Based on prices and performances, top Victoria Derby prospect Thought of That was a bargain buy.
After a demolishing a 1620m maiden at Donald by eight lengths, the Ciaron Maher/David Eustace trained colt shot into Derby favoritism with an impressive victory in the Ladbrokes Group 3 Classic (2000m) at Caulfield.
Victorian breeder Ken Williams, who operates Tarcoola Stud on the Mornington Peninsula with his wife Denise, was expecting the colt to fetch $200,000-plus when he went under the hammer at the Sydney Easter sales.
Instead he was knocked down for $100,000 and later syndicated in an exercise that Williams was told took three minutes.
“We had 14 X-ray hits and he was vetted five times and we were told there were three Hong Kong blokes on it,” Williams said.
“Something happened. I don’t know what happened but when it went into the ring it was friendless.”
What surprised Williams was that the son of So You Think, out of Hold Me Closer, was a stunning looking colt – and has continued to develop – and should have fetched more.
The Williams own Hold Me Closer and have a stunning colt by Press Statement out of the mare which has just produced a Spirit of Boom filly.
“We bred the mare,” he said.
“It’s a funny story because we sold her up at the Magic Millions and the Coolmore boys ended up buying her and there was a foal share and they finished up buying the other half. They raced it and it wasn’t a bad racehorse but it had slightly off-set knees which pulled it up. It won in Sydney.”
Coolmore said they didn’t want to breed from Hold Me Closer and offered to sell her back to Ken and Denise who happily agreed.
Williams points out that Hold Me Closer’s dam, Intertwined, produced 2002 Golden Slipper winner How Funny.
“How Funny is Sir Tristram and she came from a mare called Twining who was an unbelievably good racehorse,” Williams said.
“So when you look at his (Thought of That’s) breeding, he is out of a Twig Moss mare, out of a Sir Tristram mare, out of a Danehill Dancer mare and all of them all the way through have got black type everywhere.
“So it shouldn’t be surprising that he has a little bit of ability.”
The next time Tarcoola Stud puts one of Hold Me Closer’s progeny through the sale ring, they are hoping that Thought of That will add plenty of value to the sale price.
While this year’s Derby (2500m) has plenty of top prospects, Maher said Thought of That responded to the blinkers being applied before his Donald maiden victory at his sixth start.
“He obviously put the writing on the wall at Donald when we put the shades on. He is a colt and just needs that bit of focus,” Maher said.
Jockey Linda Meech said Thought of That, who led all the way at Caulfield to win by 3.8 lengths, just idled in front.
“He just went whatever speed I needed to hold the front, he never got flustered, never touched the bridle and gave a great kick from the 600,” Meech said in her post race interview.
“I gave him a little squeeze and he never looked like getting beaten.”
Thought of That will now go straight into the Derby.