I have been really bemused by all the hoo hah in regards to the overseas horses coming over here and taking most of the spoils which has happened so regularly over the years. Everyone over here seems to think they are powerless to do anything about it. So much so that most of our influential owners head overseas to find the next best thing. Let me tell you, we can compete on centre stage, but we also have to breed a horse that can do it. We rely on speed and ever since I have been involved in racing, the emphasis has been on speed with the exception of NZ horses like Sir Tristram and Zabeel. Now they are not here what do we do now?
Today at Flemington is a great example of what we can do. The winner of the Mackinnon Stakes Group 1 today is by Poet’s Voice out of an Old Spice mare. The third place getter, a 3 yr old by Domesday out of a Redoutes Choice mare, who is also the winner of the Victoria Derby and totally Australian bred.
Then of course, there is Winx. Bred here in Australia.
We can do it. Look at what we have done in the sprinting ranks! We rate up there always with the best in the world.
I know we can compete in the staying ranks if we have the vision to work towards it. With the shuttling of stallions, we have access to the greatest blood around the world. So far we haven’t embraced it. We have had Galileo, Teofilo, Lope DeVega, Distorted Humor just to name a few and unfortunately they have not been supported to the extent that they have been coveted in the Northern Hemisphere and will not come back. We do now though have Fiorente in our backyard by (Monsun), a great staying influence in the world. Highland Reel, Adelaide (Galileo) also a great influence around the world and Dundeel, So You Think (High Chapparal) just to name a few. These could change the face of how we see our future staying prospects. Fiorente is just starting to hit his straps if we can be patient.
Perhaps if Breeders could put a program in place where two out of ten yearlings are staying bred would be a good place to start. I have had conversations with too many studs who say there is just no money in it to breed stayers. They need to turn over a profit (as we all do) which is understandable. Adopting this 2/10 method could at least give a chance to have the opportunity to compete with the overseas bred horses in the future. We all remember when Sir Tristram and Zabeel were at there peak. What their yearlings made. We can make it happen again.
I believe we do have the capabilites to change the tides around and not whinge when the raiders come. It will take a different mindset but it can be done. It really is up to us if we want it badly enough.
On closing again I reiterate. It is and will always be up to how we see the future. We can compete we just need to change our mindset.