Unwanted gelding wins Bathurst Gold Chalice

By Peter Wharton

Talented three-year-old gelding Minos scored the most deserved Group Two win of the season when he outsprinted his rivals in the $100,000 Gold Chalice Final (1730 metres) at Bathurst last weekend.

Starting from the pole, the son of supersire Bettor’s Delight let his class shine through as he cut down the front-running War Dan Buddy in the dying stages to win by 1.7 metres.

Minos winning the Bathurst Gold Bracelet

Minos was driven to victory by Menangle horseman Robbie Morris, whose wife KerryAnn trains the gelding.

Robbie Morris said: “I was happy with his run in both the Gold Chalice heat and the NSW Derby before that.”

The win was a triumph for former World Driving Champion Mark Jones, who bred the gelding and offered him through the 2022 NZ Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Christchurch.

“He went through the ring and hardly got a bid, so I syndicated him and trained him,” the Burnham-based Jones, the manager of WDC 03 Limited, said.

“He won first up at Gore and then we sold him to Mick Boots. He had one more start in the big Sales race before he went over to Sydney last October.”

Minos as yearling

From eight lifetime starts Minos has won three and been four times placed for $94,890 in stakes.

Jones has a close association with Minos’ maternal family.

“I trained his mother Ariadne Lavra for Kypros Kotzikas,” Jones said.

She won five of her 10 starts as a two and three-year-old and was placed in 1:53.1.

“Ariadne Lavra was from the same year as Delightful Memphis who went on to be a top mare and won nearly half a million dollars,” Mark said.

“I always thought Ariadne Lavra would have been every bit as good but she ended up breaking down. We tried for about two years to get her back to the races, so when she was retired I asked Kypros if I could breed a foal from her.

“Her first foal was Minos. He is named after an ancient king of Greece in keeping with Kypros’s heritage,” Jones said.

Ariadne Lavra’s second foal is the two-year-old filly Selsey Anne (by Lather Up).

“She’s owned by Grant Smith, one of my owners from Ashburton. Grant was breeding out of a few average mares, so I said to him to take her for a year and breed one from her,” Jones stated.

“Selsey Anne has had two preparations and has just gone out to the paddock. She’s very similar to Minos, being on the small side but has probably got more speed.

“Kypros has now got the mare back and she has a colt foal by Downbyseaside.”

Ariadne Lavra has a wealth of breeding on her dam’s side, being out of Hilarious Lavra, by Grinfromeartoear from Tuapeka Kay, by Smooth Fella from the crack racemare and NZ Broodmare of the Year Tuapeka Star, a member of the prolific Norice tribe.

Tuapeka Kay, who was unraced, was a half-sister to the Miracle Mile and NZ Cup hero Iraklis, the NSW Carousel winner Blue And Royal, the top NZ juvenile Ermis and Braeside Seel Star (Melton Plate).

This has been one of New Zealand’s most successful families over a long period. It includes the dual Derby winners Lavros Star and Brad Adios, the NZ 3YO Filly of the Year O Baby, the dual NZ Cup winner Monkey King, Talaspring (Vic. Ladyship Cup), Galactic Star and the current top Victorian racemare Sew What.