Go Racing looks forward to four starters in Australia this Saturday, three at Royal Randwick and one at Flemington. All are racing in graded races from a Benchmark 74 to a Benchmark 88, but combined they are running for more than A$500,000 for their owners.
“Such is the strength of Australian racing and our owners love our strategy of targeting the right horses for these meetings.” Says Albert Bosma.
The four horses have come from different backgrounds to end up at these races, with Go Racing’s open-minded strategy for purchasing and racing them paying dividends for the happy syndicates.
Two of the horses were bought in Europe, with Sir Pippin purchased at the end of October last year for just 24,000 Guineas (NZ$48,000). He has had three starts in Australia for two wins, the last being at Caulfield and has won $95,000 already. He races in a Benchmark 88 1800 metres at Flemington this Saturday and hasn’t yet got to his pet distance in England, which was 2400 metres. “He has a lot of upside and could well be a Cups horse in the making” says Albert. Raqeeq, the second of the European purchases to race this weekend was bought for 50,000 Guineas (NZ$100,000) and has won almost $200,000 to date. “He hit the running rail last start when we thought he was a big hope, which cost him his chance, and he can bounce back quickly in his Rating 78 2000 metres at Royal Randwick this Saturday.”
These two runners are part of a well considered Australian strategy for Go Racing horses that is playing out – and paying out – beautifully.
Go Racing principal Albert Bosma saw the opportunity to import lightly-raced European horses to be sent to legendary trainer Chris Waller with the intention to work them up through the Australian grades. “It was a logical approach with Australia’s great prize money and lack of stayers. The Northern Hemisphere has been breeding stayers for centuries and the bloodlines you have access to makes the upside to these horses exciting.”
The Australian strategy is a two-pronged attack. “We also send promising New Zealand horses to work their way up through the grades in Australia. We are simply looking for the best career options for our horses – whichever side of the Tasman.” Stardome, a three-year-old son of Savabeel was purchased as a yearling to send to Chris Waller to mould into a stayer. “He runs in a 3yo 2000 metres at Randwick on Saturday worth A$125,000 as an important lead up to the Queensland Derby. He is a lightly raced winner of two races and a strong performance on Saturday will see him trek North for the 2400 metres classic, which is a distance that should really suit him.”
The final runner of the four is the Stephen Mckee trained Maktoum who races in a Rating 78 1500 metres for three and four-year olds at Randwick this Saturday for A$125,000. The son of Makfi has had two starts in Australia this campaign running 2nd first up under a big weight. “The distance suits him this week and with Sam Weatherley in the saddle drops to 57.5 kilos, a lovely weight for him. Unfortunately he has drawn wide, so will need some luck from his barrier, but he is well.”
“The typical approach was to campaign horses in Australia only when they had already proved themselves and had high ratings points, but that is starting off at the toughest level and when you are running for A$125,000 from low in the grades it makes sense to take advantage of this.” Says Bosma. “With every single horse we try to assess whether working through the New Zealand grades is better for them or are they an Aussie prospect? Our New Zealand trainers fully support it. We’ve now had six months of implementing the strategy with horses racing over there with great success.”
“Mark Two and Campari went over from Stephen Marsh’s stable in October and both won fresh up with Campari winning a second race at Randwick and breaking the class record there. She races at Ellerslie on Saturday in the Rating 82 1400 metres, where she looks a good chance after winning her last start at Rotorua.”
Reflecting six months on Bosma is pleased with how the strategy is working and will continue to offer it to his 600-strong client base.
“If you’ll excuse the pun, it really is horses for courses. Whether in New Zealand or Australia. Career management for our horses is paramount and upon seeing potential we look at every angle for them. Our owners love the option of experiencing Australian racing.”