Lonhro Champion Racehorse
Lonhro Was Foaled In 1998 And His Sire Was Champion Octagonal
Anyone who has ever wondered why great champion mares and stallions failed to produce offspring capable of the same level of achievement on the track would find something of a contradiction to this belief if they were to consider Lonhro.
He defied what is often viewed as the norm by being a most capable galloper and then a worthy stud afterward. As a runner, he was accorded Australian Horse of the year accolades in 2004 and as a stud he was named the Leading Sire in Australia in 2011.
Lonhro A Middle Distance Horse
Although he did manage to win the Group 1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes at 1200 metres in 2002, and he also was stretched on occasional to 2000 metres, at which distance he won the Australian Cup, Caulfield Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
As a stud, his most significant prodigy to date would have to be Pierro.
That horse has won at least five Group 1 races to date, including the George Ryder Stakes in 2013, duplicating Lonhro’s wins in 2003 and 2004. Lonhro to this point also accounts for four other Group 1 winners. In terms of stakes, these progeny alone account for nearly $9 million.
Lonhro was foaled in 1998. His sire was the champion Octagonal and his dam was Shadea, both New Zealand products. John Hawkes was his trainer.
When his career as a runner concluded, he had made 35 starts, winning 26 times, with three seconds and two thirds, leaving only five unplaced. He earned nearly $6 million for his four years of racing.
He ran five times as a two-year-old, all at Rosehill and Caulfield, winning a Listed and a Group 3 race and placing fourth in his first Group 1 outing, the Blue Diamond Stakes.
He was tried on a limited basis as a three-year-old, running seven times. He won all seven, including his first Group 1 victory in the Caulfield Stakes at 1600 metres.
Lonhro Blossoms As A 4YO
As a four-year-old, Lonhro blossomed. He made thirteen jumps, with nothing lower than a sixth, that unfortunately being the 2002 Cox Plate. He more than acquitted himself, however, by winning eight Group 1 events, including handing defeats to such worthy competitors as Sunline in the Caulfield Stakes and Shogun Lodge in the Chipping Norton Stakes.
Darren Beadman was the beneficiary of this performance for the entire season.
Lonhro was almost equally productive as a five-year-old, again providing Darren Beadman with some extra credentials.
He had nothing less than a third place that season, but again suffered his worst defeat with that third being the Cox Plate. He extracted some measure of revenge on his protagonist Grand Armee for the previous year’s loss in the Doncaster Handicap, beating that horse in both the George Main Stakes and the George Ryder Stakes. Savvy punters no doubt learned not to bet against Lonhro in any race featuring George in the name.
74% Winning Strike Rate
From a statistical perspective, Lonhro’s career is mind boggling. His winning strike rate of 74 percent is higher than any other with a comparable number of starts.
That figure includes Phar Lap, Bernborough, Kingston Town and Tulloch.
As a stud, Lonhro’s record is still being written. He has covered Makybe Diva to produce a colt, perhaps one that can prove the stayer that Lonhro never was, or the sprinter that Makybe Diva never was.
He beat the champion mare in the 2004 Australian Cup at Flemington. He is also shuttling to the Northern Hemisphere to do duties there.
Lonhro has received numerous awards and honours, and induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame is a foregone conclusion.