French Racing: Lady Athena Australia to Arcachon
Lady Athena (Redoute’s Choice), trained at La Teste by Yan Durepaire, carries the Australian colours of John Hutchins.
For those au fait with the international panorama, the Hutchins name is synonymous with the six times group one winning and Australian Horse of the Year Typhoon Tracy. She is the first champion bred by a family which has been involved in the racing game for circa 20 years.
The racing bug was passed on via a daughter of the renowned French sire, Anabaa, who was purchased in New Zealand and whose racing career bore fruit under the guidance of the Australian trainer John O’Shea. The ability to hit the ground running was the prelude to some sizeable investments and one in particular stands out – namely Tracy’s Element: acquired for a million Australian dollars as a future broodmare prospect.
This came hand in hand with free breeding rights to the stallion Red Ransom, which is something which had been personally negotiated by Mrs Hutchins. Can you guess the outcome of this particular cross? It was none other than Typhoon Tracy! Since then the Hutchins have acquired a stud, Element Hill, in the state of Queensland. It is home to around 40 broodmares and son Josh is at the helm. Element Hill has gone on to become a top consignor at one of the most prestigious Australian sales, namely the Magic Millions.
Yan Durepaire, the trainer of Lady Athena, recalls: “I remember seeing her as a yearling when she was boarding with Anna Sundtsrom where she was being prepared for the sales. It’s easy to say it now but she really did catch the eye. Arthur Hoyeau introduced me to Josh Hutchins who bred her in tandem with his parents. Our meeting went well and, when they decided to keep the filly with a view to racing her, they decided to send her to me after visiting the stable.”