12th Feb 2020
When Joe O’Neill from Prime Thoroughbreds attended the 2018 Classic Yearling Sale – the first ever sale at Riverside stables – he did so with a cunning plan.
O’Neill had an unraced Sizzling filly out of Senro Kisaki in his stable that was due to have her first public barrier trial that week but such was O’Neill’s opinion of the filly, he wanted to keep her away from the public eye in the hope of purchasing her Rubick half sister that was being presented at the Classic Sale by Edinburgh Park as lot 619.
O’Neill got his way, purchasing the Rubick filly for $85,000.
She now races as Rubisaki and today she won the $1m Inglis Sprint at Warwick Farm.
It was her fifth win from seven starts for the Patrick Payne-trained filly, career statistics that have come as no surprise to O’Neill.
“I say to my clients ‘we’ve got to buy athletes, not show ponies’ and this filly is an athlete who I always thought would go early and she has,’’ O’Neill said.
“We go out to buy athletes and to be honest we’ve had a lot of success doing that.
“At Classic two years ago, we knew what we were doing. We knew this filly was in the sale so we held the other one back from trialling until after the sale so we could buy Rubisaki at a more reasonable price.
“We liked the look of her and it’s all fallen into place.’’
Rubisaki was buried in the back half of the field today and looked to be in trouble upon straightening but a masterful ride from Billy Egan saw her secure a comfortable win in the end, defeating Rari and True Detective.
“It’s a fantastic thrill for me and the owners, for Patrick Payne, Billy Egan, the breeder Ian Smith and everyone involved,’’ O’Neill, who purchased four horses at this week’s Classic Sale, said.
“We buy horses at the sales, we work to a budget and to have an $85,000 filly come and do what she’s done – she’s won five from seven now, close to $1m in prizemoney, it’s fantastic.’’
Ian Smith of Edinburgh Park, who bred and sold Rubisaki, always thought she would be an early running type.
“The dam throws really nice foals and Rubisaki really was a nice foal,’’ Smith said.
“Edinburgh Park are well regarded in the industry because our horses run. It’s been proven time and again and Rubisaki is another example of that.’’
Rubisaki may now target the G1 Surround Stakes at Randwick on February 29.
Should she win that, she would become the seventh G1-winning Inglis 3YO this season
12th Feb 2020
Among the ownership group of Inglis Millennium winner Prime Star are Robert Walton and Colin Lamonde.
Lamonde spent part of last year in hospital fighting prostate cancer. He declined radiation and had his prostate removed in May.
Walton is still waiting to see if he’s been cleared of Oesophageal cancer. He was released from hospital just last week.
Yet today at Warwick Farm, the pair felt like they were kings of the world when their Starspangledbanner 2YO – the first horse they have ever owned a share in – won the $2m Listed Inglis Millennium at Warwick Farm.
“It’s fair to say it’s been a pretty rough 12 months or so but I got a call from a mate of mine who works in the racing media six months ago and he said he knew of 10% of a colt that was available and that we should have a go,’’ Lamonde said as he reflected on today’s monumental result.
“I’d been crook so I thought ‘you know what? Why not, let’s have some fun’.
“So I took 10% and got Robert, Paul (Byrnes) and his son Zac involved, all who had never had a share in a horse either, and the horse was Prime Star.’’
Trained by Michael and Richard Freedman and ridden by in-form English jockey Tom Marquand, Prime Star proved too strong in a thrilling battle with runner up Bella Nipotina from the David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig stable in today’s Millennium.
Larimer Street for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young was third.
“The Freedmans have taken us on the journey with them and lo and behold we’ve just won a $2m race. You wouldn’t read about it,’’ Walton said.
“We’re just Joe Blow owners, we’re in it for the fun, not the money, but this sure can cheer you up.’’
For Lamonde, seven months ago it was less about being cheered up and more about survival.
“It was touch and go there for a while,’’ he said of his health.
“I knocked back radiation and instead had the prostate removed. I had my latest check up in December and it was clear so we’ll just keep checking and hope it keeps coming back clear.’’
The first-timers are among a large group of boisterous owners who shared in Prime Star’s win today.
Prime Star (Starspangledbanner x Barinka) was purchased at last year’s Classic Yearling Sale by Waterford Bloodstock and Michael Freedman for $55,000 from the Fairview Park Stud draft.
Breeder Chris Lawlor parted with the yearling at the sale but had a feeling he was going to develop into a talented racehorse so kept a share in him as a result.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to bits,’’ Lawlor said.
“He was always a lovely horse. I’ve still got the mare Barinka, she’s got a foal at foot by Deep Field and is in foal to Dundeel.
“This bloke was a really nice type of horse as a foal and yearling. Today, when he got around the corner and he was on the outside I thought ‘he’s in a serious winning position here’ and the rest is history.’’
Barinka also has a Kermadec yearling filly – which Lawlor sold as a weanling at the Inglis Australian Weanling Sale – which will be offered at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale next month by Maluka Thoroughbreds as lot 43 on Day 1 of the sale, Sunday March 1.
Linda Duckworth of Fairview Park Stud, who offered Prime Star at last year’s Classic Sale, was thrilled with today’s result.
“Classic is our main sale so to produce the winner of the Millennium in just its second year is a real feather in our cap,’’ Duckworth said.
“Like everyone you work hard, it’s just great, great for the team, great for the farm and I’m super excited for the breeders Chris and Lynne Lawlor who are fantastic clients of ours.’’
Fairview Park had a fantastic Classic Sale this week, selling 13 of their 14 yearlings offered for $1,208,000, with a top individual price of $320,000.
They will offer a stunning Pierro x Eye For Fun colt at the Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Riverside in April, a half brother to 2014 Golden Slipper winner Mossfun which they co-bred and sold at Inglis Easter.
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