The brilliantly named Phoenix Broodmare Farm sales graduate and now bargain buy, Free of Debt is right on target to challenge his higher-priced counterparts in next month’s $1.5 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes.
The unbeaten son of the ill-fated Three Bridges Thoroughbreds stallion Unencumbered isn’t among the entries for the Caulfield two-year-old feature just yet but another bold showing in three weeks’ time will certainly persuade his connections to part with a $55,000 late nomination fee.
The promising youngster continues to put forward a compelling argument for his inclusion after backing up a debut win on his home track at Morphettville with victory in the Duane Rogers Plate at Flemington.
“He had some handy horses behind him in Adelaide and again at Flemington, including Lindsay Park’s highly regarded Fastnet Rock colt Viking Warrior, so he deserves his chance,” trainer Chris Bieg said.
“We’ll have a go at the Prelude and see how he handles Caulfield. If he runs well again, we’ll go to the Blue Diamond. I’ve had the vet go over him and he’s got the tick of approval from him, the horse has pulled up super. I’ll take him home and back to his normal surroundings and then come back. Travelling can really smarten young horses up and it would be a dream to have him in the Blue Diamond.”
Free Of Debt was bought out of Phoenix Broodmare Farm’s Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale draft by Beig for $30,000.
“This colt ticked all the boxes on breeding and he’s a beautiful mover and a really athletic sort. It’s pretty exciting to be talking about the Blue Diamond in the winners’ bar,” Beig said.
From the second of four crops left by the Magic Millions two-year-old Classic winner Unencumbered before his untimely death in March last year, Free Of Doubt is the third winner from four to race out of the Melbourne winning Giant’s Causeway mare Stagerush, who is from the family of the Group 1 winners and successful sires Scenic (IRE) and Rainbow Quest (USA).
Stagerush was purchased by Victoria’s Greta West Stud for $22,000 at the 2009 Inglis Great Southern Sale. Stagerush has a yearling filly by Keep The Faith and a filly foal by Master Of Design.
Phoenix Broodmare Farm’s Damian Gleeson remembers him well as a yearling, being a very nice type but having his ‘quirks”.
“He was bred by the McCarthy family at Greta West Stud and consigned into our draft for the Adelaide sale. We actually prepped him out of the paddock as he was a horse that suited that environment. We did a lot of hand walking with him, and he just kept growing.”
“He was a bit of a quirky horse, which explains his run at Flemington. Extremely talented but he always had his little habits. He was very similar early on as a yearling, and even though he ran greenly, he still had enough to beat them to the line.”
“However, once he got down to the sales, he was a pro and nailed every parade. Being only from Unencumbered’s second crop, it was unfortunate that his sire didn’t get a chance to have a winner at that stage. He had a very good walk and was a good athletic type that should have bought much more in the ring.”
Phoenix Broodmare Farm is currently busy prepping ten yearlings for the upcoming Melbourne Premier sale at Oaklands Junction.
“We have a lovely Hinchinbrook x Dashing Diva bay colt who has a great scopey walk, and the Magnus x Gail yearling is just a beautiful filly, Victorian bred and was foaled here at Phoenix.”
“I also really like the No Nay Never x Solar Antiquity colt, who is a real running, tough, nuggetty type of yearling and was also bred in Victoria, near the Yarra Valley.”
Phoenix are having a good run of late with Beers with Clint who is also a sales graduate, only a narrowly missing a win at Flemington, and after Premier it doesn’t stop, with eight weanlings being set for the Magic Millions National Sale.
“We have some lovely up market youngsters heading up to the Gold Coast that should be perfect for the buying bench up north.”