Champagne result with $60,000 broodmare purchase

The connections of She’s Extreme (Extreme Choice) were on cloud nine after her all-the-way heroics in the G1 Moet & Chandon Champagne S. at Randwick on Saturday, and the Randwick Bloodstock Agency’s (FBAA) Brett and Rachael Howard were right there with them.

She’s Extreme is the second named foal and second winner out of the stakes-performed mare Keysbrook (So Secret), who was bought by the Randwick Bloodstock Agency for just $60,000 from last year’s Inglis Digital June Sale.

Over the 10 months since then, the Howards and partners Rob and Maria Crawford, Arthur Darivas and Vincent Ip have watched with ever-growing delight as She’s Extreme soared to Group 1 stardom as an autumn 2-year-old.

“It’s a fantastic result,” Brett Howard told TDN AusNZ on Saturday afternoon. “No one here is unhappy today, I can tell you that.”

The purchase of Keysbrook last June was no spur-of-the-moment decision for Howard, who has had the mare on his radar for some time.

A half-sister to Listed Mona Lisa S. winner Brasileira (Commands), Keysbrook herself won two races and placed in the G2 Western Australian Derby, G3 Western Australian Oaks, Listed Aquanita S. and Listed Ascot One Thousand Guineas. She is closely related to quality performers such as Le Mans (Quest For Fame {GB}), Montmelo (Viscount), Jorda (Exceed And Excel), Catalonia (Flying Spur) and Espaaniyah (I Am Invincible).

Keysbrook’s first foal Ruru (So You Think {NZ}) has won four races from the Chris Waller stable, while her filly by Lean Mean Machine caught Howard’s eye at last year’s Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, where she was bought by David Hanratty for $45,000

“I’d seen this mare’s produce before we decided to buy her last June, and I’d really liked the look of her foals,” Howard said. “I was actually the underbidder on her Lean Mean Machine weanling at the Magic Millions Sale a few weeks beforehand.

“So when I saw that the mare had come up for sale online in June, I was very interested in trying to buy her.

“She was a good racemare herself, and her first foal Ruru had shown some nice ability for Chris Waller, and she’s a mare that obviously produces quality individuals. When you can buy a broodmare that ticks all of those boxes, I think you’re at least half a chance of getting a good outcome.”

Heartbreak to triumph

Sadly, the group’s ownership of Keysbrook (pictured below) got off to the worst possible start with the loss of a foal she was carrying by Lean Mean Machine.

“Unfortunately, within 36 hours of us buying the mare, we got a call saying she’d aborted her foal,” Howard said. “That was heartbreaking news. You never expect to get calls like that, and it was a very tough one for all of us to take.

“The mare was down in Victoria at the time, and we got her back up to our farm about 10 days after that. She was covered by Astern in the spring and missed the first couple of times. She got in foal the third time around, but just couldn’t hold the pregnancy.

“It got to the point where we decided that Mother Nature must be sending us a bit of a message.

“It sometimes happens when mares have a late-term slip after getting so far through a pregnancy – it can be quite hard to get them back in foal the following season. She has at least shown us that she can get in foal, but we were getting to the end of October at that stage, and we all agreed that we should just pull up stumps for this season and give her a nice bit of time off.

“She’s Extreme was obviously still unraced at that stage, so it’s been a dream for all of us to see what she’s gone on to do over these last few weeks.”

No rush to make plans

The 10-year-old Keysbrook appears to have an enormously bright future ahead of her as a broodmare, but her new owners are taking a patient approach when it comes to making plans for 2022.

“We share ownership of this mare with a few partners, and everyone has the right to provide their opinions and input,” Howard said. “We’ll work through what everyone wants to do, and then we can make a plan a bit closer to the next breeding season – once all the stallions and their service fees have been announced.”

Second Group 1 winner for Extreme Choice

She’s Extreme joined last year’s Golden Slipper hero Stay Inside as the second Group 1 winner for Newgate Farm’s sensational stallion Extreme Choice, who was Australia’s leading first-season sire in 2020/21.


From just 38 foals to race, Extreme Choice is the sire of 24 winners, who have won 42 races between them. He has been represented by seven individual black-type winners, and he sired a stakes double at Randwick on Saturday as She’s Extreme won the Champagne S. and Espiona took out the G3 James H B Carr S.

Copy: Thoroughbred Daily News Aus/NZ, Images: Bradley Photos

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