Happy New Year! I hope 2014 is a good year for you and your family and I wish all owners and breeders the utmost success at the Sales and on the track.
I’m sure if we continue on the way we left off last year, it should be a tremendous year for Queensland.
Queensland bred horses, certainly dominated some of the big races across the country over the spring Carnival.
Glenlogan Park sire, Bradbury's Luck produced the winner and third placegetter in the million dollar Group One Railyway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot in Western Australia.
In the same event, Bradbury's Luck's successful daughter, Fire Up Fifi was very unlucky to miss the quinella for Glenlogan Park, placing a close third.
A $46,000 purchase from the Riverslea Farm draft at the 2009 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale, Luckygray gave new trainer Trevor Andrews a second win in WA's feature race and his third Group 1 at Ascot.
Buffering, yet another Qld bred and raised youngster, collected his third consecutive G1 win on the same day, when he showed all of his customary fight to take out the $500,000 Winterbottom Stakes.
Having come out of the Melbourne Spring Carnival with victories in the G1 VRC Sprint Classic and G1 Manikato Stakes, Buffering is just one of the horses who flew the maroon Qld flag with distinction.
Zoustar and Boban, were also bred, raised and sold within Queensland by Queensland breeders and farms.
Boban was bred by the Thomas family of Greendale Lodge, and was sold through the Millbrook draft at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
Zoustar was bred by Kevin Dixon at Racetree, the Innisplain, Queensland, property he ran before selling on to Eliza Park International.
Racetree sold Zoustar at the 2011 Magic Millions National Sale for $55,000 in the weanling session to the bid of KP Thoroughbreds, he went back through the MM ring seven months later where syndicator Sherrif Iskander bought him.
The G1 Emirates, G1 Coolmore, G1 Epsom and G1 Golden Rose now adorn the trophy cabinets of the owners of these two “Queenslander’s” but the joy doesn’t stop there.
Lyndhurst Stud sire, Sequalo’s flying filly Missy Longstocking gave her rivals a galloping lesson when she took out the G3 Thoroughbred Stakes by 3 lengths for trainer Liam Birchley, whilst Tony Gollan’s Spirit Of Boom, bred at Eureka Stud, grabbed a terrific win in the G2 Caulfield Sprint.
Bradbury’s Luck’s quality mare Fire Up Fifi complimented her two G1 placings (The Myer and The Railway) with an outstanding victory in the G2 Blazer Stakes, whilst Show A Heart’s wonderful prizemoney earner, Black Cash, showed a tonne of courage to hold off all challengers at Flemington in the $100,000 Subzero Challenge for Gold Coast trainer Kelly Doughty.
Add to all of the above Qld trainer success with Dan Bougoure unleashing terrific victories by Oakleigh Girl on Melbourne Cup Day and Longport on Oaks Day, as well as Liam Birchley with Liesele in the Listed Alinghi Stakes in late October and it is exceptionally doubtful that there has ever been as potent an invasion from one state with so much success.
Buyers will hopefully keep that in mind when they narrow down their catalogue for this month’s Magic Millions Sale on the Gold Coast. The above results certainly show you don’t have to pay much to reap big financial rewards from a Queensland bred yearling.
There are also the attractive QTIS bonuses that most Queensland bred yearlings offer as an additional incentive when you’re looking for a future stable star.
One of Australia’s top trainers, Gai Waterhouse, certainly rates Queensland yearlings very highly.
Gai is truly a lovely lady, with so much knowledge and experience and she has a keen eye.
Late each November, Gai takes time out of her very busy schedule to visit a number of thoroughbred studs across South East Queensland that have yearlings catalogued in this month’s Magic Millions Sale. (pictured)
"They grow great horses in Queensland, terrific boned horses, they're tough, there's longer sunlight hours here, great ground to breed them, great pastures," Gai said.
She's visited the South East's leading thoroughbred nurseries for the past seven years, with the trip organised by Glenlogan Park Stud Manager and TBQA committee member, Steve Morley.
I think Steve deserves plenty of credit and praise for the role he plays in this tour. Giving up three days of his time to take Gai around to almost every stud that has a yearling in the sale is a tremendous feat. The tour wouldn’t happen without him and it is fantastic for the Queensland industry that Gai finds time to come and see our horses on the studs.
It would be great to see other high profile trainers follow suit, but I can understand how hard it is for them to find the time.
Still, the high praise Gai gives Queensland is great for our industry and any recommendation she can give about Queensland horses is fantastic, word of mouth is powerful marketing tool.
She believes inspecting the yearlings raw in the paddock, is one of the keys to selecting a winner, by witnessing first hand their development and growth pattern.
"I can see in six to eight weeks, or sometimes three months, if they're going to go ‘whoosh’ which is what you want for the Magic Millions Sale, or plateau out or go backwards and they do one of the three things," said Gai.
"I also like to see how they're handled, the way the breeders feed them, how they treat them, what they think of them."
This time it was an extra treat for Stud managers and their staff, by Gai’s side was her first ever Melbourne Cup. She was keen to show off the prized possession to her industry colleagues and was understandably still riding high after Fiorente's sensational Cup win.
She said the win is definitely one of her career highlights and she's amazed how the public perceives her now.
"No one ever says well done when I've won the Golden Slipper - I've done that five times - or the Doncaster that I've won seven times, but I win the Cup once and everyone comes up and says "Good on You, I'm so glad you won that Gai, terrific, good on you Gai" I mean it's quite mind boggling how it registers with people," Gai laughed.
And just maybe, she'll find another Cup champion right here in Queensland.
I can never predict how the market will be for the Sales, but I am hoping, as we all are, that vendors will reap the rewards of all the hard work we have put in preparing our yearlings over the past few months. Actually, over the past year and a half really, as the work starts as soon as that foal hits the ground.
We tend to find that the January Magic Millions Sale sets the trend for the rest of the year, so we really want some good results. That being said, vendors also need to be realistic and meet the market. We all need to have a little flexibility in this game.
Another top Australian trainer also made the trek to Toowoomba in November.
Peter Moody entertained 280 people at a fundraising dinner for Paris Turkington, which was held at Toowoomba Turf Club.
There was also a highly anticipated auction that included trips to the Cox Plate, Stradbroke Day, Magic Millions and various racing memorabilia.
The evening raised over $75,000 for Paris, who is the 17 year old daughter of Wattle Brae Stud owners, and TBQA member Gary and Phoebe Turkington. Paris was severely burned at a BBQ in August.
She was in intensive care for over three months and now has two years of living in a body suit and undergoing daily rehabilitation at the Brisbane Burns Unit. The family has moved to Brisbane for Paris' recovery and are travelling back and forth to the Stud, just outside of Toowoomba.
Peter deserves a big thank you for taking time out his busy schedule to help with the fund raiser, as does everyone who attended the night and helped to raise the much needed funds for this beautiful and courageous young lady.