The eventual winner of the Up And Coming Stakes, True Detective (Lisa Grimm)
When a stallion moves from the Hunter Valley, it is not often a sign that his career is on the up.
However, since it was announced that Cox Plate winner Shamus Award was heading south to join the roster at Rosemont, the winners have started to flow for the son of Snitzel. Leading that charge was Queensland Derby winner Mr Quickie, while the weekend brought a fourth stakes-winner with True Detective.
Having endured two unlucky seconds at his first two runs this preparation, the tables turned in True Detective’s favour on Saturday when, although beaten a head, he was promoted following significant interference over the closing stages of the Group Three Up And Coming Stakes at Randwick.
As well as being cheered home by everyone at Rosemont, the win was satisfying for bloodstock industry stalwart Byron Rogers. The Australian, who is now based in Kentucky, is a part-owner along with a group of friends and family.
“It’s a great group of owners involved, close friends and my family. Initially my cousin and a few of his mates wanted to go into a horse, but the Magic Millions prices were proving a little dear, so when my dad and family friend, Paul Hughes, came into the ownership, we decided to all race him together.
“It’s a great mix as my dad has been racing horses for over 45 years and there’s also some first-timers.”
With that all-important stakes victory, trainer Chris Waller is yet to decide what path True Detective will follow and, although he suggested it “probably won’t be the Golden Rose,” he believes that the Shamus Award colt can measure up against his peers this spring.
“He (True Detective) is a horse that still needs to concentrate and kill a race off,” Rogers said. “It will come with maturity, and blinkers will be an option, but for now, it is more about education and experience. He is still quite green, so it is great to see him getting these high-class results with room for improvement. He just needs to perfect his ring craft.”
He added: “There is a good chance he will more likely head to the Dulcify in a couple of weeks time. Given that he’s had five runs this preparation, he has been up for a while, so it’s a question mark as to how deep into the spring he will go. We would love to look at the Caulfield Guineas, so will see how he is working and keeping him happy.”
True Detective, whose record now reads two wins and two seconds from four starts, is the fourth named foal from Geiger Counter mare, Girls Rule, and was sold for $100,000 at the 2018 Inglis Classic Sale.
Girls Rule has built up a sound record with four winners from four foals, including the stakes placed Turquoise King, a 9-time winner in Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
For Rogers, whose company Performace Genetics takes a holistic view when assessing yearlings, incorporating DNA markers as well as physical attributes, True Detective was a standout when seen at the Classic Sale.
“We look for the best athlete, through ultra-sounding the size of the heart for cardiovascular capacity, biomechanical measurements and angles, and look at specific DNA markers,” Rogers explained. “We want to ensure that the ‘physical’ matches the breeding to achieve the greatest chance of success.”
Rogers, who spent a decade working at Arrowfield Stud, also had some thoughts on the speed at which stallions are assessed.
“As the stallion market is so commercial, people can go hot and cold, but I have always been of the opinion that you need to give a stallion a couple of seasons to allow him a genuine chance.”
He added: “Shamus Award is a stallion that has flown under to radar, but he will not be there for too much longer. He has proven that he is clearly capable of getting a superior athlete, which is ultimately what everyone is trying to get their hands on.”