Cover image courtesy of Newgate Farm
The Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Prince Amongst Men and Matt Laurie’s debutant Ranveer will fly the flag for the son of Written Tycoon on Saturday after having both won lead-up trials around the course.
Both colts were six-figure yearling purchases by their trainers and Bruce Slade, Newgate’s Director Of Stallions, said it would be a dream result for the farm if one of the colts could salute in the $250,000 juvenile feature.
“It definitely all helps,” Slade told TDNAusNZ. “Probably the most important thing is that they’re two of his higher-priced horses, particularly the colt of Matt Laurie’s, and it’s important that the horses the market liked step out and run well when they are sent to the races.
"It’s important that the horses the market liked step out and run well when they are sent to the races." - Bruce Slade
“It’s a good sign for any young stallion and for Winning Rupert, this comes about on Saturday.”
Ranveer was purchased by Laurie for $200,000 at the Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale, making him one of Winning Rupert’s most expensive colts sold at Auction this year and Slade said a good showing from him on debut would be crucial for the stallion ahead of the fast-approaching 2021 yearling sales series.
“The horse of Matt Laurie’s is in the top five colts by Winning Rupert sold this year, so I think it’s important that they come out and show that they can gallop and I think that then gives the market confidence around a young horse,” Slade said.
“We saw it with Deep Field early and I think we’re seeing it with Capitalist too now, with his highest-priced colt Forbes running so well in the Merson Cooper on Saturday and Captivant, another one of his high-priced colts obviously winning the Victory Vein and running so well in the Golden Gift.
“So if Winning Rupert can come out and do the same, gee wiz, we’d be delighted.
“We’ve never had a start pre-Christmas like this before. Extreme Choice, Flying Artie and Capitalist, we’re so proud of all three horses and if Winning Rupert could join the party there, that would be super exciting for the stud and all the breeders that have supported us.”
"We’re so proud of all three horses (Extreme Choice, Flying Artie and Capitalist) and if Winning Rupert could join the party there, that would be super exciting for the stud and all the breeders that have supported us.” - Bruce Slade
Winning Rupert shares a barn with fellow son of red-hot sire Written Tycoon in Capitalist but stands for a significantly lower fee in $16,500 (inc GST), compared to Capitalist's $44,000 (inc GST).
Slade said that if Winning Rupert could score his first winner on the weekend, he could be set for an influx of mares over the next month after his numbers dropped slightly in 2019.
“Year one is terrific and then you graft away years two, three and four until they get some runs on the board, so he hasn’t been hard but he hasn’t been easy for the last few years,” Slade said. "We graft away and get him nice support.
“I think people are very happy with how they sold in his first crop, they went to great homes and if he comes out with a nice winner on Saturday for instance, he’s a horse you can expect to pick up a lot of mares through the rest of November and December. And then by next season, we’ll have a pretty good indication of how he’s placed.”
Overall, Slade said Newgate is pleased with where Winning Rupert is at after receiving positive feedback from a number of astute judges of the game.
“We’re feeling confident,” he said. “The top horses have gone to John Hawkes, James Harron, Bjorn Baker and John Sadler and they’ve all been to the trials or we’ve heard a bit about them just through communications.
“We’ve got some really positive feedback coming through those relationships so hopefully that plays out on the racetrack in the next six to eight months.”
With three of their four first-season sires - Capitalist, Extreme Choice and Flying Artie - all having 2-year-old winners before Christmas, Slade said that Newgate is targeting a specific kind of colt to stand at the stud.
“Australian speed is definitely our model,” he said. “I think Australian speed is something we’ve focussed in on.
“I think it’s shown that stallions who can get good 2-year-olds, those 2-year-olds generally end up being amongst the best 3-year-olds too.
“And for Australians, 2-year-old racing is important and Asian trade is important off the back of sprinter-milers and absolute precocity, so I think it’s important for breeders and I think it’s important for trainers and for commercial. We’re just trying to be super commercial in that way.
“So it definitely has been our model and it’s nice to get the success but if you go back through history, it’s just so hard to get pre-Christmas success.”
Three months into the 2020/21 season, Capitalist and Flying Artie both sit in the top 10 leading Australian 2-year-old sires and Slade said he was proud of the pair for mixing it with the best sires the country has to offer.
“There are just so few races to really show your wares, especially with the likes of Vinnie (I Am Invincible), Exceed And Excel, Snitzel, who have been such dominant 2-year-old sires for so long,” he said.
“They’re the best stallions in Australia, Written Tycoon too, and they’re also the best 2-year-old sires in Australia, so if you can compete against them early, I think you’re doing a very good job and those horses certainly are doing a very good job.”