When Frederick The Dane was placed in a Group 3 Blue Diamond Stakes lead-up on debut, there was reason for all associated with the gelding to be optimistic, even excited about what lay ahead.

If only it were that easy.

Frederick The Dane broke through for his first win at his fifth start and it be another five starts before he would taste victory again.

The speedy son of Danerich broke through for his long overdue second win at Cranbourne. After showing so much promise early on, the quirky type has taken quite a bit to work out.

A one-eyed blinker coupled with the drop back in distance did the trick, seeing him back in the winner’s circle over 1000 metres in a Bench Mark 64 event.

Ben Hayes had indicated that he was ready to move into the doghouse if he couldn’t get ‘Fred’ back winning due to the pressure applied by the No.1 ticket holder.’s Grace Ramage, Ben’s partner in life, is part of the ownership group along with his mother Prue.

Experimenting with blinkers, headgear worn by horses featuring a cup over each eye to restrict peripheral vision, can have a positive impact. However, the Hayes family – from patriarch Colin, to David and brother Peter – have used a one-eyed blinker to great effect.

Every horse is an individual and it is a matter of establishing what helps them to focus on the task at hand. So far so good,

Frederick The Dane will most likely head back to Cranbourne in a couple of weeks for another suitable 1000 metre race, which should set up well for him.



Yarra Boy, an astute purchase from across the Tasman, reaped a quick return for his owners at Ballarat and will be elevated to metropolitan midweek competition at Sandown on April 5.

“It was terrific to see our private purchase off the New Zealand trials do what we had hoped, plug straight into the Lindsey Smith training regime and go bang at his first start,” an exuberant Brad Spicer said.

“He’s only been in Australia for around six to seven weeks and the team have done a great job to get him winning at his first time out.”

Champion jockey Damien Oliver, who had a tremendous affinity with Spicer Thoroughbreds’ favourite Commanding Jewel, joined forces with Yarra Boy and was glowing in his praise.

“It was great to see one of the all-time greats do the steering and that might have made the difference in a hard slog to the line on a very heavy track,” Spicer said.

“He is a horse with a great deal of ability and I am sure when he gets to 1400m and further he will be even more prolific. Ollie said he will have no trouble going through his grades.”



Spicer Thoroughbreds’ success story, Incredulous Dream, continued to grow her reputation with a first-up win at the Mornington Cup meeting.

Incredulous Dream stretched her record to three wins from seven starts when she got the better of Garvoc in a Bench Mark 70 for fillies and mares.

The grey daughter of Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement overcame an incident in the barrier stalls, quickly regrouping and winning in quick time – much to the delight of connections who gathered to cheer her home.


“It was a very nervous wait for our girl to pass a vet inspection pre-race after becoming fractious in the gates, but all’s well that ends well,” Brad Spicer said.

“Within a few minutes later she had kicked off her campaign with an impressive win over what we think is a little short of her best. Jye McNeil had he is a good position just in behind the speed and made the move to attack at the right time on what can be a tricky track.”

The win, which bolstered the three-year-old’s career earnings to just shy of $140,000, sets Incredulous Dream up for a crack at some black type races over the Adelaide Carnival, commencing in April and spilling over into May.

“It’s great for her to come out and really assert herself as a high-class filly as that franks the opinion I had of her way back at the Magic Millions sale when I described her as the filly of the sale,” Spicer said.

On The Couch – March 2021

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