Not content with breeding superstar, Group 1 winning horses for themselves, Gilgai Farm has now helped raise a highly talented horse for another breeder.
Three-year-old Paret, raised at the Nagambie farm, certainly drew some attention to himself with an eye-catching run from last to win on debut for trainer Chris Waller at Canterbury last Wednesday.
Bred by Qatar Bloodstock’s Sheikh Fahad (of Melbourne Cup winning Dunaden fame), Paret spent almost a year at Gilgai during his formative years before being prepped for sale at Magic Millions in 2016.
He is by Qatar Bloodstock’s own sire Harbour Watch and is out of the Encosta De Lago mare Enduja.
Gilgai’s Kelly Skillecorn remembers the foal as a real standout when he arrived with a group of Qatar Bloodstock owned mares.
“He is easy to remember as he was a real ripper, he was the best foal of the season at Gilgai Farm that year,” Skillecorn said.
Stonehouse Thoroughbreds’ Ryan Arnel, who manages Qatar Bloodstock’s breeding operation in Victoria, agreed he was a stunning foal and is not surprised at what he did on debut.
“I’m sure there is a race in the spring for Paret (he still has a Caulfield Guineas entry), and based on that run, all going well, I think he will be very competitive at that level. Being such a brilliant foal, we expected big things from him.” Arnel said.
Sheikh Fahad now keeps a quality group of mares at Arnel’s Stonehouse farm at Eddington, west of Bendigo.
This particularly helps to support Zoustar, the top class stallion of whom Sheikh Fahad is a shareholder. All of these mares will head to Woodside Park for a date with Zoustar this season.
“There are such big wraps on Zoustar at the moment. Based on what we saw at the yearling sales and the reports of horses currently in training, Qatar Bloodstock are supporting him more than ever now,” Arnel said.
“He has had some great early trial results which give breeders confidence and his fertility is just out of this world.
“Sheikh Fahad loves the racing in Melbourne, and the Spring Carnival is a huge draw card for them.
“He believes Victoria is a great place to breed and race. One year they had a runner in almost every major race, and no doubt there will be something running in their colours during the Melbourne Cup Carnival week.”
“That’s all part of Qatar plan, to breed and support their stallions, and then put the progeny out in the market to show the industry what they are producing.”