Cranbourne trainer Ken Keys admits it’s one of the best deals he’s ever done when he sent three mares to Written Tycoon back in 2010.
Although Written Tycoon’s service fee was a modest $6,600 – compared to the $110,000 he demanded in 2018/19 – Keys got all three services for a total of $10,000.
All three foals produced in the matings won, but it was a colt named Rich Enuff that was the standout of Written Tycoon’s book of 198 mares that season, the stallion’s fourth year at stud.
Rich Enuff was destined very early in his career to develop into stallion and it was Woodside Park, where he is now in his fifth season, which bought a 25 per cent share in him after he raced five times.
Bred and raced by Keys and his wife Louise, along with Chris Johnstone who has a 25 per cent share, Rich Enuff is out of Spartacus mare Hotnuff which the Keys also raced.
Rich Enuff’s first winner was Plutocrat which won a two-year-old maiden in February this year at Doomben and the filly also become the stallion’s first stakes winner when she won the Listed Tatts Club Stakes at Eagle farm in July for trainer Chris Anderson.
But it was a two-year-old filly that won during the Melbourne Cup carnival at Flemington to give Rich Enuff his first Group winner which really excited Keys and Woodside Park.
The Grahame Begg trained two-year-old Dosh was a standout in the parade ring on Oaks Day and lived up to her looks by winning the Group 3 Ottawa Stakes (1000m) on debut.
And then Rich Enuff’s sire, Written Tycoon, produced three year-old Written Beauty in the final race on Oaks Day to win the Group 3 Red Roses Stakes (1100m). It was her fourth consecutive win.
Keys, who still owns 25 per cent of Rich Enuff, said it was great for the stallion to produce a Group winner at such an important time in his career and in the racing calendar.
The stallion stood his first season in Queensland and Keys said it was good to see him produce a quality winner from his Victorian crops.
“It’s very pleasing,” Keys said.
“He probably needed that one (Dosh) because all of the others have been Queensland bred from his first season when he was up there.
“I believe this just shows what he can get. It’s perfect timing.
“It should give the breeders who went to him reward for supporting him, that’s the way I see it.”
Keys said Dosh was a stunning looking horse and was just going to improve as she matured.
And he said he wasn’t sure whether he sent the right type of mare to Rich Enuff in his first season but believes he has got a couple of good horses out of the second crop.
“Usually by now with a new stallion people have started to bag them by now but I haven’t heard anyone, who have got them, bag him yet.
“I am genuinely happy.”
Keys laughed when he said he got three service fees for $10,000.
“They all won,” he said.
“There was Rich Enuff and one called Tycoon Peri who was very good but was a big of a nutter and then was another one who was limited by won a race.”
Keys said he had previously supported Written Tycoon as he liked his types and went back again with the three mares.
Getting Rich Enuff to stud wasn’t as simple as it first seemed.
He went nearly a year between races after he suffered a hind leg injury when he kicked out in the tunnel at the Cranbourne Training Centre.
“The injury happened in his three-year-old autumn year when he was feeling good and double barrelled the wall in the tunnel and he needed time for the injury to heal,” Keys said.
“When he came back from that he was just a big bull and you couldn’t train him to get him fit, you had to race him to get him fit, so the reality was that it takes three or four starts.
“The guys who had paid a lot of money for him weren’t happy at that stage and that was the start of it and I could understand it.”
A decision was made to transfer Rich Enuff to Peter and Paul Snowden at Sydney where the horse had two starts for a third in the Group 3 Southern Cross (1200m). He was then retired after being unplaced at his next start.
Keys said he wasn’t upset when Rich Enuff went to Sydney.
“We still had our percentage and at that stage I think we still owned 50 per cent and now we’ve got 25 per cent,’’ Keys said.
“The reality is that Written Tycoon didn’t get this sort of result so early.”
Keys said that after Hotnuff produced Rich Enuff, she had two foals by Reward For Effort and then had Write Enuff, a winner of two races so far, by Written Tycoon. The mare has a two-year-old filly by Manhattan Rain and is due to foal to Shamus Award which will be her last one.
“I would have thought that Toronado and Shamus Award would be the best two stallions in Victoria,” he said.
“I think with Rich Enuff that he will put some speed into his horses. He is probably a Victorian speed horse which we really haven’t got at the moment and everyone is going elsewhere for their speed. Hopefully it pans out that way.”
Like many highly rated stallions, Rich Enuff never won a Group 1 race but had victories in the Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m), the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) and the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes.
“Not A Single Doubt wasn’t a Group 1 winner and Written Tycoon wasn’t,” Keys said.
“We got beaten a head in the (Group 1) Caulfield Guineas and we could have been the winner, I suppose.
“He is still the fastest three-year-old down the Flemington straight for 20 years. That hasn’t been beaten by any of these so called guns. I think it’s relevant.”
Keys said he has six horses by Rich Enuff.
Woodside Park’s James Price said the Flemington victory by Dosh were a good reward for the stallion.
He described Begg as being fairly strong for the filly at this year’s Classic Yearling Sale.
“He paid $155,000 for a Rich Enuff filly second season, that’s pretty strong money I would have thought and I thought that at the time,” Price said.
“So it’s nice that they were rewarded with a debut stakes win.”
Price said Rich Enuff was like all stallions with breeders waiting to see if the three-years-old come back and if he can get another two-year-old.
After covering his biggest book of mares last year – 127 – Price said Rich Enuff wouldn’t reach that number this year but would still serve around 100.
“It’s a quieter year than his first four but that’s always to be expected,” he said.
“It’s really nice for Dosh to win and Plutocrat is back trialling and I think she is heading towards a Magic Millions three-year-old Guineas race.
“There is another Rich Enuff filly I am looking forward to when she debuts shortly for Steve O’Dea up in Queensland, so there are few irons in the fire. She is called Rich Lister and was scratched last Saturday after drawing the outside barrier.”’
Price said that the phone did ring a few times from breeders after the wayward Dosh’s win.
He said it wasn’t too late for breeders to get their mares covered and although Rich Enuff’s advertised service fee is $8,800, the stud can do a better deal.
Price said there was a good opportunity to turn a small service fee into a good commercial result.