Global Quest wins the Group Three Breeders’ Plate at Randwick (Photo Lisa Grimm)
Queensland breeder Ron Gilbert and his wife Debbie could be about to embark on one of their most exciting journeys in racing.
And it’s all because they have broken a golden rule that has served them well over two decades of thoroughbred breeding excellence.
The Gilberts share ownership of Global Quest after breeding the More Than Ready colt from their boutique Darling Downs thoroughbred farm Highgrove Stud.
Global Quest announced his arrival an early-season boom two-year-old with an against-the-odds win in the Group Three Breeders’ Plate at Randwick.
Strung up between horses with his running impeded in the straight, Global Quest picked himself up in the manner of a future star in the Group Three race over 1000m.
The merit of the win went a long way to justifying a change of heart for the Gilberts after selling the colt for $340,000 at this year’s Magic Millions sales.
“I don’t generally stay in anything that we sell as a general rule,” Gilbert said.
“A lot of the ones we don’t sell we race but the farm has to pay its way and you can’t stay in every foal you breed.
“Aquis asked me to stay in but originally I said I wouldn’t.
“Then I thought about it and Aquis have been good supporters of the farm over the past 12 months so I rang them back a few months later and accepted.”
Trained by Chris Waller, Global Quest is now the early favourite to win next year’s Golden Slipper, the world’s pre-eminent race for juveniles.
“We are very excited about his future,” Gilbert said.
“At this stage he is promising, very promising.”
Waller has built his stable on a foundation of patience but his results with early two-year-olds are on an upward spiral.
He trained Performer to win the 2017 Breeders’ Plate and confessed he likes the uncomplicated nature that goes with having precocious stock.
“It happens very quickly, you don’t have to put them out, wait around and give them time,” Waller said.
“The ones that get up and running on the first day, it’s pretty easy.”
The timing of Global Quest’s win couldn’t better for the Gilberts who will consign a Capitalist half-sister at next year’s Magic Millions yearling sales.
“With commercial thoroughbred breeding, results on the track are central to the farm’s success going forward,” Gilbert said
“Every farm is judged on how well the foals run coming off that farm.”
Global Quest emulated the feat of another More Than Ready son in winning the Breeders’ Plate.
Sebring won the race in 2008 when it was run later in the season because of Australia’s equine influenza outbreak.
That victory was followed by his Golden Slipper and Sires’ Produce triumphs before retirement to stand at Widden Stud.
Sebring died suddenly this year but his legacy lives on as one of Australia’s leading sires.
Global Quest is the first foal from Global Dream, a Fastnet Rock mare the Gilberts couldn’t sell.
Global Dream finished fourth in the 2013 Magic Millions 2YO Classic and won two of her 10 starts before joining Highgrove’s select broodmare band.
“While we run the farm as a proper business, it’s still a hobby,” Gilbert said.
“We like to keep it enjoyable and not let it consume every minute of the day.”
Vinery Stud’s More Than Ready is closing in on a double century of stakes winners with Global Quest’s success his 197th at black-type level.
Regarded as one of the world’s great shuttle stallions, More Than Ready has made a surprise return to the Hunter Valley for this year’s breeding season.