Karuta Queen’s team looks forward to Magic Millions Classic


Karuta Queen’s team looks forward to Magic Millions Classic

“We’ve done all the buying, Neville has done all the hard work.”

That’s how Glenn Williams, co-owner with his wife Viive of exciting Not A Single Doubt filly Karuta Queen describes the team that has presented her three times for three decisive victories, most recently in the $200,000 Wyong RC Magic Millions 2YO Classic on 4 December.

Of course, there is a little more to the story behind Glenn’s successful $30,000 bid for the filly at the 2010 Magic Millions Gold Cost Yearling Sale and his decision to send her to Queanbeyan trainer Neville Layt.

Pictured: Glenn Williams and Neville Layt (front) after Karuta Queen’s Wyong Magic Millions victory.

It began more than 40 years ago, when the euphoria of Rain Lover’s 1968 Melbourne Cup sparked Glenn’s interest in racing. It was an interest he pursued mainly as a punter until 2004, when he and Viive bought a share in an Anabaa filly named Anamanor, who won three races in Sydney.

Various experiences of syndicate ownership, and a share in talented 3YO One More Grand (by Snitzel ) followed until January 2010, when Glenn suddenly appeared as the buyer of 14 yearlings for a total of $482,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. After a successful career in the insurance and couriering industries, Glenn was keen to expand his involvement in horses.

He explains why he bought the striking chestnut filly now set to return to the Gold Coast for the $2 million BMW Magic Millions 2YO Classic on 15 January.

“I really liked the look of her in the ring. I’m a bit of a Not A Single Doubt fan, and when I saw Card Queen was her dam, I thought that’s a sign of a possible sprinter. I remembered her racing and she was a good mare, but not quite up to top class.” Card Queen (by Final Card) won five of her 46 starts from two to six, including the VATC Blue Diamond Prelude G3, and retired in 2003 to Stuart Ramsey‘s highly regarded Turangga Stud, which bred Karuta Queen.

Glenn explains how he and Viive named the filly. “We just googled “Card Queen” and discovered that there was a Japanese play about a young girl who was taught to play cards by her grandmother. The girl became so proficient that nobody could beat her.

“She and her grandmother agreed that should she ever be beaten she would retire immediately and never play cards again. She was referred to as the Card Queen and also known as Karuta Queen. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to ascertain whether she was ever beaten or not. Ironically, our filly, so far, is living up to her name as she is undefeated from 3 starts – but it doesn’t mean she will be retired should she be beaten at any time!”

Glenn’s other purchases last January included a Starcraft filly from August Queen (to be trained by Gary Portelli) and Neville subsequently signed for a colt and a filly by Snitzel from the Arrowfield draft at the Scone Yearling Sale. They joined a group of “about 50 racehorses and youngsters” now owned by the Williamses, and distributed among several Sydney-based trainers, as well as the Layt stable.

Glenn says, “I wasn’t expecting Karuta Queen to do what she’s done, but it shows that a novice like me can still achieve success in racing.”

Asked how the filly pulled up after her Wyong win, Neville Layt says, “Terrific, you wouldn’t know she’d gone around, she’s a lovely filly with a terrific temperament.”

TAB Sportsbet has posted Karuta Queen as the $3.60 favourite for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, with Arrowfield-bred and -sold Snitzel filly Schiffer, a game 2nd in the Wyong race at her debut, on the third line of betting at $9.

Twelve yearlings by Not A Single Doubt are catalogued for the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, including a colt from Tennessee Sunrise in the Arrowfield draft.

Tags: Archive News

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