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It’s an exciting time at Emirates Park. A new focus, a renewed commitment to breed and offer to the market the best horses possible, and the chance of a third Gr.1 Golden Slipper Stakes, which this time could be with an exciting homebred. General Manager Bryan Carlson took time out to discuss the farm’s 2021 Magic Millions draft and other things Emirates.
For the first time since 2017 Emirates Park returns as a vendor under its own banner, and there can be no better place to start than the Gold Coast where the focus on precocity aligns perfectly with the Murrurundi farm’s business strategy. Bryan explained “Going forward Emirates Park will operate as a boutique stud, focussing on quality broodmares able to deliver high value stock to the market with every horse entered for genuine sale. We’ve been fairly selective with what we are sending to the Gold Coast, but the sale fits well with our breeding philosophy as we aim to offer the market early two-year-old types, the kind of horses suited to Magic Millions in January.”
Looking over the pages of the farm’s Gold Coast draft it becomes apparent Bryan and the team have stayed faithful to their plan. Almost without exception, a case can be made that each of their ten strong draft should make it as juveniles. Each page is littered with clues pointing the prospective buyer to a Magic Millions 2YO Classic type, or even a Blue Diamond or Golden Slipper contender.
A perfect example is Lot 118 which will lead off the Emirates draft. A handsome son of the Blue Diamond and Golden Slipper Stakes’ placed and promising first season stallion Flying Artie, the colt is out of the Exceed And Excel mare Boomex whose first foal to race is the talented Emirates owned three-year-old Marboosha (Dream Ahead). Patiently handled to date, three starts as a juvenile saw Marboosha win twice and be Stakes placed in the other race, while her two runs this Spring include a head defeat at the hands of the exciting Written Beauty (Written Tycoon) in the Gr.3 Red Roses Stakes down the Flemington straight where she was, arguably, on the wrong side of the track. And the family has a proven record when it comes to Stakes performed juveniles with Boomex being a half-sister to Boomwaa (Mutawaajid), winner of the Gr.3 Maribyrnong Plate.
Fillies by Zoustar are highly sought after and as Lot 146 Emirates will offer a yearling bred on the same Zoustar – Charge Forward cross that has produced three-time Gr.1 winner and A$6.5 million earner Sunlight. This lass is out of the young mare Cavalry Rose, another precocious type who was twice a winner at two and beaten a nose in the Gr.2 Magic Night Stakes. Cavalry Rose then trained on to win the Gr.3 Thoroughbred Club Stakes at Caulfield as a three-year-old. And, of course, Charge Forward mares have had a significant influence on recent Golden Slipper results producing the back-to-back winners She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain) and Emirates’ own Estijaab (Snitzel). Further down the page amongst a gaggle of black type horses can be found Gr.1 Doncaster Handicap winner and exciting young sire Brutal (O’Reilly).
As Lot 306 Emirates will offer a smashing colt that has the potential to be a sale topper. By I Am Invincible, he is a half-brother to Enthaar (Written Tycoon) and carries with him the possibility of being a half relation to a Golden Slipper winner just a few weeks after he sells. And there is nothing to suggest he won’t make a name for himself in any case, his winning dam Final Agreement (Not A Single Doubt) being a full sister to Gr.1 Robert Sangster Stakes winner Secret Agenda. Final Agreement’s grandam Euphoria (Marauding) won the Gr.1 Champagne Stakes at two and her grandam is the great Denise’s Joy (Seventh Hussar), herself second in a Slipper.
Again, the theme of two-year-old speed is to the fore with Lot 612, a son of Not A Single Doubt and One More Honey (Onemorenomore) winner of the Gr.2 Sweet Embrace Stakes. The family is known for throwing a type, an Emirates Park offered colt by Snitzel out of One More Honey’s dam One Funny Honey fetching $800,000 out of this sale in 2020.
Lot 745 offers buyers an interesting mix of the best sire lines in Australia at the moment. The filly is a daughter of Written Tycoon, a sire that gets Blue Diamond Stakes winners like Written By and then performs the unusual feat of siring two Classic winners in 40 minutes when Odeum and Ole Kirk took the Guineas’ double at Caulfield in the Spring. This filly’s dam is Sarah Jessica, a winner at her only start and a daughter of Redoute’s Choice from the family of Not A Single Doubt and the Golden Slipper winner Forensics. There is much to like about these Group One bloodlines.
The Book One draft of Emirates Park finishes with Lot 869, another colt by Written Tycoon this time out of Taqaseem by Medaglia d’Oro. With Taqaseem the dam of the promising Qualis (Fastnet Rock), the colt comes from a strong family which includes Gr.1 Doomben Cup winner Sense Of Occasion (Street Sense) who is a half-brother to this colt’s dam, and the tough Gr.1 winning sprinter-miler Rewaaya (Singspiel).
Emirates have a trio of entries in Book 2 led off by Lot 1066, a daughter of the consistent stallion Epaulette out of the three-time winner over sprint trips in Modha by Canny Lad. Modha is a three-quarter sister to dual Gr.1 winner He’s No Pie Eater (Canny Lad) from the family of Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain and Platinum Scissors to name a few. The farm will also offer a Flying Artie filly out of the winning Dream Ahead mare Azyaan from the family of Encosta De Lago and Flying Spur as Lot 1167, and a Spirit Of Boom filly out of Bernardini’s daughter Highdini as Lot 1260. This filly counts Emirates three-time Gr.1 winner Shamekha (Secret Savings), her Gr.2 winning daughter Shumookh (Dream Ahead) and former leading Queensland based sire Brave Warrior in her family.
The upcoming sales season isn’t the only cause for optimism at Emirates. The farm’s trophy cabinet is already adorned with a pair of Golden Slipper trophies and hopes are high room will have to be made for a third. Mossfun (Mossman) in 2014 and Estijaab (Snitzel) four years later carried the green and white colours of Hussain Lootah, and Enthaar (Snitzel) in the same silks may provide a third, an effortless three length Gr.3 Gimcrack Stakes win the best performance by a juvenile this season, at time of writing.
While Emirates may return to standing stallions sometime in the future, plans are already afoot for the 2023 sales season and beyond signalled by the recent acquisition of Tassort (Brazen Beau). Bryan explained “In line with our vision we have bought a lovely horse in Tassort in partnership with Newgate Farm. Although lightly raced, both his starts rated highly and he ticked all our boxes including, importantly, being a pre-Christmas two-year-old. I think Brazen Beau is on course to follow his sire I Am Invincible, so we think it was a logical step to secure his son with proven two-year-old credentials.” A solid debut book of mares is promising for the horse, just one exciting part of the Emirates Farm future.
How has your farm risen to the challenges presented by COVID 19?
Bryan: “As an outdoor operation that tends to deal locally, we haven’t really been impacted. We’ve had to maintain the relevant protocols when it comes to contractors and the like, but all told we’ve coped with things pretty well.”
Which are your favourite stallions?
Bryan: “Away from the top echelon I have a soft spot for two stallions, Puissance De Lune and Your Song. Puissance De Lune has been quietly going about his business and just needs the one good horse to put him under everyone’s noses while Your Song always seems to have a good horse around to keep him in the limelight.”
Which horse in your draft looks the best chance to win a Magic Millions 2YO Classic or a Golden Slipper?
Bryan: “While the half-brother to Enthaar is an obvious candidate I think the Not A Single Doubt – One More Honey has the physique to impress and the pedigree to back it up.”