By Grant Morgan
It’s not easy to find a nice QTIS filly and they tend to be even harder to buy when you do.
On day 3 of the sale I went to $220,000 on a very nice Love Conquers All QTIS filly who eventually fetched $250,000. That’s big money for a QTIS filly I hear you say. You’re probably right.
I had to wait until Sunday to secure a nice QTIS filly for our Eagle Farm trainers John & Chris Meagher. Team Meagher already put the polish on our highly promising QTIS filly Savanna Amour who isn’t dissimilar in looks to this very nice filly.
Consigned by prolific winner getter breeders Eureka Stud, lot 887 is a lovely Brown filly by first season sire Spirit of Boom from the Red Dazzler mare Wisp O’ Will. She was knocked down for us for just $60,000.
The filly is an early foal and looks forward and mature. She has some great sire influences in her female pedigree highlighted by Marauding, Last Tycoon and the great Sir Tristram.
I thought there were plenty of positives about the first crop of Spirit of Boom. Most looked athletic and of medium size, short coupled with decent hind quarters. The things I like to see when after a sprinter and something that might run a bit earlier.
Spirit of Boom has been well patronised by breeders in Queensland seeing 154, 147 and 142 mares in his first three seasons at Eureka Stud.
As a racehorse, Spirit of Boom was everything an owner dreams of. He was out and going as an early two year-old being stakes placed on debut before a dominant win the Magic Millions prelude, then finishing down the track in the Magic Millions. He went on to win 8 more races highlighted by Group 1 wins as an older horse in the Doomben 10,000 and the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley. He also collected a Magic Milllions Cup along the way and amassed prizemoney of over $2.4m before heading to stud.
To my eye Spirit of Boom looks the ideal QTIS stallion and I would expect him to be very successful.
By Grant Morgan
Each year we try predict which first season sire will make it. This year the sire at the top of our list is Epaulette.
I was thrilled to purchase lot 870 a bay filly by Epaulette consigned with new racing and breeding empire Aquis Farm. She was knocked down to me on day 5 of the sale for $140,000.
I must say I thought I’d get her for a lot less than that. But there were plenty who spotted her. I know Warwick Farm trainer Matthew Smith was underbidder, whilst up and coming Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie was also on this filly.
This filly is very much a two year-old prospect. She is strong and well balanced with very clean knees and joints. She looks built to run early. She will head to the Warwick Farm stable of Bjorn Baker who knows how to train a two year-old having already won the Magic Millions Two Year-Old Classic with Unencumbered.
This filly was sold as a weanling by her breeder Tony Williams to Aquis Farm for $55,000 at the Magic Millions National weanling sale last June. Tony is a legend in the racing and breeding world and now heads up the famous Goffs auction house in the UK having formerly worked with Newgate Farm, Hong Kong Jockey Club and Magic Millions to name but a few.
Tony also bred Group 1 winner Peggy Jean. He sold her as a weanling as he did with our filly, before she was syndicated as a yearling the following year. Earning not far short of $1m on the track, Peggy Jean went on to be sold as a broodmare for $1m.
I love buying yearlings that have gone through a weanling sale and there are plenty of great examples like Peggy Jean. I think it makes them mentally more mature than other yearlings that haven’t. This filly reminded me a great deal of Diamond Glow, a filly I purchase from the same sale a few years ago. Diamond Glow was sold as a weanling and re-offered as a yearling. She looked forward and we broke her in early like we will do with this filly. Diamond Glow won on debut at Caulfield in a $150,000 2yo race in January of her 2yo year. She went on to be runner up at her next start in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview behind the brilliant Miracles Of Life.
Epaulette is just a stunning individual. Every time I see the stallions at Godolphin he is the one who always gets my eye. Breeders seem to agree having sent 170 mares in season 1, followed by 134 in season 2 and 116 in the tough season 3.
A brilliant racehorse, Epaulette won twice at Group 1 level in the Golden Rose & Doomben 10,000. He was out and going early as a two year-old winning twice including the Black Opal Stakes. He was also runner up in two of our very best races in the Caulfield Guineas and T J Smith Stakes.
by Grant Morgan
We had to wait until day 5 of the sale but we secured the colt we were waiting for when we purchased an outstanding I Am Invincible colt.
Lot 891 was presented by Neil Osborne’s Mane Lodge at Sutton and knocked down to Ontrack for $260,000. This made him the top lot on day 5 of the record breaking sale.
Physically this colt was one of the best I Am Invincible’s at the sale. Whilst on face value many would say his pedigree looks light. Don’t be fooled into that way of thinking. Plenty said the same when I purchased Brazen Beau. He had four dams to the page like this colt and at first glance lacked black type and depth.
There are three primary factors this colt will be successful racehorse from a pedigree perspective.
Firstly, he is a three quarter brother to I Am Snippety. A first crop member of I Am Invincible, I Am Snippety was a precocious two year-old having blitzed a Wellington Boot field by 6.5 lengths after she was a close up fourth in the Group 3 Black Opal. In one of the saddest things I’ve witnessed on racecourse, I Am Snippety tragically broke down in the straight on a heavy Randwick track with what was an unassailable lead in the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes. The ultimate winner of the race was subsequent Group 1 winner Hallowed Crown.
Secondly, this is the first time this colts dam Yields of Gold has produced a foal by I Am Invincible. This is a key factor. What you must understand about I Am Invincible is his ability to dominate and upgrade a mare. Just because a mare hasn’t produced a great deal in the past with other sires often means zip when it comes to ‘Vinnie’. This is the identical pattern to Brazen Beau. His dam Sansadee produced Brazen Beau as her fifth foal and her first foal to I Am Invincible. Her prior progeny whilst most were winners were only moderate.
Finally, Bletchingly is a vital speed factor in the success of I Am Invincible. This colt boasts two strains of Bletchingly. This is also common factor for Brazen Beau, who boasts two strains of Bletchingly.
Neil Osborne is a fantastic smaller breeder from Canberra who does a great job with his mares. One of very few breeders to recognise the early potential of I Am Invincible, Neil purchased a lifetime breeding right In ‘Vinnie’ shortly after the deal was done to send him to stud. He as supported the horse strongly from day 1 and deserves the great results he is achieving with his yearlings. I purchased the il-fated I Am Invincible filly Babooshka from Neil at the same sale in 2015. Sadly Babooshka raced just once for a second at Canterbury as a two year-old behind subsequent Group 2 winner Morton’s Fork, before she broke down at trackwork. I have absolutely no doubt Babooshka was Group class.
This colt will head to the Gold Coast stables of Toby Edmonds, who of course prepared I Am Invincible filly Houtzen to win this years Magic Millions Two Year-Old Classic. Toby also trained I Am Invincible during the formative stages of his career, so it’s a great fit all round.
He looks the ideal type to target towards the 2018 Magic Millions Two Year-Old Classic. Queensland trained two year-olds are getting a great foothold in this race now with Houtzen joining recent winners Le Cap and Real Surreal. The taxing Queensland humidity makes it tough for Southern prepared horses. Being trained on course at the Gold Coast will give this colt every chance to compete at the Magic Millions.
Magic Millions winning Gold Coast trainer Toby Edmonds is a new addition to the Ontrack training roster for 2017.
Edmonds prepared star I Am Invincible filly Houtzen to record a memorable victory on his home track in the $2m Magic Millions two year-old classic.
“Toby Edmonds has done an amazing job with his team at the Gold Coast over the past two years. We have been monitoring his progress and feel it is the ideal time to support him with new yearlings and tried horses in 2017.” said Ontrack CEO Grant Morgan.
“Our business is based on the Gold Coast so it’s a good fit that we have a local trainer. We have a large number of clients based here and in South East Queensland so it’s a good fit.”
“The Gold Coast is also an ideal destination for our interstate and overseas clients to visit and combine their racing interests with a short getaway.”
“We want to increase the number of horses we have in South East Queensland and we will start to target more yearlings and tried horses suited to this during the year.”
The appointment of Edmonds means a return by Ontrack to a training centre that it recorded prolific success with former local trainers Gerald Ryan, Alan and Trevor Bailey.
Top performers who carried the All Gold colours trained out of a Gold Coast included stakes winners Barlinnie, Fabiarna and Rumbird, stakes placegetters Faster Son and Chevron Island, and smart performers Sovereign Dream, Shanambah and Flying Minstrel.
Based a short distance away from the Gold Coast Turf Club, Ontrack’s headquarters are located at the Corporate Centre which overlooks the racecourse.
Edmonds joins Eagle Farm trainers John & Chris Meagher on the Ontrack Queensland training roster.
by Grant Morgan
We were delighted and surprised to secure a full sister to Brazen Beau at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast.
The filly is very similar to Brazen Beau at the same stage. Whilst she might not be as big and robust as some of the other I Am Invincible yearlings which fetched massive prices at the sale, this filly is correct and athletic. When she is finished growing she will be every bit as big as her brother. Size never counted against him on the racetrack. Funnily enough, when I purchased Brazen Beau I remember several other buyers commenting that I paid too much and that he wasn’t going to be big enough. Time has proven both comments to be a myth.
Presented by Tim Nolan of Murulla Stud for the fillies breeder Bernie Howlett, the filly was lot 420 and she sold on day two.
Pre-sale we felt the filly would be well out of our reach and make more than $500,000. Regardless of that we inspected and vetted her and completed our due diligence. Chris Waller also inspected her and gave her the thumbs up, so it came down to a matter of price. When the bidding stopped at $360,000 she was ours. I couldn’t believe our luck. The fillies residual value sits at $200,000 - $300,000, which makes the price tag of $360,000 somewhat of a bargain.
The filly will be raced in partnership by a group of existing clients headed by Stu and Matt Lang from Lang Brothers Racing. They will join with Newgate Farm’s Henry Field and Matthew Sandblom to race the filly who will also be prepared by Chris Waller.
Like me, Henry Field and Matthew Sandblom are huge fans of I Am Invincble. Sandblom races Group 1 Myer Classic winner I Am A Star (by I Am Invincible), whilst Field stands the impressive Super One (by I Am Invincible) at his booming Newgate Farm in the Hunter Valley.
I am delighted that Henry and Matthew will race this filly with us and I hope our good fortune with the breed continues on.
I Am Invincible has clearly now gone to another level as a sire. At the Magic Millions sale he had 39 lots at the sale, every one sold. He fetched a top price of $900,000 whilst his yearlings averaged $318,000.
After the sale the filly was sent for a well earned break at Kilto Park, Caboolture. She will be broken in before enjoying another break in Queensland before ultimately heading to New South Wales to commence her preparation with Chris Waller.
Testa Rossa filly Test The World raced right up to her trial form with an impressive debut winner at Scone.
The Ontrack filly made her much anticipated debut at Scone on Christmas Eve and gave her owners no concerns with an authoritative win after sitting three wide off an outside barrier.
Ontrack CEO Grant Morgan admits Test The World had looked likely to win first-up on the strength of two barrier trials but a horse still has to overcome all the hustle and bustle of race day and get the job done.
“She won two barrier trials in impressive fashion before her Scone debut so we were confident she would run well and that proved to be the case. She was simply too good for her Scone rivals and jockey Chad Lever simply rode her like the best horse in the race and she was never put under any real pressure.
“Ontrack has always had faith in Test The World and we aim to purchase city performers to we are keen to see how she runs at Canterbury.”
Trainer Bjorn Baker was supremely confident Test The World would win at Scone and he says the filly lived up to his expectations.
“I said to Chad before the race just keep her out of any trouble and he carried out my instructions to the letter. She was three wide but she had clear running all the way and was simply too good.
“She is a lovely, big filly with a fair amount of ability and I’m confident we have a city class horse on our hands so there looks to be plenty more in store for her.
“She has done everything right after that Scone win and ran very well again at her next start at Canterbury,” said Bjorn.
Grant Morgan purchased Test The World at the 2015 Inglis Classic Sale for only $40,000 and assigned her to the Baker stable on the strength of the trainer’s success with another Testa Rossa youngster in Unencumbered, winner of the Magic Millions in 2014, and Twilight Royale, winner of two Inglis Classic races and the VRC Sires Produce Stakes.
“We had good success with the ill-fated stayer Mr Pedantic with Bjorn and now Test The World has maintained a perfect record with the stable. I’m off to the Magic Millions to find a nice filly that Ontrack will be giving to Bjorn to train,” said Grant.
Congratulations to our owners: Forti Rossi, Garry Batchelder, Bruce Burnell, Alan Wetton, David Moretti, Denis and Margaret Frew, Michael Byrne, Peter Davis, Anthony Barbieri, Ray Barker, Pam Bayles, Tony Halloran, Gordon Henry, Ailsa Morrison-Galt, Wayne Muller, Kevin O’Brien, Mark Ostermeyer, Terry West.