A Sunday drive from Greta West in North East Victoria over the Alpine National Park down to Sale is a 390 kilometre or five-hour plus journey.
That’s the (unlikely in winter) Sunday journey a Flemington winning breeder could have taken to visit her horse at his Sale stables after he won on Saturday.
Bucklee Farm’s Leeanne Smith was certainly cheering home her homebred Sunday Escape (Hard Spun) when the seven-year-old gelding held on for a tough win over 1000 metres at Flemington.
Trained and co-owned by Sale’s Andrew Murray, Sunday Escape led all the way and held off a fast finishing So Si Bon and in-form Play Master making it a Victorian bred trifecta.
“At this level, he needs the speed to be perfect. He hasn’t got a big kick, but he can stay strong, so it needs to be perfect early so they can’t get us or get away from us. He’s tries hard, and that’s what keeps him in these city races all the time,” Murray said.
With earnings of over $320,000 and five wins and nineteen placings in 35 starts, he has been an ultra-consistent galloper.
The win came in the same week Sunday’s Escape’s little half-sister Weekend Escape (Helmet) won on debut at Pakenham. She is trained by Robbie Griffiths.
“Murray has certainly got a fondness for Sunday Escape’s dam, the mare Induct, as he has now trained three of her offspring,” Leeanne Smith said.
“They have done a marvelous job with Sunday Escape and I am so happy he has been such a great horse for them.
“(The Flemington win) is great for farm morale too, as the staff love cheering him on. You can see that he is just such a little trier.”
Leeanne has a very special fondness for her mares and there is no doubt Induct has a very special place in Leanne’s heart.
“I went out to the old girl (Induct) this afternoon, straightened her rug, gave her a little pat, and said “thank you”. She is such a lovely quiet mare, so easy to have around, never a problem.”
“It’s very special when mares produce for you. I bought her for $1,200 at the Inglis broodmare sales in foal to Dubai Destination. I was looking for a bargain, and I certainly found one.
“She is worth much more to me than what she would be worth to sell even with her current pedigree.
“Induct will never leave the farm. She is just a lovely quiet soul to have in the paddock. I even have a little patch down the back in mind for her when it’s time.”
Induct has a quality Canford Cliffs yearling, but unfortunately missed this season to Helmet.
“I was hoping for a miracle, but she can have a break now and I will kick her off early this year. I haven’t locked in who she will be covered by yet. I like the Halo line for her, I just need to decide who may suit her best.”
Sunday Escape was sold for $80,000 to trainer Andrew Murray at the 2012 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.
A half brother to trained Darren Weir trained Group 3 Aurie’s Star winning gelding Broken, he was a lovely type as a yearling and very popular with buyers.
“He was right at the end of the sale, and I reckon most of those bigger buyers were full. I had a buyer from Hong Kong tell me he was a really nice horse, but he only had $50,000 left, so I was pretty lucky to get him at $80,000,” Murray said.
Bucklee Farm is looking forward to spring, with good rainfall late helping to kick off the lush spring grass when the warm weather approaches.
The farm certainly is going through a purple patch at the moment with not only Sunday Escape and Weekend Escape tasting victory, but also Hay Bale (Canford Cliffs) who was raised at the farm and recently won at Flemington.
“It is so special to see them out there racing as a breeder. The farm is certainly having a little bit of fun at the moment,” Smith said.
For more information about services provided by Bucklee Farm,,contact Leeanne on 0427 662 394 or visit www.buckleefarm.com.au