Having his first run since May last year, Blackboard Special was an impressive winner at Doomben on Saturday - drawing clear to win by 1 14/ lengths, his victory a relief for trainer Wayne Lawson who has worked hard to resurrect the career of a talented horse who has had problems.
Blackboard Special, who has won two of just eight starts, is out of the lightly raced mare Bellequalo whose sire is the late great Sequalo - and Saturday's race provided him with a quinella of sorts with the runner up being his consistent five-year-old son Flight In Space.
Sequalo's daughters are doing a great job at stud, already producing 82 winners including the promising Clover Lane who looks a top chance in Saturday's Gr.3 The Vanity at Flemington.
He currently has around 115 daughters at stud - in foal to the likes of Pierro, Sepoy, Congrats, Denman, Sizzling, Stratum, Love Conquers All, Fighting Sun, The Factor, Top Echelon, Mahisara, Albrecht, Al Maher, Rothesay, Fast 'N' Famous, Delago Deluxe, Excites and of course our boys Hidden Dragon and Drumbeats.
To the paddock a winner in June, tough and classy filly Missy Longstocking returned to the track a winner again - proving too strong for her rivals over 1000m at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Recording the seventh win of her ten start career, the Liam Birchley trained daughter of Sequalo took her prize money tally to beyond $543,000.
Allowed by apprentice Aidan Holt to find her feet in the early stages of the speed contest, Missy Longstocking really let go over the final stages - wearing down the leader before racing away to win by a soft 3/4 length.
"She showed that she's a class above the rest," said Holt, "and I think she will make the grade when she goes to Melbourne."
The Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day is Missy Longstocking's ultimate spring aim but she will head south soon with two options available to her on October 12.
"There's a Group Three fillies and mares race or the Blue Sapphire," Birchley noted, adding that "she will be entered for those races and try and pick the right one for her to run in."
Birchley is confident that Missy Longstocking still has plenty of scope for improvement - as is Holt.
"Towards the end of the race she was getting a bit tired and she's not a big fan of the stick so I went back to hands and heels and she did the rest."
Raced by Judy Clairs, Missy Longstocking was bred by Annecy Bloodstock out of the Thunder Gulch mare Linyanti who paid a return visit to Sequalo last spring.
Sequalo's Saturday was a good one - metropolitan victories in Brisbane and Adelaide for Ticket To Dream and Swipeline, a Gold Coast win for Crashing and a stakes placing for the classy Spirit Of Boom.
Recording her second city win, the Matthew Dunn trained Ticket To Dream settled back in the 1000m dash - weaving through the field to find the line in determined fashion.
Bursting through at the 50m and drawing clear to win by 1 1/4 lengths, the five-year-old won the fifth race of her 19 start career - increasing her prize money tally to beyond $114,000.
Bred and part owned by Markham Hough, Ticket To Dream is out of the Made Of Gold mare Made Of Dreams, a half-sister to the multiple city winner Observation.
Hough also bred Ticket To Dream's fourth dam - the champion grey Emancipation.
Making up for a run bad luck last time in, Swipeline was a deserved first up winner at Morphettville - always travelling well in second placing for Jamie Kah.
Taking over early in the straight, the Tony McEvoy trained four-year-old gave a good kick to win by a smart 3/4 length at his first run since mid-April.
"First up, leading all the way and strong to the line - he was very impressive," McEvoy said, adding that "he is a nice horse who has been troubled by gland problems."
"And he has not had much luck - but hopefully we are on top of his issues and this could be a good preparation for him."
A two times winner from just nine starts, Swipeline was bred by Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, Victoria. Purchased at the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale for $85,000. He is a son of the Encosta de Lago mare Encapsulate, daughter of the imported stakes placed mare Anemone Garden.
Bred by Lyndhurst Stud and sold at the 2011 QTIS 600 Sale for $33,000 to Gold Coast trainer Bruce Hill, Crashing was a game winner at his home track.
Crashing meanwhile settled back in a strongly run affair, spotting his rivals ten lengths as he made his run wide to the turn.
Swinging four wide into the straight, the four-year-old swooped to the lead - digging deep when challenged over the final stages - winning his second race from 14 starts.
Crashing is one of six winners produced by the stakes placed Rolling Minstrel mare Ninnananna who is now retired from stud duties.
Looking set for a successful spring is Spirit Of Boom who, at his first run since a close-up Stradbroke Handicap fourth in June, was a game third in the Group 2 The Shorts at Randwick.
Drifting back in the 1100m contest, the Tony Gollan trained six-year-old fanned wide into the straight - running on gamely to only just miss out in a tight finish.
Meanwhile Golden Trinkets was again in winning form last Sunday, recording his second easy win in a row saluting by an easy 5 1/4 lengths at Dalby.
And at the Doomben trials on Tuesday a trio of Sequalos impressed with soft victories - the lightly raced filly Epsilon from the Tony Gollan stable, the classy Leealan trained by Tony Crane and the unraced Robert Heathcote trained In Taiwan.
Barely a Saturday goes by without a great performance by evergreen stallion Sequalo and last Saturday was another great day for him with four winners highlighted by the metropolitan success of The Storeman.
Recording his third victory this preparation, the Tony Gollan trained four-year-old was always travelling well for Maija Vance - hitting the lead at the 200m and holding off all challenges.
A tough and consistent galloper who has won five of his 14 starts, The Storeman was bred by the Koala Dreaming Syndicate and sold at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Horses In Training Sale for $31,000.
Already the winner of over $126,000 with more to come, The Storeman is the first live foal produced by the winning Lion Hunter mare Girlzone, a full sister to the dual stakes winner La Chasseuse.
What great form Sequalo gelding Sorisam has been in of late, the durable Ricky Maund trained seven-year-old winning four of his last six starts with his latest success coming at Bairnsdale on Saturday.
Always travelling well in the lead for Dean Holland, the bay really let down nicely over the final stages - his 1 1/4 length victory a soft one.
Bred by Bill Duncan Bloodstock and purchased by Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm for $70,000 at the 2008 Magic Millions, Sorisam has won eight of his 34 starts and seems to be racing at career best form at the age of seven.
The result of a one-off visit to Sequalo, Sorisam is out of the city winning Zeditave mare Wham Bam and he is her only winner from six foals.
Also racing in fine form is Mr Thatcher whose 3 1/2 length victory at Warwick on Saturday was his third success from his last five starts.
Overall a winner of six of 21, the Tom Dougall trained five-year-old is raced by his breeders who sadly lost his dam, the 12 times winner Watagan Lass a few years ago.
Also the dam of the two times Listed winner Miss Watagan, she was in foal to Hidden Dragon when she died.
The Inverell meeting saw Sequalo's fourth winner - Rioqualo winning his second in a row having also been successful at his previous outing at Goondiwindi.
A 1 3/4 length winner on that occasion, the Luke Berger trained seven-year-old won even more easily this time - his margin a soft 2 1/2 lengths.
A metropolitan winner of seven races, Rioqualo is the first of only three foals produced by the winning Cicerao mare Lady Cicerao who sadly died young.
Another five of Sequalo's progeny were in the placings on Saturday - always consistent!
There are exciting times ahead for Sequalo with two of his most promising fillies back in work after showing great potential during their two-year-old campaigns.
Back at the track last week, having enjoyed a short break after winning the Listed Hampden Stakes at Eagle Farm in early June, Missy Longstocking has been aimed by trainer LIam Birchley at Group One racing in Melbourne.
Likely to resume in mid to late September, Missy Longstocking will be set for the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day.
Meanwhile the Tony Gollan trained Epsilon (pictured last week) is in pre-training at Washpool Lodge - looking a treat after being given time to recover from a minor hamstring injury.
Impressing with a 4 3/4 length debut victory at the Sunshine Coast in late January, Epsilon was somewhat unlucky when defeated by Grey Countess at Eagle Farm a few weeks later.
As can been seen from the above photo she has thrived during her time away from the track and connections are excited about her spring return.
Sequalo has enjoyed a wonderful season with his juveniles and his tough son Agitate was again in winning form at Doomben on Saturday.
Leading throughout to claim the Breakfast Creek Hotel Handicap, the Kelly Schweida trained colt recoded his third success from seven starts - and he was able to succeed despite not all going to plan.
"I came out with a set plan to snag him at the start and ride him from behind," said jockey Glen Colless, "and when he jumped three-quarters of a length in front I was a bit worried."
"I put the anchors on straight away but he wanted to over-race in the middle stages and when he dragged me round the turn I just let him run."
A horse with great natural speed, Agitate was part of a great day for Sequalo whose progeny won five races around Queensland.
Like that horse, Pretty Pollyanna is out of a mare by former Lyndhurst star Celestial Dancer and she too won yesterday - breaking her maiden by 1 1/2 lengths at Bundaberg.
At the Charters Towners meeting Sequalo was represented by another new winner, Zozuqalo winning her maiden by a 1 1/4 lengths whilst Timmy's Turn recorded an even easier victory at Ilfracombe - racing away by 5 1/4 lengths; recording his second win from just four starts.
Hidden Dragon also enjoyed a good day with four winners - two-year-old Dragon Sign proving 1 1/2 lengths too good for his rivals at Cairns, Quizette recording her fifth career victory at the Gold Coast, Stiltskin breaking his maiden at Ilfracombe and Star Dragon his at the Sunshine Coast.