Mighty Boss causes a boil-over in the Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas (Racing Photos)
Throughout its lengthy history, the Group One Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas (first run in 1881) has added more than its share of ‘colour’.
The 1977 chapter went via a genuine miracle that was Luskin Star, the 1987 version was won on protest by Marwong in controversial circumstances and, 10 years ago, Weekend Hussler would capture the Caulfield Guineas on his way to Horse of the Year glory.
Fittingly, Saturday’s renewal has created its own niche with the victory of flashy, flaxen maned, Mighty Boss, who snuck into the final field courtesy of a scratching (Summer Passage) and strode to the barriers as a rank – $101 – outsider.
The colt didn’t race like a 100/1 pop though … taking the quickest route home, the Mick Price trained and part-owned 3YO hugged the rail to get up by a neck in a boilover.
It might not have been a shock to match that of Dandy Andy’s gobsmacker when defeating Bonecrusher and Vo Rogue at 125/1 in the 1988 Australian Cup, but it comes close, particularly given that the storied Guineas is one of the richest races on the turf calendar.
Leading into the $2 million Guineas, Mighty Boss had just the five starts, finishing at the tail of the field on debut in the Group Three Blue Diamond Prelude in February, but winning his maiden at Sale first up in July.
Mighty Boss has clearly matured at three, running second at Sandown in August, midfield in the Listed Exford Plate at Flemington in mid-September and, perhaps, really shone a light on his potential with a very good fourth in the Group Two Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago.
Regardless of whether your money was on the second horse – Godolphin’s Kementari ($5.50) – or were hoping that third peg, Catchy ($4.40 favourite), would become the first filly since Surround in 1976 to win the Guineas, Mighty Boss does take his place in history as racing’s newest millionaire.
Price’s close knit Caulfield stable won’t forget the day in a hurry either, wildly celebrating the victory in the winners’ enclosure.
Selecting the Not A Single Doubt colt at the 2016 New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, Price paid $170,000 to secure Mighty Boss on behalf of long-time client and successful owner Muzaffar Yaseen’s Teeley Assets.
Price, who has also tasted Group One success with another Not A Single Doubt colt in Extreme Choice (Blue Diamond / Moir), has trained a number of profile gallopers for Teeley: notably 2013/14 Australian Horse of the Year, Lankan Rupee, who was retired on Saturday after finishing sixth in the Group Two Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield.
And while it was the first Caulfield Guineas win for Price, the Teeley Assets owned, Redoute’s Choice – who won the 1999 Guineas – is the grandsire of Mighty Boss.
Perhaps it was the Redoute’s Choice factor, or the potential of Extreme Choice, but Price was clearly attracted to Mighty Boss when he spied the yearling at the sales complex.
“He stood out like the proverbial at the sales,” Price explains. “Just look at the horse … more than a bit blond and quite a bit flashy and I thought to myself that the good judges will be shying away from that.
“His colouring didn’t bother me much though. (Not A Single Doubt Blue Diamond winner) Miracles of Life is a pretty flashy type too, as is Mighty Boss’s close relation Seaburge.
“Importantly, Mighty Boss is just a lovely type, very athletic, and after he was secured for Mr Yaseen, I asked if it was OK to keep a share in him and he agreed. I’m certainly glad he did.”
With the main mission completed, Price said Mighty Boss would now be tipped out for a spell and was likely to resume in the autumn with a number of options – including the Australian Guineas – open to the colt.
Not surprisingly, a number of agents and stud managers will be visiting the colt in the spelling paddock with an eye to his future as a stallion.
Mighty Boss is the third winner for Encosta de Lago mare, Bullion Mansion, a multiple winning daughter of Group One Australasian Oaks winner, La Volta, and half sister to the dam of Group Two Angus Armanasco winner, Catch A Fire and the aforementioned, Seaburge (Group Two VRC Sires’ Produce).
Bullion Mansion was purchased by Coolmore Australia for $160,000 from the Teeley Assets dispersal at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, interestingly while carrying Mighty Boss.
Ironically, Teeley Assets had raced Bullion Mansion after purchasing her as a yearling from the Coolmore draft for $625,000 at the 2007 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.
“Bullion Mansion now has a Declaration of War 2YO filly, a yearling filly by Declaration of War and, just last week, produced a lovely colt by No Nay Never,” Coolmore Australia’s Sebastian Hutch reveals. “Her 2017 mating is still being considered, but the likes of Fastnet Rock and Pierro are at the top of the list in terms of options.”