Written Tycoon has been a revelation as a sire despite an often-troubled career that has at times lacked stability.
Last week's Blue Diamond winner Written By continued the rise in stocks for Written Tycoon who now stands in Victoria at the Rowsthorn families Woodside Park at Tylden in Victoria at a fee of $88,000.
The death knock for commercial stallions is normally instability in ownership and location. Written Tycoon has suffered from both throughout his racing and breeding career. Prior to moving to Woodside, he started his stud life at Eliza Park in Victoria. He subsequently moved to Queensland for the 2012 season at Eliza Park's Innisplain farm. In that season he left the Golden Slipper winner Capitalist.
Without going into detail, turbulence amongst ownership groups in the past played a huge part of the instability experienced by Written Tycoon both as a racehorse and as a stallion. He has well and truly overcome that now, with full credit to Murray Tillett and his team at Woodside who have developed him into a high class proven stallion.
Written Tycoon has begun his career as a sire of sires with young sons Capitalist, Winning Rupert and Rich Enuff now at stud.
Winning Rupert is the one that got away for me. He could easily have raced in the 'All Gold' if lady luck had been a bit kinder on this occasion.
Winning Rupert was sold at the 2015 Magic Millions QTIS Sale out of the Eliza Park draft. I liked him on first inspection and he made my second inspection list. He passed second inspection and went on to pass my vet. That meant it was a green light for me to buy him, if the hand of fate stepped in. I didn't have a lot of horses on my final list at the sale, around 10 in the end and I planned on buying 3 or 4.
The only niggling doubt I had about Winning Rupert as a yearling was my perception at the time that he lacked a bit of leg. I liked everything else about him. I've included the photo of a yearling, so you can see what I mean. He was a really strong colt with a great coat and a good hindquarter. He looked like he would come early enough. His dam Winaura (by Show A Heart) was a very good race mare who was out and winning early in good Brisbane 2yo grade against the likes of Gold Edition. The smarties would say Winaura's page lacked black type, but that never worries me too much when the mare was talented, and her yearling is athletic. Some would say he was on the small side, but he was plenty big enough for me. I normally gravitate to yearlings on the medium to small side as I feel they are more athletic and less likely to break down.
I was very active at the sale and was bidding confidently which is normally the case. Seldom do I miss the ones I really want. At the end of the sale I had secured three, a colt by Zoffany and two colts by Love Conquers All. For the part owners of those three colts, this story may make your stomachs a little queasy. Needless to say, that that trio did not scale the heights like Winning Rupert.
When Winning Rupert stepped into the Gold Coast ring, the destiny I often talk of went the wrong for me. I thought perhaps he might be a $30,000 yearling. I sat back and monitored bidding. It rose beyond the $30,000 and eventually the hammer fell at $67,500. Magic Millions agent Barry Bowditch (now the big boss at Millions) was bidding on the phone. At the time I didn't know it was Bjorn Baker on the other end. I could have easily paid the price given I had purchased yearlings at the sale already up to $70,000. In fact, I've even been the leading buyer at the sale in the past with a top lot against my name. But in the end, the gut instinct I rely upon when a yearling ultimately enters the ring deserted me. That niggle I had about not having enough leg ended up winning the day and I went home without Winning Rupert.
History shows Winning Rupert was an outstanding young horse for Bjorn Baker who is ironically now our number one trainer in Sydney, putting the polish on our smart mare Test The World and several others. Winning Rupert won five of six starts and stakes of $579,500 as well as a $500,000 bonus.I think he could have won a Lighting or even a Newmarket had he of been pointed in that direction. I think perhaps the lure of Magic Millions proved his ultimate undoing. But it's so hard for connections to turn away from big bonus races when they are right in front of you. You can't blame them for that.
He was eventually purchased for stud duties by Henry Field's Newgate Farm. I have no doubt Winning Rupert will make a very good sire. The smarties will again point out his female line lacks black type and depth. But I'll be happy to ignore them again.
Winning Rupert reminded me very much of General Nediym both in his racing style and his physique. Both glowing chestnuts built like a brick proverbial. Like Written Tycoon, General Nediym had a somewhat unsettled career at stud through no fault of his own. He moved from stud to stud and stood in three different states before his premature demise. I think he could have been an outstanding sire had he been granted both stability and longevity. Funnily enough, the smarties also told you at the time that his female pedigree was too skinny to make a stallion. General Nediym is now one of the most sort after broodmare sires in the land and did a mighty job at stud.
The irony of this story really kicked in the following year. If you have any doubt I could have owned Winning Rupert on behalf of my clients, you only need to look to the2016 Magic Millions Sale. I secured Lot 875 - the next foal from Winaura, this time a filly by I Am Invincible. Winning Rupert hadn't raced at this point, but had won a trial. We got her for $80,000. She showed a stack of ability but in the end developed soundness issues and is now at stud.
You might think that missing Winning Rupert would infuriate me, but it doesn't. Its part of the romance from a game I love so much. I simply can't buy them all. He's not the first one that got away, and I know he won't be the last.