As most racehorse owners would attest, the hands of fate can give you a slap on the black or a whack on the ear.
Two years ago, Queensland cattle breeder, Ian Price, decided to head down to the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, dragging Toowoomba trainer, Kevin Kemp, along with him.
After three days, Kemp decided to head back home, but Price thought he’d stick around for the second ‘book’ and see what he could come up with.
“I was standing near the outer ring and watching the yearlings walk past and this filly really caught my eye,” Price recalls. “Turns out she was by Collate and looked like a real racehorse.
“I wasn’t particularly looking for a really cheap horse, but I was genuinely surprised when we got her for just $2,500.”
That has proven to be one astute investment as the filly – appropriately named Sold For Song – won the Listed Daybreak Lover over 1400m at Eagle Farm on Saturday, much to the delight of Price: “It was a big week – I went down to watch Queensland in the State of Origin and then the filly won on Saturday!”
The Daybreak Lover was Sold For Song’s second stakes success (following the Gold Edition last December) and she has now tallied three wins and four placings from eight outings, lifting her career earnings to $311,150.
“The name, Song For Song, might seem obvious, but you can easily end up with egg on your face in this game. It doesn’t matter how much you pay if they can’t run,” Price adds.
“Anyway, after buying her, we sent her up to Kevin’s place and he said to me that she was a real cracker which gave me a lot of encouragement.
“I’ve mucked about with racehorse ownership, on and off, for 30 years and she’s by far the best I’ve had to date. It will be interesting to see how she goes from here.”
Trainer Kevin Kemp confirmed Sold For Song had thrived since the run and would likely start in the $125,000 Group Three Sunshine Coast Guineas at Caloundra this Saturday: “she’s done a very good job so far. We’ll tip her out after the Caloundra run but will likely head south for the spring. She might not be up to the real big fillies and mares races in Sydney and Melbourne but this filly is still on the improve and who knows … the sky is the limit.”
But what about the bloke who sold the filly? Kicking himself?
“Far from it,” Noel Denning, laughs. “I get a great thrill out of watching horses that have come off the farm.
The farm that Denning refers to spans 1500 acres at Pittsworth in Queensland and has been owned by Denning and his wife, Christine, since 1982.
Run by the pair and ably assisted by sons, Daniel and Jonathon, Burwood boasts a mix of standardbreds and thoroughbreds … 250 of which that Denning was feeding as he cast his mind back to the 2014 Gold Coast sale.
“She (Sold For Song) was a lovely type but we’re genuine sellers. We take them down to a sale, they don’t come home.
“We stand the sire, Collate, along with Masked Assassin, and while neither are commercial stallions, they are good bread and butter horses. You only have to look through the results. They get winners every week.
“There’s been a bit of renewed interest in Collate since Sold For Song came along but we’re just happy to poke along.”