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Farewelling the crowd at Randwick.
|Australian Cup (2004)
C F Orr Stakes (2004)
George Ryder Stakes (2003,2004)
Caulfield Stakes (2002,2003)
George Main Stakes (2003)
Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2003)
Chipping Norton Stakes (2003)
LKS MacKinnon Stakes (2002)
Caulfield Guineas (2001)
|Australian Racehorse of the Year (2004)
Australian Middle Distance Champion (2004)
Australian Champion Three Year Old (2002)
Leading sire in Australia (2011)
Timeform rating: 128
|World Champion Miler (2004)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2014)
|Last updated on 10 March 2014|
Lonhro (foaled December 10, 1998) was a champion Australian racehorse who is now standing at stud. Nicknamed "The Black Flash", Lonhro was from the first crop of the champion Octagonal out of the Group One-placed Shadea (by Straight Strike), who also produced the Group One winner Niello (a younger, full-brother to Lonhro). Lonhro raced from two to five years of age and won 26 races, including 25 stakes races, ranging in distance from 1,100 to 2,000 metres. These included 11 Group One wins and 18 wins at weight-for-age. He was bred and owned by Woodlands Stud, and trained by John Hawkes. Lonhro's name is based on the stock exchange code of the London Rhodesian Mining and Land Company, LONRHO. This arose from his foaling description as "tiny but perfect", a label ascribed to Roland "Tiny" Rowland, CEO of the company. The horse's name is deliberately misspelt.
Two year old season: 2000-2001
Lonhro had his first start in November 2000 in a restricted two-year-old race at Rosehill where he finished second. A short spell followed and Lonhro resumed in January 2001 over 1,100 m at Rosehill, starting favourite for the first time and winning in good fashion by 2½ lengths. Two weeks later Lonhro was in Melbourne at Caulfield for the Blue Diamond Prelude. In the straight, Lonhro impressed the Melbourne crowd by striding well clear to win by two lengths from the fast finishing Neiwand with Tosamba third.
It was then on to the Blue Diamond Stakes where Lonhro started the $3.50 favourite. Settling near the rear of the field, Lonhro came wide in the straight making ground on the leaders but unable to catch the eventual winner True Jewels, finishing 1½ lengths fourth. Instead of pressing on to the Sydney carnival Lonhro was spelled as another near black Woodlands colt called Viscount won the AJC Sires Produce and Champagne Stakes.
Lonhro returned for the 2001 Spring in the WFA Missile Stakes, being run in July he was still officially a 2yo. Settling last of nine runners on a heavy track, Lonhro stormed home to finished third to Sportsbrat, this was to be the first and last time that Lonhro would be defeated in consecutive races.
Three year old season: 2001-2002
A rematch with Sportsbrat in the WFA Warwick Stakes-Gr2 (1,300 m) followed two weeks later. This time Lonhro settled closer to the lead and was able register his first win as a 3yo. For his next start Lonhro went back to his own age group in the Ming Dynasty Quality-Gr3 (1,400 m) and held on to win by a short half-head after being sent out a very short priced favourite. An easy win in the Heritage Stakes-LR (1,200 m) followed before he took out the Stan Fox Stakes-Gr2 (1,400 m) against a small but quality field.
Lonhro then headed to Melbourne for the Caulfield Guineas-Gr1 (1,600 m) but despite his four consecutive wins he was not the Hawkes' stable favoured runner. That honour went to the multiple Group 1 winner Viscount who had started his spring campaign in Sydney and had recorded victory in the George Main Stakes-Gr1 (1,600 m) where he, like Lonhro, had defeated Shogun Lodge. In the Caulfield Guineas, the boom colts Ustinov and Viking Ruler also lined up along with New Zealander Pure Theatre, Dash for Cash and Magic Albert. It was perhaps, the best field seen in the race. Lonhro settled last before pulling out wide to the centre of the track to start his run on the home turn. Inside the final 50 metres Lonhro swept to the front from Pure Theatre and Ustinov as Viking Ruler ran on near the rails but it was all Lonhro as he came away to win by 1½ lengths from Ustinov with Pure Theatre third.
After the victory it was reported that Lonhro had suffered an injury with a minor wrench to a joint and it was felt in his best interests to spell for the autumn, meaning he would miss the WS Cox Plate. Stablemate Viscount who was well beaten in the Caulfield Guineas went on to Moonee Valley and was gallant in finishing third to Northerly and Sunline, defeated just a length, in a rough-house finish that was the subject of a long protest hearing.
On 2 February 2002, Lonhro lined up as the odds-on favourite for the Royal Sovereign Stakes-Gr2 (1,200 m), beginning a run of 25 consecutive races that he would start as favourite. Lonhro easily accounted for the small field before going on to win the Hobartville Stakes-Gr2 (1,400m) at his next start. Installed as pre-post favourite for the Doncaster Handicap and a nominal favourite for many of the big races of the Autumn, it was announced soon after that Lonhro had contracted a virus and the resultant delay in his preparation saw the 3yo spelled until his four-year-old season.
Four year old season: 2002-2003
Lonhro returned bigger and stronger as a 4yo and again started his campaign in the Missile S-Gr3 (1,100m) at Rosehill. This was the first race where Lonhro was ridden by Darren Beadman and it was Lonhro's eighth consecutive victory, winning very easily by four lengths. As the short priced favourite Lonhro was expected to have no problem taking out the Warwick S-Gr2 (1,400m) at his next start but was beaten a half head by Defier. Two weeks later Lonhro made amends winning the Chelmsford S-Gr2 (1,600 m) at Randwick by three lengths. At his next start only six horses lined up for the George Main Stakes-Gr1 (1,600m) but it was described as a mini Cox Plate with Sunline, Defier, Lonhro, Excellerator and Shogun Lodge entered. Desperately unlucky, Lonhro was pocketed on the fence for much of the race and only saw daylight in the last 50 m, sprinting home to finish fourth. Sunline set a moderate pace in front from Defier then Shogun Lodge outside Lonhro with Hey Pronto and Excellerator at the rear.
Lonhro was then sent to Melbourne for a rematch with Sunline in the Caulfield Stakes-Gr1 (2,000m). A field of seven lined up but all race discussions were whether Sunline as a 7yo would return to form and if Lonhro having his first start beyond 1,600m would be as effective over 2,000 m. The race was a spectacle with Sunline assuming her usual front running style and Lonhro stalking for most of the race in about third position. Little changed up to the 800m where Sunline started to show her old form as she quickened from Ustinov and Lonhro started the long chase with Distinctly Secret heading the rest but they were in another race. Around the turn and the crowd roared as Sunline raced clear of Ustinov with Lonhro steadily making ground but giving the mare a huge head start. By the 300 m Sunline was over three lengths clear as Lonhro settled into his task. By the 200 m Sunline was in front but Lonhro was gaining and the crowd was deafening as the two great horses fought out the race. Inside the final 50m Sunline and Lonhro were level with the mare fighting back strongly but her younger rival edged in front to win by a half neck in race record time of 2:00:60.
Both horses then headed to the WS Cox Plate two weeks later where Lonhro started $4 equal favouite with Northerly, but fans wondered how much the titanic struggle at Caulfield may have taken out of him. Settling last in a field of nine, Lonhro was beaten, finishing 7.3 lengths behind Northerly. It was a disappointing effort. Lonhro backed up a week later in the Mackinnon S-Gr1 (2,000m) at Flemington, edging out Royal Code to finish his 2002 spring campaign on a winning note.
Lonhro resumed in the 2003 autumn winning in the Expressway S-Gr2 (1,200m) by 2 lengths, three weeks later he crushed field in the Apollo S-Gr2 (1,400m), winning by 3½ lengths with a further 2 lengths to third. He was back a week later in the Chipping Norton Stakes-Gr1 (1,600m) at Warwick Farm, coming away to win under hands and heels riding by 1½ lengths from Shogun Lodge. Next on the agenda was the George Ryder S-Gr1 (1,500m) at Rosehill where Lonhro again won easily, this time by a 2 length margin. Lonhro was the raging favourite for the Doncaster Handicap-Gr1 (1,600 m) at Randwick, where he would carry topweight of 57.5 kg. Defier and Shogun Lodge looked to be his main dangers but then the rain fell and both his rivals were scratched when the track was rated officially slow. Inside the final 200m Grand Armee, carrying 6 kg less than Lonhro, hit the front and race clear to pass the post three lengths ahead of Dash For Cash with two lengths to Boreale who held out Lonhro for third. This was Lonhro's third and final unplaced run in a race. Lonhro rounded out his autumn a week later in the Queen Elizabeth S-Gr1 (2,000 m), making amends for his Doncaster failure in winning by 1½ lengths.
There was brief speculation that Lonhro might be retired to stud but it was soon announced that Lonhro would return to racing as a 5yo with the WS Cox Plate his spring target. Sadly Lonhro's part owner Mr Jack Ingham died after a long battle with illness in August 2003 as Lonhro prepared to return to racing.
Five year old season: 2003-2004
August 2003, Lonhro began his 5yo season with his second win in the AJC Warwick S-Gr2 (1,400m). Two weeks later, it was on to the Chelmsford S-Gr2 (1,600m) where Lonhro again cruised to an easy win. The WFA George Main Stakes-Gr1 (1,600m) at Randwick and a rematch with Grand Armee was next. In a slowly run race Lonhro defeated Grand Armee by three lengths, with a further two lengths to the previous year's winner Defier in third. It was then to back to Melbourne for the Caulfield Stakes-Gr1 (2,000m) where Lonhro had a much easier time beating Mummify, than the previous year when he battled with Sunline. Winning by two lengths, Lonhro became the first horse to win consecutive Caulfield Stakes since Kingston Town in 1981 and 1982.
Two weeks later Lonho looked invincible in the Cox Plate-Gr1 (2,040m) with recent stars Sunline and Northerly missing and only Defier and Fields of Omagh joining Lonhro from the 2002 field. There were doubts over Lonhro handling the Moonee Valley surface but his class was expected to overcome any problems. Then in the 40 minutes before the race it began to rain, continuing through to the race itself. The track was dead, but soggy. In the running, Fields of Omagh hit the lead around the turn as Defier challenged and Lonhro lost ground trying to balance up for the straight. In the straight, Fields of Omagh refused to give in to Defier with Lonhro closing down the outside. But it was too late as Fields of Omagh crossed the line to win by a long neck from Defier with Lonhro a half length away third as the rest of the field came in at intervals behind them. So for the second year running, Lonhro had failed to run as well as expected in the Cox Plate. Critics claimed that the horse was a fair weather champion, dominant in small weight-for-age fields but unable to cope with the pressure of a larger field. Whatever the case, it is doubtlessly true that Lonhro had the necessary talent to win a genuine championship race, such as the Cox Plate, or Doncaster Handicap, but never actually did so. The reasons for this are particularly puzzling given his incredible consistency in races just a shade lower in rank.
In 2004, Lonhro opened his campaign in the C.F. Orr S-Gr1 (1,400 m) at Caulfield. Inside the final 100m he swept up on the outside to hit the front from Sound Action and Super Elegant as Vocabulary took a narrow run between them. Vocabulary lunged at Lonhro but he was too good winning by a half head with Sound Action third. Lonhro took on a similar field in the St George S-Gr2(1,800 m) two weeks later, winning eased up by 1½ lengths. Lonhro then lined up in his final race in Melbourne in the Australian Cup-Gr1 (2,000 m) at Flemington and the Victorian Racing Club made the day into a farewell for the champ - all he had to do was win.
The field featured some of the stars of the spring with Lonhro joined by Makybe Diva (Melbourne Cup), Mummify (Caulfield Cup), and Elvstroem (VRC Derby). Lonhro was hopelessly pocketed just 200 metres from home, but somehow managed to get out, run home and score a narrow victory in the final stride, beating Delzao. The crowd reaction was enormous, and the victory helped to put to rest any lingering doubts there were about Lonhro's class and tenacity.
Lonhro returned home to Sydney for his last two races before retirement. Both Octagonal and Lonhro were known for arriving at the barriers, stopping with head up and looking for the winning post (closely monitored by the on-track camera), then calmly walking into the barriers. On 3 April 2004, Lonhro competed in his second George Ryder S-Gr1 (1,500 m). His sire Octagonal (brought down from Woodlands Stud for the event) came into the mounting yard first, followed by Lonhro much to the delight of the waiting media and huge crowd of fans come to see father+son. Octagonal then lead out the field, who then galloped down the straight as the field went to the barriers. The field jumped and Lonhro settled at the rear as usual. It was an evenly run race round the Rosehill track. In the final 100 m Lonhro started to race away winning by 2½ lengths from Grand Armee with a further 1½ lengths to Private Steer who was to win the Doncaster - All Aged Stakes - Gr1 double at her next two starts. Lonhro had just easily vanquished two exceptionally good milers, and done so easily.
On the final day of the AJC carnival, Lonhro lined up for his final race start in his second Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr1 (2,000 m). Again, Lonhro settled near the rear but Grand Armee's rider rode a tactically clever race, taking the lead and slowing down the pace in the middle part, whilst at the same time opening up a large gap between himself and Lonhro. In the straight, the gap was to prove too great for Lonhro and Grand Armee ran out the winner by six lengths. Grand Armee had spoiled Lonhro's farewell party.
|2nd||18 Nov 2000||2yo Restricted||Rosehill||NA||1100 m||54.5||1:05.44||R. Quinn||1st - Royal Courtship|
|Won||27 Jan 2001||2yo Hcp||Rosehill||NA||1100 m||54.5||1:05.58||R. Quinn||2nd - London Eye|
|Won||11 Feb 2001||Blue Diamond Prelude||Caulfield||G3||1100 m||55.5||1:03.39||B.Prebble||2nd - Niewand|
|4th||24 Feb 2001||Blue Diamond Stakes||Caulfield||G1||1200 m||55.5||1:09.96||B.Prebble||1st - True Jewels|
|3rd||28 Jul 2001||Missile Stakes||Rosehill||G3||1100 m||51||1:06.69||L. Cassidy||1st - Sportsbrat|
|Won||18 Aug 2001||Warwick Stakes||Warwick Farm||G2||1300 m||49.5||1:17.30||D. McLellan||2nd - Diamond Dane|
|Won||01 Sep 2001||Ming Dynasty Quality||Randwick||G3||1400 m||57.5||1:23.87||R. Quinn||2nd - Prince of Play|
|Won||15 Sep 2001||Heritage Stakes||Rosehill||LR||1200 m||55.5||1:10.28||R. Quinn||2nd - Perfect Crime|
|Won||29 Sep 2001||Stan Fox Stakes||Randwick||G2||1400 m||55||1:24.00||R. Quinn||2nd - Magic Albert|
|Won||13 Oct 2001||Caulfield Guineas||Caulfield||G1||1600 m||55.5||1:36.70||D. Gauci||2nd - Ustinov|
|Won||02 Feb 2002||Royal Sovereign Stakes||Warwick Farm||G2||1200 m||57.5||1:11.06||R. Quinn||2nd - Viking Ruler|
|Won||16 Feb 2002||Hobartville Stakes||Randwick||G2||1400 m||55.5||1:23.58||R. Quinn||2nd - Athens|
|Won||03 Aug 2002||Missile Stakes||Rosehill||G3||1100 m||57.5||1:03.53||D. Beadman||2nd - Ancient Song|
|2nd||24 Aug 2002||Warwick Stakes||Warwick Farm||G2||1400 m||57.5||1:21.85||D. Beadman||1st - Defier|
|Won||07 Sep 2002||Chelmsford Stakes||Randwick||G2||1600 m||57.5||1:36.30||D. Beadman||2nd - Platinum Scissors|
|4th||29 Sep 2002||George Main Stakes||Randwick||G1||1600 m||57.5||1:38.31||D. Beadman||1st - Defier|
|Won||12 Oct 2002||Caulfield Stakes||Caulfield||G1||2000 m||57.5||2:00.60||D. Beadman||2nd - Sunline|
|6th||26 Oct 2002||Cox Plate||Moonee Valley||G1||2040 m||56.5||2:06.27||D. Beadman||1st - Northerly|
|Won||02 Nov 2002||MacKinnon Stakes||Flemington||G1||2000 m||57.5||2:02.64||D. Beadman||2nd - Royal Code|
|Won||22 Feb 2003||Expressway Stakes||Randwick||G2||1200 m||57.5||1:10.66||D. Beadman||2nd - Belle Du Jour|
|Won||08 Mar 2003||Apollo Stakes||Randwick||G2||1400 m||58||1:22.49||D. Beadman||2nd - Hoeburg|
|Won||15 Mar 2003||Chipping Norton Stakes||Warwick Farm||G1||1600 m||58||1:37.93||D. Beadman||2nd - Shogun Lodge|
|Won||05 Apr 2003||George Ryder Stakes||Rosehill||G1||1500 m||58||1:30.71||D. Beadman||2nd - Dash for Cash|
|4th||19 Apr 2003||Doncaster Handicap||Randwick||G1||1600 m||57.5||1:36.85||D. Beadman||1st - Grand Armee|
|Won||3 May 2003||Queen Elizabeth Stakes||Randwick||G1||2000 m||58||2:04.80||D. Beadman||2nd - Pentastic|
|Won||23 Aug 2003||Warwick Stakes||Warwick Farm||G2||1400 m||58||1:24.35||D. Beadman||2nd - Clangalang|
|Won||06 Sep 2003||Chelmsford Stakes||Randwick||G2||1600 m||58||1:35.06||D. Beadman||2nd - Platinum Scissors|
|Won||27 Sep 2003||George Main Stakes||Randwick||G1||1600 m||58||1:37.48||D. Beadman||2nd - Grand Armee|
|Won||11 Oct 2003||Caulfield Stakes||Caulfield||G1||2000 m||58||2:03.30||D. Beadman||2nd - Mummify|
|3rd||25 Oct 2003||Cox Plate||Moonee Valley||G1||2040 m||58||2:07.61||D. Beadman||1st - Fields Of Omagh|
|Won||07 Feb 2004||C F Orr Stakes||Caulfield||G1||1400 m||58||1:21.97||D. Beadman||2nd - Vocabulary|
|Won||21 Feb 2004||St George Stakes||Caulfield||G2||1800 m||58||1:50.98||D. Beadman||2nd - Sound Action|
|Won||08 Mar 2004||Australian Cup||Flemington||G1||2000 m||58||2:01.67||D. Beadman||2nd - Delzao|
|Won||05 Apr 2004||George Ryder Stakes||Rosehill||G1||1500 m||58||1:27.24||D. Beadman||2nd - Grand Armee|
|2nd||19 Apr 2004||Queen Elizabeth Stakes||Randwick||G1||2000 m||58||2:03.26||D. Beadman||1st - Grand Armee|
In winning 26 of his 35 starts, Lonhro won 13 of his first 18 starts, and 13 of last 17 starts. His longest losing streak was two races, at his fourth and fifth starts, and thereafter he was never defeated in consecutive races. His longest winning streak was eight races, and he had other winning streaks of five races (twice) and four races. He won at least two races in seven of his eight preparations, and four races or more in five of his preparations. His winning strike-rate (74%) is the highest of any Australian champion with a comparable number of starts since the introduction of the award, and is higher than that of four of the five inaugural Hall Of Fame inductees - Phar Lap, Bernborough, Tulloch, and Kingston Town - and second only to Carbine, who raced more than 100 years earlier. Lonhro's winning strike-rate in Group One races (64%) is the highest of any comparable Australian champion since the introduction of the system, including Kingston Town.
Lonhro stood at Woodlands Stud at the beginning of his stud career, his birthplace, and next to his own sire, Octagonal. His initial fee was announced as A$66,000 - a record for local first season stallion, but comparable with first season shuttle horses from the Northern Hemisphere. While there was some discussion over the price Lonhro is arguably the best performed stallion to retire to stud in Australia since Tulloch in the early 1960s. A Lonhro colt from a Royal Academy mare, Palme d'Or, brought NZ$1,050,000 at the 2007 Karaka premier Sale in New Zealand, while Denman, from his second crop, won the Golden Rose at Rosehill in August 2009. Woodlands stud was later bought out by HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Darley Stud. Lonhro was then transferred to Darley's Aberdeen NSW base, where he now stands alongside his son, Denman, for a fee of $88,000.
With the completion of the 2010-2011 Australian racing season Lonhro was crowned the Leading sire in Australia. He ended the season some $1.2 million clear of his nearest rival Redoute's Choice. It was the first time in 40 years that an Australian Champion Racehourse of the Year (2004) was also named Australian Champion Sire (2011). Lonhro's Group One winning horses to-date are Beaded, Benfica, Denman, Pierro and Mental. Other Stakes winning horses include Euryale, Celts, Parables, Obsequious, Launay, Pinwheel, Tampiko and Dysphonia to name a few. In August 2011 Makybe Diva produced her fourth foal, a colt by Lonhro. The colt was the result of a mating between two Australian Champion Racehorses of the Year, Lonhro (2004) and Makybe Diva (2005 & 2006). It is already estimated to be worth between $2–3 million.
Lonhro's major race winners include:
|Pierro||2012 Golden Slipper Stakes
2012 Sires Produce Stakes
2012 Champagne Stakes
2013 Canterbury Stakes
2013 George Ryder Stakes
|Beaded||2011 Doomben 10,000||1350||$1,603,780|
|Denman||2009 Golden Rose Stakes||1400||$1,201,975|
|Mental||2012 Patinack Farm Classic||1200||$1,164,398|
|Benfica||2011 T J Smith Classic||1600||$447,150|
|Sir Tristram (Ire)
|Sir Ivor (USA)|
|Lady Giselle (Fr)
|Eight Carat (GB)
|Pieces of Eight (Ire)
|Baby Doll (GB)|
|Straight Strike (USA)
|Mr. Prospector (USA)
|Raise a Native (USA)|
|Gold Digger (USA)|
|Bend Not (USA)
|Never Bend (USA)|
|Jennie Sue (USA)|
|First Consul (USA)
|Bold Consort (USA)|
|My Tricia (NZ)
|Gay Poss (NZ)|