Morning Rise Stud’s Rob and Barbara McClure had the sort of day last Saturday that can make breeding and racing worthwhile when two horses they race in partnership had Group 2 success in Melbourne and Sydney.
Three-year-old Parure, which the McClures bred and race along with Coolmore Stud and breeders John and Kath Murray, won the Group 2 Autumn Classic (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
And in Sydney, two-year-old I Am Invincible colt, Home Affairs, won the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill.
The colt had a narrow victory over the fast finishing Rocket Tiger whose sire, Cluster, stands at Neville Murdoch’s Victorian Stud, Larneuk.
And the McClures own a significant portion of Parure’s dam Fontein Ruby which is by Blue Gum stallion, Turffontein.
And Rob McClure revealed that they weren’t going to get what they wanted at the sales for Parure, they bought her back.
“She (Parure) had a bad leg and had a problem with it at the sales and we bought her back for $150,000, I think, and decided to race her,” McClure said.
“She is now probably worth close to a $1 million. Her mother was a Group 2 winner and she is now also a Group 2 winner.
“It’s a bit of Cinderella story really. It’s amazing how that happens.
“I had an interest in another horse called Yosei (Invincible Spirit x Fuji Fairy) and couldn’t sell it for $15,000 at the sales and ended up racing her and she won three Group 1s.
“Sometimes it happens and most times it doesn’t.”
McClure and his partners bred and sold Parure’s full sister, now an unraced two-year-old named Carmen Lucia, which has also joined the Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes stables at Euroa.
Carmen Lucia was sold for $700,000 at last year’s Easter Yearling Sale and McClure retained 16.6 per cent of the filly.
“When Parure won on Saturday that family just jumped right out of the ground,” he said.
“It all sounds great but there are lot that don’t do it.”
McClure said the logical next step for Parure was the Group 1 Vinery and then the Group 1 Australian Oaks.
“Even if she does nothing, she is already stamped herself with a Group 2 win and of course a Group 1 would be fantastic for her,” he said.
“It will be a pretty hot field in the Vinery and also the Australian Oaks where all the best staying fillies will be, but if you watched the race on Saturday she couldn’t have been any more impressive.”
Another horse they had to bring home from the sales because he couldn’t pass the scope test was a horse called Overkill (Fastnet Rock x Anabandana) and although he’s had other issues, McClure said he’d had no issues whatsoever with his throat. But he has won three races and two minor places from eight starts.
Silver Slipper Stakes winner Home Affairs is one of several colts the McClures, along with Coolmore and other partners have invested in heavily as they try to unearth a potential stallion.
Coolmore bought Home Affairs for $875,000 at the Inglis Easter sale.
The other colts include Head of State (American Pharoah x Derelique), O’president (Fastnet Rock x O’marilyn) and Acrobat (Fastnet Rock x Hips Don’t Lie). Head of State was a $850,000 buy, O’president cost $520,000 and Acrobat was passed in at a $1 million reserve.
“We just went into this fund because I suppose it’s everyone’s dream to get a stallion I suppose as breeders and we have got a close association with Coolmore and we share a numbers of mares together and quite a few horses,” McClure said
“And when the opportunity arose, we thought why not and we went into it and at the moment it’s looking good.”
And McClure is still breeding plenty of horses at his Red Hill farm
McClure said Fontein Ruby was of three mares they purchased in partnership.
“We bought three mares, Jazz Song (Fastnet Rock x Absolut Glam), Fontein Ruby and Rezoned (Zabeel x Better Alternative) from a broodmare sale,” he said.
“And I think there were three of us in each of them, a breeder from Sydney, Coolmore and ourselves.
“The Rezoned first foal was a highlight and she made one a quarter million dollars and turned out to be Southbank (bred by Morning Rise Stud) which ran third in the Guineas.
Jazz Song’s third foal Sword Point (American Pharoah) sold for $750,000 was also bred by Morning Rise Stud and McClure said they should know in the next few weeks whether he’s any good. McClure has also retained a share in the two-year-old colt.
McClure said he had 40 mares on his property and owned about 25 of them.
And while McClure plans to send Larneuk owner Neville Murdoch a note about Cluster producing a second placegetter to his horse in the Silver Slipper Stakes, he points out that he sold a horse he raced, Wolf Cry, to Murdoch to stand at stud.
The stallion produced his fist winner two weeks ago and a filly by him – Wolves – which was bred and is raced by Murdoch, finished ninth in the Blue Diamond last Saturday.
McClure said that Wolf Cry (Street Cry x Starfish) would have been a champion if he’d had good legs.