WORDS BY KIERSTEN DUKE
PHOTOS BY SHARON LENTON
The sun was shining at Royal Randwick on Sunday 21st January as crowds of potential owners with their families eagerly filled the theatre of the horse awaiting the arrival of ‘The Fantastic Four’ fillies that James Harron purchased the previous week at the Magic Millions sales in the Gold Coast.
After coffee, nibbles ands lots of chit chat, champion jockeys Kerrin McEvoy and Hugh Bowman took to the stage to be greeted and grilled by Sky Racing’s Richard Haynes.
“Worlds best jockey, I like it, it has a nice ring to it” joked Hugh Bowman as the crowd chuckled. “Whether or not it really means I’m any better than anyone else I don’t know but I’m extremely grateful” Bowman finished.
Despite the pony rides, face painting and the distraction of the nibbles buffet, even the children paused to admire the first of the yearling fillies that entered the ring to begin the parade.
Deep Field x Curtsey
Described as strong, inquisitive, determined and an exceptional mover, the Deep Field x Curtsey filly took to the parade ring to show us all exactly why she was described in such a way. Despite only being in the Gold Coast a week ago, this filly took everything in its stride and was completely unfazed by the crowds of people and the music.
“She immediately caught my eye at the sales” Harron said. “She’s beautifully educated from the Southern Cross Breeders in the Hunter Valley which shows as she moves so willingly around the ring here. She’s handling the big occasion very well which shows she could be a very promising two year old along with the fact she looks like an early developer.”
Dean Elliot, manager at JHB Syndications, then took the mic to conclude “She’s a wonderful mover this filly, she has an exciting pedigree and is going to a trainer that we have a lot of faith in, Brad Widdup. Being so affordable she’s been very popular. Not only is she BOBS eligible but she has all the ingredients to be a pre Christmas two year old.”
The El Roca x Turn On Sixpence
After touching base with NSW trainer Brad Widdup, the second filly entered the parade ring. The El Roca x Turn On Sixpence filly was described in three words as impressive, unflappable and powerful.
Hall of Fame trainer, David Hayes commented on the filly “When they’re handling a busy crowd like this so well, you’re halfway there. The first thing I thought when I saw this filly was that she was a Fastnet Rock in disguise! She has a great hindquarter and a lot of length. I think she is going to be very good.”
Harron agreed “El Roca is top class. At first glance I thought this filly was a Fastnet Rock, I thought she would be out of my price range. I think they’ll sell very well in New Zealand next week. To my eye, she’s a great filly and we have the right trainer to train her, David Hayes, who has a good strike rate.”
Elliot concluded the parade with “We have a lot of faith in the sire, El Roca, she’s from a real strong filly family and we should have paid a lot more for her!”
Written Tycoon x Goldirocks
Thirdly, the Written Tycoon x Goldirocks entered the parade ring after being described as intelligent, imposing, precocious and athletic.
“She’s an obvious appeal, we’ve had great luck with the stallion previously. She’s very forward, with a great hip, she’s alert and ready to go with great energy while not being silly. She’s very light on her feet and athletic; I think she’ll be a pre Christmas filly and is VOBIS eligible, meaning she’s eligible for a million dollar race in Victoria” Harron said.
Deep Field x Miss Broadway
Last but not least an elegant, commanding and muscular, Deep Field x Miss Broadway filly entered the parade ring.
An excited Gary Portelli, Golden Slipper winning trainer, gushed “I’m very keen on this filly, we wanted to buy her ourselves but James beat us to it! I’m completely in love with the horse, she was by far one of the strongest fillies in the sale. Not only is she masculine, she has a lot of speed built into her, big hind quarters, she strides well and has a great attitude. I went and saw her at least five times at the sale and not once was she fired up- nothing fazes her! The best horses are never fazed on big days, they preserve their energy for when it counts. Looking at her now, she just rolls around the ring, she’s so powerful, a real sprinter, ready made.
Harron then chimed in “We’re excited to be sending her to Gary, he does a great job with two year olds, and he knows when to push them and when they need to be backed off. This filly reminds me of Deep Field himself, she has that strength and power right from tip to toe. She looks like an elastic band that could just ping! She’ll be an early runner and a strong sprinter.”
Elliot concluded the parade by agreeing “She stood out at the sales for me. We wanted her as soon as we saw her and have high hopes. Gary (Portelli) is magic with his fillies and loves her already. She’s a great type and really is one out the hat!”
As the final filly left the ring, all eyes turned to Harron as he concluded the show by thanking his hardworking team, the ATC itself and of course all the trainers and jockeys for making an appearance.
The turn out was impressive for JHB Syndication’s first ever open day and only shows what a bright future is in store for them.
At Thoroughbred Events Australia we would like to thank all those that were involved with making the day happen, we had a wonderful time and wish all the owners and trainers the best of luck with their beautiful fillies.