Success as an owner doesn’t always translate to success as a breeder and vendor, but David Kobritz, who raced Danzero and Subzero, has done it at Musk Creek Farm. The boutique operation on Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula has quickly notched up more than 20 black type graduates, including champion Pierro and Listed winners Dead Or Alive and Pinch River from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale. Their 13-lot 2017 consignment includes Dundeel’s top-priced weanling, Lot 709, the $240,000 colt out of Cerberus Gal, a city-winning, Group-placed daughter of General Nediym. Farm Manager Darren Mackereth explains why they bought him:
“First of all, the pedigree must match our criteria enough to make our shortlist, but I liked the cross over a speed dam-line, and as my boss David won a Golden Slipper with Danzero, it didn’t hurt to look down the page and see his name!
“For me personally, I want any weanling or horse to come out of the stable and have an “X factor” or a presence, I like to see them relaxed and comfortable with standing still. Temperament is key, then once they do move they need to have drive and overstep, a looseness when they move and be soft over the ground. If they have that as a weanling, they rarely lose it and this colt has all these things in spades.”
The six months leading into the sale preparation is a crucial stage of development and Darren monitors all the Musk Creek yearlings very closely during that period.
He says, “The Cerberus Gal colt has developed well – our winters can be long and a bit tough, and combined with the farm’s undulating country, it’s testing, but it makes horses out of them and keeps their growth and weight in check.
“He’s thrived during sales prep so far and is really growing and developing now, though he’s a while away from peaking yet with mid-January in mind, and is still changing his coat and losing hair. He enjoys his work, handles it well so far and always eats up, something I like to see in a young horse.”
Darren admits that Dundeel wasn’t initially on his radar as a pinhook sire. “But in saying that, we seek out good types, that are athletic and a racehorse, and he was all three, and then some. We saw quite a few by Dundeel at the sales this year, but the Cerberus Gal colt was the standout for us and the one we wanted to take home, so we went about securing him.”
The rest of the Musk Creek Magic Millions yearlings are also coming along nicely, among them a colt (Lot 684) and a filly (Lot 40) by barnmates of Dundeel.
Darren reports, “We’re all very impressed with a home-bred Snitzel colt out of a nice young mare Brandish. He was a cracking foal and is developing into a powerful jump-and-run type with plenty of quality about him.
“The other is a precocious Not A Single Doubt filly, also a home-bred, who is a half-sister to the Tony McEvoy-trained colt Nistaan, a fast-finishing second in the Magic Millions Clockwise two-year-old race at Ballarat. He’s now heading to Sydney for a run and then maybe up to the Gold Coast if all goes well. The filly is a relaxed customer, nothing fazes her, and like most by Not A Single Doubt, she does well on very little feed!”
The sale-ring provided a major highlight for Musk Creek this year when the Stratum half-sister to Sunday evening’s valiant Hong Kong Sprint G1 runner-up Lucky Bubbles, out of resident mare Bubble Below, was knocked down for $400,000 to Debbie Kepitis’ Woppitt Bloodstock & Guy Mulcaster at the Inglis Easter Sale.
Darren explains, “She was my favourite filly and it was only our second year selling a draft at Easter. She’ll get every chance with Chris Waller and his team.”
Other successful Musk Creek graduates include Group 2 winner Nicoscene, Moonee Valley speedster Beach Front and Group 1 winner Rock Kingdom who is now enjoying a new life in Darren’s care. “He’s here at Musk Creek but not retired, as he’s now my show-jumper and he loves it.”