It didn’t take long for Street Boss colt El Padrino to wipe out the $210,000 he cost at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
A $23,400 cheque for finishing second in the Super VOBIS 2YO Plate on debut on Cranbourne Cup Day was followed by $231,600 for winning the $400,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick last Saturday.
A total of $261,000 in his first two starts is big money, and breeder Peter Murray couldn’t be happier for the owners and says he knows a few of them.
The colt, now aimed at the Golden Slipper, was raised at Three Bridges Thoroughbreds which also sold him through their draft to trainer Ciaron Maher.
Murray, who keeps his 13 broodmares at Three Bridges, sold El Padrino’s dam, Misty Rock (Fastnet Rock x Mist) in a digital auction in November 2020.
“I had a Saxon Warrior filly out of her and we sold her as a bit of package and I think Newhaven are selling her at Magic Millions.
“Good luck to them.
“The reason we sold her was that you are trying to add to the top and move from the bottom a little bit.
“He (El Padrino) was a lovely colt and everything like that but we try and probably get mares with a bit better racing performance than what she had.
“I think she only had one win at around 1550m in a provincial race, so that’s the only reason and that’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Murray said he tries to keep a share in the good colts he breeds, but sometimes they are already “stitched up”.
“I will probably keep a few more fillies going forward now because buying fillies and broodmares, the prices are quite astronomical,” he said.
“If you can breed your own, it just depends on whether you have the patience and are happy to have the holding costs.”
As well as his 13 broodmares at Three Bridges, he recently bought two northern hemisphere two-year-old fillies at the last Tattersalls Sale at Newmarket in England.
He hopes they’ll eventually become good broodmares for him.
“One just landed last week and is still in quarantine and the other one will probably get here about mid-January,” Murray said.
“The first one, Mariha is by Muhaarar and out of a mare named Muraaqaba.
“And the other one is called Diablotine and is by Kodie Bear, out of a mare called Fridoline.
“Diablotine is an unbeaten two-year-old and has only had two races. She won her maiden easily and then won a Stakes race in France the next start and then got injured.
“Miriha has only had two starts and ran okay in the first one and then the next start she won a 1400m race at Redcar in 1:23 which is a pretty good time for 1400m.
“And how often can you buy a winning two-year-old off Shadwell?”
Murray is hoping to race Miriha before eventually sending her to stud, and is considering which stallion to mate Diablotine with and the possible list of sires includes Hanseatic, Anamoe and Street Boss.
He said he was trying as much as possible to breed to Victorian stallions and had breeding rights to Hanseatic and Russian Camelot.
“If I can stay with them in Victoria, I will,” he said.
“But you have to look at all the options and then go from there.
“That’s what we did with Misty Rock. Street Boss was a proven stallion but at that stage was only standing for about $23,000 or something like that and it was good value.
“We work a lot on type to type and she was not a very big mare but quite well muscled and all that and similar physically, but albeit smaller, as Street Boss.
“If you have a look El Padrino, he is solid and is bit of a spitting image of his dad in a way – short coupled, very heavily muscled and very strong. An ideal two-year-old.”
Murray said he has already sold a few weanlings this year for some great prices, and would offer a Russian Revolution colt out of Listed winner Pure Pride (Shocking x Mamasan) and an All Too Hard colt out of Tenderly (Stratum x Reilly O’) at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales.
And of his 13 broodmares, 10 produced foals this season.
One of the mares, the Group 2 Edward Manifold winning Moonlight Maid (Puissance De Lune x Manhattan Maid), went straight into foal to Toronado, but after 60 days was negative. It was similar with another two of Murray’s mares, including Pure Pride, which tested positive and then negative.
“It’s been a funny season in Victoria this season,” Murray said.
“Some have stayed in foal, others have gone out of foal and haven’t cycled again.
“They are pretty smart these mares and if they feel it’s not right, the nature side of things come into it.”
This season Murray has sent his broodmares to a variety of stallions, including Toronado, Earthlight, Hellbent, Shalaa, Microphone and Hanseatic.
He rates breeding horses as good fun with good people.
“Working with Toby and Pete at Three Bridges is great,” he said.
“They are fantastic people who do a fantastic job and it’s all about the horse which is what we want.
‘’I work with a really good friend of mine, Brian Messna, on the genetics.”
Murray said he’d keep one or two of the fillies to race and then breed from them but was always looking at mares and foals for next year.
“When you look at the list of stallions I have been to, there are few there that aren’t obviously proven yet but I feel I can buy a nice mare with a proven stallion inside,” he said.
“That’s my plan but we look at it commercially and make decisions each year. Like I was saying, add to the top and take some from the bottom.”
Murray said he enjoys both the racing and breeding, and for a while stopped breeding but really missed the environment of the sales complex and the interaction with the studs and the farms where his mares were kept.
“And in way it’s also quite an active pursuit, even though you are playing with nature and hope everything works out okay, you are really in the lap of the horse gods,” he said.
“It’s good fun doing it.
“And when it works like Saturday you go ‘well, that’s great’ and you’re happy for the owners, happy for the trainer and happy for Three Bridges, Brian Messna and all the people involved.
“Everyone gets a kick out of it.”
Murray said he started sponsoring races at Flemington way back in 1991 when his company Blazer Menswear sponsored the Navy Day Handicap and then sponsored the Edward Manifold Stakes and then took over sponsorship of the Rose Of Kingston Stakes which became the Group 2 Blazer Stakes (1400m).
“And one of the Three Bridges horses, Haut Brion Her, won it three years ago,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to have a share in Porta Rocca which won the Coolmore Classic and Juste Momente which won the Robert Sangster. I have had some good racehorses and ones that showed a lot of talent but didn’t quite get the score on the board.
“It’s been good.”
Three Bridges Thoroughbreds’ Toby Liston said it was pleasing to raise El Padrino and then sell it through their draft for such a good client and friend as Murray.
At the moment, the farm has more than 80 broodmares, and about 30 of those are are owned in partnership with Three Bridges and clients.
With 1600 acres at Eddington in Central Victoria, there is no shortage of space for mares and foals.