Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have done a great job in developing Genus (Zabeel ex Meranti) as a staying three-year-old filly.
Her win today at New Plymouth came off the back of two excellent second placings at Te Rapa (1600m) and Hastings (1600m). She needed every bit of the 1800m today to score and there’s no doubt she’s now looking for the Oaks distance of 2400m.
The filly holds a nomination for the Wellfield-sponsored event in March and it’s a race Nearco Stud (owner of Genus) would dearly love to win, having had Quintessential run third in the race last year behind Artistic and Zurella.
Genus was passed in by Cambridge Stud at the 2011 Karaka Premier Sale. I later negotiated her purchase. At that time she was very correct, had perfect x-rays and a wonderful temperament. On the negative side was the fact that she clearly needed time; which is nearly always the case with any of the progeny of Zabeel.
Paul Pertab broke her in and she’s had numerous spells at his Matamata agistment farm between short preparations with Baker & Forsman.
It’s been a good week for Nearco Stud horses purchased by this agency. Last week Consummate (Fast ‘n’ Famous) won for Kevin & Pam Hughes at Ashburton in a Rating 75 over 1600m. Later that day Purpose (Falkirk) was the closest of seconds at the same meeting. I purchased both fillies at the 2010 Karaka Select Sale for Nearco Stud. It’s also the sale I secured Queensland Oaks winner Quintessential for Nearco.
You always hope that a horse will do well during a break, but I must admit to being blown away by the condition of Dancer’s Tale when I inspected her yesterday afternoon.
The filly went to the paddock a few days after her stunning victory in the Listed Welcome Stakes at Riccarton Park. She was very tight in condition, but has clearly relaxed and put on the required condition and I couldn’t be happier with her.
She returns to trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman next Monday and being the second-leading qualifyer for the Karaka Million, 27 January, that is an obvious target. She is likely to have a run before then, a decision is yet to be made where and when that might be.
And while chasing NZ$1 million at Ellerslie is a wonderfully-exciting attraction, it’s just part of her agenda going forward. The Group Two Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (fillies only) in February is certainly front of mine for me, so too are the Diamond Stakes (1200m-Gr.1) and Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m – Gr.1) a little later on.
Dancer’s Tale won her debut in New Zealand’s first two-year-old race of the season at Wanganui, 08 September. Her second run was a third placing behind Ruud Awakening in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham Gardens during October. She was then freshened for last month’s winning performance in the Welcome Stakes at Riccarton Park.
We’ve all got opinions as to which are the best two-year-olds seen out so far this season. Ruud Awakening is the best I’ve seen to date and I put Bounding in second position. I have no hesitation putting Dancer’s Tale in third spot. She is a natural juvenile, a delight to be around and do you know what, I’m not convinced that the ‘penny has dropped’ just yet with her. I’m excited about the prospect of her going to the races and doing everything 100% right. If she can do that, she will be competitive with anything she meets during the remainder of the season.
The Challenge No.1 Syndicate’s talented juvenile filly Dancer’s Tale will be wearing blinkers when she steps out in Saturday’s Listed Barneswood Farm Agistment Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton Park.
‘Princess’, a nick-name the syndicate has adopted for this filly, did herself no favours when running around last time out when third in the Listed Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham Gardens. Despite doing more wrong than any other runner, Dancer’s Tale still managed an excellent third to the talented fillies Ruud Awakening and Precious Sophia.
I’ve been to the Cambridge track twice in recent days to watch Dancer’s Tale work and both times she carried blinkers. She went nice and straight in company last Saturday and her work was even better, again in company, yesterday morning.
The filly is safely in Christchurch. She left the Baker Racing barn at 2.20am this morning, floated to Auckland and then boarded a charter flight for Christchurch. She was safely in her Christchurch box by 6.30am this morning.
Trainers Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman have also made a change of jockey this weekend, with Michael Coleman taking the ride.
I’m delighted to have a live chance in a Listed Race in Challenge Racehorse Syndications’ first year of business. The company was only launched just before Christmas and the first syndicate (which has four horses including Dancer’s Tale) was put together off the back of the Karaka Yearling Sales Series. All four fillies where purchased at the Karaka Select Sale, with Dancer’s Tale coming from the consignment of Blandford Lodge.
Whatever the outcome on Saturday, Dancer’s Tale will go to the spelling paddock when she returns from Christchurch. She looks safely qualified on prize money for the Karaka Million and that will be our sole focus going forward. Readers of this blog will be interested to know that the threshold of prize money needed to make the Karaka Million field for the last three years has been around $8,000. Dancer’s Tale has banked $12,310 so far and with any luck with add a few more dollars this weekend.
I’m sure Murray Baker has had congratulations galore for landing his 1000th NZ winner at Trentham Gardens on Saturday.
It’s a massive milestone and reward for years and years of attention to detail and never taking your foot off the pedal.
I’ve known Murray on a casual basis for a long period of time, but it’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve got to know him well. The closer tie came about when I got to know his son, Bjorn, on a plane ride home from Wellington one race day.
From there I recommended a client put two horses into the Baker Stable operation and more recently I offered Dancer’s Tale to Murray to train when I set up the ‘Challenge No.1 Syndicate’.
Since then I’ve observed Murray’s no-nonsense attitude. Nothing is sugar-coated and that’s the way I like it. With Bjorn now doing his own thing in Sydney – and I have no doubt he’ll be a huge success over there – Murray has been joined in the training partnership by long-time employee Andrew Forsman. Andrew has the energy, dedication and ability to make a success of the role and the results coming out of the Cambridge-based stable prove to me that the formula is working.
So well done, Murray, there is no substitute for experience and you continue to work your magic. I do hope It’s a Dundeel delivers your second Victoria Derby for you on Saturday.
By the way, Dancer’s Tale has come through her Wellesley Stakes third placing well. She will have a light week and then be readied for the Listed Welcome Stakes at Riccarton Park, 17 November. She did a lot wrong in the Trentham race; probably more wrong than any other runner – but still ran third. Murray and Andrew have the challenge now of ironing out things before Riccarton. ‘Dancer’, as I like to call her, couldn’t be in better hands.
Challenge Racehorse Syndications gained its first trial winner today when Fascination Street (Elusive City ex Piece of Cake, by Snippets) won an 850m Catchweight for two-year-olds at Te Awamutu.
Fascination Street is one of 4 juvenile fillies being raced by the ‘Challenge No.1 Syndicate’ and is prepared by John Sargent at Matamata. Fascination Street had been placed second at a trial at Te Teko at the very start of the season. She was immediately spelled after that outing and looked very professional today, winning by four lengths in the hands of Vinny Colgan.
John Sargent told me after the trial that the filly would make her race debut in the next couple of weeks.
The result comes a month after Challenge Racehorse Syndications enjoyed a dream start on the racetrack when Dancer’s Tale (Tale of the Cat ex Pineu, by Carnegie) won on debut in the very first juvenile race of the new season at Wanganui, 08 September.
Dancer’s Tale had a two week let-up and is being readied for next week’s $50,000 Wellesley Stakes-LR (1000m) at Trentham Gardens.
For the record, the 4 fillies being raced by the ‘Challenge No.1 Syndicate’ are…
* Dancer’s Tale – winner over 800m at only start; trained by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman
* Fascination Street – trial winner over 850m; trained by John Sargent
* Harper Rose – placed 4th in sole trial to date; trained by Richard Collett
* Raajaine – yet to trial; trained by Shaune Ritchie
To find out more about the ‘Challenge No.1 Syndicate’ CLICK HERE
The morning was going so well; Quintessential looked in great nick when I watched her work at the Matamata track around 7am. She jogged off the track in the usual manner and track rider Darryn Weatherley provided John Sargent and I with a pleasing report on her work.
Then we waited for the barrier draw; the all-important ingredient to her chances in Saturday’s $300,000 NZB Insurance Spring Classic-Gr.1 at Hastings. Sixteen starters & she draw the outside gate!
But we’ve been there before with the Queensland Oaks winner of last season; let me paint you a picture of the run of misfortune with barrier draws for Quintessential…
QUEENSLAND DERBY-Gr.1 (2400m) – drew the very outside; ran a brave second to Brambles
THE ROSES-Gr.3 (2000m) – drew 13 of 16 runners; long way back & stormed home for fourth
GUNSYND CLASSIC-Gr.3 (1600m) – drew 16 of 17 runners; rocketed home for fourth
NEW ZEALAND OAKS-Gr.1 (2400m) – drew 15 of 16 runners; huge effort from the back to run third
DESERT GOLD STAKES-Gr.3 (1600m) – drew 10 of 14 runners; powerful finish to win
So I’ve put the barrier draw to the side when I think about her chances on Saturday; yes it’s going to make it tough but Group One races are never an easy assignment whatever your draw, form, rider or weather.
John Sargent, Damien Browne (he flies in from Brisbane on Friday) and I will sit down and discuss a race plan.
In my opinion, Quintessential is up to winning this race. Her run in the George Main Stakes-Gr.1 last time was full of merit. With all due respect to the opposition on Saturday, she doesn’t have to contend with the likes of Shoot Out, Rangirangdoo, Secret Admirer & All Too Hard – the 4 horses in front of her last time. The mare is peaking and from what I saw this morning, her condition is spot on for Saturday.
Whatever the outcome on Saturday, Quintessential will spell from Monday at Paul Pertab’s Matamata agistment complex. It’s been her ‘home base’ since being broken in there after I purchased her for Nearco Stud Ltd at the 2010 NZB Karaka Select Sale from the consignment of Trelawney Stud.
All of us in the bloodstock industry are pushed for time; we want to do everything as well as we possibly can, but so often time is our biggest enemy.
Equally keeping up with the play on the information technology front is SO important, but where do you find the time to get the very best out of the IT available to us, specially when it comes to the powerful Social Networking area – things like keeping your website right up-to-date, user ‘Twitter’ as a business tool; and ‘Facebook’ for that matter too.
Well I have the answer for you – pick up the phone & talk to Russell Brown at the Hamilton communication specialists Digital Stream (www.digitalstream.co.nz).
The best thing I ever did was employ their services to build my website. Then they got me started on Facebook, then Twitter & most recently – IN FACT TODAY – they introduced an arrangement whereby when anyone logs onto my website via their phone, it’s immediately user-friendly for a phone.
Bloody marvelous technology and it’s helping my bloodstock agency business and syndication as well.
Look, this is not a paid endorsement, this is me saying thanks to Digital Stream for getting me up-to-speed in a friendly and cost-effective way.
By the way, if you hate computer nerds who make you uncomfortable because they know more about the medium than you, don’t worry, Digital Stream are a down-to-earth bunch who simply want to please.
Do yourself a favour; get on the front foot and contact Digital Stream. If it’s good enough for Cambridge Stud to use their services, it’s good enough for the rest of us!
I launched ‘Challenge Racehorse Syndications Ltd’ at the end of last year and put together my first public syndication after purchasing four yearling fillies at this year’s NZB Karaka Select Sale.
One of the fillies purchased was by Tale of the Cat from Pineau (Carnegie), which I selected from the consignment of Blandford Lodge. That very filly makes her debut tomorrow – and becomes the ‘Challenge No.1 Syndicate’s’ first runner – in the 800m juvenile event at Wanganui.
Dancer’s Tale is prepared by Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman at Cambridge. This race was never on the agenda, however she’s proven to be a very quick learner and has got to this race pretty much without a hitch.
In a perfect world she would have trialled before running on race day. But we don’t live in a perfect world and rain-drenched tracks has made it difficult to get a suitable trial for Dancer’s Tale.
She has had two jump outs and did things right and I was very pleased with her work at the Cambridge Track on Tuesday morning.
One of the neat things about this syndicate is the members’ enthusiasm; 12 of them are coming to Wanganui tomorrow to watch Dancer’s Tale race – three from as far as Auckland and another two from Christchurch!
The Queensland Oaks winner and Queensland Derby runner up Quintessential is set for a return to racing in Saturday’s Group 3 Tramway Handicap at Warwick Farm in Sydney.
We are pleased with where she’s at and despite the fact that she’s bound to find the 1400m too short for her, I’m personally expecting a bold showing while she is in a fresh state.
Quintessential had a 1000m trial recently and did well for fourth in the outing which was run in a quick 57.69 seconds.
Damien Browne, who rode the filly to victory in the Queensland Oaks this year, came down from Brisbane to ride Quintessential in the Hawkesbury Trial. Unfortunately he has a prior commitment this weekend, so won’t be aboard.
The new rider is Brenton Avdulla who rode the filly in a gallop this morning and said she worked well.
Safely through the Tramway this weekend, there are lots of options for Quintessential in both Sydney and Melbourne. Amongst the races being discussed for her are the George Main Stakes-Gr.1 (1600m), Turnbull Handicap-Gr.1 (200m) and she is entered for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
One final word. Many are of the opinion that Quintessential is a mudlark, due to her ploughing her way to victory on a rain-drenched Eagle Farm track on Oaks Day. Don’t be fooled; she is equally effective on top of the ground, as evidenced by her win in the Desert Gold Stakes-Gr.3 (1600m) and third placing in the NZ Oaks-Gr.1 (2400m).
She has a big long stride and my own opinion is that she is BETTER on top of the ground.
Today was a very important day for the Queensland Oaks winner, Quintessential, a mare I manage for Nearco Stud Ltd.
The now 4YO daughter of Fast ‘n’ Famous had a 1000m trial at Hawkesbury today. It was an assignment which mattered; so much so that trainer John Sargent and I decided to approach regular rider Damian Browne to come down specially from Brisbane to put her through her paces.
It was important that Damian returned a positive report card if we are to continue on with some ambitious spring assignments in both Sydney and Melbourne.
Thankfully, Quintessential performed well and according to Damian “gave him a great feel”.
The 1000m heat was always going to be too short for the Oaks winner & Derby runner-up and not surprisingly she settled last, but ran home well for fourth – an excellent effort given that the winner ran a slick 57.69 seconds.
“She did as much as we could have expected of her, ” Damian told me over the phone from the Hawkesbury track.
Plans are for Quintessential to resume in Saturday week’s A$125,000 Tramway Handicap-Gr.3 (1400m) at Warwick Farm, the track where trainer John Sargent has set up his Sydney base.
Safely through the Tramway run, plans going forward will be discussed. She could race again in Sydney, but it’s equally-likely that she will travel straight to Melbourne to prepare for her main spring assignment, the Caulfield Cup-Gr.1 (2400m), 20 October.