Hong Kong interest in Canterbury juvenile winner

7 min read
There was a trio of impressive 2-year-old winners across New South Wales and Victoria on Wednesday, and all three have an interesting backstory.

Cover image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Given his pedigree, it should come as no surprise that there has been interest from Hong Kong for Snitzel 2-year-old Alberich, who won on debut at Canterbury on Wednesday.

Alberich is by one of the all-time great sires, out of Seeking (USA) (Mizzen Mast {USA}), who was placed at two and three in the US. The Chris Waller-trained colt hails from a family that includes star mare Seeking The Gold (USA) (Mr Prospector {USA}), a dual Group 1 victress, as well as Group 1 winner Fast Play (USA).

Alberich is a successful pinhook for Victorian trainer Frankie Stockdale. He bought the colt from his breeder, Gooree Park Stud, for $80,000 at the 2021 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, before selling him at last year’s Inglis Ready2Race Sale, where he was knocked down to G & C Pastoral Co Pty Ltd (V Oldfield) for $170,000. The manager of G & C Pastoral is Northern Territory businessman and grazier Viv Oldfield, who owns 50 per cent of Shamus Award, a Cox Plate hero who is now one of the country’s top stallions.

Alberich when sold at the 2021 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale | Image courtesy of Inglis

Oldfield spoke with TDN AusNZ following Alberich’s 2.08l victory in the 1250-metre maiden for colts and geldings, and revealed he had been asked prior to the horse’s debut whether he would sell to Hong Kong interests.

“While Chris was overseas to watch Nature Strip, a mob from Hong Kong rang me and asked, ‘Would he be for sale?,” Oldfield explained. “They were prepared to offer $400,000 for him. I said, ‘On face value, probably no, but I’ll speak to Chris’. Chris said that these guys are pretty shrewd and they only make an offer if the horse is going to be good, which it looks like he is.

“While Chris (Waller) was overseas to watch Nature Strip, a mob from Hong Kong rang me and asked, ‘Would he be for sale?’ They were prepared to offer $400,000 for him (Alberich).” - Viv Oldfield

“They rang us a few times and were keen to buy Oscar Zulu from us, too.”

Heading into his debut on the back of a Rosehill trial win on January 7, Alberich jumped well under Chad Schofield and sat outside the leader Arch Of Titus (Snitzel). That pair broke away from the chasers at the top of the lane, before Alberich broke clear in the final 100 metres to score from Arch Of Titus and Yoshino (Lonhro).

Watch: Alberich winning the Grainshaker Vodka H. at Canterbury Park on Wednesday

“He went all right; Chris thinks he’s got a bit of potential. He’s a good trainer, that bloke,” Oldfield said.

“Chris rang me as soon as he hit the line. He just said he’ll wait to see how he pulls up and he’ll monitor him.

“There was a chance Chris wasn’t going to run him because he drew wide, but then a few were scratched so it wasn’t too bad.”

Chris Waller | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Oldfield praised Inglis Bloodstock Consultant Will Stott, who spotted the horse at last year’s Inglis Ready2Race Sale.

“He said he had been through the catalogue and there was a Snitzel colt that I might be interested in,” Oldfield commented. “I’d been looking for another Snitzel… we had Shamus Award, then for some reason, we bought yearlings by every other sire known to man except Snitzel… I suppose because they got a bit dearer.

“I’d been looking for another Snitzel… we had Shamus Award, then for some reason, we bought yearlings by every other sire known to man except Snitzel… I suppose because they got a bit dearer.” - Viv Oldfield

“When the opportunity came up, he looked a little bit immature, but we thought he might strengthen up and grow a bit, so I bought him and sent him to Chris.

“He got a bit wayward as a colt and unfortunately, we had to geld him. He was getting a bit hard to ride and wasn’t that tractable.”

Alberich is Snitzel’s 16th 2-year-old winner of the season. The Arrowfield Stud-based stallion is second only in that category to Rebel Dane

Gooree gets the results it was Seeking

Alberich is the third foal of Seeking, a half-sister to stakes winners Nefertini (USA) (Empire Maker [USA}) and In The Navy Now (USA) (Midshipman {USA}).

Seeking was purchased by Gooree Park Stud for $220,000 from the Vinery Stud draft at the 2017 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale when in foal to Tapit (USA). That colt, Quest For Honor, is trained by Mack Griffith at Mudgee, and has won one of his 13 starts.

“We actually need this win for the mare to go on and do something because we have put a fair bit of money into her,” Peter Ward, Gooree Park Stud’s, stud manager, told TDN AusNZ.

Peter Ward | Image courtesy of Gooree Park Stud

“It’s a lovely family.

“She had a colt by American Pharoah sell for $26,000 at the recent Magic Millions National Yearling Sale. He was big, he was nearly 17 hands as a yearling, he was just massive.”

Seeking has a Lonhro filly on the ground, and Ward describes her as “a lovely filly” and she is in foal to Extreme Choice.

“He’s going incredibly well and hopefully that will help us a little bit,” Ward added.

Lady Harlem no longer a maiden

Sebring 2-year-old Lady Harlem, a well-related filly trained by John O’Shea, is off the mark, after breaking through at the fourth time of asking.

Bred by S F Bloodstock, Blake Sandblom Pty Ltd and WinStar Farm, the filly was offered by Newgate Farm at the 2021 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. She was bought for $125,000 by Richard Pegum, who races her with partners, including Dr Chris Lawler, who recently won the G1 Queensland Oaks with Gypsy Goddess (NZ) (Tarzino {NZ}).

Lady Harlem as a yearling | Image courtesy of Inglis

Lady Harlem is from the Listed-winning mare Harlem River (Fastnet Rock), and is related to stakes winners Flaming Hot (County) and Hot As Hell (County).

Her third dam, Steam Heat (Salieri {USA}) is the grandam of multiple Group 1 victress In Her Time (Time Thief) and Group 2 and The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes.

Lady Harlem scored by 0.28l, with Vienna Princess (Snitzel) second and Maritima (Merchant Navy) in third.

Lady Harlem is the seventh 2-year-old winner of the season for ill-fated sire Sebring, who stood at Widden Stud.

Deep Field filly delivers on debut

Field Of Praise (Deep Field) looks to have a bright future, after the Lindsay Park-trained filly made a winning start to her career, slashing home down the centre of the Cranbourne track to score a soft victory in the Security123 2YO Fillies Mdn Plate under Blaike McDougall.

The daughter of Deep Field owned a 1.5l margin, with Tanto (Churchill {Ire}) running second and Corner Off (Toronado {Ire}) back in third.

Field Of Praise was bred by Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, who also raced the dam, two-time winner Odelia (Exceed And Excel), who is a half-sister to three-time winner Platinum Angel (Snitzel), who was twice placed at Group 2 level.

Offered by her breeder, the filly made $60,000 at the 2020 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale, where she was purchased by Domenic Romanelli. She was later bought by Lindsay Park for $180,000 at the 2021 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, when offered by Blue Gum Farm.

Field Of Praise as a yearling | Image courtesy of Inglis

“She’s a lovely filly, the first foal of an Exceed And Excel mare that we bred and raced,” Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm’s, James O’Brien, told TDN AusNZ.

“I’m really rapt, I thought it was a great debut.

“I did hear early days that Lindsay Park had a good opinion of this horse, but I think she went shin sore during the spring.

“I did hear early days that Lindsay Park had a good opinion of this horse (Field Of Praise), but I think she went shin sore during the spring.” - James O'Brien

“That year, we sold our whole draft as weanlings and she was one of our very nice weanlings, so I’m really happy with the mare, who is in foal to Toronado at the moment. She had a Merchant Navy yearling and she missed the following year. She was covered on September 1 and she foals early, we know that.”

Finnis Lodge bought the Merchant Navy filly for $85,000 at this year’s Inglis Premier Yearling Sale.

Field Of Praise is the 12th 2-year-old winner of the season for Newgate Farm resident Deep Field.

Deep Field
Magic Millions