The late Graeme Head and his Shepparton based wife Helen have been breeding Standardbreds for the past 50 years.
A trip they made to the 2004 Lexington Yearling Sales in Kentucky, USA where they purchased an Artsplace filly took them to another level as breeders.
The smallish and neat filly from a daughter of the wonderful broodmare Blue Horizon was broken in and trained by Australian trainer Peter Walsh, who was based in the USA at that time.
“She was a beautifully gaited filly with the sweetest of temperaments” said Peter last week.
“She had 4 starts as a two-year-old for two wins but then some minor lameness issues made the decision for Graeme and Helen to ship her down to Victoria.”
The filly named Spirited Storm arrived in Australia in the first half of 2006 and was bred to the first season Sire Bettors Delight later that year (it was the first season of now what will be Bettors Delight’s 18th season of shuttling down under).
The resulting foal, a filly, was purchased at the 2009 Melbourne Yearling Sale by prominent WA breeder Dr Ed Dewar. Later named Miss Worthy Whitby, she won 3 of her 14 career starts including Heats of the Bathurst Gold Tiara and APG Series.
Miss Worthy Whitby is now the granddam of the freaky fast 3 year old colt The Lost Storm .
He has just added the QLD Derby to his impeccable record, which now stands at 12 starts, 10 wins and prizemoney exceeding $250,00. The world appears his oyster for this exciting son of Captaintreacherous.
In 2013 Spirited Storm produced her seventh foal, a neat brown colt sired by the World Champion two-year-old Rocknroll Hanover.
Later named The Storm Inside, he quickly put his name up in lights by remaining undefeated as a 2 year old and then was Voted the Australian Two Year Old Colt of the Year in 2016.
The Storm Inside had a further 13 starts over a three season period and although he was plagued with some injuries he was an excitement machine each time he set foot on a racetrack.
The career statistics paint an awesome picture – 19 starts, 16 wins, 2 second placings and the only time he was unplaced was at Bendigo in January 2020 when a further injury proved to be career ending.
The Storm Inside retired to the stallion paddocks of Alabar in 2020 and his first crop of foals, current yearlings, are singing the praises of many a good trainer around Australia. That initial crop total 62 and the early reports from trainers and educators are frighteningly impressive.
There is still a long way to go to see racetrack debuts for the 23 fillies and 39 colts but the comments to date indicate beautiful fluent gait, great temperaments and willing attitudes – all the qualities you want in early going two year olds.
There were a handful of The Storm Inside progeny offered at yearling sales earlier this year on the east coast. Two colts who looked to be outstanding types sold accordingly:
- Lot 1 at the APG Gold Coast Sale from Laugh Out Loud – sold for $40,000.
- Lot 462 at the Nutrien Melbourne Sale from Tiger Storm – sold for $52,500.
Here are some comments from several trainers who now have The Storm Inside progeny in their stables.
Damien Burns (Victoria)
“I broke in and am working a colt from a Mach Three mare that was bred and is owned by Phil Woods from Mt Gambier. I’m very impressed with him and at this stage he is as good as any young horse that I’ve ever trained. He does whatever you ask him to do and has shown some high speed when I’ve asked for it.”
“It seems whenever you take him out onto the track that he has done all this previously. If we were still commencing our racing season on 1st September, he would be ready for the first two-year-old race in Victoria.”
Ian Ward (Victoria)
“I have broken in around 40 yearlings this year and 8 or 9 of those have been by The Storm Inside. I have been most impressed by all of them. They are clean gaited, have terrific attitudes and are really nicely balanced horses. Nothing worries them, they are keen to get to their work and most of them are a long way in front of where they should be.”
“I am currently doing a second prep with a colt from Caitlyn Clark – he is a tank and I think something a bit special.”
“Two others came to me from the Melbourne Sales in April – one an expensive colt and one a cheapie and I can’t fault either of them and in fact are greatly impressed with both of them. They have great attitudes and have lots of brains – both typical of all the other The Storm Inside yearlings I’ve worked with.”
Jackie Barker (Vic)
“I bought a strong colt from an Art Major mare at the Melbourne Sales in April. He broke in really nicely and is a nice clean gaited pacer. He has plenty of spirit and I’m really pleased with him at this stage.”
Tim McGuigan (Victoria)
“I have two colts who came from the Yearling Sales as relatively cheap colts. Both broke in so easily. They have lots of brains, very easy to gait up and have terrific attitudes. I’m so impressed by them that I’ve booked 3 of my mares to be bred to The Storm Inside later this year.”
Darren McCall (Queensland)
“I have a yearling filly that I bred from my Modern Art mare. I’m so impressed with her, she broke in like a charm, well mannered, lots of brains and paced as soon as I put the hopples on her. Whether in the paddock or on the track she never seems to get tired.”
“I also have a full brother to her, just a weanling at the moment. He is a magnificent type who paces like a rocket around the paddock.”
“In my opinion The Storm Inside is the best bred, money for value Sire in Australia and I will be breeding to him again this year.”
The Storm Inside is from the famed Golden Miss Family that the legendary Kentucky breeder Bill Sheehan had so much success with.
It is a Family that has produced so many great racehorses that have then retired to highly successful careers as stallions – Panorama, Grinfromerartoear, Safely Kept, Rocknroll Hanover, Real Desire and many more examples. In fact it is a family just cant leave a dud sire.
This could be the best year yet to be breeding to The Storm Inside. In future years you could be racing against a colt or filly by The Storm Inside.