Bren O’Brien



Street Cry’s legacy – How a ‘hard sell’ became the Cox Plate’s most influential force

Winx ensured that Street Cry will be forever linked with Cox Plate success, but Saturday proved an even bigger showcase for the late stallion’s legacy after his grandsons quinella-ed the revered weight-for age race.

When Street Cry was euthanised at Kelvinside in the Hunter Valley early in the 2014 breeding season, there was a profound sense of loss among the Darley team, both in Australia and around the world, according to long-term Darley Australia Head of Stallions, Alastair Pulford.

“He had a neurological issue, which was terribly painful and caused him nerve problems which meant he couldn’t put his weight on one leg,” he said.

“It was horrible to watch and it was a very sad time.”

By 16, Street Cry had already achieved remarkable things as a dual hemisphere stallion, producing an equine superstar in Zenyatta, as well as a Kentucky Derby winner, the winners of two Caulfield Guineas and a Thousand Guineas, and a Melbourne Cup winner.

But part of the loss felt at his premature death was the sense his best was yet to come, especially in Australia.

Eleven days before he died, a daughter of Street Cry trained by Chris Waller had broken through for her first Group victory in the Furious Stakes at Randwick. That daughter, Winx, would go on to surpass anything the progeny of Street Cry had achieved before, even Zenyatta, propelling him to status as Australia’s champion stallion, the only overseas-bred horse to have achieved that honour in the 18 years since Danehill’s last crown.

Winx’s domination of Australia’s weight-for-age championship, the Cox Plate, became her greatest stage. Her four consecutive wins from 2015 to 2018 etched not only her name indelibly on the Moonee Valley showpiece, but also that of her sire, one of only two stallions in history to have produced the winners of four Cox Plates.

On Saturday, the Street Cry connection to the Cox Plate elevated to yet another level, with the first two across the line by his sire sons. Anamoe is by Darley’s Street Boss, while I’m Thunderstruck is by his Rich Hill Stud-based Melbourne Cup winner Shocking.

Adding further to the banner day was Bella Nipotina becoming the first Group 1 winner for Street Cry’s Coolmore-based son Pride Of Dubai in the Manikato Stakes.

“It was just very pleasing to see two grandsons of Street Cry fighting out a Cox Plate and to round the day off, Pride Of Dubai gets his Group 1 winner,” Pulford said.

“It’s an amazing thing to have three Group 1 performances through three different sons. It was a great achievement. He was a horse that did a remarkable job for our studs here and in America.”


Bella Nipotina ridden by Craig Williams wins the Manikato Stakes. (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos via Getty Images)

What makes Street Cry’s achievement on Saturday so interesting is that he only has four sons in Australasia standing at what would be considered a ‘commercial’ level.

As a turf-bred European stallion who excelled on the dirt tracks of the United States and Dubai, Street Cry defied expectation for much of his racing career and, in many ways, he did the same in his stallion career, especially in Australia.

“He was always a horse that everyone had high hopes for as a stallion because he had that dirt performance with a turf pedigree,” Pulford said. “But he wasn’t an easy sell over here.”

“He wasn’t an oil painting to look at. He was a strong, tough masculine horse, slightly offset at his knees and he didn’t have the best hind leg, but what he always did was move fantastically well.

“We did find it hard with him in his first season in Australia. We struggled to get numbers to him, whereas in America, his first crop was fantastic. It featured Street Boss, Street Sense and Zenyatta and he made an immediate impact over there.”

That slow start in Australia – he served a modest book of 72 mares – was part of the reason he didn’t initially return after his first four seasons. What changed that was the success of Whobegotyou in the 2008 Caulfield Guineas, plus the fact Darley had shuttled both his sons Street Sense and Street Boss.

That created the momentum for Street Cry to return to Australia in 2009, which coincided, perhaps as much by fortune as foresight, with the win of Shocking in the Melbourne Cup.

The momentum created off successes in Australia and overseas built both his service fee and popularity, and from his second spell in Australia emerged not only Winx, but fellow Australian-bred elite winners Long John, Oh Susanna, Heaven’s Above, Pride Of Dubai and Trekking.

The late Street Cry at Jonabell Stud in Kentucky. (Photo: Darley).

Despite Street Cry’s ongoing success, the ‘hard sell’ has equally applied to his stallion sons in Australia and New Zealand.

None of them have done it the easy way.

Street Boss was a reliable member of Darley’s Victorian roster for a decade, producing Hong Kong champion Rapper Dragon and G1 Newmarket Handicap winner The Quarterback from his early Australian crops. But it was Anamoe, from his eighth season at Northwood Park, who truly elevated him to prominence.

The deeds of the now seven-time Group 1 winner earned Street Boss not only a substantial fee hike, but relocation to the centre stage of the Hunter Valley, to Kelvinside, where his own sire stood with such distinction.

As a G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner from a globally successful family, Pride Of Dubai looked destined for success at Coolmore, but what has evolved is a cautionary tale of how commercial returns can often outweigh racetrack success.

Pride Of Dubai may have been champion first-season sire and leading second-season sire by winners but in a very competitive commercial market focussed on yearling returns, his progeny have generally not lived up to the expectation of buyers.

Having attracted just 30 mares last year, his service fee dropped to AU$16,500 in 2022, less than a third of his fee in his debut season. To Coolmore’s credit, they have stuck with him and Saturday’s win by Bella Nipotina should heighten interest in the back end of the 2022 breeding season.

Anamoe's sire, Street Boss. (Photo: Darley)

Coolmore's Pride Of Dubai now has his first Group 1 winner. (Photo: Coolmore)

Shocking standing at Rich Hill Stud in New Zealand. (Photo: Rich Hill)

Per Incanto's power and speed has made him the ideal sire for Hong Kong success. (Photo by Little Avondale Stud)

Shocking entered stud in New Zealand in 2011 as an Australian and Melbourne Cup winner at a modest fee of NZ$12,500. A stallion of his profile was never going to be at the pointy end of the commercial market and breeders and buyers have had to be patient.

Like Street Cry, his best horse has come from his sixth crop with I’m Thunderstruck a dual Group 1 winner who has now placed in a Cox Plate.

The second ‘commercial’ son of Street Cry in New Zealand, Per Incanto, is another unlikely success story. American-bred and Italian-raced, he started his career at Little Avondale Stud in 2011 standing at NZ$4000.

After phenomenal success in Hong Kong, where he has been the leading producer of winners in the past two seasons, added to the Australian heroics of horses such as Roch ‘N’ Horse and Lost And Running, he now stands for NZ$50,000, a reward for Little Avondale’s persistence and vision.

All in all, there are 16 stallions across Australia and New Zealand carrying Street Cry’s blood, giving Pulford plenty of confidence that his legacy will only grow.

“To get successful stallion sons is super important, you need these horses to carry on the line and he has shown he is capable of doing that,” Pulford said.

“Obviously Anamoe will go to stud and carry on the line again and quite possibly one of the others will get a decent son. His line will continue for generations to come and it certainly deserves to.”



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