Fennessy’s Homebred: A First for Boulder


But like an astronaut dreaming of space, Fennessy sometimes lets his mind wander to potential stardom for one of the many racehorses he’s bred as a hobby during his decades in the sport.

On Saturday, Fennessy’s latest homebred will take to the track for the first time and with him, a new chapter in one of Australian racing’s great tales will begin.

Fennessy bred and owns Bill Boulder, a two-year-old son of unheralded Victorian stallion Boulder City who is the unraced half-brother of champion mare Winx.

“I had the original mare, a horse called Lady Paxmat, and we had about seven to race out of her,” Fennessy said.

“Six of them won and the best was an old horse called Caller One, he won quite a few races in Perth.

“The mother of this latest one, Feel Like Dancing, is by Jeune out of Lady Paxmat and she won a couple around country Victoria and ran a few placings in town.

“We had to retire her because she got an infected joint and nearly died.

“She’s a lovely mare and she’s the only one I breed from these days.”

Fennessy admits that his mating plans are less about pedigree analysis and more about what Benalla trainer and Riverbank Farm studmaster thinks will suit the mare in question.

When Boulder City joined the Riverbank stallion roster in 2018, Osbourne thought he’d be the perfect fit for Fennessy’s mare that has, so far, failed to produce anything of note.

A $2.3 milllion yearling purchase, is by Snitzel and his bloodlines are hard to ignore.

“I’ve bred a couple of stallions to her (Feel Like Dancing) – Churchill Downs and Von Costa De Hero – and they haven’t been much chop,” he said.

“Russell Osbourne talked me into going to this stallion, Boulder City, so hopefully this can be the best one yet out of the mare.

“She lives at Russell’s place so whatever he’s got on the market I usually use – there’s no rocket science gone into it.”

Fennessy has seen enough from Bill Boulder to think that he’ll win races, although he suspects it might be as a maturing three-year-old and not at The Valley on Saturday.

The youngster headed to The Valley earlier in the week for a gallop alongside stablemate and last-start city winner The Superintendent.

“He’s a nice horse, he’s a bit tall and gangly and you wouldn’t think he’d make a two-year-old – he might not be – but we thought we’d give him a run and then geld him and turn him out,” he said.

“I think he’ll win races but it’s just a matter of whether it’s now or in 12 months.”

A quirky sidenote to the story is that much of Bill Boulder’s early education work at Flemington has been done with the help of his ‘uncle’ – Lindsay Park’s longtime lead pony Caller One.

One of the most talented horses Fennessy has bred, Caller One won nine races and more than $350,000 in prizemoney.

“Caller One still actually works for us as a lead pony at Flemington,” he said.

“He’d be 21 or 22 but he loves being a lead pony.

“Bill Boulder would’ve been led out by him a few times at trackwork.”