‘Pinhooking’ can be a dangerous trap for young players, with the thoroughbred industry littered with tales of many coming undone by purchasing a weanling, only to put him or her through a sales ring six to 12 months on and be left with a four-legged eating machine that they have to race themselves.
That’s not the case however with the Garry Frazer trained, Spright, winner of Saturday’s Group Three UBET WJ Healy Stakes winner over 1200m at Doomben.
Now a four-year-old mare, Spright hails from Hinchinbrook’s second crop offered by Holbrook Thoroughbreds at the 2014 Inglis Sydney Weanling & Bloodstock Sale, was knocked down to Victorian Gary Mudgway for $12,000.
Mudgway explains the purchase of Spright: “I told (Yarraman Park’s) Harry Mitchell ‘I’m a deadset mug to think lightning is going to strike twice’, by hoping that Hinchinbrook would get off to a similar start to that of I Am Invincible.
“By that time, I Am Invincible was all the rage … buyers couldn’t get enough of them. I said to Harry there was no way there would be as much hype around his other stallion. “Still, I’d had a number of good results with I Am Invincible progeny by that stage and $12,000 for a Hinchinbrook was hardly make or break.
“The thing was though, the (Hinchinbrook) filly was a very nice type from day dot. She just went from strength to strength and even though I struggled to get her into the Melbourne Premier – she ended up in P2 (the sale’s second catalogue) – I knew she’d make a good return on investment.
“I told them at Inglis she would make around $50,000-$60,000 and they laughed at me, but by the time she got into the ring, they came at us from all angles. “In the end, we all got blown away when she was knocked down for $100,000.”
Sure, an 8x plus return in the space of 10 months is great in anyone’s language, but it just keeps on getting better as Spright has now won $637,925 from her 21 starts: five wins – four at stakes level including the Group Three Star Kingdom and Group Three Red Roses – along with six placings.
Encouragingly, there could end up being a lot more in the kitty as a confident Frazer said the mare is now likely to be sent for a spell before returning in time for the Melbourne spring carnival.
As for the ‘pin hooker’, Mudgway is on something of a sabbatical from the ebbs and flows of buying and selling, “doing a lot of four-wheel driving and enjoying watching my horses race, including the second best maiden in Australia in Aristocratic Miss”.
Mudgway purchased the multiple stakes placed 2YO, Aristocratic Miss, for $25,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale and kept a share in the Foxwedge filly when sold to Tony McEvoy for $65,000 at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale. He also owns or part owns Filbert Way, Going Gaga (a $5,500 yearling purchase and Lieder, both winners in Adelaide.
“I love travelling around the Northern Territory and Lieder is our Darwin Cup horse. He nearly won it last year (finishing third) and is favourite this time around. So you’ll know where to find me in August!”
Courtesy of Aushorse.