stud. In fact the three-year-old colt was part of the first-ever draft from Cornerstone Stud. With regard to the upcoming stud season, everything is in place. We are looked forward to the first Ambidexter and Dalakhani foals and we will be parading a couple of them for attendees at the Open Day on August 31 to inspect.