The woman behind Eduardo

Eduardo & Nash Rawiller aim to extend their 6-from-8 winning record in The Everest. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Trainer Joe Pride and jockey Nash Rawiller have understandably, and deservedly attracted much of the media’s attention on The Star-Arrowfield contender Eduardo in the lead-up to the $15 million The Everest on 16 October.

But if anyone has a bigger claim to the credit for Eduardo, then it’s his breeder, part-owner and number one fan Jane Kaufmann.

Jane lives on a small property at Devon Meadows, 50 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, and leases a nearby 50 acres for her much-loved seven retired horses. Now semi-retired herself, she’s kept the books for several businesses over the years, including a trainer, so as she says, “I know the costs and risks of horse-racing.”

Back in 2006, fate began weaving the threads that would lead to Eduardo.

Jane explains, “Nick Cresci and I worked together at a car-yard, he was the manager and I did the books. One day I went to a horse sale with a friend and ended up buying an in-foal mare called Tootsie Goodbye.”

Nick bought into the resulting foal named Bye Bella, who won three races and was city-placed. After that Jane bought several other mares to breed from and race their progeny with Nick.

Eduardo as a foal with his dam Blushing in 2013. (PHOTO: Jane Kaufmann)

Her most expensive purchase was Blushing, an unraced daughter of Fantastic Light and Lavina Bay (by Dehere), descended from the high-class 1980s filly Avon Angel. 

Offered at the 2010 Inglis Melbourne March Sale by her breeder Bowness Stud, Blushing was in foal to Domesday and bought for $4,000. The resulting foal My Angus showed some ability in an 11-start career, winning a country race and placing at Flemington.

Blushing’s second foal Watch Me Blush (by Redoute’s Choice’s son Keffelstein) won her first race at Pakenham in record time, and placed a couple of times, but her more important role was delaying the career of Eduardo.

Like many small-scale owner-breeders, Jane and Nick couldn’t afford to race many horses at the same time, so it wasn’t until after Watch Me Blush retired in early 2018 Blushing’s four year-old son by Host could be put into training.

Sent to Sarah Zschoke who named him Eduardo, he displayed his ability straight away, winning his debut by six lengths, then again at Sandown by three lengths, before a Group 2 second and claiming the Caulfield Sprint G2 at his fifth start.

His second campaign began with a close third in Booker’s 2019 Oakleigh Plate G1 and two more stakes placings before his form tailed off. It seemed that Eduardo was losing his enthusiasm for racing, but Jane and her daughter Tess, also a competent horsewoman, were having none of it.

Jane Kaufmann with her daughter Tess Reid and grand-daughter Evie. (PHOTO: Jane Kaufmann)

Jane says, “He wasn’t happy, he was bored, and Tess, who’s very observant, thought he just wasn’t right.” Nick was approached by one of Joe Pride’s owners wanting to purchase Eduardo, and they agreed to sell him.

Jane and Nick each sold part of their respective interests in Eduardo to Joe and his clients, and remained in his ownership for a ride that has already fulfilled their wildest racing dreams. The now eight year-old gelding has won five of his 10 starts from the Pride stable, including The Galaxy and the Doomben 10,000 at Group 1 level, earned a ranking as the world’s No. 2 sprinter and pushed his earnings past $2.8 million.

Jane, who lost her mother in early childhood, raised her daughter alone and continues working part-time in her mid-60s, has no regrets. “To me it’s been magnificent, I’m happy with what I got and to see Eduardo so happy is great.”

The pandemic has prevented Jane from being on-course to watch Eduardo, apart from his T.J. Smith third earlier this year, so she will be watching The Everest at home with Tess, son-in-law John Reid, grand-children Evie and Jack. They’ll be surrounded by mementos from Eduardo’s racing career, including his 2019 Everest flag that Jane bought on Ebay.

“We’ll have a bit of decoration, a bit of champagne and a lot of nerves!”

Grateful to The Star and Arrowfield for selecting him to run in this year’s Everest, Jane is confident Eduardo has everything it takes to win the world’s richest turf sprint. “He’s so strong, so sound, so tough and he’s always been smart. And I’m rapt that Nash is on him!”

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