Quilly Park’s Richard Anderson has plenty of faith in the unraced stallion De Gaulle (Exceed and Excel x Response) which he bought in partnership with Broker Park Stud’s John Pratt to stand at Bombora Downs.
After covering only nine mares in a heavily Covid-impacted 2021, Anderson said the interest in the stallion continues to gather momentum and he is confident De Gaulle will serve his biggest book of mares this year.
With just eight of his progeny to so far hit the track, the stallion bought up his third winner when filly Rosa’s Revenge won on debut for Pakenham trainer Rachael Cunningham over 1114m at Moe on Saturday at odds of $11.
Anderson said the phone had already started ringing with breeders making inquiries about the stallion which won two trials for Randwick trainers Peter and Paul Snowden before breaking down with a tendon injury which forced his retirement before getting to the races where the Golden Slipper was targeted.
Anderson said it was fantastic for the stallion to get another winner to go with his three placegetters.
“It was fantastic for Rachael Cunningham and my partner John Pratt and it was a great result for them, with the horse leading the whole way,” he said.
“Being its first start it was entitled to be run down but it was strong enough and sustained its run, so they obviously had it fit enough.
“It was a good result for the stallion.”
Anderson said he’d had three phone calls on Monday morning from breeders making enquiries and already has a number of bookings.
“And at this stage he might have his best year based on forecasts,” he said.
“Getting results on the track speaks for itself and if we didn’t do that obviously no one would ring.”
Anderson said it was hoped that De Gaulle would be represented at Cranbourne on Thursday with three runners – Madame Du Gast, Bonjour De Gaulle and Chase De Ace.
The trio, who will only start if the track is not too heavy, are all trained at Cranbourne by Trevor Rogers who is a huge supporter of the stallion.
Chase de Ace (Pride Phet) was bred by Pratt, while Madame Du Gast and Bonjour De Gaulle were both bred by Anderson.
While Chase de Ace and Bonjour De Gaulle are both making their debuts, Madame Du Gast was De Gaulle’s first winner when she won on debut at Flemington in January over 1000m.
“People who have previously booked mares to the stallion have come back to him and said they are interested in going again which is great and there are a couple of new clients in there which is also great,” Anderson said.
“If we can get Madame Du Gast to go through her grades and if we can get Bonjour De Gaulle to win first up and Chase De Ace to win first up, then it would be five from 10.
“Craig Williams is going to ride Madame Du Gast and Bonjour De Gaulle on Thursday which is great but we won’t run if it’s a heavy track.”
De Gaulle, which served 23 mares in his first season in 2017, had his biggest book in 2019 with 39.
Anderson said he’ll be sending between 18 to 20 of his 21 mares to the stallion.
“Everything was bought to go to him,” Anderson said.
“And we thought what we might do is send all of our band to him because if we are right with our planning and our strategy then there will be some for sale coming up either in the weanling sales or we might do three in one packages just to put them into people’s hands.
“The full sister to Madame Du Gast was sold to Symon Wilde for $115,000 at Melbourne Premier. It was outrageous and we had four or five people bidding on it.
“We are getting there slowly but surely. We sold a couple to Mick Bell at the VOBIS Gold Sale which was great for him and they were well educated and he is happy with them.
“And fingers crossed he can get some results with them, too.”
The plan for Anderson is to sell some of De Gaulle’s progeny at the sales so people can “play” with them, understand them and watch them grow.
He said they are great-looking animals that are affable to humans and are so willing to learn.
And he said while you can’t race a page, you can race a type.
“They are doing the work and the stallion must be throwing something over and we are not getting the high-end mares but we have got the average mares but we are getting results with them,” Anderson said.
“And what would happen if we got some blueblood mares to him?
“We just need something to jump out over the spring and we’ll be right and he’ll be on his way.’’
Quilly Park paid $32,500 for the mare Trajection (Smart Missile x Pauline De Lago) at last week’s Inglis digital sale.
A winner of eight races, the five-year-old mare’s granddam is champion mare and three-time Group 1 winner Burst (Marauding x Sudden).
Anderson said the mare was another one bought specifically for De Gaulle.
He recently privately purchased mare Balmodena (Good Journey x Balsamico) to go the stallion. Her last foal, by Brazen Beau, sold for $165,000, at this year’s Melbourne Premier.
Balsamico also produced the filly Dosh Dash (Dash For Cash), the dam of Group 3 winner Written Dash (Written Tycoon) which is the dam of Osamu (Exceed and Excel) that won at Eagle Farm last Saturday to increase the four-year-old gelding’s prize money to $334,230.
“What we have tried to do is buy mares that suit him and try to get the public involved and we might see mares in foal to him and we might sell mares with a foal at foot and we might get to weanling sales or we might keep some and put them in the sales in coming years,” he said.
“I have got nine foaling down to him this year.
“And John Pratt is supporting the stallion with mares, but not in large numbers.”
And Pratt agrees that Rosa’s Revenge was good for the stallion.
He said the three-year-old filly is the most recent foal out of Centashani, but she’ll return to De Gaulle this season.
Two of the foals produced by the broodmare are both stayers. Nordic Pride (Zoffany) won four races from 2025m to 3000m, while Aurora Rose (Northern Meteor) won four races from 2200m to 2500m.
Nordic Pride is still racing and won at Sandown over 3000m earlier this year. Aurora Rose was retired in 2019.
“She is not in foal at the moment and I just wanted to how these ones went,” Pratt said.
“He has got a few coming on, that’s for sure.”
Pratt said it was always hard to get mares to an unraced stallion.
“He is an exceptional prospect, that’s for sure,” he said.
“He is by Exceed and Excel, out of a Group 1 winner (Response) and she has produced a Group 1 Golden Slipper winner (Estijaab).”
Pratt said he spoke to Peter Snowden about the stallion at the races and he told him he loved De Gaulle.
“He said he was a Group horse every day of the week and what level Group we don’t know,” he said.
“He was shattered when he did his tendon. Newgate thought that much of him that they thought he deserved a chance at stud rather than geld him and go through a tendon rehab.”
Pratt admitted it was a hard sell for unraced stallions – but results on the track mean everything.