by Michael Cox
This time last year, as Spirit Of Boom began his meteoric rise up the first-season sire standings, Scott McAlpine's phone started ringing with offers from a major stud farm for his homebred star.
On Saturday McAlpine's decision to stick solid and continue to stand Spirit Of Boom at his family-owned Eureka Stud was vindicated when Boomsara won a thrilling Listed Gold Coast Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.
"This time last year we had some very significant offers but I dug my toes in," said the proud Queenslander after the gelding he still part-owns, along with what seemed like half of Queensland, won in a three way battle to the line.
"This is our business, I'm the third generation to run the farm and we have waited all of our lives for an opportunity like this, to stand a horse like Spirit Of Boom. The opportunity came and I wasn't about to pass it up. The money was there, but money can't buy this horse."
"I'm the third generation to run the farm and we have waited all of our lives for an opportunity like this, to stand a horse like Spirit Of Boom." - Scott McAlpine
"We might not be quite as successful as the big fellas but the horse will enjoy his life at Eureka and we are going to enjoy the ride. It's our turn now."
McAlpine is not only the third generation of McAlpine to run Eureka and Boomsara is the fourth generation of a dam line he has raced.
"We raced his brother of course, with Tony, and he also trained their dam," McAlpine said. "We raced the grand dam and we bought her dam from Colin Hayes."
A flag-bearer for years to come
Spirit Of Boom produced two of the first three as filly Outback Barbie joined into the three-horse war, finishing just behind Bondi (Snitzel).
That fact Boomsara is gelded might not be such a bad thing for Spirit Of Boom at this crucial stage of his stud career either. Whereas a colt might be kept in cotton wool with a view to a potential stud career, Boomsara could be a Spirit Of Boom flag-bearer for years to come.
"He can show off just what Spirit Of Boom's progeny can do and he won't be dodging anybody," McAlpine said.
Besides, McAlpine was adamant early on that Boomsara needed to be cut, despite the trainer's protestations.
"Chris was desperate to keep him a colt," McAlpine said of the $45,000 yearling purchase. "I said we won't have ourselves a racehorse if we don't geld him. When I sent him back to Chris he called me and said "what have you done to my horse?" and I said "I've turned him into a racehorse." It certainly appears that we have done the right thing."
A full brother to Boomsara was sold to China Horse Club and Newgate Farm on Day 1 of the sale for $150,000, one of 12 lots at an average of $163,333.
Watch: Lot 3 the full brother to Boomsara, sold to China Horse Club and Newgate Farm for $150,000
Of course the crop of Spirit Of Booms on sale now came before the sire's breakout 2017-18 in which he finished second to Zoustar on the first-season sires list.
"The pedigrees of these mares are middle of the road," McAlpine said. "So what is he going to do when we hit the big time? Outback Barbie is out of a better mare, but Boomsara is out of a mare that produced a filly for me that ran second in a Silk Stocking. So today showed what he can do when he gets a quality mare."
Even though the quality of Spirit Of Boom's matches might improve even more after Saturday's success, McAlpine believes his up-and-coming sire is bombproof when it comes to producing athletic stock.
"He is a horse that dominates with his physique, he throws it to most of his stock and like him most of them are athletes." - Scott McAlpine
"Somebody asked me the other day what type of mares they should send to him and I said 'I don't care what he sends to them, he dominates'. He is a horse that dominates with his physique, he throws it to most of his stock and like him most of them are athletes. In this game natural athletes always win out."
The win had a Queensland flavour with popular new trainer Chris Munce leading the celebrations along with an ownership group that contained a host of first-time owners.
"There is at least 20 or 30 in him," Munce said. "To get a horse like this, I'm very happy for them. I was a bit crook before the race but I am feeling better now."
Boomsara showed his customary early speed to lead the race, coming back under jockey Tim Clark beautifully after crossing before the gritty drive to the line.
"I knew they wouldn't get past him when I saw how easy he was travelling at the 1200m mark, he travelled nice and Timmy rated him beautifully," Munce said.
Both Munce and Clark acknowledged jockey Damian Browne, who missed the ride after undergoing emergency surgery during the week.
"I want to make mention of Damian Browne, he is lying in bed in hospital and we would have loved for him to be with us here today but we are thinking of him and we wish him well," Munce said.