Mustang Valley marks special anniversary in style

By Richard Edmunds

19 Oct 2022

Mustang Valley marks special anniversary in styleMustang Valley (Michael McNab) marks a special anniversary for Windsor Park Stud with a runaway win

Mustang Valley’s maiden Group One victory in Saturday’s Livamol Classic could hardly have happened at a more fitting moment, coming 25 years after the iconic Caulfield Cup win by her relative Might And Power.
The Andrew Forsman-trained Mustang Valley outclassed her opposition at Hastings, opening up a winning margin of more than five lengths. A strong-finishing second in the Gr. 1 Arrowfield Stud Plate at Matamata the previous weekend, the four-year-old has now earned over $400,000 in a career that has produced four wins and six second placings from 17 starts.
Bred and part-owned by Windsor Park Stud, Mustang Valley became the first Group One winner for the Cambridge nursery’s emerging stallion Vanbrugh. She is the first foal out of the New Approach mare Cream Of The Crop, who is a great granddaughter of Benediction, the dam of Might And Power.
Also bred by Windsor Park Stud, Might And Power earned Hall Of Fame induction on both sides of the Tasman through his scintillating 15-win career. The son of Zabeel amassed over $5 million and won seven Group One races including Victoria’s big three – the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
The most dominant of those was the Caulfield Cup on October 18, 1997, running the opposition into the ground and scoring by seven and a half lengths in a record-breaking time of 2:26.20.
“Being 25 years since Might And Power’s Caulfield Cup, it was pretty special to win a Group One on Caulfield Cup day with a mare from Might And Power’s family,” Windsor Park owner Rodney Schick said.
“Mustang Valley was really, really impressive. It’s so exciting, and especially for Vanbrugh as well. It was just a fantastic result.
“I paid only five grand to buy Cream Of The Crop on the Gold Coast a few years ago. It’s a family that’s been such a successful one for Windsor Park, so we always love to pick up another piece of it. Mustang Valley is the first foal out of this mare, so there’s a bit to look forward to.”
Cream Of The Crop produced fillies by Charm Spirit and Darci Brahma in 2020 and 2021, and she is due to foal to Hello Youmzain in the coming weeks.
Vanbrugh, meanwhile, stands for a service fee of $6,000. Windsor Park Stud bought into the son of Encosta De Lago after his Gr. 1 Spring Champion Stakes triumph in 2015, and their faith is now being rewarded.
From 25 runners, Vanbrugh has to date sired 11 winners, two of them at stakes level – Mustang Valley and this season’s Listed Wanganui Guineas winner Sheez Dominant.
“He’s a proper horse,” Schick said. “He won on debut as a two-year-old, then was a dominant spring three-year-old in Sydney with wins in the Gloaming and Spring Champion Stakes. He was also a Group winner in Melbourne at four.
“He’s always had the credentials. He didn’t really get the numbers to start off with. Around a dozen stallions went to stud that year, and we had three of them. Turn Me Loose got the lion’s share of our mares.
“But Vanbrugh has done a really good job. He’s going to have a chance in the Sarten Memorial on Saturday with Wild Night, and if he could pull that off as well, you’d be talking about a serious stallion.”