For Mornington based trainer Robert Kingston, his patience with his homebred Americain, Tour Down Under is now certainly starting to reap the rewards.
Having won his last two starts, the talented galloper is Kingston trained, owned and bred and after convincingly breaking his maiden at Kilmore under a confident ride from Jessica Eaton, he was sent out a deserved favourite at his home track on Monday.
Over 1500 metres, confidence was high for the son of Americain before the start, however Kingston admits to being nervous before the race.
“Sometimes it’s easier to be the underdog, so I was a little nervous as he was a good thing today. But he is a very nice horse, I like him, and I was just happy he could win again and show that my confidence in him was justified.”
“He still looked a little green at Kilmore, but he has improved after each start and today he was a real professional. He has deserves a good rest off, a long prep and being late maturing he will improve again with more time. He will have a great career going forward.”
Jockey Jess Eaton, who is really putting the wins together, has had a lot to do with the colt and now Tour Down Under is up there as one of her favourites.
“I rode him in his first start and he is a lovely little horse with still much more to learn, and after his spell, he will only come back bigger and stronger,” Eaton said. Tour Down Under was bred by his trainer in partnership with Gary Young, who is the first foal of Stratum mare On Tour. On Tour who holds a special place here at the stable as she was Robert’s first winner and Metro winner a few years ago.
“I trained On Tour for Gerry Ryan, won a couple for me before claiming a metro win at a midweek city meeting at Mornington. She was able to win at 1200m on speed, and with her pedigree, I retained her as a broodmare.
“We are very excited about Tour Down Under and the other future progeny of On Tour through her 2015 Street Boss, called Sweet Jazz, and she is in currently in-foal to Rebel Dane who will compliment her speed and being such a tough sprinter.”
Having worked with Robbie Griffiths and Jason Warren before going out on his own, Irish born Robert and the team have enjoyed considerable success from a small team of horses since 2011. Indeed the 2017/2018 season was a career high with eighteen winners and five individual Metropolitan winners.
“We have been enjoying an impressive runner to winners strike rate and the aim is to continue to build on that record and ensure each horse realises its potential.”
And that is just what they are doing with Tour Down Under, proving that patience pays.
“It is a real thrill to have a homebred performing so well for the stable. I love him and he is part of the family. I wouldn’t change him for anything. I have had a few Americain’s, and as long as you give them the time, they will grow in very handy gallopers.”
“My mares reside at Stockwell Thoroughbreds with Mike Becker who does a great job, and I also have the Artie Schiller mare Loma Diamonds who I sold her first foal by Kuroshio at the foal sales. He sold for $60,000 at the breeze up recently so I hope he can go on and perform. She has foaled a lovely Puissance De Lune filly this season, and she will off for a cover by Sun Stud’s Palentino.”
Sam Matthews from Swettenham Stud is also thrilled to see the results on the board for Kingston and Americain.
“We continue to have full faith in Americain as a sire, and Tour Down Under is a great example of showing that those trainers and breeders that have been patient are now being rewarded,” Matthews said.
“We knew that they needed time, but they are certainly hitting their straps as four-year-old’s now just as we expected, and there are plenty more to come.”