TOOWOOMBA trainer Tony Sears and daughter Maddysen (Maddy) - Queensland's first father-daughter training partnership - have won Queensland's first 2YO race of the 2019/20 racing season, the 1000m Pat O'Shea Plate run at Toowoomba's Clifford Park on September 28.
The winner was 2YO gelding Dark Son owned by long-term stable client Alexandra Fleming. A $130,000 buy from the Lyndhurst draft at the 2019 Magic Millions March yearling sale, Dark Son is by Better Than Ready from the Winning King Charlemagne mare Laura Magne who in turn is a daughter of the Group 3 winning Prego (Ire) mare Laura's Express. This makes Laura Magne a sibling to eight other winners including her full brother, Group 3 winner Corton Charlemagne, and half-sister Group 2 winner Laura's Charm.
The O'Shea win by Dark Son continues the dominance of his Lyndhurst-based sire Better Than Ready following on his recent achievements of being both Queensland's champion 2YO sire and first season sire for the just completed 2018/19 racing season.
Racing Queensland website reports Maddy Sears, 22, has been working alongside her father for five years since leaving school as a teenager and thought the time was right to start a training career. Having been licensed to train in August, Maddy had a small team of four horses in work at Toowoomba before teaming-up with her father Tony.
"I was in an office job selling advertising and got sick of it. I've competed in show jumping all my life so when I left the job I went to work with Dad as an interim measure. I loved it so much I decided to train by myself and my biggest supporter was Mum (Leigh Sears)," she said.
The interim measure became permanent on September 7 and the duo recorded their first win with Flaming Boss at Doomben on September 18. Since then at least seven more wins have come their way including Dark Son's O'Shea Plate victory.
Last season Tony Sears became the first trainer to win the QTIS premierships for both two and three-year-olds. He had eight 2YO winners earning $125,650 in bonus prizemoney and won eleven 3YO races picking up more than $190,000 in bonuses.
Bore Head is Hall of Fame inductee
THE recent induction of former champion galloper Bore Head into Queensland's Racing Hall of Fame gives me the opportunity to revisit a story I wrote about the horse some 11 years ago when I was in Cloncurry to attend the funeral of 21-year-old Sam Phillips.
In fact, as soon as I introduced myself at Sam's wake many of the 'locals' asked did I know that former champion galloper Bore Head was owned by former Cloncurry grazier Bob Chaplain. Later, I had the chance to chat with one of Bob's sons, Damian Chaplain, Wynberg Station, Cloncurry, who told me Bore Head was selected by his father Bob and grandfather Malcolm Chaplain who lived at Boomarra, Cloncurry, and bought at the Brisbane yearling sales for 1200 guineas. Raced by Bob Chaplain and his sister Carmel Burke in Brisbane, Bore Head was trained in Brisbane by Ron Dillon and in Victoria by Des Judd.
Bore Head was foaled at Bill Jones' Wodonga Stud, Millmerran, in 1959 and went on to become one of Australia's best horses winning seven black type races including five Cups. The run started in 1963 with the 3200m Queensland Cup, continued with the 1964 Ipswich Cup and ended in 1967 with the Australian Cup and the Doomben Cup. However, by far his most notable victory was the 1965 Caulfield Cup and jockey Fred Clarke always believed he had the field covered when he was one of the three horses to fall along with Matlock and the ever-green River Seine - in the 1965 Melbourne Cup won by Light Fingers - the first of 13 Melbourne Cups for legendary trainer Bart Cummings.
The stamina came from both sides of his pedigree. His sire Double Bore (GB) won over 2.5 miles in England and although his dam Manua Kea was unraced her sire Brimstone (GB) sired the 1958 Melbourne Cup winner Baystone.
Bore Head's great success prompted Bob Chaplain to later pay $16,500 for his half-bother by Todman foaled in 1967. Racing as Hillside, the colt won nine races up to flying class in Brisbane and was stakes placed second behind Mr Consistency in the 1970 QTC Sires Produce with the future triple Derby winner Silver Sharpe in third place. He was later retired with his first foal crop born in 1974 and died in February, 1985.
After an extended racing career which yielded 16 wins, Bore Head was retired to Boomarra where he became a 'night horse'. "He was OK to ride if he just poked behind the mob but if anybody stirred him up then he'd easily beat the mob home," Damian said. Damian also recalled he was at boarding school at Charters Towers when Bore Head was in his prime. "Back then, you don't grasp the full significance of how good a horse he was, but now we just have to look at the various cups to understand what he achieved," he said. More than 40 years on, the name Bore Head still lingers as Damian's brother Patrick Chaplain, Malakoff Station, Cloncurry, trades under the Bore Head Pastoral Co.
The Chaplain family was well represented at Bore Head's induction with a table of 10.
While Bore Head's cups were originally in the care of Eddie's aunt Nell Chaplain (Bob's wife), Eddie said the Caulfield Cup was now on display at Tattersalls' Club, Brisbane while his brother John Burke has the Doomben Cup.
Mt Isa winner heading to Brisbane
MT Isa galloper Deadly Choices is heading to Brisbane again hoping to atone for his second placing behind Hanover Square in the Battle of the Bush final behind at Eagle Farm on June 22.
This time it will be in the Country Cups final at Doomben on Group 3 George Moore Stakes Day on November 30, having won the 1450m Mt Isa Spring Cup on Saturday. He's been in 'deadly form' with four wins in north-west Queensland and a second at his past five starts - the second being his runner-up placing in the Battle of the Bush final.
By four times Group 1 winning Golden Snake (USA) from the winning Rubiton mare Magic Idol, Deadly Choices now has nine wins and eight placings for Mt Isa trainer Damien Finter. Originally trained in Victoria where he won at Sandown Lakeside, Deadly Choices made an immediate impact when he arrived in Queensland where he won a Class 1 handicap at Townsville followed by a Class 3 Plate at Birdsville in August, 2018.
Stable switch results in Tara Cup win
THREE starts ago 7YO gelding Ritchford ran sixth at Toowoomba on August 24 for the now dissolved Brisbane-based Anderson/Heathcote training partnership.
A change of stable to Toowoomba-based Jackie Crompton saw him then run fourth almost a month later at Toowoomba on September 22 which proved to be an ideal lead-in to a crushing 5.5 lengths win in the 1400m Tara Cup - a qualifying race for the Country Cups Series final.
By Von Costa De Hero - a Group 2 winning son of Encosta De Lago - from the five times winning mare Tale Of The Cat mare Miss Whytwokay, Ritchford began his racing career in Victoria but failed to fire until he won a maiden at the Gold Coast in October 2107 for Gold Coast trainer Marcus Wilson in a patch of form of two wins and three placing from five starts.
A subsequent change of stables to Rob Heathcote and Anderson/Heathcote saw him win again at Ipswich and Beaudesert before his Tara Cup win took his winning tally to six and extended his earnings past $100,000 to $104,000.
Further back in Ritchford's pedigree, his third dam My Judy is a dual listed winner by Inceptor - who shares the honour with Gold Pulse of being the first yearlings in Australia and New Zealand to sell for $100,000 at the 1974 New Zealand Yearling sales. Both colts were by Oncidium (GB) with Inceptor bought by Colin Hayes and Gold Pulse by Tommy Smith.
Queensland links to Black Heart Bart
QUEENSLAND can share in the recent Group 1 glory of WA owned and bred 9YO gelding Black Heart Bart winning his sixth Group 1 race - the Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 29.
That's because his dam Sister Theresa (At Talaq) and grand-dam Alma Mater (Semipalatinsk) were both foaled in Queensland - Sister Theresa at Glenlogan Park and Alma Mater at Oaklands Stud. Winner of the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick, Alma Mater now has the honour of being the maternal grand-dam of two Group 1 winners - Black Heart Bart and Cox Plate winner Savabeel who is from Sister Theresa's Group 1 winning half-sister Savannah Success (Success Express) who was also foaled at Glenlogan Park.
Sold for $20,000 at the 2012 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sale, Black Heart Bart is by the Danehill sire Blackfriars from the now deceased At Talaq mare Sister Theresa. Bred at Glenlogan Park near Beaudesert, Sister Theresa was sold for $50,000 as a yearling in Brisbane and was initially trained by Tony Sears at Toowoomba who won six races with her up to 2100m plus a fourth in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks. She then had an unsuccessful stint with Bart Cummings in Sydney where she bowed a tendon and followed by a short stay with Laurie Mayfield-Smith in Brisbane.
After the early success of Sister Theresa, Sears and his stable clients then looked at her year younger half-sister by Success Express but decided she was too small. Later named Savannah Success, the filly was subsequently sold for $21,000 (with Glenlogan Park keeping a 50 per cent share) at the 1997 New Zealand national yearling sale to New Zealand trainer Graeme Rogerson, who prepared her for two Group 1 wins - the New Zealand Oaks and the STC Australia Stakes at Rosehill - and then won a further two Group 1 races - the Cox Plate and Spring Champion Stakes - with her son Savabeel (Zabeel).
Sister Theresa is also the dam of Rebel Sister - an unraced Falbrav mare who is the dam of stakes winners Rebelson (Snippetson) and Rebel King (Universal Prince). Black Heart Bart was Sister Theresa's last foal. She missed to Blackfriars in 2010 before her death in 2012.