Lonhro: a legend on and off the track

22 August 2023 Written by VRC

Lonhro’s win in the 2004 Australian Cup was one of the most memorable in the race’s history, after a successful stud career, he has been retired a happy and healthy horse.

Picking himself off the canvas at the 200-metre mark after copping a bad check, and having to switch to the outside and eventually run down three-year-old, Delzao. Greg Miles’ call of the race only made the race all the more special. The racecourse was a sea of cerise flags, caps and banners, with the reception for the champion among the warmest ever seen. 

He is the son of 10-time Group 1 winner Octagonal ‘The Big O’, who was sired by the mighty Zabeel. Described as “tiny, but perfect” in his early days, Lonhro grew into a carbon copy of his father, a darker brown almost black horse sporting the famous cerise silks of the Ingham family.

He became a giant on the track and then, upon his retirement from racing, in the breeding world. The winner of 11 Group 1s he would go on to sire 1000 individual winners, with 13 of them Group 1 victories across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. His best product being Pierro who won five Group 1s including the Sydney two-year-old triple crown (Golden Slipper-1200m, Sires’ Produce Stakes-1400m, Champagne Stakes-1600m). He will look to carry on Lonhro’s legacy at stud as Lonhro did for his sire Octagonal.

The 2004 Horse of the Year and 2011 Champion Stallion leaves a lasting legacy in the racing world as he enters retirement from stud duties. He will remain at Kelvinside, NSW, where he has been for the past decade, with the same team looking after him daily.

Free now to continue to enjoy roaming the paddocks and take his walks around the farm, Lonhro is retiring a happy and healthy horse.


Brown Stallion

Foaled  10/12/1998

Sire  Octagonal (NZ)

Dam  Shadea (NZ) (Straight Strike (USA))

Trainers  John Hawkes

Breeder  Woodlands Stud, Denman NSW

Owners  Woodlands Stud Synd (Mgrs: J H & R W Ingham)














WON 2001 Caulfield Guineas (1600m)

WON 2002 & 2003 Group 1 Yalumba Stakes (2000m)

WON 2002 Group 1 LKS Mackinnon Stakes (2000m)

WON 2003 Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m)

WON 2003 & 2004 Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m)

WON 2003 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m)

WON 2003 Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m)

WON 2004 Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m)

WON 2004 Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m)



Australian Racehorse of the Year (2004)

Australian Middle-Distance Champion (2004)

Australian Champion Three-Year-Old (2002)

Australian Champion Stallion (2011)



Stood at:  Woodlands Stud, Denman NSW and Darley Kelvinside, Aberdeen NSW

Peak service fee:  $110,000

93 individual stakes winners (185 stakes wins)

13 individual Group 1 winners (18 Group 1 wins)



Pierro (5-time Group 1 winner)

Lindermann (2023 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas)

Denman (2009 Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes)

Mental (2012 Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic)

Aristia (2018 Group 1 VRC Oaks)

Kementari (2018 Group 1 Randwick Guineas)

Lyre (2019 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes)

Lonhro winning the 2004 Australian Cup. (Sean Garnsworthy/Getty Images)