Bruckner a new flagbearer for Oakland Park family

The lightly raced Bruckner burst in to contention for spring 3-year-old features with an impressive victory over Artorius (Flying Artie) and Heresy (Street Boss {USA}) in Saturday’s G3 H.D.F. McNeil S. at Caulfield.

A three-quarter brother to the G3 Vain S. winner and Group 2-placed Jukebox, Bruckner has now had two wins and a placing from just four appearances for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

For Oakland Park’s Neville Duncan, who not only bred Bruckner but also his dam and grandam, the colt’s classy and determined performance was the highlight of a special Saturday afternoon that also featured a win at Belmont with homebred filly Policiere (Safeguard).

“It’s been a very special day,” Duncan told TDN AusNZ. “I was particularly pleased with Bruckner, because it doesn’t really look like he quite knows what he’s doing yet.

“He had every opportunity to be beaten, but it looked like his brain switched on about 200 metres from the finish and he decided he wanted to be a racehorse today. It was great to see him dig deep like that, and it’s a promising sign for his future.”

“It was great to see him (Bruckner) dig deep like that, and it’s a promising sign for his future.” – Neville Duncan

Bruckner races in the colours of Aquis Farm’s Fung Family, who paid $725,000 for the colt from the draft of Blue Gum Farm at the 2020 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

“My recollection of Bruckner as a young horse is that he’s an absolute dude,” Duncan said. “From the day he was born, he’s just taken everything in his stride.

“When he got over to Melbourne for the sales, he got pulled out of the box so many times, but nothing ever fazed him at all. He was an exquisite horse and just had the most perfect personality.

“It’s a little bit unexpected that he’s been racing a little bit immaturely to this point, because the family has produced some serious 2-year-olds, but he’s just taken a while to put things together and is starting to get there now.”

Bruckner is the latest headline act for an Oakland Park family that has also produced not only Jukebox, but numerous other black-type stars, including Group 1 winner Ihtsahymn (Ihtiram {Ire}) – a half-brother to Bruckner’s Listed-winning grandam Jestatune (Rory’s Jester).

“We’ve had some very good luck with this family over the years.” – Neville Duncan

“We’ve had some very good luck with this family over the years,” Duncan said. “From 12 horses bred, we’ve had four stakes winners and another four stakes placegetters.”

Duncan believes Bruckner’s dam, Jestajingle, had comparable ability to those well-performed relatives, but the early stages of her racetrack career were unfortunately derailed by a serious injury.

“She (Jestajingle) broke her hind fetlock when she was being broken in. She smashed it, actually, and we came close to putting her down.”

“It took her a long time to recover, and it meant that she never got a chance as a two or 3-year-old. We may well have missed the boat in terms of her racing career, but she was still a very fast horse, and her mum (Jestatune) was particularly fast as well.”

Eventually debuting in the autumn of her 3-year-old career, Jestajingle had a total of 12 starts for two wins and three placings. She also finished fourth in the Listed Jungle Mist Classic at Ascot.

But she has made up for lost time as a broodmare and immediately made her mark, going to Snitzel for her first mating and producing Bruckner.

“She’s obviously off to a great start with Bruckner being her first foal,” Duncan said. “Since then she’s produced a half-brother by Street Boss that we’ve got ourselves and syndicated locally. He’s a beast of a horse, we’re excited about him.

“We then sold the mare to Philip Campbell at Blue Gum Farm, who we use for sales and have a great relationship with.

“He tells me that the mare’s had a foal by Zoustar and is booked to go back to Snitzel again this season, so he’s probably even more pleased today than I am! It’s a great result, and I wish him all the very best.

“But we’ve still got other mares from the family to keep breeding with. We’ve got one called Molto Allegro, who’s a three-quarter sister. Her first foal was Beethoven, who won the Listed Perth S., and since then she’s had Moonlight Sonata, who’s a broodmare prospect for us as well, and a gelding by Spirit Of Boom. She’s in foal to Blue Point (Ire).”

Richard Edmunds