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Arrival heralds huge weekend for Leonardo's breeders

5 min read
Could the arrival of a new half-brother be a precursor to a big weekend for Leonard Da Hinchi and his breeders at Gervase Park Stud?

Gervase Park Stud are hoping the arrival of a half-brother to G1 Caulfield Guineas hope Leonardo Da Hinchi (Hinchinbrook) can be the precursor to a huge weekend for the Western Australian farm.

In 2015, Gervase Park's Dr Chris Gales bought the broodmare Portrait (Octagonal) in foal to Yarraman Park's ill-fated Hinchinbrook.

Having sold the resultant colt to his current connections as a yearling, he will be cheering on as the 'plus-one' from that $11,000 purchase against the country's best 3-year-olds in the $2 million race at Caulfield.

Leonardo Da Hinchi was an $11,000 yearling

On Thursday night, Gales, who runs the Belvior Equine Clinic at Belhus in the Swan Valley, helped Portrait deliver another colt, this time by Awesome Rock, which he hopes can live up to his elder brother.

"She foaled last night with a really nice Awesome Rock colt. He is excellent, he is a half brother but again with a Fastnet Rock sireline, hopefully we can duplicate another Leonardo," Gales told TDN AusNZ.

While Portrait was already 15 when Gervase Park bought her, Gales was keen on accessing her bloodlines.

"We bought Portrait carrying to Hinchinbrook at the Sydney sales because we were keen on Hinchinbrook and Octagonal, the broodmare sire," he said.

"Portrait is getting on a bit, we'd like to get one or two more foals out of her and hopefully a filly, and then we can really enjoy the ride with Leonardo."

Portrait and the half-brother to Leonardo Da Hinchi, by Awesome Rock

Faith in the family

The Gales also own another daughter of Portrait's dam Verocative (Bletchingly), a Fastnet Rock mare called Dual Rock.

"John O'Shea has a Snippetson 2-year old from her that there is a big wrap on that was bought here in Perth (for $70,000) last year," Gales said.

That colt is called Big Talk and was bought by the late Steve Brem for Ross Visalli, who owns Scenic Lodge's stallion Snippetson.

"He was always a strong, precocious, typical Hinchinbrook, not unlike that one of Gai's that won last Saturday (Unite and Conquer). They are big strong colonial horses." - Dr Chris Gales

With possible stud deals mooted for Leonardo Da Hinchi should he win on Saturday, it could be a significant weekend for Gervase Park

Gales recalls a foal who always showed plenty of quality.

"He was always a strong, precocious, typical Hinchinbrook, not unlike that one of Gai's that won last Saturday (Unite and Conquer). They are big strong colonial horses," he said.

As a colt, he was always destined for the sales ring and Kim Renner bought him for $100,000.

Weir's magic touch

Renner had already had considerable success sending Black Heart Bart (Blackfriars) to Darren Weir and it was no surprise to see Leonardo Da Hinchi wind up in Victoria with the champion trainer, where he is still in his first preparation, having won three from five starts.

"That's where we are blessed with someone like Darren Weir training the horse," Gales said.

"The way he's able to freshen them up with the Guineas in the back of his mind. His run in the Stutt S. he showed he could take a sit and have that explosive run at the end, but in his other runs, he's shown he can sit three or four wide on the pace."

Jarrod McLean, Weir's Warrnambool foreman, has played a major role in Leonardo Da Hinchi's development.

"He's always had the talent, but no doubt it has happened quickly for him," McLean said. "But he's in-form and he's an entire, so there's too much at stake not to have a crack."

Pride of WA

The colt is the latest example of a Western Australian-bred horse who was shown he's up to the best according to Gales.

"There's very few that fail," he said. "Whether it be a tried horse or a yearling that has been purchased by an astute eastern states trainer, you realise that coming over here, you can buy a better product at a far cheaper price."

And the experienced breeder believes that the influence of Western Australian-bred horses is only going to get stronger in the coming years.

"The Perth Sales are gradually on the incline and we've got a great Westspeed incentive scheme," he said.

"There's very few that fail. Whether it be a tried horse or a yearling that has been purchased by an astute eastern states trainer, you realise that coming over here, you can buy a better product at a far cheaper price." - Dr Chris Gales

"Magic Millions are building a new complex over here which is giving people a lot more confidence, with their commitment to the state. We're still desperate for a few new stallions, but things are very much positive."

And Gales and Gervase Park will also be cheering outsider Tahitian Dancer (Dawn Approach {Ire}) in the G1 Schweppes Thousand Guineas, having bred her dam Takanori.