Mid Summer Music – a Group 1 first for her sire Oamaru Force.

Mid Summer Music’s victory in this year’s G1 Stradbroke Handicap, 1,400m, at Eagle Farm, was the first time this race was won by a mare since Capris’ victory in 1936.  It also marked Mid Summer Music’s first win at G1 level and makes her the first G1 winner for her little known sire Oamaru Force.

Oamaru Force, an Australian-bred foaled in 1997, is by Geiger Counter (Mr Prospector) out of Life Force, by Vain.  Standing at Noor Elaine Farm, Eurora, at a fee of $3,300, he won 6 of his 14 starts, from 1,000m to 1,100m.  His biggest wins came in the  G3 AJC The Shorts at Randwick, and the Listed STC Starlight Stakes at Canterbury.

From 66 starters to-date, he has sired 34 individual winners, including 3 Stakes winners (4.5% Stakes winners/starters).  He is principally a sire of sprinters, with his progeny’s average winning distance 1,151m, and has just 1 offspring; Divine Force, that has won at a mile (1,600m).  Oamaru Force has no runners that have won beyond 1,600m.

Oamaru Force’s (pictured below) offspring have not proven to be precocious (he has had just sixteen 2yr old runners for 2 winners).  However at 3 and 4 yrs and older, his offspring show a marked increase in their success rate (fifty-five 3yr old runners for 19 winners, including 1 Stakes winner; thirty-five 4yr old runners for 22 winners, including 3 Stakes winners).

MID SUMMER MUSIC, foaled in 2005, comes from her sire’s second crop, a crop that contained just 8 live foals.  Oamaru Force’s other Stakes winners; the G2 winner DIPLOMATIC FORCE, and the Listed winner ROCKING FORCE, hail from  his first crop – a crop that numbered 22 live foals.  It seems Oamaru Force failed to attract much support during his first few years at stud, with his subsequent crops numbering 20, 16, 36, and 19 live foals respectively.  He did have somewhat of an upsurge in support last season when he covered 42 mares.  One would like to think that he will receive further support this season on the back of Mid Summer Music’s impressive 1 and 3/4 length victory over BUFFERING (Mossman) in the G1 Stradbroke Handicap.

Mid Summer Music did not make her first appearance until her 4yr old season on the 20th February 2010 when she was a 5L winner of the Warracknabeal Plate, 3yo + MDN, 1,200m.  Trainer Peter Moody admitted yesterday, that at the time of this victory, he imagined that it would probably be the mare’s swan song: That day Moody recalled, “she won a maiden at Warracknabeal and I suggested to the owners that she might have had a birthday,” Moody said.  “Thankfully at the insistence of Linda Meech and John Ivall, who is a friend of all the owners, suggested to me there was much more in her than I saw.” (Breednet, 9th June 2012).

 The following year, on the 12th February 2011, Mid Summer Music stepped up to Stakes level for the first time when contesting the G3 Race Club Stakes at Caulfield.  She finished 8th of 16, 3.5L behind the winner, BEADED (Lonhro).  On her next three starts, she stepped down in class, for 2 wins and a second before lining up in the G3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield on the 30th July where she notched her first Stakes victory on what was her 13th start.
Two weeks later she returned to Caulfield winning the G3 Cockram Stakes, beating PARABLES (Lonhro).   On her next appearance, Mid Summer Music was a close 2nd in the G2 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington, beaten by the ill-fated PINKER PINKER (Reset), who subsequently won the G1 Cox Plate.  This defeat was followed by a narrow third-placing in the G2 Caulfield Sprint, where she finished within 1.5L of the winner SEPOY (Elusive Quality).
Unplaced in her next start, the G2 Salinger Stakes at Flemington on October 29th 2011, Mid Summer Music returned to Flemington a week later to contest the G1 Patinack Farm Classic.  She was an admirable 3rd, finishing 4L behind the unbeaten World Champion Sprinter BLACK CAVIAR (Bel Esprit), with BUFFERING (Mossman) taking 2nd.

Mid Summer Music (pictured below) then had a deserved spell, before returning to the track in March 2012 for the G1 William Reid Stakes where she was unplaced in a race won by FOXWEDGE (Fastnet Rock).  Three weeks later, Mid Summer Music would finish 2nd to the unbeaten up and coming superstar ATLANTIC JEWEL (Fastnet Rock) in the G2 Sapphire Stakes.  This was followed up by a narrow defeat in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup , won by CELTIC DANCER (Choisir).  Mid Summer Music again stepped up to G1 level, in the Doomben 10,000, where she finished 9th of 16 runners, 5.5L behind the impressive SEA SIREN (Fastnet Rock).

Not to be underestimated, the game Mid Summer Music took out the G1 Stradbroke Handicap two weeks later, at odds of $31, beating BUFFERING (Mossman) and HAPPY ZERO (Danzero).  A surprise winner for many, she was certainly deserving of staking her claim at the highest level, and her recent form shows that her victory was far from a flash in the pan.  She deserved more respect from us punters, who, underestimated this tough, talented mare, but Mid Summer Music did what she does best, and that is to prove people wrong.  I’m sure jockey Linda Meech, who rode the mare to her debut win two years ago at Warracknabeal and persuaded trainer Peter Moody that this mare might just be something a little special, was thinking “I told you so”!  Moody: “She’s just an unbelievable trier. I’ve got to be honest I didn’t expect it and that makes it all the better.  “I doubted her and she’s made a mug out of me again. I hope she continues doing it for a while.” (Breednet, 9th June 2012).

From 24starts to-date, Mid Summer Music has the impressive record of 10 wins and 8 placings, with prize-money of $1,253,901.  Following her first Graded Stakes win last year, Breednet ran an article highlighting the fact that this talented mare had to overcome the odds from the moment she was born: A daughter of Noor Elaine Farm’s underrated Oamaru Force, Mid Summer Music did not have an easy start to life, her dam – the Warwick Farm winner Samsara Lass – dying as she foaled her talented daughter.  Subsequently hand raised – a lamb her best friend – Mid Summer Music was not the easiest horse to educate, co-breeder John Ivill having the difficult task of breaking her in.  “She’d try to kick and bite,” he recalled, knowing even in those early stages that the chestnut possessed a tough personality – “she was the boss of everyone in her paddock.”  (Breednet, August 4th 2011).

The third winner and the sixth and final foal of Samsara Lady (Nassipour – Skaya, by Proud Appeal), the best was certainly saved for last, when Samsara Lady foaled Mid Summer Music at the age of 17.  

Samasara Lady was a winner at 1,600m, and is out of the unraced Proud Appeal mare Skaya (a half-sister to Irish 1,000 Guineas winner BLACK SATIN (Linacre).  Skaya bred 7 minor winners from 10 runners.

Mid Summer Music’s 2nd dam BLACK SATIN (Linacre) was the dam of 4 winners from 6 runners, including the G1 winner CZARAVICH (Nijinsky).

As I mentioned earlier in this piece, Oamaru Force is the sire of 3 Stakes’ winners to-date. His G2 winner DIPLOMATIC FORCE, is the only Stakes winner for his dam Talk It Over (Umatilla), a winner over 1,600m.  Talk It Over is a half-sister to Listed winner TAOS PLEASURE (Taos).  

Oamaru Force’s other Stakes winner, the Listed winner ROCKING FORCE is out of the 2,000m winner Finlandia (Squill) and is the only Stakes winner for his dam.

Oamaru Force’s 3 Stakes winners have a combined total of 90 race starts between them to-date.  It seems that this sire is passing on toughness, as well as speed, to his progeny, in much the same way that his maternal grand-sire VAIN was renowned for.

Mid Summer Music is inbred 5m x 5m to Nasrullah (Nearco, by Pharos).  Diplomatic Force is inbred 3m x 4m to Mr. Prospector (Raise A Native).  Rocking Force is inbred x 4m, 5m to Hail To Reason (Turn-To, by Royal Charger, by Nearco, by Pharos).  Oamaru Force himself has three crosses of Nasrullah in his first five generations – he is inbred 5m, 4m x 5m to him.  Nasrullah (Nearco – Mumtaz Begum, by Blenheim) was the Chaampion 2yr old colt in England in 1942 and was a leading sire in England and America in the 1950s.  The average winning distance of his progeny was 8.8 furlongs.

Oamaru Force is a son of the regally bred Geiger Counter (Mr. Prospector – Thong, by Nantallah), and his dam Life Force is by the renowned Australian Sprinter/Miler Vain.  Oamaru Force’s pedigree leaves a breeder with many mating options, particularly if you have a Northern Dancer line mare or a colonial-bred and are wishing to breed a sprinter.  He is one of those sires that I would love to see supported by some quality mares, because I genuinely believe this stallion deserves the chance to prove just how good he could be.

Here is a link to Noor Elaine Farm, the home of Oamaru Force…check him out for yourself.