Shorten period between two-year-old sales to help internationals
Champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore may have bailed on his Gold Coast stable experiment earlier this year, but his nephew James Moore believes the glitter strip is the place to secure his own long-term training future.
James Moore chose not to follow his father Gary, the younger brother of John, to Macau where the champion trainer is reestablishing his stable after a stint training in Sydney and, instead, Moore Jnr relocated from NSW to Queensland.
He is currently working for Gold Coast trainer Gillian Heinrich but he intends to open his own stable in time for the New Year.
“Gillian very kindly gave me a job up here when Gary decided to go back to Asia,” Moore told us at the Magic Millions 2YOs In Training Sale this week.
“I just feel the Gold Coast is one of the tracks, when it is upgraded to metropolitan status and all that, where every man and his dog is going to want to be up here, so you have got to get in early.”
Moore, who trained for four years in Macau from 2014 to 2018 and whose brother Nicholas is training successfully in the Asian jurisdiction, expects to start with ten horses in work.
“I know a lot of good people in Australia who have shown interest in supporting the stable and I would like to start with good clientele and good quality horses,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll be up and running before the beginning of the New Year, so it will be good timing ahead of the yearling sales as well.”
The Gold Coast Turf Club is undergoing a major infrastructure upgrade which will also see it have the ability to host night race meetings.
The two Australian two-year-old sales – Inglis and the Magic Millions – have come and gone with Asian buyers, as expected, to the fore at both auctions.
Singapore, in particular, had a big presence at both sales, purchasing 32 at the Ready2Race Sale and 17 at the Magic Millions’ offering on Tuesday. That compares to just one purchased from each of the Inglis and Magic Millions sales in 2021 by Singapore owners and trainers.
The Singaporean activity, along with the Hong Kong involvement, helped overcome the clear decline in appetite to spend from the domestic buyers at this year’s sales.
Whether that is indicative of the change in the economic conditions or the huge amounts spent by Australian owners and trainers earlier in the year, it will become more evident when the 2023 yearling sales come around.
Inglis has certainly captured market share in recent years (Inglis had 290 lots compared to Magic Millions 140 this year) but don’t be surprised if Magic Millions makes a considered play at trying to wrestle some of that back in 2023.
As for the placement of the two sales, they were a fortnight apart this year, it would help both sales if they were closer together. Some international buyers did the hard yards, such as Hong Kong agent Willie Leung and Singapore trainers Stephen Gray and Michael Clements, by making two trips out to Australia to attend both sales but some others chose just one because they did not want to spend at least two weeks in the country or two long-haul flights.
It might make it tougher on the vendors who attend at both sales, but if they were a week apart more buyers would remain in the country to attend both and the potential for a bigger buying bench more than outweighs the inconvenience to sellers.
The Lend A Hand For The Land initiative was officially launched yesterday, a cause supported by this publication and a number of other organisations.
The three-day working bee across vast areas of Victoria from November 11 to 13 is aimed at helping flood-affected thoroughbred breeders get their properties back in working order after the devastation left in the wake of the disaster.
The clean-up will take months and, in some cases, years. The campaign can hopefully help ease the burden on those impacted most.
As Inglis’ James Price suggested, if you’re in a suit all week, you can get the gloves on and help clean over that weekend, with skilled and unskilled labour required to undertake the mammoth task.
To register to help, visit lendahandfortheland.com.au
Social media came to life on Wednesday when the acceptances were released for tomorrow’s Eagle Farm meeting and punters realised trainer Les Ross and owner-breeder Mike Crooks had 11 of the 15 two-year-olds accepted for the Zousain First Yearlings in 2023 2YO Plate (1000m).
With the rail out eight metres, the field is capped at ten, with Ross and Crooks having nine in the field as well as the first two emergencies. Their names all start with the prefix Mishani, Crooks’ racing and breeding enterprise.
Thoughts were for the race callers, David Fowler and Josh Fleming, while others, bizarrely, began calling for a change to the ballot conditions with the two first starters, Room For Squares (Rubick) and Tabata Set (Snitzel), the fourth and fifth emergencies respectively and therefore missing out on a run.
Crooks pumps plenty into the Queensland industry through breeding and racing and good luck to him for having 12 fit two-year-olds to get to the races at this time of year. It’s a credit to him and his trainer. And it’s not exactly unique.
People have short memories – or perhaps it says more about me – as I can remember other such instances. In 2014, Mackay trainer John Manzelmann had all nine horses in a maiden on his home track.
A year or so later, in March 2015, Sunshine Coast hinterland-based owner Stan Johnston and his trainer daughter Krystle saddled up nine of the 11 runners in a Rockhampton two-year-old race, all with the prefix Craiglea.
The Johnstons also had all seven runners in a race at Mackay in 2010 and, sadly, it only feels like yesterday watching that race. They did the same in 2011, also at Mackay.
The Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale in Newmarket this week appears to have been an extremely vibrant auction, continuing the trend of the northern hemisphere yearling sales earlier this year.
It is certainly a market fuelled by international investment, where the Australians – who have been particularly active – are having to pit themselves against significant Middle Eastern purchasing power to secure cups prospects for Down Under.
My colleague, Daniel Harrold, has been on the grounds at Park Paddocks surveying the scene and spoke to the now France-based Dave Mee, who bought a filly by Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) for 22,000 earlier this week, and witnessed US interests secure the 850,000gns top lot, I’m A Gambler (No Nay Never).
“Even John O’Kelly, the auctioneer, said that he thought it might make 400,000 and that when he sold he was shaking his head,” Mee said. “I know that there is an insatiable appetite for these European horses in Australia and I guess if you can’t beat them, join them!”
The exchange rate from AUD to GBP is certainly in the Australian’s favour, with your Aussie dollar now buying 60 pence compared with a low of 48 pence in March 2020, but Stuart Boman, the identifier of Group 1 winner Zaaki (Leroidesanimaux) and purchaser of five lots this week for Annabel Neasham, Bennett Racing and Ontrack Thoroughbreds, believes the sale stands up on the world stage regardless.
“The results out of this sale is a good enough reason to be buying. It’s the same buying groups that are here and we’re competing against each other. There’s probably five or six of us that are constantly butting heads,” he said.
“Every sale ring that I’ve been into over the last six months has been the same. So this is no different. There’s the added dimension of significant investment from Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi, Dubai, so it’s a dynamic market and it’s only going to get more expensive.”