The Economist ridden by Beau Mertens wins the Thoroughbred Breeders Super VOBIS Maiden Plate at Cranbourne Racecourse on April 08, 2022 in Cranbourne, Australia. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos)

Veteran Cranbourne trainer and horse breaker Barry Fox is happy he remained in the game for a little bit longer after his wife Tina decided to breed another foal from a mare that had won two races for one of their long-time clients.
Fox, who has been in the horse industry for as long as anyone can remember, was on the verge of full-time retirement before he broke in a Danerich colt out of Galileo mare Shelta.
Named The Economist, the now three-year-old gelding has raced four times for one win, which came in the Victorian Thoroughbred Breeders Super Breeders Maiden Plate (1300m) at Cranbourne on Friday night, two seconds and a third.
The first-up victory at Cranbourne came after a 13-week spell when The Economist finished second, beaten less than a length, by Straight Arron, a last start winner of the Group 3 ATC Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) earlier this month.
It was the sort of form that attracted plenty of attention, and it was no surprise that the Fox runner was the raging $1.40 favourite on Friday night.
There was plenty of post-race attention, with Fox revealing Hong Kong interests had come knocking with a healthy offer that he had already dismissed.
He races the horses with his son Matthew and the two sons, Julian and Darcy, that Fox and Tina share.
“He is a nice little horse,” Fox said.
“I got a phone call, but I wouldn’t sell him. They have offered half a million at this stage.
“I am 73 and haven’t got that much longer to go, and who cares. What are you going to do with it (money)? This is the last horse I’ve got.”
Fox trained The Economist’s dam Shelta to a victory at Sandown over 2100m for owner Bob Moses who, along with Tina Fox, bred four foals from the mare.
Simple Solution, a filly by Bianconi, won three races, all at Sale. Another filly, Secret Message (Americain), was retired after two starts, a filly by Canford Cliffs died in a paddock accident, and the filly The Sentinel (Jungle Ruler) won a maiden for Cranbourne trainer Rhonda Mangan last year.
The Economist was the first colt produced by Shelta, which has since had two foals by Wayed Zain after the Foxes gave a free lease on the mare.
“She wasn’t put into foal last year, so she is coming back to us,” Fox said.
“We’ll hopefully put her back into foal to Danerich because with the mare being by Galileo; it’s the best line in the world.”
Fox said they bought Shelta when Moses decided to sell her.
While Fox said the Americain filly was a lovely type, he rated her as best suited to a showjumping career. He said the Canford Cliffs filly was a stunner but sadly came to grief in the paddock.
He said that when he decided to retire, they couldn’t keep all the horses and gave The Sentinel to Mangan after he’d broken the filly in.
“The best way to go broke is by owning too many,” Fox said.
“This one is a nice, lovely doing horse and a good type and hasn’t left an oat since he raced.
“I think he is a genuine miler. He is not a big, lean staying type. He is a heavy set horse.”
Tina said she offered Moses $2000 for Shelta when he decided to sell.
“The Sentinel has a lot of ability, and we hope they win races with her too,” Tina said.
“They are rapt to have her.
“This one has shown promise right from the start, and we thought he would have won a race pretty early, but we just kept running into good horses.
“But after that horse won at Randwick last week, I said to Barry that if you look at the sectionals from the last 200m of the Sandown race, our horse ran the last 200 metres faster than the winner.
“We drew barrier one that day, and they said the rail might have been off, so you can’t get much more bad luck than that. There were about seven lengths between second to third.
“We were lucky on Friday night because the horse was very fat. He turns feed into fat very efficiently.”
Shelta is now 16-years-old, and Tina is hoping that the mare will be able to throw them another good foal when they send her back to Danerich.
“Every foal she has thrown is beautiful,” she said.
“They have got that really nice head on them and have beautiful legs, and for some reasons, some mares throw really good headed horses, and she is just one of those mares that does.
“They are always good types, and she was a good type herself.”
Tina said they were attracted to the Danehill line and were after an affordable service fee.
“We thought who is a really nice Danehill stallion, and we knew Danerich’s brother Redzel (Snitzel) won a few good races and he was a good horse, and Danerich has good types, so we thought we’d send her to him and see what happens.
“Our horse has only won one race, but hopefully, he’ll win more.
“Every race he’s had, he flattens out over the last 200m and just tries his guts out, so you can’t be any happier than that.”
Cornwall Park’s Peter Boyle said that despite being a rising 20-year-old, Danerich continues to be in fine health.
“He is a dream to do anything with,” he said.
“He gets runners every day. He just gets a heap of runners.”
Danerich transferred from Rangal Park Stud to Cornwall Park Stud before the start of last year’s breeding season when he served 23 mares, the same number as 2020.
“Last year, the shareholders really supported him well, and while he is getting older, he is still as fertile as all hell, and he still covers well,” Boyle said.
Another of the stallions to transfer to Cornwall Park when Rangal Park closed was Soul Patch (Shamus Award x God Bless Us), and he served 30 mares last year compared to the 31 in his first season.
“He is a beautiful animal, and he is just a big, strong, robust horse that is just a lovely animal.
“He has got some lovely foals.”
Boyle said a lot of breeders who sent mares to Soul Patch are shareholders in the stallion, and many have told Boyle that they will be keeping the foals to race.