Inevitable success from Tori Park's Hayes connection

6 min read
The Inevitable's emergence as a serious G1 Australian Guineas contender is a tribute to the long-term connection between breeders Tori Park and the Hayes family.

Given the role Lindsay Park and the Hayes family have played in the success of his breeders at Tori Park, it seemed perfectly apt that The Inevitable (Dundeel {NZ}) won the G3 CS Hayes S. at Flemington on Saturday.

The Inevitable's path to Flemington stakes success was less than straightforward. One of the final foals bred at Tori Park in the Adelaide Hills, he was presented for sale by Sam Hayes' Cornerstone Stud, located on the old Lindsay Park at Angaston, before being sold to Tasmanian trainers Scott and David Brunton.

Tori Park's Alistair McFarlane admitted he didn't know a lot about the Bruntons when his Dundeel yearling sold for $90,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Adelaide Sale, but having had a series of health scares, including spending three weeks in a coma after a brain seizure, he wasn't in the mood for caution and decided to stay in for 10 per cent.

Tori Park in the Adelaide Hills

As a result, the McFarlanes are experiencing a fantastic ride, with The Inevitable winning five of his six starts, including stakes wins at his last two starts at Hobart and Flemington.

Saturday's success was Tori Park's biggest day at Flemington since November 2004, when the McFarlanes celebrated an amazing double, with two of the progeny of their mare Beat The Bullet (Bite The Bullet {USA}) winning, including Hollow Bullet (Tayoshi Tsuyoshi {Jpn}) in the G1 VRC Oaks.

The connection back to the Hayes family is even more strong when you consider that both Beat The Bullet, and The Inevitable's dam, Gift Bouquet (King's High {USA}), were bought from Lindsay Park.

"They really made our reputation as a boutique stud." - Alistair McFarlane

"I bought Gift Bouquet in 2002 and Beat The Bullet in 2000, both from dispersals sales from Lindsay Park. Beat The Bullet had ten winners from ten runners, including Hollow Bullet, and Gift Bouquet 11 winners from 14 runners. They were reasonably good investments," McFarlane told TDN AusNZ.

"They really made our reputation as a boutique stud."

Beat the Bullet produced three stakes-winners for Tori Park, with Red Hot Mama (General Nediym) and Last Bullet (High Chaparral {Ire}) joining their older half-sister with black type.

Gift Bouquet has been similarly successful thanks to five-time stakes-winner Blahnik (Jeune), Elysees (Statue of Liberty {USA}) and now The Inevitable.

The Inevitable's winning connections

Gift keeps on giving

The circumstances of Gift Bouquet's purchase are still fresh in McFarlane's mind some 17 years later.

"She was a stakes-winning mare but she was 14 hands 2.5 and I bought her from a dispersal sale at Lindsay Park in 2002. I was in the dunny when she came up for auction. I was bidding on her from afar and I'd never seen her. They knocked her down to me for $9000. I thought she must only have three legs, but when I saw her she was very, very small," he said.

I thought she must only have three legs, but when I saw her she was very, very small." - Alistait McFarlane

Gift Bouquet, who died in January last year, ended up back on the old Lindsay Park around 15 years later when health issues saw the McFarlanes outsource their breeding to Cornerstone Stud.

Cornerstone Stud

"Before I turned 70, I gave all my mares to Sam Hayes and made a deal with him. I get a small share out of the proceeds of anything that goes through the sales yard," he said.

"I've stopped the breeding at Tori Park. I got an offer from one of my mates to rent the place out to a young trainer in Adelaide. I don’t want to do that, it’s too peaceful out here. I don't need to see all that activity."

McFarlane is still a keen buyer and only a couple of weeks ago purchased a mare form Cornerstone.

"The association with Lindsay Park and now Cornerstone, has been reciprocal and very rewarding for both of us. It's an ongoing business," he said.

Columb drove Dundeel decision

It was the association with another significant figure in the thoroughbred industry, the late Nick Columb, that led to Gift Bouquet heading to Arrowfield's then first-season stallion Dundeel in 2014.

"One of The Inevitable's half-sisters, a horse called Elysees, was a little ball of fire. She won the Cinderella S. at her first start, she beat Snitzel's little sister Viennese (Redoute's Choice)," he said.

"Nick Columb, who was working at the time for Arrowfield looked me up and said I want that mare to go to one of our stallions."

Nick Columb with Arrowfield's John Messara

That moment back in 2008 was the formation of a relationship which saw Gift Bouquet visit Redoute's Choice, Beneteau and Smart Missile in the coming years.

McFarlane remembered raising an eyebrow when Columb suggested Dundeel would be a good match for the diminutive mare.

"He said if you match a good stallion with a good mare, you always get a good result because of the quality of the blood." - Alistair McFarlane

"That particular year, he wanted her to go to Dundeel and I said, he's not much bigger than her and she's a runt, but he said if you match a good stallion with a good mare, you always get a good result because of the quality of the blood," he said.

Little horse with big future

The result was a 'beautiful little horse', who has developed into a very promising 3-year-old after being beaten on debut at Hobart last June.

A trio of wins at Launceston was then followed up with a win in the Listed Tasmanian Guineas in January and then his tough victory up in class at Flemington.

Trapped wide throughout, the little horse showed all his fighting qualities to prevail narrowly, giving jockey Siggy Carr her biggest win as a jockey.

"I gave him little chance of winning on Saturday. I looked at that field, and thought there are Group 1 winners in here, there are million dollar winners in here. He ran like the best horse in the race. Although he didn't have the best run, he definitely had the best ride," McFarlane said.

"Although he didn't have the best run, he definitely had the best ride." - Alistair McFarlane

"It doesn't matter whether its Balaklava or Flemington, a win is always fabulous. You can't explain it to anyone who hasn't done it."

The G1 Australian Guineas on March 2 now looks the next step for The Inevitable. McFarlane knows it will be another step up, but also has faith that the gelding has much improvement left in him.

"When he gets to the lead, and we've noticed this in every one of his wins, he just stargazes. He misses his mates and he waits for them," he said.

"The thing that makes racing exciting is that there are so many variables and no-one knows exactly what a good horse is."