Great fortnight for Novara Park

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  • April 13, 2023
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It’s been a great two weeks for Novara Park’s Luigi Muollo, but he’s looking forward to the promise of the future rather than reflecting too much on the success.

In that period, three horses by three different sires that stand or have stood at the Waikato farm have scored major successes in three countries: Pignan in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni, Explosive Jack in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick, and Lucky Sweynesse in the Gr.2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.

“The results have been great for us, but I don’t dwell on the past,” Muollo said.

“I’m really excited about the future of Staphanos, while Sweynesse was popular at the sales, and the Explosive family that Explosive Jack comes from is still producing horses for us.”

Explosive Jack and Lucky Sweynesse were horses that Muollo had an even closer link to, having bred Explosive Jack through his Explosive Breeding Ltd and he was co-breeder of Lucky Sweynesse along with Paul Dombroski and Allan Sharrock.

“Explosive Jack was a big one for me especially because he’s a grandson of my foundation broodmare Explosive,” he said.

“Of my broodmare band of 50, 12 are from the Explosive family. It’s been a great family for us with New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) winner Vin De Dance, and I’ve been able to acquire back some of the group performers from that family. Recently I bought back Short Fuse and Jakkalbomb, who were both group placed.

“I look now, and I’ve got six or seven broodmares that are daughters of Jakkalberry, and I’m sure he’ll end up a good broodmare sire.”

Explosive Jack won three Derbys as a three-year-old, but hadn’t won a race since the third of those Classics, the Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) in May 2021.

“I knew he was a good horse and that something wasn’t quite right after he won his three Derbys,” he said.

“But I see he’s something like the first horse in something like 40 years to win the Australian Derby and go on and win the Sydney Cup.”

Explosive Jack’s dam Extra Explosive is now in foal to Novara Park’s exciting young sire Staphanos, of whom Pignan is a first-crop daughter.

“When you go back in history and see which stallions left a two-year-old Group One winner from their first crop, the only ones in recent history were Makfi and Per Incanto, and both ended up siring multiple Group One winners. I’ve got no doubt Staphanos is going to be a very successful stallion for the New Zealand future,” Muollo said.

“Pignan’s win was just a bonus, because Staphanos’ best distance was 2000m, and though she was helped by going from 1200m to 1400m, once they get up to a mile and further there will be fireworks.”

Lucky Sweynesse’s latest victory added to his lustre, and he is now rated sixth-best horse in the world, and the best New-Zealand bred, in the Global Horse Rankings list on

“What’s interesting is that his fellow Hong Kong horse Golden Sixty is second on the list, and I’m pretty sure that if Lucky Sweynesse can win the Chairman’s Sprint Prize (Gr.1, 1200m) at the end of April, he would go close to being ranked equal to Golden Sixty,” Muollo said.

“It also interested me that the number one horse in the world is Equinox, who carries special significance for me because he’s by Kitasan Black, a horse who Staphanos finished second to at Group One level.”

Muollo said he didn’t expect to set service fees for his stallions – Staphanos, Sweynesse, King of Comedy, and Press Statement – until May, but he expected all would be affordable.

“I’m a person who likes to look after the small breeder and the underdog. I always like to provide value for money; for example, at Karaka, Sweynesse averaged over 10 times his service fee and at the Ready to Run he averaged 13 times his service fee,” he said.

“It’s always good to leave a bit of value on the table for breeders.”

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