Toowoomba trainer, John Zielke, is a ‘dreamer’. Well, not so much in the literal sense, but he does have a lot of time for the stallion, Dream Ahead.
Zielke was out at the 2015 Gold Coast Magic Millions Horses in Training Sale and took a fancy to the Dream Ahead youngster from Redoute’s Choice mare, Tipsy Moment, eventually paying $26,000 on behalf of stable client, Evan Hartley.
On Saturday, the now 3YO gelding – called Dreams Aplenty – lived right up to his moniker by capturing the Group Three Ascot Green Gunsynd Classic over 1600m at Eagle Farm and has taken his tally to five wins from 11 starts and $273,900 in prizemoney.
“I’ve had a huge opinion of Dream Ahead for quite a while,” Zielke reveals. “I trained Happy Event who is also by Dream Ahead and she was a promising horse from very early on.
“That’s why I told Evan he should buy Dreams Aplenty. Evan breeds a few of his own and buys three or four every year, but wasn’t overly impressed with Dreams Aplenty’s breeze up time leading into the sale.
“Breeze up aside, I really didn’t think I’d get Dreams Aplenty that cheaply. In fact, I didn’t realise until after the sales that he’d been sold as a yearling for $32,000. He’s turned out to be a real bargain!
“Dreams Aplenty really was showing me plenty from the start and I told Evan he should get hold of the Dream Aheads wherever he could. I bought him a Dream Ahead weanling last year for just $2,000 that has since broken in well and goes alright.
“Evan has about 15 Dream Aheads now … I think they’re really about to take off.
“Last year in Melbourne I got James Price from Inglis to bid on a mare for me that has a similar cross to Dreams Aplenty … Redoute’s Choice, Zabeel.
“James phoned to say that he’d bought the mare for me and what did I want to do with her. I told him to send her directly to Dream Ahead at Emirates Park.”
The Gunsynd was Dreams Aplenty’s first win at black type after earlier victories at Doomben, Eagle Farm, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast, while he also ran a neck second behind Attention in last May’s Group Two BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Dreams Aplenty appears to have a number of options this winter with his trainer citing both the Group Two Queensland Guineas over 1600m on 10 June or the Group Three Sunshine Coast Guineas, also over the mile, on 1 July as possible targets.
“Dreams Aplenty is one tough horse,” Zielke adds. “He looked gone at the home turn on Saturday and deserved to get run down, but he’s got a heart as big as a mountain. He never knows when to give in and never throws in the towel. You’ve got to bring a boxer to the fight, not a boy.”
Paul Knight was one happy camper too following the win of Dreams Aplenty. An integral member of the Magic Millions team for 30 years, Knight was on ground when Dreams Aplenty was sold on the Gold Coast – both times – but is now the Business Development Manager for Queensland’s Aquis Farm which, only last week, struck a ‘stallion share’ deal with Emirates Park.
“It was a timely win indeed,” Knight points out. “We have a pretty exciting lineup here in Queensland, but we’ve also got a special deal whereby any Queensland breeder who want to send a mare, or mares, to Artie Schiller, Al Maher, Kiss And Make Up, or Dream Ahead, at Emirates Park in NSW, we’ll pick up transport costs and half the agistment.
“Dream Ahead was a Champion Sprinter in Europe, Champion Miler in France and Great Britain and joint Champion 2YO Colt in Europe and Dreams Aplenty is his eighth stakes winner and his fourth in Australia where his oldest progeny are just 3YOs.
“I can see why blokes like John Zielke and a whole lot of other trainers are so excited about the stallion’s prospects.”