Hey Doc claims another victory for breeder

One of the wisest decisions Gippsland hobby breeder Adrian Hall made was to retain a share in the Dupworth colt he sold for $85,000 at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sales.

Hall, who operated a cabinet building business at Yarram, liked to breed from a couple of broodmares and mated his General Nediym mare, Heyington Honey with Dupworth.

The mare, purchased by Hall for $3500, had picked up three races for him and his father, Brian.

Trainer Tony McEvoy was looking for owners when the colt, out of Heyington Honey, was knocked down to him and Hall didn’t take any convincing to snaffle a 10 percent share.

The colt became a gelding and was named Hey Doc who picked up another Group 1 victory by claiming the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Perth on Saturday to take his career prizemoney to $2.3 million.

Hall said he had always liked the colt and was lucky that McEvoy didn’t have any specific owners for him at the sales.

The highs and lows of racing and breeding are reflected in Heyington Honey who died before Hey Doc raced.

“We also lost her and the foal and I was going to give it away after that and I wasn’t really impressed with it,” Hall said.

“And I got down to two mares but I’m up to seven now. I have got a half-sister to Hey Doc, a mare Heather Honey (by Congrats), which I luckily kept and raced. She won a race and was placed in town and she has a Street Boss yearling which I am going to race.”

“She missed to Exceed and Excel last year and has been covered in late October by Written Tycoon and hopefully she is in foal.”

Hall said his father was  “a small town country trainer’’ which meant the family grew up around horses and he had raced plenty before Hey Doc provided him with the ultimate glory of Group 1 successes.

In fact, Hey Doc was Hall’s first city winner when the gelding  won on debut  at Morphettville as a two year-old.

“I’d had a lot of placings and stuff but he was the first horse I had to win a city race and he went from that to winning Group races and then Group Ones. My next horse was Dollar For Dollar so I have got a couple of good ones with Tony,” Hall said.

“I have just got a small share in Dollar For Dollar with a heap of other guys.  He was quite an expensive yearling and I pretty much just liked the mare (Pretty Penny). I have a good run with Tony and the worst horse I’ve got with him is a Group 1 place getter.”

But Dollar For Dollar, which finished third in Group 1 races the Doomben 10,000 in May and second in last year’s Rupert Clarke Stakes, has won two Group 3 races.

Hall described Heyington Honey as a “cracking” type who ran fourth at Moonee Valley when they thought she’d win but wasn’t suited by the track conditions.

He said she had good ability but bad knees.

“She was just a magnificent mare but unfortunately we only got two foals out of her,” Hall said.

Dollar for Dollar ridden by Jamie Kah wins at Ladbrokes Park Hillside. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

“It’s hard, especially with what you see is happening now and it would be nice to have her running around the paddock.”

Hall said he had been involved in a breeding partnership with Bill Cockram in  Heyington Honey and a couple of mares before they parted company in their breeding venture.

“It worked out really well  as I really wanted her and kept her, along with another one as well but  I on sold her,”  he said

“There were two General Nediym mares. She was the one I liked most and I kept one and he kept one, so I got the right one.”

Hall sold his cabinet making business last year and still has his farm at Yarram, which is operated by his parents, and now lives in Inverloch and has a business in Leongatha.

Rosemont Stud principal Anthony Mithen said their piece to the Hey Doc story  was only a small one.

He said all the credit belongs to Hall who had been a long-time client of Rosemont’s which had sold and prepared yearlings for him.

“He pokes around with a few mares for  interest and he needs it to pay for itself so he sells and we were selling his yearlings and prepped up Hey Doc and had him at the farm,” Mithen said.

“I reckon it was the biggest Melbourne Premier draft we had done and we didn’t have the box space and we were  fighting for room everywhere and we went to Lara where Youngy (Mark Young) has got the pre-training facility and prepped them out of there.”

“And that was before we took it over as a pre training facility. We  went in with 40 yearlings and did them out of there and worked out that the property could work as a pre-training centre.”

Mithen recalls that as a yearling Hey Doc was quite a strong, forward type that was always going to grow out to what he described as  a pretty fair specimen

He said the $85,000 fetched for Hey Doc was good  money  for a yearling sold on the final session of the sales that year.

“I remember when he was sold that McEvoy stable said they liked the horse and wanted to buy him but didn’t have a buyer and said they and just going to syndicate him out and would you guys stay in.’’ Mithen said.

“Adrian was keen to stay in and kept a share and now he has been able to ride the wave of three Group 1s and the whole story.’’

And as Hall said, the racing and breeding game offers a mixture of some massive highs and some big lows. He has experienced them all.

Already with nine wins, Hall reckons Hey Doc still has plenty more to give.