Stallion staying put after booming season

5 min read
Off the back of an outstanding freshman season for Spirit of Boom (Sequalo), heavyweight breeding interests have been knocking on the door of Eureka Stud. However, all attempts to prise the stallion away from his Queensland home have been politely declined.

“There were a couple of very strong offers from big studs that we have had to look at and we went to the other share-holders, but our case was that we can do the same job with him,” farm manager Scott McAlpine said. “We have a controlling interest in the horse and that obviously came into play and the share-holders were happy for us to keep him. We’re a reputable farm and we produce a lot of winners Australia-wide.”

Flood of juvenile winners

Spirit of Boom’s first crop representatives did him proud in the 2017-18 season with 18 individual 2-year-old winners and five stakes winners – Ef Troop (Listed Phelan Ready Stakes), Outback Barbie (Listed Calaway Gal Stakes), Jonker (Listed Wyong Magic Millions 2YO), Kinky Boom (Listed Inglis Premier) and Heaven’s Deal (Listed Queen Adelaide Stakes).

“He finished leading sire by winners and second on prize-money,” McAlpine said. “Numbers got us across the line. He covered 154 mares in his first season and got 147 in foal. He’s obviously very fertile and a great horse to work with. He throws horses with tremendous natures.”

“That probably bowled a few over and was a bit unexpected, but the demand for the horse made us come to that decision,” - Scott McAlpine.

His success has also seen his service rise from $11,000 incl GST to $55,000. “That probably bowled a few over and was a bit unexpected, but the demand for the horse made us come to that decision,” McAlpine said. “He finished the leading sire by winners and second on prize-money.

Fantastic patronage

“Hopefully, we’ve made the right decision and can take the horse to the next level. The patronage has been fantastic and a lot of our own mares weren’t good enough to go to him so we’ve had go out and but a lot better mares. We went to the Magic Millions and to the Sydney Broodmare Sale and spent $1.5 million. We could probably have spent more, but that’s where the budget was and we’ll continue to upgrade.

“He’ll be covering 200 mares, we tried to keep it to about 190 but it’s very hard. He’ll be getting a top selection of mares and it’s been a pretty arduous exercise in settling on them. " - Scott McAlpine

“All the major New South Wales studs are supporting him and he’ll cover 120 odd outside mares with the share-holders entitled to their quota of foals and we had 300 nominations for those 120 spots. We’ve had to go over all the pedigrees and take the best we can, as well as those mares that will suit him. Maybe we won’t get it exactly right, but we’ve tried to be as fair as we possibly can.

Dual Group One success

Trained by Tony Gollan, Spirit of Boom won nine races including the G1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley and the G1 Doomben 10,000. “He might have taken a while to win his first Group One, but it was taking horses like Black Caviar, Lankan Rupee and Buffering to knock him off,” McAlpine said. “People forget that he was a 2-year-old winner himself and he was 17 times Group placed.”

“People forget that he was a 2-year-old winner himself and he was 17 times Group placed.” – Scott McAlpine.

Spirit of Boom’s stock have now also found their way into all the best hands. “David Hayes has got a couple and he went out and bought a couple more, Gai (Waterhouse) and the Snowdens have got them so with his horses with all the leading trainers we’d like to think he’s going to get to another level,” McAlpine said. “But in this game you can be top of the tree one day and down at the roots the next so we’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves.”

Gallery: Top five Spirit of Boom yearlings sold in 2018

Founded in 1935 by McAlpine’s grandfather Andrew, Eureka Stud encompasses 1350 acres and has been home to former leading Queensland stallion Semipalatinsk (USA), while boasting an impressive tally of four Magic Millions winners. The Darling Downs operation has also produced Group winners in every state of Australia, including Temple of Boom (Piccolo {GB}), Tinto (Red Dazzler), Picaday (Piccolo {GB}), Just Now (Semipalatinsk {USA}), Scenic Peak (Scenic {IRE}) and Show A Heart (Brave Warrior).