Rosemont made a considerable splash at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in May, spending $12.7 million across 22 purchases, including five from the Shadwell Dispersal conducted through Yarraman Park's draft.
Minhaaj, a Group 3-winning filly out of Lonhro mare Telaawa, was the highest-priced of that quintet and a booking was made for her to visit Darley stallion Street Boss (USA) this spring.
But niggling at the back of Rosemont Stud Principal Anthony Mithen's mind was that she might still have something to offer on the track with her racing career at that stage only featuring nine starts.
Plans were made to see if that might be possible and those plans, which also involved Julian Blaxland, Kacy Fogden and Minhaaj's new trainer John O'Shea, came to fruition on Saturday with her fast-finishing success in The Nivison.
"It was probably a brave call putting her back on the track. We really bought her as a broodmare and her value was in that regard, but we have got a thirst to race them and go and find the fast ones," Mithen told TDN AusNZ.
"We really bought her (Minhaaj) as a broodmare and her value was in that regard, but we have got a thirst to race them and go and find the fast ones." - Anthony Mithen
"The more I thought about it, the more I thought that all we were going to do is try and breed one as fast as Minhaaj and go and try win Group races and maybe we should finish her off first."
Career reborn on Newington Farm
The filly was sent to Blaxland's Newington Farm, where after a month, an assessment was made on whether she might be up for a racing return.
"Julian kindly offered the services of his better half, and I talked to Kacy (Fogden) and said we'd really appreciate her expert opinion. It wasn't a case of her ending up in her stable if we did decide to go on with her because we needed to get her to one of the southern states but we wanted her thoughts on if she could come back," Mithen said.
"She was so fantastic, each week she rang and let me know what Minhaaj was up to and how she was progressing and at the end of four of five weeks, she said she could do no more from a pre-training sense, and there was no reason to retire her."
Minhaaj had been previously trained at Lindsay Park, but Mithen wanted her to head to a Sydney stable, very much aware that one small setback would send her off to that date with Street Boss up the highway at Kelvinside.
"I sent her to Randwick to John O'Shea with the strict instructions that if there is a hair out of place or a stone bruise at any stage, she'd be straight to the Hunter Valley," he said.
"I sent her (Minhaaj) to Randwick to John O'Shea with the strict instructions that if there is a hair out of place or a stone bruise at any stage, she'd be straight to the Hunter Valley." - Anthony Mithen
"She didn't give John any reason to make a phone call and the next thing I heard she trialled up hard held behind Classique Legend in a good time and bounced out of the trial in great health. We thought it was time to take her back to the races."
On Saturday, she lived up to that expectation when James McDonald plotted a path along the Randwick rail, and she burst clear in the straight to record a memorable comeback win.
"I had my heart in the mouth a little bit before they jumped but it was great to see her deliver," Mithen said.
Plans are now afoot for further additions to her racing resume, with a shot at either the G3 Furphy Sprint or the G2 TAB S. at Flemington on October 30 next on her radar.
But it is in the autumn where Mithen believes Minhaaj can really add to her value.
"That might do her for the spring (after Flemington). She can come back to the farm and have a break and we can aim up at something in the autumn, quite possibly the (G1 Robert) Sangster S. in Adelaide might be a Group 1 opportunity for her," he said.
It was a banner day in two states for the red and white Rosemont colours with Sneaky Five (Fastnet Rock) also making a winning return to the track, with a barnstorming victory in the G3 Thoroughbred Club S. at Caulfield.
The 3-year-old Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained filly, who hadn't raced since winning the $1 million Golden Gift at Randwick last November, came with a stunning finish from the rear of the field after a well-timed ride by Linda Meech.
It was a satisfying win for the Rosemont team which had nursed Sneaky Five back to health after injury had threatened her career.
"It vindicates the hard work of the whole team," Mithen said. "She had a splint bone issue that had to be nursed back through the spelling team, which is led by Hannah (Brewis).
"She needed some hospitalisation over at our stud farm, and our vet Freya (Rees-Jones), and her trusty assistant Lynny, who has been with us at the Gnarwarre farm from day dot, they had to manage her through to get her back to full health and fitness.
"We got the splint bone right and the day before she was due to start pre-training, she touched her nose on a hot wire and ran through three fences and cut her leg up. Thankfully, it wasn't bad, it was superficial, but we had to delay her pre-training."
"We got the splint bone right and the day before she (Sneaky Five) was due to start pre-training, she touched her nose on a hot wire and ran through three fences and cut her leg up." - Anthony Mithen
Given the eventful build up to her 3-year-old campaign, expectations weren't tremendously high ahead of Saturday's return, but Sneaky Five, who Rosemont had paid $305,000 for at the 2020 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, showed she had lost none of her dash from her 2-year-old days.
"The stable felt she was going to be better for the run and perhaps she wasn't their top seed but they were pleasantly surprised when she sailed down the outside and made a mess of them. She's got a top level race in her at some stage," he said.
Mithen said a decision has yet to be made whether they might look to keep her to fillies' stakes grade during the rest of the spring or aim up at bigger targets.
"If we wanted to aim up now and improve her CV, she could be a lightweight chance in the (G1) Manikato S. or have a shot against the big boys in the G1 Coolmore (Stud S.). We will just see how she comes through and we have a bit of time to make that decision," he said.
"You dare to dream that you might have the one which becomes a household name and she is a long way from that, but having won three out of three, she has done nothing wrong.
"You dare to dream that you might have the one which becomes a household name and she (Sneaky Five) is a long way from that, but having won three out of three, she has done nothing wrong." - Anthony Mithen
"She's won a million bucks in prizemoney, so she owes us nothing, and it’s only blue sky from here."
Rosemont is double invested in that family now having paid $410,000 for her dam, Small Minds (Canny Lad) last November through the Inglis Digital platform.
Momentum going Rosemont's way
It could have been an even bigger day for Rosemont on Saturday with the colt it owns as part of the Victorian Alliance, Brereton (Zoustar), nosed out on debut in the Listed Debutant S., and Brooklyn Hustle (Starspangledbanner) desperately unlucky when fifth in the G3 Northwood Plume S.
But an interstate double with a well-bred filly and a well-bred mare is nothing to be sneezed at and further adds to the momentum built through Rosemont's ramped up investment over the past couple of years.
The stallion division is also tracking well and the next couple of weeks could see further success with Shamus Award's son Incentivise a short-priced favourite for Saturday's G1 Caulfield Cup and favourite for the G1 Melbourne Cup while State Of Rest (Ire), a son of Starspangledbanner, is in the mix for the G1 Cox Plate.
It comes at a time when Rosemont is also fielding unprecedented interest in its first-season sire, Hanseatic.
"It seems like we have a few things right in all divisions," Mithen said. "The stallion division is going well. We are really pleased with the way Hanseatic is going too. He is getting them in foal at a rate of knots and he's got what could be the biggest first-season book of any Victorian stallion in history.
"He's not been missed by the commercial market and the good breeders."