Spring winners for Ghibellines, Gallant Guru
By Jonny Turner
Just as their foals have started to arrive, the winners have kept flowing for White Robe Lodge sires Ghibellines and Gallant Guru.
Quality 4yr-old Ranger (Ghibellines-Turn The Page) started a good week for Ghibellines with a powerful first up win at Avondale on Wednesday for valued clients Markwood Lodge.
The White Robe Lodge bred product had run some big races in very strong company in his 12 starts before bolting in by nearly five lengths over 1200m for trainer Debbie Sweeney and rider Craig Grylls.
His prior efforts included a second in the listed Champagne Stakes, third equal in the listed Trevor Eagle Memorial and third placings in premier company at both Ellerslie and Hastings.
Ranger, who was knocked down to Markwood Lodge at national yearling sales at Karaka in 2018, has clearly thrived during his short let up after last racing in January.
The 4yr-old is a full brother Ford, who was also purchased by Markwood Lodge at Karaka a year after his brother was bought.
Ford ran a solid fifth in an 1100m 3yr-old event at Avondale on Wednesday.
A run of bad luck has prevented Danzighill mare Turn The Page producing another full sibling to Ranger and Ford in the past two seasons.
After slipping her last two foals it is hoped the good producer can enjoy a hassle free birth to a Ghibellines foal this spring.
Ghibellines enjoyed more success last week when Zigallene (Ghibellines-Zigalong) justified her favouritism when winning for trainer Harold Norman on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The victory was the 4yr-old's fifth career win and second from just three starts this preparation.
Zigallene's only defeat this time in came when she was badly interrupted in the straight two starts ago.
The smart mare was bred by loyal White Robe Lodge clients Dean Lawrence and Diana Duff-Staniland.
Together with Paul Duffus, they are expecting a full sibling to Zigallene with Zigalong due to have a Ghibellines foal this spring.
The trio have been enjoying a great run of success recently, headed by their smart jumper Flying Agent (Raise The Flag-Nancy Wake).
Gallant Guru got in on the winning action last week alongside his stablemates Ghibellines and Raise The Flag, who produced a winning treble at Wingatui on Sunday.
Gallant Guru 4yr-old Maxaway (Gallant Guru-Cee Gee Jay) won his first start in Australia at Donald on Friday.
Maxaway was bred by Brian and Lorraine Anderton's daughters Cathryn Anderton and Lynne Lowry and had one start in New Zealand before joining Archie Alexander's Ballarat stable.
The 4yr-old, who dead-heated to win his 1204m event, looks in for a big career in Victoria if his Donald victory is anything to go by.