He won’t mind us saying, but Jamie Walter has his ‘moments’.
Take Saturday for instance. Candika, the 3YO Sebring filly which Walter purchased and syndicated on behalf of his Proven Thoroughbreds, won the Listed Mandate Princess Stakes over 1600m at Doomben.
Earlier this year, another Proven warrior in Sir Moments captured the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup to notch up his sixth success at black type level.
And while it’s clear that Walter considers Sir Moments wins among his happiest moments, the canny agent has clearly got a soft spot for Candika, whom he purchased for $100,000 from the Kia-Ora Stud draft at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
“That win of Candika’s on Saturday was very pleasing … and very deserving,” Walter points out. “She was an outstanding 2YO, winning her first two starts at Doomben and then running third behind Capitalist in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
“She then came back as a 3YO with a head second in the (Listed) Mode Plate and again won two in a row at Eagle Farm and Doomben in February, March.
“The Princess was her first win at stakes level but she was backing up after racing the week before, she was stepping up to 1600m and she won by over three lengths.”
Trainer Steve O’Dea was sceptical about a tilt at the Queensland Oaks for Candika, but happy that his charge is now settling more in her races.
“It was only a few runs back that she wanted to over-race in a 1500m, but the way she went in the Princess means we’ll press on over a bit further.”
Walter has confirmed that, all things being equal, Candika’s next start will be in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet over 1800m on 6 May.
“I hate to sound like a footy coach, but we’ll take it a run at a time,” Walter adds. “If she’s successful in the Bracelet, we’ll likely step her up to the (Group Two) Roses over 2000m two weeks later. She’ll gradually increase in distance … one thing’s for sure – she’ll let you know when she’s gone too far.”
A rapidly growing fan of Sebring, Walter purchased a colt for $160,000 by the Widden Stud based stallion at the recent Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale – a half brother to another O’Dea trained performer in Doubt Defying, which is raced by Aquis Farm.
“Steve has a big opinion of Doubt Defying which obviously influenced my decision to buy the half brother,” Walter reveals. “Actually the last three winners for Proven Thoroughbreds are by Sebring and I’ve seen a lot of really outstanding types by him over the past few months.
“I think he’s really been mated up on the strength of his early success and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a big surge over the next 12 months.”
Walter normally purchases around 20 yearlings annually but has upped the ante this year, signing slips for 28 already.
“It’s actually very exciting because a few of them are a joint venture with the Aquis/Sino/Proven Syndications and will be raced by the Chinese speaking community,” Walter adds. “Aquis has made a huge commitment to racing and breeding in Australia and there are definitely some interesting times ahead.”