Mr Quickie wins the Group One Queensland Derby (Ross Stevenson)
Rosemont Stud has bred Group One winners, sold Group One winners and raced Group One winners.
However, until Saturday’s Channel 7 Queensland Derby victory via Mr Quickie, the Victorian operation hadn’t bred, sold and raced one … and stood the sire as well!
Well, to be specific – ‘will stand’ – is actually more accurate. In what can only be considered impeccable timing, Rosemont just recently secured the standing rights to Mr Quickie’s sire, Shamus Award, who won’t cover his first mare in Victoria until September.
Not surprisingly, Rosemont principal, Anthony Mithen, was ecstatic with Mr Quickie’s performance in the Derby, with the flashy 3YO unleashing a power packed finish to win by three quarters of a length. What’s not known is whether it was jockey, Johnny Allen, or Mithen riding the hardest over the final 100 metres.
Celebrations had to be momentarily muted however as connections of runnerup, Vow And Declare, lodged a protest which was eventually dismissed.
“It’s a tremendous result for Rosemont which was only really established a little over 15 years ago and, even then, only to basically cater for my late father-in-law’s mares,” Mithen explains. “I remember the first year I took a draft – four yearlings – to the Melbourne Premier and felt a bit out of place, but we’ve really ramped it up in the last decade.”
Indeed, they have! In 2019, Rosemont consigned yearlings to the Gold Coast, Sydney (Easter and Classic) and Adelaide – plus 25 for the Inglis Melbourne Premier – and selling up to $520,000.
With the addition of Shamus Award to its Victorian roster, Rosemont stands four stallions this year, and has major interests in others, while the bloodstock portfolio encompasses 170 mares throughout Australasia and the northern hemisphere. Rosemont also races 100 horses in “varying degrees of ownership”.
“My brother-in-law, Nigel Austin, and I are fully aware of commercial reality and the majority of Rosemont horses are bred along speed lines, but nothing gives us more enjoyment than racing a Classic winner like Mr Quickie,” Mithen reveals. “I purchased Mr Quickie’s dam, Special Favour, in foal to Shamus Award ($30,000 at 2015 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale) but I had no idea at the time that I’d eventually be standing the stallion at Rosemont. In fact, up until recently, it was my only involvement with Shamus Award.
“Shamus Award stood at Widden Stud but his owners, Sean Buckley and Viv Oldfield were moving their mares to Victoria and, a little birdie tapped me on the shoulder and said that they were interested in re-locating the stallion too.
“Shamus Award’s oldest are only 3YOs and he’s also got horses like (Group Two winner) Etana going around and I reckon he compares favourably in terms of strike rate with a horse like Dundeel … except our bloke stands for only $11,000, not $66,000.”
Rosemont would offer Mr Quickie at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale where he was knocked down to Dalziel Racing for $115,000. Wisely, Rosemont kept a share and, thus, the Queensland Derby winner races in a combination of Rosemont’s increasingly familiar ‘Gatecrasher’ and the Dalziel silks of white and royal blue spots.
And, while Mithen happily confesses to naming Mr Quickie, the source of the moniker will be left to less family friendly publications. Fair to say it had nothing to do with the perceived speed of the horse.
Saturday’s victory was also a special milestone for syndicator, Wylie Dalziel.
One of the hardest toilers in the industry, Dalziel has introduced hundreds to racehorse ownership in the last 20 years: firstly partnered with Roy Higgins and, following the death of the much loved Hall of Famer in 2014, he now calls upon former top trainer, Peter Moody, to help steer the ship.
Upping the ante in recent times, Dalziel and Moody purchase between 25-30 yearlings annually and there are currently some 60 syndicated horses on the books.
“The vast majority are young horses … rising 2YOs and 3YOs, with about 300 to 400 owners involved,” Dalziel explains. “As for Mr Quickie, there’s 15 owners and they’re a terrific mix. One of the guys dates way back to the early days with Roy (Higgins), while for another, it’s his first horse with us.
“As you can imagine, they’re all pretty happy with the way Mr Quickie is going!”
Although Dalziel has come close in the past, Mr Quickie becomes the first Group One winner for his syndicates.
“We’ve come close a couple of times,” Dalziel recalls. “Bring Me The Maid was one of the last fillies I bought with Roy and she won a (Group Two) Magic Night before running third to Mossfun in the Golden Slipper, while Harlow Gold ran second in the VRC Oaks, fourth in Hey Doc’s Australian Guineas and third behind Montoya’s Secret in the Vinery.
(Somewhat ironically, both Hey Doc and Montoya’s Secret were Rosemont Stud sale graduates!)
“Bring Me The Maid was purchased for $105,000, won $785,200 and later sold as a broodmare for $900,000; Harlow Gold cost us $200,000 as a yearling, won nearly $450,000 and on-sold for $600,000; another good mare we had, Catch A Fire (Group Two Angus Armanasco) won a quarter of a million after buying her for just $40,000 as a yearling and was eventually sold for $950,000; while Black Caviar’s brother, Moshe, was subsequently sold to stand at stud.
“It’s more about the enjoyment than anything else, but with the great prizemoney available in Australia and the potential for residual, there can be a whole lot of upside to racehorse ownership too.”
However, despite receiving “massive offers” since Saturday’s win (the previous three Queensland Derby winners – Dark Dream, Ruthven and Eagle Way – were all sold to race in Hong Kong), Mr Quickie’s ownership group aren’t planning on departing ways with their pride and joy anytime soon.
“I was with a lot of the owners on Saturday night and told them that the mobile was going non-stop with enquiries, but they were adamant about not selling,” Dalziel adds. “For most it’s their first Group One victory and by the time you break it up into five, 10 and 20 percent shares, it probably doesn’t make that much of a difference to their lives.
“On the other hand, going to the races here in Australia and cheering on Mr Quickie is making a whole lot of difference!”
Following the Derby, Mr Quickie has won nine of 13 starts, with three further placings, for $939,700 in stakes and he will now head to the spelling paddock before returning in the spring where races like the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and inaugural $7.5 million Golden Eagle all come into calculation.
HOOFNOTE: A nifty 2YO who was placed in both the Maribyrnong Plate and VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, Shamus Award ran a lip second in the Group Two Stutt Stakes and third in the Group One Caulfield Guineas when resuming at three. Shamus Award then led throughout to capture the 2013 Cox Plate in a thriller … his first racetrack victory!