By Duane Ranger
For 36 years Queensland Harness Racing Hall-of-Famers, Noel and Christine Denning, have thought nothing of getting up every day at 4am to tend to their standardbreds at Burwood Stud.
The Pittsworth couple, who were inducted into the Hall-of-Fame in 2015, quietly go about their business just waiting for days like this Sunday (January 27) to arrive at Brisbane's Albion Park.
That’s when the first of four annual APG Yearling Sales will be staged. The other three in Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth, will be held on Feb 3, March 3, and March 10 respectively.
“Christine and I are a no fuss couple. We like to get on with our work without accolades, but we have to admit this Sunday is why we breed horses.
“We love the game and enjoy running Burwood Stud with our two sons, Daniel and Jonathon,” 62-year- old Denning (Noel) said.
Burwood Stud will have two of their own yearlings up for sale, and will also represent another 13 of their clients. They are:
Lot 1: An Artspeak – Walking On Air filly.
Lot 44: A He's Watching – Tout Le Monde colt.
Lot 3: A Grinfromeartoear – Arks Crystal colt.
Lot 18: An Art Major – English Elegant colt.
Lot 19: A MachThree – Joy To Behold filly.
Lot 21: An Art Major – Find Fake Cash colt.
Trevor & Louise O'Reilly
Lot 12: A Western Terror – Doubting Darcey filly.
Lot 15: An Art Major – Empty Promises colt.
Lot 36: A Rock N Roll Heaven - Shesgotmegood filly.
Lot 41: A Sunshine Beach – Teams up filly.
Lot 24: A Mr Feelgood – Goldplay filly.
Lot 27: A Hurrikane Kingcole – Left Dancing colt.
Lot 6: A Roll With Joe – Blue Eyed Suzie colt.
Lot 9: A Bettor’s Delight – Courageous Annie colt.
Lot 32: A Roll With Joe – Save Me Christian filly.
A total of 46 yearlings will be up for grabs and there are a few which have really taken Denning’s eye.
“I don’t like singling any one horse out because there are always surprises, but I really like the colt (Lot 44) out of the New Zealand mare, Tout Le Monde (by Mach Three), who we bought in 2014," he said.
“She left two foals in New Zealand and the first foal we bred from her fetched $65,000 at the 2016 APG Sale. Her name was For All We Know (by Art Major) and she's gone on to win two of her eight starts including the (Group 3) APG 2yo Fillies Final at Melton last April.
“We are really hoping the He's Watching colt out of her can give us a similar or better result.”
He also made mention of Lots 3, 6 and 15.
“Lot 3's grand-dam (Joan Of Ark), was a former Broodmare-of-the-Year, while Lot 6 is a real nice colt. Even though he’s not big he already looks like, the type who will race well early,” Denning said.
“I’m also expecting Lot 15 to sell well. He’s out of Empty Promises (by As Promised), who won nine races. Her second foal, Jossie James (By Big Jim) has so far won 12 times and amassed more than $100,000.”
Denning said he had loved standardbreds for much of his life and decided to get into breeding in 1982.
“We managed to secure horses off John Gibson and Lawson Coburn in the early 1980s and by 1983 we were selling our first yearlings at the Sales,” he said.
“We have been associated with some nice horses over the years, but our stallion, Cammibest Best (by Cambest) is one I’ll always treasure.
“We shuttled him to and from America and he’s still producing 2-year-old winners.
“Christine and I really love the APG Sales. You get three bites at the cherry with all the bonus incentives that are up for grabs for yearling’s that go through the Sales. We can’t wait.”
The four APG Sales to be staged in January, February, and March are:
Brisbane - Sunday January 27 at Albion Park starting at 12 noon.
Melbourne – Sunday February 3 at Oakland’s Junction starting at 11am.
Sydney – Sunday March 3 at Warwick Farm at 11am.
Perth – Sunday March 10 at the State Equestrian Center at 1pm.