Best of Bluebloods

Grahame Begg Personality profile

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Following his father Neville around his Randwick stables as a youngster before graduating to the role of travelling foreman, proved great grounding for Grahame Begg who took over the reins of the stable at 29 and soon proved his talent as a trainer. With a relatively small team he’s had a steady stream of good horses since Eye of the Sky became his first Gr.1 winner in 1990.

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Basil Nolan Personality profile

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Newly elected TBA president Basil Nolan brings a lifetime of experience to his new role, and the stud owner and former bookmaker has some causes close to his heart. These include extracting money from the corporate bookmakers to help fund the industry and encouraging more people into experiencing the joys of thoroughbred ownership.

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Robyn Whishaw Personality profile

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The sudden death of husband Denis in October 2004 at age 50 forced Robyn Whishaw to take on the huge job of running the family’s Armidale Stud at Carrick near Launceston at the height of the breeding season. Robyn met this challenge head on and has had great success in the past decade. She is now preparing to hand over the reins to eldest son David.

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Tim Faras Personality profile

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Tim Faras has packed an amazing amount of experience and gathered a wealth of knowledge in a lifetime devoted to horses, and these days is putting it to good use as the manager of the well-appointed Royston Stud at Innisplain in Queensland, home to sires Longhorn and Cheval de Troy (NZ).

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John Brocklebank Personality profile

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John Brocklebank had the chance at a professional footballing career in the US but he chose to forego it and follow his life long passion for horses, firstly in the world of the quarter horse and then pinhooking thoroughbreds. BC3 Thoroughbreds made headlines this year when paying a record $5m for a yearling half-brother to Black Caviar, and the company he co-founded is now a major player in Australia and US and looking at further expansion.

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James Harron Personality profile

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James Harron began riding at six in Northern Ireland and it wasn’t long before he was “horse mad” and determined to make horses his life. Now just 28, he’s already achieved that dream, has had many memorable moments in the thoroughbred industry, and is at the helm of his own bloodstock agency in Sydney.

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Sir Peter Vela Personality profile

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A thoroughbred called Dominus, who managed to win one race in 24 starts, fired Sir Peter Vela’s interest in the world of racing and breeding while he was still at university and led to him, and his brother Philip, becoming dominant players in the NZ industry. Now Sir Peter is at the helm of Pencarrow Stud and New Zealand Bloodstock.

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Angus Adkins Personality profile

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Renowned equine veterinary surgeon Angus Adkins is still not sure what prompted his career path, but he hasn’t once regretted the decision he made as a teenager. The Scone Equine Hospital director, who is passionate about mentoring young veterinarians, admits 'veterinary science is my life'.

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Murray Tillett Personality profile

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Being taken to the races as a special treat gave a young Murray Tillett a love for horses that has led to a career in the industry, mainly with auction houses, but lately as bloodstock manager for the revitalised Woodside Park operation in Victoria. The stud is now home to boom young sire Written Tycoon.

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Mark Pilkington Personality profile

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If they gave awards for industry “all rounder” Mark Pilkington would certainly be a favourite to take the title. He has been involved in most aspects of the thoroughbred industry in the past 40 years, and has gained respect and accolades along the way. These days he’s helping owners and trainers via his innovative Horse Training Packages and enjoying racing a few horses with friends.

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Bob Charley Personality profile

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From being a member of the Legal Eagles punting syndicate, then media personality, to respected racing administrator, Bob Charley AO has had quite a career in the thoroughbred industry. Now he has combined that knowledge and his love of art to produce a limited edition book, Heroes & Champions, depicting the history of Australian Racing and told via essays on 140 paintings.

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Grant Burns Personality profile

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Being born in the same NZ town as Phar Lap and having family involved in the racing industry meant Grant Burns grew up around horses, even if motorbikes became a passion for a time. However it’s hard to escape your destiny, and with some help from distinguished mentors, Grant has established a career as a bloodstock agent and auctioneer in WA.

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Andrew Wiles Personality profile

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A friendship forged at school led to a life changing job opportunity for Andrew Wiles, who has just taken up the position of Global Chief Financial Officer for Sheikh Mohammed’s global thoroughbred operation after working for Darley Australia since June 2008. He will be based in London alongside his former schoolmate Olly Tait, who is Global Chief Operating Officer of the Dubai ruler’s equine interests.

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Barry Bowditch Personality profile

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Barry Bowditch felt the lure of the thoroughbred world from an early age with parents who were both involved in the industry and horses “around every corner”. When increasing height and weight ruled out a career as a jockey, Barry turned to the bloodstock side of the business and has never looked back, starting at Inglis and now enjoying a senior role at Magic Millions.

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Darren Thomas Personality profile

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Cornerstone Stud is building on the wonderful legacy of Lindsay Park and South Australian businessman Darren Thomas is at the heart of this revival, backing Sam Hayes in a partnership that could return the stud to the glory days experienced under the stewardship of Sam’s grandfather, legendary trainer and stud master Colin Hayes.

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Bryan Carlson Personality profile

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It was always a pretty safe bet that Bryan Carlson’s working life would involve horses, given his parents were both involved in equine pursuits, and that’s the way things have panned out. Bryan, who was riding from a young age, is now nominations manager at Emirates Park in NSW at a time when the Nasser Lootah-owned stud is undergoing a renaissance with some high profile new stallions and a $4m foray into the Easter yearling market.

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Jacqueline Stewart Personality profile

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Given her love of speed and passion for horses it seems fitting that Jacqueline Stewart has found a career in the world of the thoroughbred. She made history in January when she was appointed the first female Keeper of the Australian Stud Book.

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Julie Nairn Personality profile

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The decision by her parents to buy a property at Red Hill when she was “just a wee dot” changed Julie Nairn’s life forever and set her on a path into the equestrian world and then into thoroughbred racing and breeding. These days Julie manages stallions through her LP Stallions company and enjoys sharing her love of horses with the many people she meets through her business.

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Chris Russell Personality profile

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The tragic death of his father Ken in a race fall at Rosehill has not stopped Chris Russell from forging a career in the thoroughbred industry and he’s grateful for all the help and support he received from many industry notables along the way. After an early career at the Magic Millions, these days Chris is a familiar figure at Inglis sales where he has been a bloodstock consultant and auctioneer since August 2012.

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Mark Shean Personality profile

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Although his father and grandfather were jockeys, Mark Shean never considered that profession, although he knew he wanted to be involved in the racing industry in some capacity. So he put his memory for names and colours to good use and began calling races as a youngster, and then professionally from the time he was 16. Now he’s one of the country’s most respected race broadcasters, working for TVN in NSW.

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We are now taking bookings for our Easter preview special. Take a look at last years edition here.

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Faith's Gust Pedigree Analysis

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JOHN MESSARA has always been one to think outside the square and perhaps that is one of the reasons the Arrowfield Stud principal has been so successful. A few years ago he took the bold step of sending superbly bred mares from Australia and Europe to Japan's super sire Sunday Silence (USA)and had them covered to southern hemisphere time between 1998-2001.

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Street Cry sons Pedigree Analysis

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BRIAN RUSSELL reviews Street Cry’s contribution to the thoroughbred breeding industry around the globe following the stallion’s death in mid-September and looks at his young sons who are gearing up to follow in his footsteps.

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California Chrome Pedigree Analysis

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SYNCHRONICITY? Kismet? Or coincidence? Most media outlets have already related the story of how Art Sherman, 77, became the oldest trainer ever to saddle a Kentucky Derby-Gr.1 winner when California Chrome galloped off with the 140th renewal of the great race, had made his last trip to the Twin Spires as exercise rider for Cal-bred Swaps, the Kentucky Derby hero of 1955

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I Am Invincible Pedigree Analysis

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GIVEN that, for all his merits in Europe, Invincible Spirit (IRE) (Green Desert-Rafha by Kris) was rather a disappointment in Australia, it came as a pleasant surprise to see his son, I Am Invincible (ex Cannarelle by Canny Lad) gallop away with the Champion Freshman Sire crown last season.

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Australia Pedigree Analysis

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Federico Tesio, who many would regard as the greatest thoroughbred breeder of all time, once famously stated that 'the thoroughbred exists because its selection has depended, not on experts, technicians, or zoologists, but on a piece of wood: the winning post of the Epsom Derby. If you base your criteria on anything else, you will get something else, not the thoroughbred.'

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Multidimensional Cross Pedigree Analysis

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WHEN one thinks of the fine art of thoroughbred breeding, the word ‘India’ doesn’t readily come to mind. Yet this emerging economic giant has a well-established racehorse industry, with some intriguing lessons for breeders in other parts of the world.

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With the news that Galileo has collected his sixth European sires’ championship in 2014 with progeny earnings of $US18.6m for the year, LES YOUNG takes this timely look at the remarkable record of his dam Urban Sea and second dam Allegretta.

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Shortlisting Pedigree Analysis

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Watching the purchasing process that buyers undertake when they are at yearling sales is as much an observation of human prejudice and paranoia as it is of true risk/loss aversion

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Duporth Pedigree Analysis

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DAVID BAY takes a look at two young sons of Red Ransom (USA), Duporth and All American, who created quite an impression with their first runners in 2013-14, as well as a grandson, Shrapnel, whose first yearlings will be offered at sales in 2015.

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Pluck Stallion profile

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Outstanding mares populate every remove of Pluck’s pedigree and this young Breeders’ Cup winner, who stands at a modest $11,000 at Vinery, Scone, looks a great chance to continue the success story started by his sire More Than Ready (USA), who has proved such a potent force with Australia’s dominant line of Danehill (USA).

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Dick Turpin Stallion profile

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Dual classic runner-up Dick Turpin (IRE) raced at the highest level in England and France and the dual Gr.1 winner brings an intriguing pedigree to WA, being a grandson of Nureyev and from the same family as Zeddaan, grandsire of Kenmare. He shuttles from the English National Stud to Mungrup Stud and has had a very good response from breeders in the west.

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Smug Stallion profile

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Scenic, High Chaparral, Montjeu and Galileo have shown Australasian breeders the strength of the Sadler’s Wells male line and now there is a new branch exploding on to the scene in the sons of El Prado, a Champion Sire in the US and now a noted sire of sires with horses like Medaglia d’Oro, Kitten’s Joy and Artie Schiller leading the way. WA’s Westbury Park is home to talented El Prado son Smug (USA), who will begin his stud career in 2014 at the Pinjara property.

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The Factor Stallion profile

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When you are hot in the breeding industry you really are hot, and there is no more sought after sire in the world today than Danzig’s son War Front who is getting Gr.1 winners in America and in Europe. War Front’s son The Factor (USA), a dual Gr.1 winner, has made quite a splash in the Hunter Valley this season, covering his first southern book on a $22,000 fee.

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Tavistock Stallion profile

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Veteran stud master Sir Patrick Hogan has made some pretty astute stallion choices, not the least being Sir Tristram (IRE) and his son Zabeel (NZ), and he looks to have pulled the right rein again with champion sprinter Tavistock (NZ), a dual Gr.1 winner by Montjeu (IRE), who is NZ’s current leading second crop sire and is “book full” this season at Cambridge Stud.

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Toorak Toff Stallion profile

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It’s now more than 60 years since Star Kingdom (IRE) began his stud career at Baramul Stud in the beautiful Widden Valley, and his name remains at the heart of the pedigrees of many of our best performers. Rosemont Stud’s dual Gr.1 winner Toorak Toff is a perfect example with two lines of this sire giant and he is one of the few remaining Star Kingdom male line descendants available to breeders.

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Dalakhani Stallion profile

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South Australian breeders have access to a superb racehorse and proven sire following the Aga Khan’s decision to shuttle Dalakhani (IRE) to Cornerstone Stud in 2013. It’s an historic move by one of the world’s major breeders, and those looking to breed a classic winner or Cups horse will find this stallion ticks all the boxes.

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Written Tycoon Stallion profile

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When a pedigree combines high profile imports Last Tycoon (IRE) and Kenmare (FR) with daughters of Golden Slipper winners Marscay and Vain it’s no surprise when the resulting foal has tons of class and plenty of speed. Winner of the Silver Slipper-Gr.2 at two, Written Tycoon lived up to his pedigree and is now carving out a successful career at stud in Victoria.

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Lucas Cranach Stallion profile

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Australian racegoers never saw the best of Lucas Cranach (GER), but his Melbourne Cup third and his St George Stakes win in just three starts here and his record of six wins in 12 starts was enough to prompt his normally reticent trainer’s statement that “on his day he was the best horse in Australia”. The talented stayer has been well supported in his first season too, so obviously breeders share that opinion.

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Snitzel Stallion profile

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Snitzel is out to create history this season by becoming the first son of Redoute’s Choice and grandson of Danehill to win the Australian Sires’ Premiership. The Arrowfield-based stallion holds a commanding lead at the half way mark and with runners like Gr.1 winners Snitzerland and Shamus Award leading the way he could easily take the prize.

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Hard Spun Stallion profile

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Hard Spun is a young sire making a name in both hemispheres after a career on the track that saw him win seven races (1100m-1800m) up to Gr.1 level and be hailed as one of the leading classic contenders in the US. From the second last crop of Danzig, he’s proved popular at Darley in Victoria and has already left seven stakes winners in Australia with his oldest runners just four.

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Fiorente Stallion profile

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Champion German sire Monsun has been a marvellous influence on the European thoroughbred and now his Melbourne Cup and Australian Cup winner Fiorente (IRE) gets his chance to do the same in Australia from his home at Eliza Park International in Victoria.

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Excelebration Stallion profile

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Australian breeders should be eager to support this Irish bred son of champion Aussie sprinter Exceed and Excel and grandson of supersire Danehill (USA) as he showed his class with three Gr.1 wins at a mile in Europe and hails from a fine classic family.

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Magnus Stallion profile

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Wouldn’t we all like to race the next Black Caviar? Well, breeders have the chance to tap into her family via smart young sire Magnus, a Gr.1 winning sprinter, who is among the leaders of his generation with his first two crops at the track. He’s by a Golden Slipper winner, hails from the Danehill line and his dam’s pedigree features champion sprinters and sires Snippets and Vain, just the speed so loved by Aussie breeders.

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Zoustar Stallion profile

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Australia’s two dominant stallions of the past decade, Encosta de Lago and Redoute’s Choice, combine in the pedigree of brilliant sprinter Zoustar who will make his stud debut at Widden in the new season. The dual Gr.1 winner, the first horse to win the Golden Rose and the Ascot Vale (Coolmore) Stakes double, will stand at $44,000.

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Dawn Approach Stallion profile

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Wonderful grey champions Emancipation and Gunsynd captured the hearts of racegoers and belied their modest beginnings to become part of thoroughbred folklore. Barbados, a son of modern champions Redoute’s Choice and Virage de Fortune, carries the same grey colour and his pedigree features their names. Although his race career was compromised by injury, he looks a valuable addition to the breeding industry in South Australia.

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Barbados Stallion profile

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Wonderful grey champions Emancipation and Gunsynd captured the hearts of racegoers and belied their modest beginnings to become part of thoroughbred folklore. Barbados, a son of modern champions Redoute’s Choice and Virage de Fortune, carries the same grey colour and his pedigree features their names. Although his race career was compromised by injury, he looks a valuable addition to the breeding industry in South Australia.

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Rob Slade Movers and Shakers

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WHEN leading racehorse syndicator Rob Slade gave up his accounting career to pursue his racing interest back in the 1990s he was adamant that it was for good.

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Paul Ambrosoli Movers and Shakers

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FOR some of us our choice of career is something we dream about as children, and for legendary (and recently retired) race broadcaster Paul Ambrosoli this was definitely the case.

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Michael Crismale Movers and Shakers

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THE current ATC Chairman Michael Crismale has a very good reason for wanting to be actively involved in racing at the operation and administration level. “Over the years I have had such a thrill being involved in horse racing as an owner and breeder, and I was really keen to ‘give back’ to this great industry in some way,” he said.

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Jo McKinnon Movers and Shakers

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WELL known racing personality Jo McKinnonhad an introduction to the thoroughbredat a very early age and her love of thisbeautiful animal then became the inspiration tosomehow forge a career in the world of equine media.

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Kevin Maloney

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