A mare gifted to Chris Rentessis is proving her breeding worth to the Euroa horseman with King Of Hastings (Ilovethiscity) now a stakes winner to further lift the family profile.
He has derived great satisfaction to date from the progress of the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained King Of Hastings, who on Sunday triumphed in the Listed Glasshouse H. at the Sunshine Coast.
The 4-year-old has now won six races and more than $610,000 and had also previously finished runner-up in the G3 HDF McNeil S.
Rentessis operates a small breeding operation from his 50-acre farm and combines that interest with stallion work on thoroughbred farms in the area, including Larneuk Stud.
King Of Hastings’ dam Handcut (Danerich) won one of her 12 starts before she was retired and it was then a case of never look a gift horse in the mouth.
“The mare was given to me by Terry Martin quite a few years ago now, he was a client of mine at the time and I looked after Handcut’s mother Pentiara,” Rentessis said.
“My first association with Terry was when I was doing some work at Rangal Park and he used to keep his mares there and sent Pentiara to Danerich and Handcut was the product of one of those matings.
“I looked after Pentiara for him and grew out Legcut, which was Handcut’s sister. She was quite a handy mare.”
“I looked after Pentiara for him (Terry Martin) and grew out Legcut, which was Handcut’s sister. She was quite a handy mare.” – Chris Rentessis
Legcut won six races and while Handcut was only successful once, she did place twice including one behind a subsequent two-time Group 1 winner.
“Handcut was very, very fast but had a few mental issues. She ran third to Platelet at Flemington, which was a really good run and I had a look at her form and I thought she was a nice mare,” Rentessis said.
“Terry retired her and I took her on and sent her to Ilovethiscity. I’m a contractor around here and have a bit to do with some of the stallions in this area and Ilovethiscity was one of those.
“I work in well with Neville Murdoch at Larneuk Stud and breed a few. The first foal I got was Appalachian and David Jolly bought him and the second was King Of Hastings.”
Appalachian made $30,000 and won three races while King Of Hastings was sold by Rentessis at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale for $32,000.
“I thought he was a really nice horse and struggled to get him into the Inglis Premier Sale and I thought he was better than an autumn horse,” he said.
“I took him to Adelaide and Anthony Freedman bought him. I was rapt that a decent stable bought one of my horses and that he was going to get every chance. From there on he’s been a little superstar and I’ve had a lot of fun following him.”
Rentessis retained the next foal and the now 3-year-old, Red Cut Rock (O’Lonhro), has had two outings for trainer Phil Sweeney. He was fourth on debut and second at Narrandera last month.
“He’s got some ability, but he’s just got a few maturity issues which he’s going through and we’ll give him plenty of time,” Rentessis said.
Earlier this year, King Of Hastings’ sister was purchased by the Group 1-winning trainer Annabel Neasham at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale for $120,000.
“I’ve got another sister sitting at home and the mare is in foal to Ilovethiscity again,” Rentessis said.
King Of Hastings’ success may now force a rethink on Handcut’s next appointment with a stallion.
“My dilemma now is that the mare probably warrants me spending a bit more money, but the nick with Ilovethiscity is so strong and it doesn’t matter if she throws colts or fillies, they are all really nice horses,” Rentessis said.
“I’m tempted to stick with Ilovethiscity, but the commercial side of it says to look in another direction. I’ll wait a bit and think about it.”