Victorian breeder Danny Molloy had often wandered past the winner’s room at Flemington and thought what it would to like to be in there one day celebrating a victory at Headquarters.
Molloy, a Ballarat accountant who also has a farm in South Australia, has been breeding horses for many years and on the weekend celebrated victories with two horses he bred.
But there was a fair bit of a difference where the races were won at Flemington and Mortlake.
Victoria Quay was Molloy’s first Flemington winner and three-year-old filly by Dundeel did it in style by winning the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes.
Molloy had another winner on Sunday when Luxitorah (Delago Deluxe x Torah) won a maiden at Mortlake on her third attempt.
The win of Victoria Quay was the culmination of a team effort from the Victorian Breeding Industry.
The filly arrived from New South Wales at Sally Watkins’ Willaroon Thoroughbreds, at Lurg, as a foal to be later prepared for a yearling sale.
Then she was sold for $250,000 through Kayley and David Johnson’s Rushton Park draft at the 2019 Adelaide Premier Yearling Sale.
Molloy explains that the filly was rejected at Melbourne but topped the sale at Adelaide.
He admits he was approached by trainer Tony McEvoy at the Adelaide sale and asked whether he would retain a share in the filly if he was the successful bidder.
He told McEvoy, who trains the filly with son Calvin, he’d stay in for 20 per cent.
Thinking she’d sell for around $80,000, the accountant did an instant calculation in his head that if he kept 20 per cent, it would cost him $16,000 to buy back into her.
And didn’t do any sums on a sale price of $250,000.
“I was thinking she might make 80 grand or something and I thought it would cost me $16,000 but she made $250,000 and it cost me $50,000,” he said.
“I was spewing at the time but I’m quite happy today. Luckily McEvoy and Suman Hedge had a bidding war over her.”
Hedge, who operates a bloodstock company, also bought into the filly, after being the under bidder.
Molloy said Victoria Quay’s dam Swan River (Danehill Dancer x Sovereign Countess) had a staying pedigree and he believed Dundeel (NZ) would be a good match.
“I bought her down to Victoria to race with VOBIS and I breed a few horses,” he said.
“As it happens, a few of the yearling went by the wayside and I finished putting her in the sales because I had to sell some and I entered her for Melbourne but she was rejected.
“So I went to Adelaide and she topped the sale.”
Molloy bought Swan River for $45,000 in foal to Monaco Consul, and she had a foal at foot by the stallion. He sold both of the progeny – Ghodeleine and Beau River – and they both went to be city winners.
“I probably have 10 to a dozen mares and we have got a full brother to Victoria Quay who was born two weeks ago,” he said.
He said Swan River was booked into So You Think, but they contemplating a change of minds and going back to Dundeel (High Chaparral x Stareel).
Molly described his week as “awesome.”
“I have never had any two horses win on a weekend and to go from a Group 2 winner on Derby Day to a maiden at Mortlake was different but awesome,” he said.
Molloy said he was a little bit disappointed that Victorian Quay wouldn’t contest the Kennedy Oaks and offered to pay the late fee.
Calvin McEvoy described it as a fantastic effort but said not paying up for the Oaks was “a calculated decision.”
“We didn’t pay up for the Oaks,” he said.
“That was a calculated decision. She’s always been a bit buzzy, a bit immature upstairs but she’s really come a long way.”
Molloy said there was more to come and the Adelaide Oaks would now be targeted.
Victoria Quay’s victory was also a great result for Sally Watkins’ Willaroon Thoroughbreds.
“We had her as a foal right through to when I delivered her to the Adelaide sale and Rushton Park took her on and sold her,” Sally said.
“We prepped her, the whole shebang and we are very proud of her.
“She came down with her mum and another mare, Torah which had a foal (Luxitorah) and consequently won at Mortlake. Danny was always going to race her and syndicated her amongst a few friends.”
Sally said that Victoria Quay would have only been put in Melbourne Premier’s book two but they decided to run her through book one at Adelaide.
“We were lucky there because Dundeel had a couple of Group 1 winners from when she was accepted for the sale and sale time,” Sally said.
“She was a beautiful filly and just a great walker and every time she came out she just paraded beautifully. Suman Hedge loved her as did Tony McEvoy and they went head to head.
“Tony was the stronger but Suman said I still love her so I want half.”
And Rushton Park’s Kayley Johnson said there were many helping hands in the success of Victoria Quay, particularly from her close friend, Sally Watkins.
“We were very lucky to have such a nice horse to sell,” Kayley said.
“After discussions with Sally when the filly wasn’t accepted into the main session at Melbourne, Adelaide was selected as we thought she’d be in the better end of the sale.
“And when the sale selections were made it was before Dundeel had really fired up. He’d had a couple of good horses but we hadn’t seen the likes of Castelvecchio and Super Seth come out.
Kayley said that in a period of about six weeks Dundeel produced four or five Stakes winners and his progeny were suddenly hot property – everyone wanted one.
“When I saw her walk, I said to my husband David that she was one of the nicest horses I had seen in a while.”
“I commented to David that she had a head like a princess, a behind like a washer woman and a walk like a….” Kayley laughs
Kayley said Victoria Quay showed her fighting ability on Saturday.
“She can be hot and has quite a temper on her,” she said. “She has got gravel in her guts, that’s what we call those sorts of tough fillies.”
For breeder Danny Molly, it’s not the first time Molloy has experienced a big race win. He bought Sopressa (So You Think x Hidden Strings) the winner of the 2018 Group 1 SAJC Oaks for $70,000 through Bucklee Farm’s weanling draft at the 2015 Great Southern Sale.
It is however, the first time that he had such a thrill on the one day from the horses he bred.