Day At The Track

Superstar Lennytheshark to Empire Stallions

04:36 PM 03 Jul 2018 NZST
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Lennytheshark was the 2017 Miracle Mile victor
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Empire Stallions in Avenel, Victoria proudly announces superstar Australian harness racing 'Horse of the Year' Lennytheshark p,2,1:57.2; 3,1:55.9; 1:49.2 ($3,007,585) has been retired and will join their powerhouse stallion line up for the upcoming 2018/19 breeding season.

One of Australia’s greatest racehorses to ever have looked through a bridle, Lennytheshark raced against and defeated the very best of his generation. In 82 lifetime starts – “Lenny” racked up an impressive 39 wins, 20 seconds and 13 thirds while banking over $3 million in earnings. He also has a remarkable 23 Group victories to his credit with 7 at Group 1 level.

An outstanding juvenile performer at 2 & 3 winning 9 times, Lennytheshark signalled his potential for greatness right from the start. At two, conditioned by John Justice, Lenny won a heat of the Vicbred Super Series as well as his semi-final for the Australasian Breeders Crown earning a two-year-old mark of 1:57.2.

As a three-year-old, Lenny returned to score further wins in a heat of the Victoria Derby and semi-final of the Empire Vicbred Super Series. Lennytheshark posted his first Group 1 triumph in the $200,000 NSW Derby at Tabcorp Park Menangle where his performance was nothing short of brilliant - he paced his last two quarters in 27.2 and :27.4 respectively for a mile rate of 1:57.3 over 2400m.

Transferred to the David Aiken stable at 4, Lenny remained perfect for that season winning 6 races in 6 starts including a clean sweep of the Empire Vicbred Super Series posting wins in a heat, semi-final and the $100,000 4YO (GR1) Final.

As talented as Lenny was at 2, 3 & 4, it was as an Aged horse where he excelled in the open ranks and elevated his status as a hero for the sport. He was a formidable competitor winning back to back Victoria Cups (2016 & 2017) as well as the $100,000 Canadian Club Sprint.

It was his victory in the 2016 $1.3 Million Inter Dominion Grand Final in Perth that stamped Lenny as the premier pacer in the country.  He turned in yet another stunning performance winning the Final in 1:54.8 for the 2,536 metre journey after sitting parked outside the leader. And, who can forget the images of “The Shark” happily swimming at the beach in Perth days before the Final with his trainer smiling widely on his back. If you weren’t a Lenny fan before seeing those photos, you sure were afterwards. He was a wonderful ambassador for the sport!

Inter Dominion Final

Of all the memorable moments Lennytheshark gave us during his illustrious career, without a doubt, his most exciting performance was in the GR1 $750,000 Miracle Mile. In a star-studded field that included Lazarus, Hector Jayjay and Our Waikiki Beach, Lenny faced the breeze nearly the entire mile. He showed tremendous heart, grit and determination when he fought hard to put his head in front on the line to stop the clock in a new lifetime mark of 1:49.2. Lenny’s regular pilot was Australia’s champion reinsman Chris Alford, who said “He is the best horse I have ever driven – full stop. LENNY’s win in the Miracle Mile was that of a very special horse. It really showcased his incredible will to win.”

Miracle Mile

It’s no surprise Lenny was destined for stardom – his pedigree is loaded with black type performers. His sire, Four Starzzz Shark has made his mark as one of the leading international sires in the industry. Worldwide, Four Starzzz Shark has sired the winners of nearly $50 Million with 543 Winners, 16 in 1:50, 198 in 1:55 or faster, 121 $100,000+ Earners, 5 World Champions and 3 Millionaires. Each season, Four Starzzz Shark continues to sire talented colts and fillies alike that are highly competitive winning throughout Australia at every level including the sensational multiple Oaks Winner & Breeders Crown Champ FRITH p,1:50.1 ($1,180,345), the 2018 Chariots of Fire Winner Jilliby Kung Fu p,1:48.8 ($506,710) and the NSW Breeders Challenge 2YO Filly Champion Molly Kelly p,1:54.8 ($260,080) – just to name a few.

Lennytheshark’s dam is the 2016 Australian Broodmare of the Year Botswana. Not only does Botswana’s resume include Lenny, but she is also dam of the 2YO Australasian Breeders Crown Filly Champion Led Suitcase p,1:55.8 ($261,395) and the WA Sales Classic Winner Blissfull Boy p,1:54.3 ($241,970) - both by the former Empire Stallion Blissfull Hall. Lenny’s second dam, Lourenco Marques is the dam of 7 winners including the GR1 Australian Oaks winner Newbold Penny, Penny Veejay p,1:54 ($387,114) and Lord Marques p,1:52.8 ($214,830), etc.

One of Lenny’s greatest attributes was his versatility. He had an uncanny ability to win on any sized track, over any distance, racing on the front end, in the death or coming from behind. Trainer David Aiken said this about his star pupil. “Lennytheshark is the complete package. He had brilliant high speed and a faultless gait which enabled him to run fast times on smaller tracks. Lenny was a once in a lifetime horse – he has a special place in my heart and he has stolen the hearts of racing fans all over the country. I can’t wait to see what he does as a sire.”

Lenny is a spectacular looking bay stallion standing 15.3 hands with outstanding conformation, an excellent temperament and a fondness for apples. It makes perfect sense that he would begin his stallion career in Victoria as he is truly an all-Victorian horse. He was bred by Kevin Newbound’s Forest Lodge Standardbreds, is owned by Kevin & Martin Riseley and family, trained by John Justice & David Aiken, driven by Chris Alford and sired by a Victorian-based stallion out of a mare by another Victorian-based stallion the late ALBERT ALBERT.

“We are very excited to be standing Lennytheshark this season” said Empire principal David James. “We have followed his career with great enthusiasm and cheered him on every step of the way. His credentials are second to none and we believe that he will have wide appeal to breeders. His progeny should be highly sought at the yearling sales and we are certain that Lenny’s legacy will continue through his sons and daughters.”

Lennytheshark’s progeny will be Vicbred, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown, SA Southern Cross and NSW Breeders Challenge eligible – conditions apply.

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