Patience is a virtue and it is an admirable quality in racehorse owners.
As much as they can display all the hallmarks of a talent-in-the-making as a yearling, some horses take longer to achieve mental and physical maturity.
That is why the team at Spicer’s Thoroughbreds got so much satisfaction out of seeing Rotator in the winner’s stall for the second time this year when she saluted at Horsham on Sunday.
“It was terrific to get another win for Rotator’s owners as she has been a work in progress and a horse that has been difficult to train, ride and follow as a punter – but I do think she isn’t far off turning the corner,” Brad Spicer said.
The grey mare was an Inglis Easter purchase from a family littered with black type and when she debuted with a great second in the Widden Stakes as a two-year-old we thought ‘how good’ and dreamt of a Golden Slipper start.
However, her racing pattern didn’t help her cause. Being so fierce really held her back. She was transferred from the Sydney stable of Chris Waller down to beachside stabling at Warrnambool of Lindsey Smith with positive effect.
“We sent Rotator to Lindsey for the sole purpose of beach training to quieten down and that might be just about to pay dividends, given how relaxed she raced,” Spicer said.
“She was rated perfectly by Michael Rodd, just getting into a nice rhythm whereby she was able to give a kick all the way to the line.
“The victory was really important as we need to get her rating up to allow her to chase some metropolitan options, hopefully as early as next start at Moonee Valley,” he said.
Racing is for dreamers.
Brad Spicer of Spicer Thoroughbreds is a dream maker. He pours over catalogues, examines yearlings and finds a group of owners to race the horses he buys.
Spicer relies on repeat business so it is important he gets it right, selecting young horses that have the pedigree, conformation and other physical attributes that help them to get to the track and be competitive.
Spicer was in the market for a yearling on behalf of some great supporters that had the previous year shared in the ownership of Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut.
He saw a lot of the quality that drew him to 2011 purchase, Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel, when inspecting a filly by Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement’s first crop at the 2019 Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast.
The daughter of Incredulous was a magnificent walker, the best in the sale according to Spicer. He didn’t want to leave the auction without her. Some other significant buyers had the same idea – including David Hayes, Ciaron Maher and Angus Gold, who was representing Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate.
Spicer’s order came with a budget that wasn’t going to meet the asking price, which exceeded $300,000. Able to convince the group that she was one of the nicest fillies in the sale, Spicer went the extra yard on their behalf.
Knocked down to them for $340,000, Incredulous Dream is now a valuable racing and breeding commodity with a Saturday metropolitan victory recorded on Caulfield Cup Day in the QMS Media Plate (1400m). It is her second win in five starts, having won on debut at Bendigo in February.
Trained in partnership by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, Incredulous Dream will now look be aimed at a staskes race for three-year-old fillies over the Flemington carnival to further enhance her value.
Spicer expects Incredulous Dream to shape u[p to better targets in the autumn, daring to dream of Group 1 glory.
“She has always show great ability from day one and once the penny drops I am sure she will be competing in the autumn up against the big guns over 1600 to 2000 metres,” he said.
“She has just raced a little fierce through the early races, but it was great to see her relax better on Saturday to save the energy up for a final burst.
“I think she will make an ideal Australasian Oaks horse in the autumn and look forward to her stepping through her classes.”
Kiwi gelding Kissinger will have his next start at Flemington on Stakes Day after posting the first of what will be many wins for Spicer Thoroughbreds and Nigel Tiley.
The Group 1-winning jockey turned trainer identified Kissinger, which he trained in New Zealand for two wins from three starts, as an ideal horse to kick off the trans-Tasman partnership.
“Nigel downsized his stables during the COVID-19 pandemic but, due my relationship with him, we were able to secure 50% for our clients to race in conjunction with Nigel’s owners,” Brad Spicer said.
“It was great to have our joint venture with Nigel Tiley Racing come to fruition today at Warrnambool.
“Kissinger won by four-lengths, though that could have been doubled had (jockey) Michael Rodd released the brakes.”
Warrnambool-based trainer Lindsey Smith has had Kissinger for three Australian starts and he has shown improvement with each run.
“Lindsey has loved the way the big horse has settled into Australia and says Kissinger has so much raw talent that there is a nice race in him next year when the penny drops fully,” Spicer said.
The next target for the five-year-old son of the ill-fated stallion Tavistock is the $150,000 Very Special Kids Pin and Win Handicap over 2000 metres at Flemington on November 7, before a possible country Cups option.
First starter Miraitowa joined a growing list of talented gallopers opening their winning account in recent weeks – including Tydeus, Frederick The Dane and Boom Boom Becker – the common thread being they were all bought and managed by Spicer Thoroughbreds.
Getting his name from one of the mascots at the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, rescheduled to commence in July next year due to Covid-19, Miraitowi is by Olympic Glory – who, in turn, is sired by Choisir.
Choisir, the Australian sprinter who placed in the Golden Slipper and the Caulfield Guineas before dominating the June meeting at Royal Ascot in 2003 where the Danehill Dancer stallion romped to victory in the Kings Stand Stakes on the opening and Golden Jubilee Stakes on the fifth and final day of the five-day festival.
Starspangledbanner, a son of Choisir from an early crop, was bought by Brad Spicer and won the 2009 Caulfield Guineas and emulated his sire by taking out 2010 Golden Jubilee Stakes, sandwiching the Oakleigh Plate in between.
“Miraitowa continues the great affinity Spicer Thoroughbreds has with the Choisir bloodline,” Brad Spicer said.
“He was a purchase from the Arrowfield draft at the 2019 Magic Millions yearling sale. His trainer, Kevin Corstens, has always had a very good opinion of the colt and it was nice to see that translate to race day on debut.
“Kevin will now set him for a race over the spring carnival and possibly head to the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas in January if his form warrants.”
Miraitowa raced in the silks of former Collingwood Football Club president Ern Clarke and his wife Rhonda, who has been great supporters of Spicer Thoroughbreds over recent years.