The hamlet of Avoca was named by Thomas Seery, who said the land reminded him of Vale of Avoca in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland. Land title were taken by families, many Irish, whose names are still well-known in the area today. With the region’s cool climate and rich basalt soil full of minerals, trace elements and nutrients, Avoca farmers prospered through the bounty of abundant soils and sheer hard work. Nothing has changed to this day.

“a stunning 260-acre thoroughbred broodmare property situated in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales”


The property was an agricultural farm, growing vegetables. It was later run as a successful and well-respected dairy farm for 40 years.


Steve Grant buys his first broodmare.

Late 1980s

Steve commences his horticulture career, fast becoming one of the leading macadamia nut farmers in the world, with properties in NSW, QLD and South Africa.

1990s - 2000s

Steve continues to breed and races horses, many in partnership with Laurel Oak Thoroughbreds’ Louis Mihalyka, friends Ken & Maree Lowe, and Widden Stud. In 1991, Steve founds property development company, Capital Corporation.


Capital Corporation is instrumental in the design and construction of the new 200-box double storey stabling complex at Rosehill Gardens, along with several other major buildings at the racecourse.


Steve sells out of the macadamia nut farms to take a more active focus on breeding thoroughbreds under the banner of Grant Bloodstock. The original farm is purchased in Avoca, Southern Highlands, and the colt that would grow up to be dual-Group 1 winner turned sire, Rebel Dane is born.


Having won the G2 Royal Sovereign Stakes and G3 Show County Quality, Steve purchases a stake in Rebel Dane, who goes on under the stewardship of Gary Portelli to score his first Group 1 victory in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield.

Feb 2014 – Mar 2016

Steve serves as Australian Turf Club Board Member, spear-heading major developments such as the Rosehill Gardens grandstand redevelopment and the light rail integration at Royal Randwick.


Steve meets a young Rob Petith at Inglis Easter Sale, when Rob was managing Canning Downs in Queensland. The farm was the best presented draft that year and Steve was really impressed with Rob. Although he still hadn’t decided to fully develop Silverdale, he decided that if ever he was to grow the farm to be a leading player in the industry, Rob needed to be offered a role.


Kinema wins the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot for trainer Ralph Beckett and owners Steve, Richard Pegum, Ken Lowe and partners. He has since retired to Silverdale Farm to serve as a nanny to the youngsters.

“Steve’s hunch comes off when Rebel Dane wins the G1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley...”


Steve’s hunch comes off when Rebel Dane wins the G1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley, his second Group 1. He retires to stud in 2017.


Further development at Silverdale Farm continues. With an additional two properties purchased, bringing the total land hold to 230 acres, it stayed this size until an upgrade in 2024 (260 acres). John Muir and his Milburn Creek manager, Scott Holcombe, prove great assistance in the establishment of Silverdale and their contributions are recognised with paddocks being named in their honour.


Rob Petith joins the team as General Manager.


“Silverdale Farm present their first yearling draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, with three of the five yearlings achieving over $500k.”

Silverdale Farm present their first yearling draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, with three of the five yearlings achieving over $500k. Of the 80+ vendors, Silverdale achieved the second-highest overall average price, an amazing result for a first draft.

Subterranean (by Rebel Dane), from the first crop reared on the hills at Silverdale, wins a pre-Christmas 2YO race in Brisbane and goes on to be the farm’s first stakes winner in the Ken Russell Memorial Classic (G3).

In partnership with TAFE NSW, Steve launches the Silverdale Internship Program, a six-week course designed to introduce students to the career opportunities within the breeding, racing or other sectors of the horse industry, and assist in addressing the staffing crisis the industry is experiencing.


Silverdale’s first million-dollar yearling, a homebred filly by Snitzel out of Sweet Sherry, sells to Bruce Wilson and Luke Simpson of Glentree Thoroughbreds for $1.35m at the 2022 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. Going one better than the first year, Silverdale also achieved the highest average price of all vendors.

Silverdale 2-year-old filly Fireburn (Rebel Dane x Mull Over) wins the G2 Sweet Embrace S., and the G1 Golden Slipper / Sires’ Produce double, leading to her being crowned Champion 2-Year-Old.


With the arrival of the 2023 sales season at Magic Millions in January, Silverdale unveiled a new client gift – Southern Highlands hand-made gin & vodka. Carefully crafted and perfected by Eliza, Steve & So-Hi Spirits, it was presented to each purchaser of a Silverdale-bred yearling.

Our regally bred Exceed And Excel filly out of the stakes-winning 2YO and G2 winner Sweet Sherry sold for $1.1m to Kia Ora Stud & TFI at Magic Millions. Topping another exceptional sale for Silverdale, we were over the moon.

King Of Sparta (I Am Invincible x Octavia) showed his epic turn of foot to finish strongest in the $1m Magic Millions Snippets under a perfect James McDonald ride at Gold Coast Turf Club. Silverdale part-owned with some great friends including Ken and Maree Lowe, we enjoyed the celebrations with the Snowden team.

The 2023 Inglis Classic Sale was a success for our team. Silverdale Farm achieved a 100% clearance rate, our yearlings selling for up to $360,000.

We were thrilled to have racing royalty Gai Waterhouse visit Silverdale Farm and impart her knowledge on our February 2023 intake of the Silverdale Academy Interns. An eye-opening & informative day, the Silverdale Academy continues to go from strength to strength.

The 2023 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale will be one that we will never forget. Leading vendor by average, Silverdale sold an Australian record-breaking pinhook, which was also the $1.8 million sale topper, and achieved a 100% clearance rate.

The Autumn Sun x Via Africa filly (Lot 440) sold to Arrowfield Stud, providing a landmark day for the Silverdale team led by Rob Petith.

To be continued…