Listed glory comes in a flurry for Blue Gum
It took just a little over two hours for Blue Gum Farm to have what can only be described as a big day out on the Moonee Valley Cox Plate program.
The first race at 12:10pm was won by Ideas Man.
The third race at 1.15pm was a shared win for La Falaise (it dead heated with Fascino).
The fifth race at 2.25pm was won by Sartorial Splendor.
The score: three stakes winners from three races.
And if that wasn’t enough, another Blue Gum graduate, Gold Fields, won the Listed Sale Cup (1600m) on Sunday.
Blue Gum Farm’s Phil Campbell pointed out that the three Valley winners were sold for a variety of prices with Ideas Man sold at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sales for $575,000. La Falaise went for just $5000, while Campbell reckons Sartorial Splendor was way under the odds at $130,000.
And for the record, Mark Riley paid $46,000 as a yearling for the now seven-year-old Gold Fields.
Two-year-old Ideas Man and three-year-old Sartorial Splendor are both by Brazen Beau who stands at Victoria’s Northwood Park.
One thing is for certain for Campbell, it’s a weekend he won’t forget in a hurry.
“I had a big weekend, you don’t have too many like that, that’s for sure,” Campbell said. “We really enjoyed it.
“You can’t sit here thinking you are going to have three winners. But we knew Ideas Man was a lovely horse and the word was that he had ability. So you think he is in the race.”
“John Sadler always had a big opinion of Sartorial Splendor and I spoke to “Sads’’ during the week and he thought the horse was going very, very well and his only concern was how he would be at the end of the 1200m. But he had not reason for concern as the horse was very strong at the end of 1200.”
“So you had to think he was a chance and La Falaise, she did a good job as a two year-old. She sort of hadn’t hit the frame as a three year-old in what was it, three starts. But there has been some merit in some of those and Henry (Dwyer) thought he had her pretty well right too.”’
While thinking the trio would give Blue Gum three good chances, Campbell said it was “bloody amazing” to get three stakes winners.
And Gold Fields (Churchill Downs/Gold Fields) topped it off on Sunday for trainer Logan McGill, but in all honesty it wasn’t the result Campbell and his team at the Euroa based stud was hoping for.
“It was a funny one because we had Mandela Effect by one of our stallions (Turffontein) in there trying to win a stakes race and Gold Fields, who we sold for great friends, the Heffernan family, so when they quinellaed the race, we had sold the winner to make it four stakes winners for the weekend. It was pretty wild.”
Campbell said Ideas Man, bred by the Pope family out of their champion mare Innovation Girl, had been impressive since day one.
“From the time he was born, all the way through weaning and yearling stages, he was always a big strong precocious looking horse, great attitude, very correct and x-rayed really well,” Campbell said.
“He was always a very good article and sold accordingly and it was fantastic to see him race that way as well and I reckon there will be improvement in him too. He did a few things wrong but showed he has got plenty of natural ability. He is in the right stable to have his potential maximised so it’s exciting.”
Campbell wasn’t surprised when La Falaise was sold for only $5000 as a yearling. She had what some considered a major conformation issue and if that look wasn’t bad enough, she was by out of favour stallion Canford Cliffs.
He said even though she was a big, athletic filly, she was set back at the knee.
“I didn’t go into the sale ring with any great expectation with her at all,” Campbell recalled.
‘’The only thing that got me a little bit excited was when she went into the ring was that there were trainers out the back watching her walk around in the back parade ring with a lot of interest.”
It was as different story with Ideas Man who Campbell said “every man and dog” were on to.
He said a seller soon knows when he has got the masses on a horse and when they haven’t.
“It wasn’t as though there had been any interests showed in La Falaise as a yearling,” Campbell said.
“And as I say the one thing people don’t seem to be very keen on is if they do sit back at the knee or if they are a bit flat in the knees and she was. And or course she was at the second sale and wasn’t even at the premier.”
And as for Canford Cliffs, Campbell said if buyers go off a stallion, they go off them big time.
“But they (progeny) don’t know how they are breed and they don’t know how they are put together and so much is dependent on what we can’t see and that’s what sits under the ribcage.
“They need the will to compete and those three horses at Moonee Valley all did that.”
While Ideas Man’s price was huge and La Falaise’s was small, Campbell believes Sartorial Splendor should have fetched at least twice as much. He says Sadler deserves success after backing his judgement.
“Sartorial Splendor was a $130,000 yearling and he would have made more than that but the powers that be deemed that he had a couple of little x-ray issues but there is no doubt in my mind it stopped him from making $250,000 to $300,000-plus,’’ Campbell said
“He was just a magnificent looking colt, but good on Johnny Sadler. He was prepared to take the punt and back his judgement and he is reaping the reward.’’
Campbell bred La Falaise and still owns the dam – Exceedingly French – and also bred Sartorial Splendor and owns her top producing dam, Personal Ensign.
“We have got a bit of both of those families, so it is very important to us as breeders that those sorts of results come along,’’ he said
“It’s all well and good to sell them for big money but it they don’t go and run, sooner or later it catches up with you, so it’s terribly exciting for us to get those results.”
Blue Gum continues to stand Manhattan Rain, who relocated from New South Wales three seasons ago, and Turffontein.