Hot Property Comes Down To Price

Property ridden by Craig Williams wins the Blue Diamond Preview at Caulfield on Saturday (Racing Photos).


Hong Kong based, Price Bloodstock, has sourced a lot of winners for clients over the past 20 or so years … 491 individual wins to be precise and over HK$500 million in stakes.

Thing is, David Price didn’t decide to move to Hong Kong back in 1993 to trade horses. His focus was more on the lucrative wagering market.

However, once on the ground, so to speak, he was “noticing a lot of slow horses” and decided to buy a couple for friends and clients.

“It’s a hobby that kind of got out of control,” Price admits. “It (the bloodstock business) has really evolved over time, but has probably really cranked up over the past four or five years.

“I work in closely with John Foote, Aquanita Racing and Patrick Payne and we buy around 40 to 50 yearlings every year. We test drive them, find out which ones can run and the fastest ones come up to Hong Kong.

“Shortly after I got to Hong Kong I was asked ‘what if you get a good one early?’ to which I responded: ‘you can charge more!’.

“Fortunately, one of the early ones was Silent Witness.”

Silent Witness was a superstar in every sense of the word. The Australian-bred son of El Moxie won his first 17 races straight in Hong Kong and was Horse of the Year in 2004 and 2005 and acknowledged as World’s Champion Sprinter from 2003-2005.

Ultimately, Silent Witness would win 18 races and over HK$62 million (A$10.6 million), while others such Slight Winner, Multivictory, Enthused, Prime Witness and current top sprinter/miler, Contentment would follow in fairly rapid succession for Price.

By rights, a 2YO called Property should now be calling Hong Kong home too, but due to some minor issues, it was determined that the gelded son of Starcraft would do his racing in Australia.

Purchased for $130,000 at the 2016 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in Sydney, Property stepped out for the second time last Saturday and came away with the Listed Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Preview for Colts & Geldings (1000m) at Caulfield for trainer, Robert Smerdon.

(Property had debuted 19 days earlier over 1100m at Caulfield, finishing second after racing greenly).

“Robert purchased Property on our behalf with the view to him racing in Hong Kong but due to a couple of problems, he stayed in Australia. He surprised us a bit … we didn’t think he’d be that forward and so he wasn’t paid up for the Blue Diamond.

“We’ll now run him in the (Group Three Blue Diamond) Prelude on 11 February and if he does OK in that, we might then press on with the Blue Diamond.”

While Price’s main focus is on Hong Kong, he does enjoy racing a galloper or two down under with friends – “fillies mainly” – including Tai Tai Tess, who won a Morphettville Guineas and close to $200,000 in stakes.

“I also bred and raced a pretty good filly in Ungrateful Ellen, who I thought was a real good chance of winning the Group One Queensland Oaks. Unfortunately she ran into a horse in the Oaks that you may have heard of … Winx!

“Apart from that some might say that a career highlight was owning a winner over 3200m at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day. The trouble was it with Torvill ’n’ Dean in the Cup Day Hurdle …”

Price has come a long way since his move to Hong Kong in the early 90s and it’s only a matter of meets before his Price Bloodstock hits the magical ‘500 wins’ milestone.

However, in the meantime he might just get his Group One winner in Australia. A Diamond from his own Property.

The Power of Passion