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Maltster -  Profile of a Champion
Stallion  Born 1897
by Bill of Portland out of Barley
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Maltster was one of the early champions of the 1900s in Australia both on the racetrack and at stud.  He was foaled in 1897 and was bred by M O’Shanassy. 

Maltster was sired by Bill of Portland who won two races in England before being imported to Australia in 1894 as a 4yo.  He was know as a roarer but that didn't stop him siring stakeswinners such as Merriwee (VRC Derby & Melbourne Cup), Bobadil (Caulfield Guineas), Finland (Goodwood Hcp) in addition to Maltster.  His Australian stud career was brief and on the death of his owner he was sold back to a British owner and returned to England.

Barley (1887) was by Barcaldine from Lonely and was imported to Australia from England in 1891.  In 1892 she foaled the stakeswinner o'Trigger and foaled Zythos in 1901.  She eventually died at S Hordern's Milton Park.

Maltster was owned by R Orr and trained by James Scobie his regular jockey was Bobby Lewis and he emerged on the scene as a 2yo starting 5 times for 2 wins and 2 seconds.  He won the Hopeful Stakes and Ascot Vale Stakes in Melbourne before heading to the Sydney carnival.  There he was second in the AJC Champagne Stakes before completing his season with a second to Haulette in the AJC Easter Stakes.  


As a 3yo he returned to start first up in the AJC Derby on September 8th where he defeated the favourite Hautboy.  Taken straight to Melbourne he was dropped back in distance for the Caulfield Guineas where he ran third.  His next start was in the VRC Derby on the Saturday of Cup week (he is pictured at right at the start of a race during Cup week) where he raced away on straightening to win by a length from Kinglike with Barbarossa five lengths away in third place.  On the Tuesday he was second to Clean Sweep in the Melbourne Cup before dropped back to 6 furlongs to win the Flying Stakes on Oaks Day.  On the final day of the carnival he jumped back to 12 furlongs to win the CB Fisher Plate.  He was then given a break until the autumn

First up he tackled the Futurity Stakes carrying 61kg to finish third to Aurous (44kg) and Finland (57.5kg).  At this time there was an offer of 3000 pounds to buy Malster and send him to England but the owner refused and stated that the horse was not for sale at any price.  Maltster then won the VATC St Helier Stakes before another third in the Essendon Stakes and an unplaced effort in the Australian Cup.  At his final start Maltster returned to winning form taking out the VRC All Aged Stakes and was retired to stud.  Upon retirement he was sold to Widden Stud and remained there throughout his long stud career.

Maltster produced his first stakeswinners in 1904 with Maltsterdelle (SW in NSW) and Maltine (winner of the Gimcrack Plate, Rawson Stakes, Craven Plate and AJC Metropolitan before producing Jocelyn at stud who went on o also win the AJC Metropolitan).  Widden Lass later became the dam of Wolaroi (12 stakesraces including VRC Derby).

His crop of 1905 helped establish his fourth position on the Sires list in 1907-08 with Even Time (VRC St Leger), Malmsey (Standish Hcp), Perkeo (Rawson Stakes) The Brewer (2yo SW) and the brilliant Malt Queen who won 6 races including the AJC Sires Produce and an all aged flying before taking out the Champagne Stakes before dying three days later.  Another stakes winner of this crop was Miss Bass who won the Debutant Stakes but she is best remembered for her dynasty at stud.  She was the grand dam of Johnnie Jason, who won the Sydney Cup, VRC Derby and Warwick Stakes twice, and of Fission who produced VRC Oaks winner French Gem and Oakleigh Plate winner Millais.  French Gem produced stakeswinners Beau Gem, Crown Gem, Regal Gem, Solar Gem, and Royal Gem (winner of 13 stakesraces including Caulfield Guineas, Caulfield Cup, Goodwood Hcp, Futurity Stakes, Newmarket Hcp, etc and later produced Kentucky Derby winner Dark Star at stud in America.  He also produced Aurarius in this crop the dam of Nigger Minstrel and champion Desert Gold (30 stakes wins and 19 straight wins) and her descendants include the successful racehorse of the 1980's Galaxy Gleam, Auckland Cup winner Gold Trail, Goldmyth (Avondale Guineas), Ketchikau 1995 Centaine Stakes in NZ, current star jumper Enzed and Gold Rod winner of 14 stakesraces including AJC & VRC Sires Produce and AJC Epsom and AJC Doncaster.

The 1906 crop produced Alawa (led throughout to win the VRC Derby and won the CB Fisher Plate three times), Coonabar (SA Stakeswinner), Grist (NSW Stakeswinner), Mala (winner of the Newmarket Hcp and VRC Sires Produce), Malster Main (NSW Stakeswinner), Symetris (2yo Stakeswinner) and Malt King who won the Champagne Stakes, Caulfield Guineas, Caulfield Stakes, Rawson Stakes, AJC All Aged Stakes twice, etc during his successful career where he raced until he was 6.  At stud Malt King also proved a success siring the stakeswinner Maltgilla (sire of AJC Derby winner Tregilla) and Royal Thoughts while he was also the damsire of Pentheus and Winalot.  Maltster had moved up to second on the leading sire table in 1908-09.

In his 1907 crop Maltster produced a classic winner that couldn't compete today.  Beverage was the winner of the AJC and VRC Sires Produce races and then returned as a 3yo to win the VRC Derby but he did this while being blind in his right eye!  Desert Rose won the Maribyrnong Plate, Electric Wire the Rosehill Guineas and Habel the Debutant Stakes.  Lager was also a member of this crop and she produced Eusebius winner of stakesraces such as Caulfield Guineas and VRC Derby.  In 1909-10 Maltster became the Champion Australian Sire for the first time.

Popinjay was the star of the 1908 crop winning the Futurity Stakes, Oakleigh Plate, Linlithgow Stakes, Villiers Stakes amongst his stakeswins and then at stud sired Bright Poppy winner of the Goodwood Hcp.  Other members of the crop were Sconser winner of the Ascot Vale Stakes, Sweet malt (NSW Stakeswinner), Wassail (SA Stakeswinner), Woolerina (Caulfield and Rosehill Guineas) and Bahloo the dam of Cox Plate winner Easingwold.  Maltster was again named Champion Australian Sire in 1910-11.

The 1909 crop produced the Epsom Hcp winner Aleconnor, Doncaster winner First Principle, Gold Brew (Maribyrnong Plate), sprinter Golden Hop (The Shorts and Challenge Stakes twice) and Widgiewa (Goodwood Hcp) while Malt Lassie was the dam of Translator (William Reid Stakes) and Bacchus (Randwick Plate & Anniversary Hcp).  In 1911-12 Maltster kept his title of Champion Australian Sire for the third straight season.

Maltster produced four stakeswinners in 1910 Mint Sauce VRC Oaks, Malt Mark winner of the Stradbroke Hcp, Hopfield (NSW Stakeswinner) and Brattle winner of the Oakleigh Plate and Futurity Stakes.  Brattle went on to international success at stud where she was the grand dam of Irish Eyes who produced the Japanese Stakeswinner Oho Hikari who in turn produced the multiple Japanese stakeswinner Kurino Hana sire of Kurihide, Kuripero and Takamagahara all of whom won the Tenno Sho.  Maltster fell back to second on the Champion Sire list in 1912-13.

One of the most celebrated foals of the 1911 crop was Baverstock who was produced by the champion mare Wakeful.  Baverstock later went on the sire stakeswinner David.  Headwind who won the Standish Hcp and New Zealand Stakeswinner Bimeter were other members of the crop as was Otterburn dam of Tressova who was the grand dam of Delta (20 stakesrace wins including Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate), Deep River (AJC Derby) and third dam of Tea Rose (AJC Derby, etc).  In 1913-1914 Maltster regained the title of Champion Australian Sire.

While the 1912 crop didn't produce and stakeswinners it did produce Courante dam of Valicare winner of seven stakes races including Doncaster Hcp, Rawson Stakes and All Aged Stakes.  Valicare later went on to produce two stakeswinners at stud Care Free (Cantala Stakes and June Stakes) and Siren (Edward Manifold Stakes, Wakeful Stakes and VRC Oaks).  Valicare's third named foal Vampire was the grand dam of Doomben Cup winner Dream while Siren's descendants include stakeswinner String Of Pearls.  Care Free produced the stakeswinners Freedom and Royal Sceptre and her descendant's include stakeswinners Home Maid and Port Fair.  Maltster remained as the Champion Australian Sire in 1914-15.

Satinbird (Epsom Hcp) was the sole stakeswinner in the 1913 crop but Another member Irish Jig later produced Orr Stakes winner Gallopade at stud.  Maltster was now 16 years old by the time this crop raced he slipped to fourth place on the Champion Sire list in 1915-16.

Multiple stakeswinner Gold Tie (Futurity Stakes, Stradbroke twice) emerged from the 1914 crop and Maltster remained in fourth position in the Champion Sire List in 1916-17 when this crop hit the racetracks.

In 1915, 16 and 17 age began to catch up with Maltster as he failed to produce a stakeswinner amongst these three crops and he made his last appearance in the Champion Sires List top ten in 1916-17 in 5th position.

1918 produced Malt Chimes winner of the QTC Sires Produce and Admetus a stakeswinner in Queensland.  They were to be the last of Maltster's stakeswinning progeny.  Maltster's progeny went on to earn a total of £290,358 which was higher than the stakes collected by Heroic's offspring 25 years later when he topped the Champion Sires List seven times. 

Malster lived to the grand age of 25 years and died at Widden Stud on June 29 1923.  He was buried alongside other famous stallions at the stud.  However in 1932 the skeleton of Maltster was donated to the Colin McKenzie Museum in Canberra where he was later joined by Heroic who stood alongside him for many years.  The Colin McKenzie Museum later became the Institute of Anatomy and when that building was turned into the National Film and Sound Archive  both horses became part of the National Museum Collection where Maltster it is considered (confirmation was still pending as this article was being written) remains in storage.


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