Epona Park’s Jeff and Janine Allis celebrated success on Saturday when Snitzepeg (Snitzel) saluted in the 1400 metres Listed Antler Stakes at Flemington for trainer Darren Weir.
“It’s always exciting when one you have bred runs so well,” said Jeff Allis after the headquarters win.
“The best thing is that he is VOBIS (nominated), so it’s like getting a royalty cheque in the mail whenever he has a win, which is a great incentive for breeders,” Allis said.
Snitzepeg broke free over the last 100 metres to lead the field by a length, with Jockey Dean Yendall full of praise for the talented galloper.
“Darren has been building him up to something like this, as he has always shown good promise.” Yendall said
Snitzepeg is now expected to be targeted at the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes on Derby Day.
Jeff and Janine are founders of the iconic Australian franchise Boost Juice and the multi-brand platform Retail Zoo.
While they have had an interest in racing and breeding for some years, Jeff and Janine have stepped up their mare numbers and commitment in recent time with the development of Epona Park at Winchelsea.
Snitzepeg was the result of a clever purchase by astute bloodstock agent, Sheamus Mills, who purchased the dam, Pegasus Queen in foal to Snitzel from the Inglis Winter Thoroughbred Sale for only $45,000.
As a yearling, Snitzepeg returned a handsome profit when sold through Three Bridges Thoroughbreds at the 2016 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $260,000 to trainer Darren Weir and John Foote Bloodstock on behalf of Hong Kong based Peter Law (see note at end of article).
Epona Park’s main focus is breaking and pre-training their growing stable of horses, which include racehorses, their valued broodmare band and foals, weanlings and yearlings.
The farm consists of 100 acres of picturesque hilly, tree-lined paddocks.
“It’s a great environment for young horses, and we have about fifteen of our own in pre-training on the property at the moment. They are a combination of what we have bred and bought, and hopefully some of the fillies will then go on to upgrade our broodmare band in the future.”
“I wanted to set up the property well from the start, so we have invested in quality infrastructure making sure everything is done properly. We are completely self-sufficient, with our own sand training track, full-size arena, treadmill and walker,” Allis said.
Among the favourites at Epona Park is Jessy Belle, a mare Jeff and Janine raced and who won last year’s Group 2 Matriarch Stakes.
“Her (expected Capitalist) foal will be a valuable sales item, and although we would love to keep and race it ourselves, farms are expensive to run. Being a business person, until you get your Helsinge or Black Caviar, it’s important to make a profit.”
Looking to the future, Jeff and Janine will aim to build up their broodmare band to around twenty high-quality mares.
“I absolutely love what I’m doing now, I live and breathe racing, and although I’m only at the start of the journey, I’m learning more every day and very happy to enjoy the ride,” Jeff said.
Note: It has been quite the entry by Hong Kong owner Peter Law into the Weir stables. 2016 marked the first Australian yearling purchases for Law with the Weir team.
Many of these three-year-olds have turned out to be high class, including the Rosemont bred Shamport (winner of the lucrative VOBIS Gold Ingot at Caulfield) and the Victorian-bred, recent Moonee Valley winner Choisborder.