Justify wins Eclipse HOTY but double celebrations could continue at Karaka

3 min read
The 13th Triple Crown winner Justify swept the Eclipse Awards overnight in Florida and China Horse Club has a double chance of success on Karaka Millions night

By Michael Cox

China Horse Club’s principals were busy celebrating its Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy {USA}) sweeping the Eclipse Awards overnight but can make it an even bigger weekend with a double chance at victory in Saturday's L. Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

Justify’s Triple Crown exploits won him not only the Eclipse Award for Champion 3yo Male but the coveted Eclipse Horse of the Year. Speaking to TDN AusNZ from the Sport of Kings Theater at Gulfstream Park, China Horse Club’s Michael Wallace was obviously thrilled with the recognition for Justify, but was delighted to have a double chance of success in an Ellerslie feature.

China Horse Club is represented by not only back-to-back G1 winner Madison County (NZ)(Pins) but also exciting Cambridge Stud-bred filly Queen Of Diamonds (NZ)(Savabeel).

Wallace said he would have preferred for the two horses not to clash but the prize purse made it difficult to keep the pair apart.

"We have two great horses. I really believe they are both Group 1 quality." - Michael Wallace

"It’s an interesting conundrum really," Wallace said. "We have two great horses. I really believe they are both Group 1 quality. One has proven it time and again, the other I firmly believe she has it in her. Ideally I didn’t want to run them against each other, but for NZ$1million in stake money and given the timing and travel for the filly I feel it’s best. NZ$1million cannot be ignored."

Michael Wallace inspecting yearlings on the Gold Coast

Madison County was a bargain buy for China Horse Club at just $36,000 and Queen Of Diamonds, a filly from an incredible family that includes multiple G1 winners, cost $640,000.

"It’s a great advert for CHC to have them both in the top level as we don’t buy many numerically at this sale." - Michael Wallace

"It’s a great advert for CHC to have them both in the top level as we don’t buy many numerically at this sale," Wallace said. "It continues our policy to try to participate in the best races around the world."

Group 1 winner Madison County was only a $36,000 yearling purchase

That policy was in full swing at the recent Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale when China Horse Club teamed with Newgate Farm's Newgate Bloodstock to be the third-top buyer by average at the sale, purchasing 12 lots at an average of $443,333.

"Our focus for 2019 is trying to secure colts that will be dominant 2-year-old and 3-year-old sprinters that we can retire to the stallion barn," Wallace said. "Our relationship with Newgate is a wonderful one. They are great partners and we bring a great team together. Henry Field, Gavin Murphy, Tom Ryan and Matthew Sandblom are very smart people, and together we have worked as a team to try and produce these colts."

That team has had a great strike rate in recent years, turning sales-ring purchases into sires, headed by Russian Revolution (Snitzel), who stood his first season at Newgate in 2018.

Russian Revolution

"History will show we have been successful but that’s in the past," Wallace said. "2019 we are again taking a position , working to a plan and strategy that we believe can helps us avoid the extreme prices it takes to by these top sires off the track in today’s market."