Dirty Thoughts winning the Ladbrokes Switch Handicap at Moonee Valley (Natasha Morello / Racing Photos)
So You Think yearlings sold up to $360,000 at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier, but it’s probably fair to say that expectations of a similar result for the filly from Sheer Fantazee were considerably lower.
The filly was only small and, to make matters worse, offset in front, so it came as no surprise when said filly made just $16,000 to the bid of Ellerton Zahra Racing.
What’s a much bigger surprise however is that the filly – now named Dirty Thoughts – has won three of four starts, including Saturday’s Ladbrokes Switch Handicap over 1200m at the Moonee Valley, along with $120,125 in stakes. Go figure!
Damien Gleeson, whose Phoenix Broodmare Farm sold Dirty Thoughts on behalf of breeders, Stewart and Katie Hume, is – to put in mildly – ecstatic with the 3YO’s rise and rise.
“Yes, she was only small and the front knee was always going to be an issue in terms of sales value, but she had a great attitude about her. Tough. Good walker too,” Gleeson recalls. “I had one vet – highly respected – who canned her and you can rest assured I’ll be making a point of reminding him of his ‘evaluation’ when next we catch up!
“Full marks to Matt Ellerton though … he took one look at her, clearly liked what he saw and bought her.
“Credit as well to Mick Talty’s Edinglassie Farm who foaled her down, raised her and sent the filly us to be prepped. They (Edinglassie) had another great day on Saturday.”
The great day to which Gleeson refers featured victories for other Edinglassie ‘graduates’ such as Sweet Deal in the Group Three Toy Show Quality over 1100m at Randwick (along with runnerup, Zaniah, a $1 million filly sold by the farm at 2017 Inglis Easter), and Frosty Rocks, who led throughout to score by over three lengths at headquarters as well.
Regarded as one of the most prolific farms in NSW’s Hunter Valley with other famous alumni including Godolphin’s Caulfield Guineas winner, Shooting To Win, and Newgate Farm’s full brother, Deep Field, Talty was similarly overjoyed at the implications for Dirty Thoughts’ breeders.
“Stewart and Katie also own the Dalakhani mare, Rippled, who is the dam of Group winner (and Group One VRC Oaks runnerup) Greysful Glamour and the multiple Group placed, Celestial Falls – both of which have been flying this year – and now along comes Dirty Thoughts,” Talty enthused. “The Humes might have copped a hit with Dirty Thoughts in terms of her sale price, but she looks to be a top class filly and her half brother, by Choisir, is a cracking type who will either be sold on the Gold Coast or in Sydney next year.
“It’s a good family: the High Chaparral half brother (Rhames) had a lot of ability, while Dirty Thoughts’ mum, Sheer Fantazee is a half sister to dual Group Two winner, Grey Song and the Group winner Tonz More Fun.”
As for Stewart Hume, the next six months is sure to be quite the ride.
“Sheer Fantazee is due to foal down a Kermadec in October and will be heading back to So You Think, while, aside from her Choisir colt, we’ll be offering the Pierro half sister to Greysful Glamour and Celestial Falls next year too,” Hume explains. “It’s obviously disappointing when your filly sells for just $16,000, but the manner of that win on Saturday would suggest there’s quite a bit more to come. Fingers crossed.”
A Queensland based pharmacist, Hume is quick to credit both Talty and bloodstock agent, John Foote, with the success of Dirty Thoughts and co.
“I’ve got half a dozen mares with Mick and I also rely heavily on the opinion of John (Foote),” Hume points out. “I first got involved in the thoroughbred industry around 20 years ago and I was looking for a Queensland based agent and just rang John out of the blue.
“He purchased Rippled for me for just 15,000 guineas and her Hinchinbrook colt was sold for $280,000 at Easter this year. Both John and Mick are not only good advisors, they’re both great friends.”
Needless to say, the Zahra family would be on great terms too following Dirty Thoughts’ Valley romp.
While Dirty Thoughts races in the colours of long-time EllertonZahra Racing client, Matt Bracchi, there are numerous family members of co-trainer, Simon Zahra who are in the filly’s ownership.
“We had a good opinion of Dirty Thoughts from quite early on and (brother) Gerard, his son, my mum and quite a few of Gerard’s mates took shares,” Zahra reveals. “They’re all pretty happy after Saturday.
“When Dirty Thoughts first came to the stable, she was fairly laid back, but runs around like a lunatic these days. Let’s put it this way, when it appeared it would turn into a dog fight on Saturday, I knew we had the biggest dog in the fight.
“We like to give most of our horses at least one or two runs as a 2YO and Dirty Thoughts finished fifth on debut at Bendigo in February. She was a bit shinsore from the run and we sent her straight up to the farm, but she’s really blossomed since that run and showed it by coming out and winning at Geelong, Sandown and Moonee Valley in the last 35 days.
“She’ll likely run in the (Listed) Atlantic Jewel Stakes over the same trip at the Valley in a fortnight and then we’ll see where she goes from there. It would be nice to get some black type.
“The (Group Two) Thousand Guineas Prelude (26 September) and even the (Group One) Thousand Guineas (10 October) are also options. We’ll just play it by ear.”
Definitely food for thoughts.