‘Wave’ Of Success 30 Years In The Making

Close to 25 years ago breeder Ian Rose devised a rather ambitious plan. The plan, to recreate Flying Amy. Impossible? Yes, of course. But those breeding philosophies actioned all those years ago is continuing to have a profound influence on the Australasian...

Adam Dobbin

12 October 2018

Close to 25 years ago breeder Ian Rose devised a rather ambitious plan.

The plan, to recreate Flying Amy. Impossible? Yes, of course. But those breeding philosophies actioned all those years ago is continuing to have a profound influence on the Australasian breeding scene, led largely through the deeds of New South Wales’ pin-up sprinter Sky Wave and now Victorian-based galloper Ella Enchanted.

Sky Wave – one of the leading contenders for Friday night’s semi-finals of the Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase at Wentworth Park – is from the Rose-bred litter by Don’t Knocka Him out of Ella Lezah, the nine pups to race now boasting 96 wins from just 247 starts, prizemoney of over $300,000 and a winning strike-rate of a remarkable 39%.

“Would you believe early on I tried to sell them for $1,200 each and barely got a phone call, a few people said they’d come have a look at them but never did – don’t worry when I see them I remind them about it!” said Rose earlier this week.

Whilst many may say the perpetuation of a breeding line has an element of luck, Rose doesn’t subscribe to that theory at all. And why would he? With hours of research and examination going into each and every move he’s made over the past three decades.

“My foundation brood was a giveaway I got from Leo Rounds back in the mid-90’s named Blue Blessing – she produced Tammy Lezah to Silent Emotion who I stood at stud before he went abroad – he was a litter brother to champion bitch Tenthill Doll and a half-brother to Flying Amy,” reflected Rose.

When speaking to Rose about the hours of research and analysis he’s invested over the years on pedigrees, where he gives renowned breeding expert David Brasch plenty of plaudits, it doesn’t take long to understand why his line is enjoying such immense success.

“People from time to time say its luck but so much has to be invested – not just on the breeding side of it but rearing, education – if you’re not committed to doing it 100% there really isn’t any point at all,” added Rose.

“At one stage we went through hundreds of lines of successful chasers and found that they almost all had a complete outcross within three generations, so we’ve stuck with that formula, I’m a firm believer that you get back what you are prepared to put in.”

Rose’s successful breeding line largely dates back to Tammy Lezah who had loads of ability on the track, a certainty beaten in a Toowoomba Maiden 1000, at 25/1 he’ll remind you, all those years ago.

“Tammy Lezah had two litters when she retired, one to Fortified Rush and one to Fortified Speed, I was a big believer in the American lines back at that time and her litter to Fortified Rush produced a bitch called Zilla, the mother of Group 1 Auckland Cup winner Little Mother and Ella Lezah, dam of Sky Wave, Elusive Wave and Ella Enchanted.”

Little Mother, winner of a remarkable 74 races in New Zealand, is by Big Daddy Cool (a son of Just The Best) which is the very same cross found in Ella Lezah’s litter to Don’t Knocka Him.

And whilst Little Mother’s first two litters to Where’s Pedro and Collision didn’t bring about much success for owner Gordon Sciberras, her most recent litter to Fabregas has been nothing short of outstanding, producing prolific winning track record breaker My Little Mate, and hugely talented sprinter Poppa Ogg, both for trainer Barb Spackman.

“I remember saying to Gordon I thought Fabregas was a great option for her, her first two litters couldn’t run out of sight on a dark night but things clicked perfectly with Fabregas and the results speak for itself,” added Rose.

“When I was racing Ella Lezah in about 2010 the plan was to always breed with her. She could run you anything in trials – she’d run home in 12 flat at The Gardens but just didn’t put it together in races. I remember she hurt herself one day at The Gardens and I said to myself great, that’s the reason I needed to retire her and start breeding.

“I went to Elite State with her first and whilst they could all run, I mean run, they just didn’t see out a strong 500m – and looking back a lot of his pups didn’t.

“I wasn’t sure about whether I was going to breed another litter but Gordon was keen to and he had a Don’t Knocka Him straw – I wanted to maintain the same cross as Elite State and the initial plan was for him to take her and breed the litter. As things turned out though he had his hands full at the time with other litters, so, she came back home.”

Unfortunately, when Ella Lezah’s litter to Don’t Knocka him were six months old, Rose sadly lost her, unexpectedly, to illness.

“We’d only been here at the new property for a short time and when the litter was about six months we found Ella Lezah very sick – she had two white ticks and sadly died. Sky Wave was very sick at the same time as well and it didn’t look good for a while. She couldn’t eat and we had her on an IV drip – it took a while to nurse her back to full health, it just shows you how things can change with what she’s doing now.”

Whilst Rose is extremely proud of the ongoing deeds of this remarkable litter, he is left to sometimes ponder what might have been, maintaining ownership of just one, the hugely talented Flying Ella.

“I sent them away to be broken-in at 12 months and they showed a lot right from the start – I always send them at 12 months I don’t like leaving them too long,” said Rose.

“It’s great the way they are all going, for me the brindle bitch (Ella Enchanted) was the one that always stood out to me right from the start, I got a good offer to sell her after break-in and decided to let her go – had I kept them I probably could have paid the house off but that’s the way it goes!”

Leading into Friday night’s Ladbrokes Million Dollar Chase semi-finals, where Sky Wave and Elusive Wave will strut their stuff for trainers Darren and Vic Sultana – 24 hours after Ella Enchanted scored in spectacular fashion yet again at Sandown Park – Rose already has his sights set on breeding a litter with Flying Ella, winner of her past three at Ladbrokes Gardens.

“Ability wise she’s right up there but she’s had some injuries which have stopped her probably reaching her absolute potential but Darren and Vic (Sultana) are doing a great job with her, as they are with the others,” added Rose.

“The times she was running as a youngster where unheard – she broke the Taree record over the shorts as a pup – and I’ve got no doubt she’ll make a great brood bitch in the future.”