Jagged Edge fighting out the finish in the Listed TAB Dalrello Stakes (Trackside Photography)
Leigh Lord thought she had done pretty well picking up the Rubiton mare, Weekend Surprise, for just $10,000 at the 2014 Inglis Great Southern Sale.
Sure, the mare was getting on a bit – rising 17 – but she had been a multiple winner at two, produced seven winners from seven to race – including Melbourne Group winner, Dan Baroness – and was in foal to Real Saga, whose fee at the time was $18,150.
Weekend Surprise’s first foal for Lord would be snapped up by First Light Racing for $25,000, but while the mare missed to Real Saga the following spring, she produced a Better Than Ready colt in 2016.
Ultimately consigning the Better Than Ready youngster to the 2018 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale under the Eureka Stud banner, that colt was knocked down to Darby Racing and De Burgh Equine for $46,000.
On Saturday, the now 2YO – racing as Jagged Edge – made it two wins from as many starts by capturing the Listed TAB Dalrello Stakes over 1000m at Eagle Farm and is clearly a horse with a promising future.
Trained by Stuart Kendrick, Jagged Edge jumped one of the widest from his barrier and, after working hard to hit the lead at the 100m, held on grimly for a narrow victory. Gutsy.
“I was very excited watching the race … that’s my first stakes winner in 25 years,” a delighted Lord points out. “I mainly have cattle on our farm near Dalby, but I’m a keen racehorse breeder too with around six or seven foals annually.
“I purchased a share in Better Than Ready and ended up with three foals from that first crop: Jagged Edge, Hezhome (a multiple winner and Rockhampton 2YO Classic runnerup) and one that’s unraced, but is a very nice type.”
Lord then decided to send Weekend Surprise to Spirit of Boom for that stallion’s third season at stud, subsequently producing a colt.
Good decision too: in between the colt arriving on terra firma and being despatched to the 2019 Gold Coast March Magic Millions Yearling Sale, Spirit of Boom was living right up to his name with 18 first crop winners (five of them stakes winners), a championship belt and a fee increase from $11,000 to $55,000.
Not surprisingly, Lord’s colt was knocked down to James Harron Bloodstock last month for $220,000 – topping the sale … and that was prior to Jagged Edge making his debut.
“She (Weekend Surprise) wasn’t covered last season, but produced a ripper, albeit late colt by Spirit of Boom,” Lord adds. “One of the first people to text me after Jagged Edge’s win was our vet, David Pascoe, and I sent him back a message saying that hopefully we can get one more foal out of the old gal!”
As for Queensland’s stallion ranks, lightning really has struck twice with Better Than Ready doing his best to follow in Spirit of Boom’s hoofsteps, already producing 16 winners this season, with Jagged Edge the third success for the sire at stakes level.
A well-bred son of More Than Ready, Better Than Ready won the Falvelon, Mick Dittman and Keith Noud in Brisbane and the Brian Crowley in Sydney – all at Listed level – along with a third behind Your Song in the Group One BTC Cup: pulling up stumps with eight wins and three placings from 16 starts, plus nearly $500,000 in stakes.
Now standing at the Kruger family’s Lyndhurst Stud, Better Than Ready was purchased by Queensland breeder, Richard Foster as the curtain was coming down on the entire’s racing career.
“(Bloodstock agent) Julian Blaxland knew I was looking for a stallion and approached me about Better Than Ready,” Foster recalls. “Quite a few studs were interested but they wanted to purchase the stallion outright, while a number of his owners wanted to keep a share in the horse.
“I was happy enough with that … the more the merrier. I have Yarramalong Park, a 160 acre property that’s around an hour’s drive from Brisbane, but it’s not set up to stand stallions.
“I spoke to the Krugers and they were very interested, so, we went down together to have a look at the horse and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Standing initially at a fee of $9,900, Better Than Ready has covered 647 mares in four seasons, with a high of 236 in 2018.
“We’ll be capping the book at 160 this season,” Foster points out. “When we announced recently that his fee would be $33,000 in 2019 we got 40 bookings in 24 hours. He’s almost full and, I’m pleased to say, a lot of those mares are coming up from the Hunter Valley!”
HOOFNOTE: Jagged Edge became the first of two stakes winners for Darby Racing – in the space of 30 minutes – with the increasingly familiar white and navy blue silks also carried to victory by Irithea in the Group Three Killahy Equine Hawkesbury Crown over 1300m.
The 5YO mare – a $90,000 purchase from the 2015 Magic Millions Yearling Sale – has currently won seven races (along with four stakes placings) and $528,890 in stakes.
Jagged Edge and Irithea continue the great run for Darby Racing which has also sourced 2019 Group Two Silver Slipper Stakes winner, Time To Reign, along with Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign (purchased for $20,000 and winner of $3,206,900) and multiple Group One winner Yankee Rose (a $10,000 buy who won $2,043,700).