New Additions for Riverbank Farm

Unlucky not to have a Golden Slipper on his resume - storming home from the rear to only just miss out picking up Sebring - Von Costa de Hero was one of the best juveniles of his year. A Gr.3 winner of the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes at just his third outing, he was again competitive with the best at three with game placings in the Caulfield Guineas and the Australian Guineas. A son of champion stallion Encosta de Lago and the Gr.1 mare Piavonic who conquered Sunline in the Manikato Stakes, Von Costa de Hero has had just two crops of racing age with the likes of Sea Spray, Jurasound, Vonus, Von Classic Hero and Nuclear Hero showing good ability. He is a nice, very strong horse very much like his sire," Osborne said, adding that Von Costa de Hero boasts a wonderful temperament -"he is fantastic to deal with." Von Costa de Hero has been purchased from Darley by his trainer David Hayes who is looking forward to supporting him with his own mares.

A Group One winner of the French 2000 Guineas, a race in which he swamped his rivals from the rear, Astronomer Royal has sired four stakes winners in his first handful of crops one of whom will be amongst the favourites in one of next weekend's feature events. Catching the eye with a strong late finish when resuming in the Missile Stakes, the Chris Waller trained Weary will relish the extra 200m of Saturday's Warwick Stakes at Randwick. Amongst Sydney's classiest weight-for-age gallopers, Weary - who was Gr.3 placed in Europe - is the winner of the Gr.2 Expressway Stakes and the Gr.3 Doncaster Prelude and he has been Gr.1 placed on three occasions including a gallant third in Sacred Falls' Doncaster Handicap. The sire of French Gr.3 winner Stellar Path (who looks close to another stakes victory after a second-up third at Gr.3 level recently) and the Listed winners Madiba and Table Ronde, Astronomer Royal has also been represented by six stakes placed gallopers. A horse with much of his sire Danzig about him, Astronomer Royal catches the eye, Russell Osborne describing him as "a very nice moving horse."

Riverbank is also home to Redoute's Choice stallion Redente, an unraced son of the Gr.1 mare Stella Cadente, granddaughter of the wonderful mare Eau D'Etoile. Bred by Bob Scarborough's Wood Nook Farm from the family of big race winners Filante, Bint Marscay, Bollinger, Benicio, Ortensia and Kenny's Best Pal, Redente has been a quiet achiever - from small numbers producing such talented types as Squeaky Squirrel, Redentes Edge, Aunty Elsie, Mooncoin Miracle and All Amuk. Placed under Riverbank's care after incurring a foot injury as a yearling, Redente didn't get the chance to show what he could do on the track but he has been doing a great job at stud. "He has always been well supported," Duddy said. "He is a horse with a super nature and he puts speed into his progeny."

The impeccably bred Hillman also stands at Riverbank - a son of Danehill and the five times Gr.1 winner Triscay. A lightly raced dual city winner who has only ever served small books due to fertility issues, Hillman has nevertheless managed to sire 29 winners from just 49 runners and amongst that group are the very good gallopers Two Hills (five times metropolitan winner), Burly Griffen (a winner in Melbourne and Malaysia), Hillbilly Dancer (13 wins), Pretty Possum and Sherpa. With Duddy a vet with special interest in reproduction, Hillman has the best possible home and whilst the stud warn mare owners that he has his problems, they have been having good results with him. Interesting to note about Hillman is the toughness and durability of his progeny, his winners averaging 29 runs each and all but five of his 54 named sons and daughters making it to the track.

Riverbank Farm was established 25 years ago by Adrian & Dorothy Osborne who retired last spring leaving the picturesque farm in the capable hands of Russell & Caroline.