Andrew Goulopoulos was a very proud Mornington Peninsula breeder when two-year-old colt Unite and Conquer won in dominant fashion the Listed VRC Maribyrnong Trial Stakes at Flemington.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, the son of Hinchinbrook showed good ability at the official trials at Randwick last month and did enough in a recent Flemington jump out to suggest he could be more than competitive in the early juvenile races.
“It was wonderful, a really professional run. He was always a big, strong, forward colt, that physically he had the edge on some of the other two-year-olds at this time of year,” Goulopoulos said.
Ridden by Steve Baster, Gai was upbeat about the professional way he handled the big pressure, quickly finding the front and cruising down the Flemington straight
“He was in front from the start and never looked like being beaten. We are now hoping to go to the spring carnival next for the Maribyrnong Plate,” Gai said.
Goulopoulos, whose breeding operation is based at Flinders, has a strong connection with ‘neighbours’ Musk Creek Farm who prepare his yearlings for most sales including Unite and Conquer who was offered through this year’s January Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast.
“I have had a long association with Musk Creek farm. I have to give thanks to David and the team as they have done my preparations over a number of years, and he was a beautifully presented colt,” said Goulopoulos.
“Although we were hoping for a bit more at the sales as we had him rated as a $150 (thousand) plus yearling, we can’t complain as he went into a top stable with one of the most astute trainers in the country.
“Gai (and Blue Sky Bloodstock) grabbed a real bargain, snapping him up for $80,000. She obviously saw something she liked in him enough to warrant her bid, and now she has one of the most exciting two-year-olds in the country.”
Unite and Conquer races under the banner of Carol Walsh’s Blueblood Thoroughbreds, who first identified him as a yearling.
Goulopoulos said Unite and Conquer’s dam Maglissa (Magnus) has a very nice So You Think colt that will head up to the Magic Millions in January. He said she has just foaled a quality colt to Capitalist and is booked in for a date with Pierro.
“Unfortunately, I haven’t kept any ownership in Unite and Conquer, as I seem to keep ownership in the ones I can’t sell,” Goulopoulos said with a laugh.
“Regrettably, we all need to sell for financial reasons. There are a couple of fillies at home that I would love to keep and continue breeding with; a very nice filly out of Beirut, and another filly by Not a Single Doubt, which makes her a three-quarter sister to Secret Agenda, but they are both off to the sales.
“I’m hoping other people will love them as much as I do…fingers crossed they pay for them accordingly!”
Goulopoulos gave due credit to respected bloodstock agent and TBV Life Member Tim Stewart for his recent successes.
“A very clever and astute judge, Tim has bought a number of mares for me, including Leica Light, in foal to Lonhro which produced Beirut; and Maglissa in foal to Hinchinbrook which produced this fellow, Unite and Conquer.
“All the other mares he has bought have all produced winners too and apparently there are a few more good ones to come out of them yet. Let’s hope there will be many more trips to the winner’s circle!”
The good weekend continued for Goulopoulos on Sunday when another one he bred, Free Spirited, won by four lengths at Sale for trainer Matt Laurie. It was a second win in a row for the Pierro 3YO filly who shows more than a bit of promise.