Toole's perspective shines through at Ducatoon

3 min read
Peter Toole has been attending yearling sales in Adelaide for more than 60 years and heads to this week's Magic Millions Yearling Sale with a 21-horse draft from family-run operation Ducatoon Park.

Talk about perspective; by Peter Toole's count, the 2019 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale will mark the 65th straight year he has attended a yearling sale in the city and he brings with him a Ducatoon Park draft to be proud of.

"I wasn't much help at the first one I attended, I was 14 and just picking up droppings and filling up water buckets," said Toole, who started with his father Laurie at Kambula Stud in the 1950s.

Toole, along with his brother Brian, grew the family business as little more than teenagers after their father's passing at just 52, but in 1995 he branched out to start Ducatoon Park, which retained the family-run feel but scaled back the size to emphasise quality over quantity.

Ducatoon will send a consistent 21-horse draft to Adelaide from their top class facility on the limestone country of Yorke Peninsula.

Mark (left) and Peter Toole

Horse first

Toole says the focus at Ducatoon Park is the animal itself, 'we are horse people, not accountants or lawyers,' he says, and the set up allows 'horses to be horses'.

"We are horse people, not accountants or lawyers." - Peter Toole

"When we prepare yearlings at home, we don't have a walker, they all go out into a 20-acre paddock for a couple of hours each morning," Toole said. "We have walkways everywhere and we just have to open the horse's box and they can head down their walkway into the paddock. Some of them head down with a nice brisk canter or trot, and you can start getting an idea of their action."

It has been on these morning canters into the paddock that Lot 77, a grey colt by The Factor (USA), has caught Toole's eye.

"This bloke is just a very good mover," he said. "He has a beautiful action and he looks like a real racehorse."

Home grown prospects

Nine of Ducatoon's yearlings are by its resident grey stallion Barbados, a horse that was famous before he was even born.

When Darley paid a then-record $3.4 million for top mare Virage De Fortune (Anabaa {USA}) at the 2007 Inglis Australian Select Broodmare Sale, she was carrying Barbados, by Redoute's Choice, in utero.

An injury as a weanling limited Barbados to just a single race win and while his opportunities as a stallion have also been limited, Toole believes in his sire.


Top lots

Toole said that one of the best lookers of the Barbados progeny on offer is Lot 109 out of Quench (Dehere {USA}), making the colt a full brother to five-time winner Rustydustysunshine.

"He is an absolute racehorse, he is just a ball of muscle," Toole said.

"We haven't sold anywhere else. And we pride ourselves on selling winners out of this sale." - Peter Toole

Lot 178, a colt by Sizzling out of Tsarina Wonder (Churchill Downs), has had some recent updates with the promising half-sister Wonderful Riri (Barbados) winning two of her first four starts in Melbourne and likely to be aimed at the G3 SA Oaks at Morphettville in May.

Toole said that when buyers select yearlings out of Ducatoon Park, they can be assured they are getting the farm's best.

"We haven't sold anywhere else," he said. "And we pride ourselves on selling winners out of this sale."

Lot 178 is a half sister to Wonderful Riri, pictured winning the Ladbrokes Enhanced Odds Handicap at Moonee Valley