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Swettenham Stud’s Americain is now officially up and running after he had his first Australian bred winner with Geegee Blackprince in the Tasmanian Sires’ Produce Stakes over 1400 metres at Launceston.
A homebred for Paul and Elizabeth Geard, they are the breeders and owners of the highly successful breeding and racing operation, Geegees horses in Tasmania.
As they breed to race on the Apple Isle, it’s rare not to see at least one ‘Geegees’ horse in every field sporting the lime, purple G, sleeves and cap.
“Our dairy property at Kingston was named Green Glory, and I thought when we started breeding thoroughbreds that it could become a bit complicated to have the same name for horses. But I did like the idea of the initials G-G, so the horse property is named Geegees Horse Stud, and we name our horses that way,” Geard explained.
The Geards have taken to Americain as a sire, with the decision to breed their best mare, La Quita, paying off.
“Geegee Blackprince was just the best looking colt foal, just outstanding,” Paul Geard said. It seems he has always been a looker, and he certainly got the attention from the racing crowd.
Trained by Stuart Gandy, Geegee Blackprince is one of only nine Americain-sired horses to race so far in Australia. Gandy is very close to the operation, having not only trained but also managed the stud for the Geard’s for over nine years.
Gandy described him as a “superstar in the making,” with his stunning looks, rich coat and statuesque frame, all very much in the image of his sire.
“You couldn’t get a better type, he’s a big, strong colt, beautiful nature, and the nicest moving thoroughbred I’ve ever broken in. He is well bred, and just a pleasure to work with, and we always knew when he got out to a trip he would show his best.”
“I’ve had him all along, we foaled him, I broke him in and now he’s off and racing, it’s great to see him grow and develop. Each time he has gone to the races he has progressed, and the soft going suited him, he raced like it wasn’t there.”
“He will head to the paddock now, and he will have a couple of months off before he gets ready for the Guineas and Derby down here, and if he lives up to what he is showing, he will be really hard to beat in the features,” Gandy said.
Geegee Blackprince is from one of Tasmania’s best families, and is the ninth foal of the couple’s star broodmare La Quita (Grand Lodge).
Unraced herself, she has been an outstanding producer, being the dam of the Tasmanian legend Geegees Blackflash (Clangalang) who reaped $1.2 million in prize money in a career that yielded six stakes wins in a career of 22 wins, 17 seconds and 10 thirds from 69 starts.
La Quita is also the dam of the Listed Tasmania Oaks and Listed Stutt Stakes winner Geegees Goldengirl (Wordsmith), Gee Gee’s La Quita (Atlantis Prince), conqueror of The Cleaner in one of her seven wins and Geegees Velvet (Wordsmith).
Americain’s stallion career kicked off in style last July in the Northern Hemisphere when his first runner to the track, the filly Folk Magic, won impressively at Woodbine, while the stayer’s former strapper, Stephanie Nigge, prepared another of his progeny, Americain Woman, to win impressively in France in April.
With this being the first of many winners for Americain, he stands this season at stud for the highly competitive service fee of $11,000 Inc. GST