The Ultimate Thoroughbred

In Warwick Hobson’s legendary book Racing’s All-Time Greats, Hobson lists Carbine as the best thoroughbred Australia has ever seen. Hobson was not wrong! Carbine was one of the best five horses Australia has ever seen on the racetrack; the champion entire raced 43 times for 33 wins and 9 placings including a win in the 1890 Melbourne Cup with a weight that will never be bettered – 66.5kg! On the 25th of April 1889, Carbine won three races in one day – and it was the day after winning the 3200m Sydney Cup! This is just a small sample of what this stallion accomplished; however unlike other champions Phar Lap, Tulloch, Kingston Town and Bernborough, Carbine was an absolute gun at stud, hence why Hobson labelled him as ‘the greatest thoroughbred.’ At stud in Australian in four years, Carbine produced 208 winners that made on the track around $100,000. $100,000 in the late ‘1890s equates to million and million these days.

After four years at stud in Australia, Carbine was sent to England where he stood at stud alongside the legendary St. Simon. At the time, Carbine’s service fee of 200 guineas was unmatched. Soon after arriving in England, Carbine produced Epsom Derby winner Spearmint (himself a champion sire), and the bloodlines lasted all the way to Phar Lap. Carbine indeed was the greatest thoroughbred the world, not just Australia has ever seen. He was unbeatable on the track and unbeatable in the breeding barn. The best of both worlds.

But now, 126 years after Carbine won his Melbourne Cup, we might just be seeing a new force emerge. Pierro was one of the best colts to race in Australia in the 21st century (so far). He won the Triple Crown as a two-year-old, before winning multiple Group 1 races as a three-year-old against the older horses. The son of Lonhro is now at stud himself, and it is only six weeks into the new season, but his progeny look to be absolutely flying. At the first set of two-year-old trials on 19 September at Randwick Pierro had five representatives including China Gale and Noviero from the Waterhouse / Bott stable. Both these colts performed well and are clearly on track to be early runners.


Pierro stands at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley and there might not be a more exciting young sire in Australia. Pierro is probably the best performed (on the track) new sire in Australia; he has the Sir Tristram – Zabeel – Octagonal – Lonhro blood running through his hulking body, and with eight or so Pierro’s currently calling Tulloch Lodge home, expect big things over the next 12 months.

Of course it will take Pierro many years of success before he is compared with Carbine, but one thing is for sure… when a champion horse makes the grade as a sire, excitement reins.


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