Saturday’s Flemington Listed winner Prairie Fire has become the gift that just keeps giving for Victorian breeders Ed and Libby McKeon and son Clark who operate under the Palya Bloodstock banner.
Firstly the colt achieved an incredible sale price as a yearling; secondly he gives them – as breeders – a stake in the Blue Diamond; and, finally, he has provided a fabulous update for the half relation that they are selling in a fortnight at the Inglis Premier Sale.
The black-type success gives his yearling three-quarter brother by Wandjina, in the Rosemont Stud draft, a significant update. Rosemont will offer the colt as lot and he could be one of the hottest things in the sale if Prairie Fire wins the big one at Caulfield.
A Blue Diamond win for the Mick Price trained colt would also be a massive fillip for Sun Stud and their future stallion roster as they were the ones who bought him off the McKeons at sale.
Last year’s Inglis Premier Sale result with the Snitzel x Consistency colt (now named Prairie Fire) was a real highlight for Ed McKeon with the gavel going down at $625,000. He was raised at and prepared for the sale by Rosemont Stud.
Prairie Fire is out of the well-bred All Bar One mare, Consistency, a half-sister to top class galloper Nina Haraka, and dam of Extension Of Time. Nina Haraka is the sister to Monte Rosa, the dam of Snitzerland and Sooboog.
Consistency was a shrewd purchase by McKeon for just $70,000 at the 2013 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
“I bought this mare Consistency with the specific task of going to Snitzel. She missed the first year to him, but I persisted and went the next year and it was certainly worth it,” McKeon said.
“She is still a young mare and throws very commercial types. She is currently in foal to Redoute’s Choice and she has a fantastic So You Think on the ground, which is probably her best foal yet. It’s all a bit too much for an old man to bear!”
Ed McKeon has tasted success at the highest level as a part-owner of Melbourne Cup winner, Tawrrific, but this Saturday’s Blue Diamond will be right up there as one of the highlights of his thoroughbred career.
The McKeons have focused on breeding twelve quality mares this year and, along with their young stock, they all reside in the best of care at Rosemont Stud. They also prepare and sell the majority of the Palya sales horses.
“Ed, Libby and Clark McKeon are great clients and great mates of ours,” Rosemont’s Anthony Mithen said.
“We are thrilled that they have one they bred running in the Blue Diamond. Only a year ago we were clicking our heels and off for dinner to celebrate his sale. We put him on the market for $250,000 so to almost treble his reserve was just incredible.”
There are no feelings of regret from the McKeon about not keeping a hoof in their outstanding homebred two-year-old.
“If I kept a share in all the ones I thought were going to be any good, I would be pretty broke by now!” Ed McKeon said.
“I actually said after he sold to Sun Bloodstock; ‘Thank god, nobody is going to ask me to stay in!’”
Hoofnote: A ‘Prairie Fire’ is a mixed drink traditionally consisting of whiskey and hot sauce. It originated in the American Midwest as a punishment for patrons that lost a bar bet in the 1970s – that would certainly be one way to start a lively Blue Diamond victory celebration!!