By Duane Ranger
Colt Thirty One’s Swan Hill Cup victory on Friday night was tinged with sadness.
A day before the reigning Queensland Horse-of-the-Year won the $35,000 Group Three event, his mother, Charm Personified, passed away.
The death of the 19-year-old Perfect Art mare came a day (October 23) after she gave birth to her 11th foal, a Sweet Lou colt.
Peter Bell, of Egmont Park Stud, said the birth went well and both Mum and her baby were progressing until she passed away the following morning.
“The colt is progressing well and we are feeding him every two hours by bucket. We have done this before and are sure he will grow into a healthy weanling and then yearling. In saying that though - we have had a month to forget,” Bell said.
By that he meant, Charm Personified was the third death that Egmont Park had encountered in recent weeks.
Their stunning stallion Hurrikane Kingcole, was found dead in his paddock on October 8, and just recently they lost a well-bred Gotta Go Cullect colt.
“We are hoping bad luck comes in threes – and that’s it for us. At least Charm Personified’s breed will carry on,” he said.
He said daughters of the former Queensland Broodmare-of-the-Year were producing some nice foals.
For example, her fourth foal, the 2009 eighteen-win ($266,329) daughter of Mr Feelgood – Charming Allie – had left a Captain Treacherous 2-year-old colt, and a Bettor’s Delight yearling filly.
“Both are doing well. Charm Personified herself still has some nice babies like an American ideal yearling colt, and a Mr Feelgood 2-year-old filly, who is now with Peter McMullen.”
Charm Personified’s best racehorse – foal number seven, Colt Thirty One, won Friday’s Swan Hill Cup as the $3.20 second favourite.
“He raced really well and will now have a couple of more starts before heading to New Zealand later next month for the Inter Dominions. I was pleased with the run, but the fields will be much tougher in Auckland,” trainer/driver Grant Dixon warned.
And after making a promise on Melbourne radio on Thursday, Colt Thirty One’s owner and breeder, Kevin Seymour had to shout the bar at Swan Hill Raceway after the 5-year-old son of Mach Three won by a head.
Colt Thirty One, who drew six of six, came from back in the field to win the 2,790m mobile in 3:23.7 (mile rate 1:57.5). His sectionals were 29.3, 29.1, 26.8, and 28.7.
It was Colt Thirty One’s 33rd win in 49 starts. He’s also placed 11 times and now banked $771,756 in purses.
Seymour had this to say about the race:
“That was a very ‘cool’ drive. He’s a really good horse. I can’t wait to get to the Inter Dominions.”
Meanwhile, Dixon also won the feature Open Pace at Albion Park on Saturday night, with smart 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere mare, Eleniark. It was her 22nd career win ($191,651) since her debut second at Albion Park on May 27, 2016.
She got the chocolates by half a head from The Bus, and paced the 2,138m mobile in 2:33.2 (mile rate 1:55.3). her sectionals were 30.9, 28.3, 27.8, and 27.9.
“She’s been a good horse all the way through for us and has taken the next step up to open company for us. I think she will only need a bit of luck to go okay in the forthcoming Summer Carnival. She showed a bit of fight to hold them out tonight,” Dixon said immediately after the $14,120 Remembering Keen Edge Open Pace.
PRAISE FOR QBRED BONUS INITIATIVE:
Another highlight was Fortyeighthenson’s 17th career victory in the ninth race – the $13,000 Pryde’s Easifeed Pace.
The 7-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven and Chris Geary held on to beat Hard To Hear by a head, and in doing so won a $10,000 QBRED bonus for his first win in Queensland.
Trainer Brian McCall has praised the QBRED initiative saying it gave older horses like Fortyeighthenson the desire to race on and even compete inter-state.
“My older brother, Darren, did all the work with him at Menangle and I’m his caretaker trainer up here in Churchable. He’s had four starts up here this campaign, and he accomplished his mission, which was to nail the QBRED bonus.
“I can’t speak highly enough of it. If it wasn’t up for grabs, he probably wouldn’t have come back here to race. Racing Queensland needs to be applauded for the initiative and for enticing horses from other states to race here,” McCall said.
“He will race again at Redcliffe on Saturday, and that track should suit him because he’s used to racing on the smaller tracks like Penrith and Bankstown,” he added.
McCall said the win was also a sentimental one.
“Fortyeighthenson was bred by the late Billy Hill, who only passed away a month or so a go, so that win was for him too. He was a great old fella who really loved the horse.
“I’d known Billy for as long as I’ve been here (about 20 years). He knew how to breed a horse all right. Millionaire pacer, Fleur De Lil (Armbro Operative – French Flair – Preux Chevalier) was one of his best. She won 39 races. I certainly miss him,” McCall said.
The 7-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven and Save Me Christian (by Christian Cullen) was sold to Gary Watkins at the 2014 APG Sale in Brisbane for $51,000.
He has now won 17 of his 127 starts and placed 29 times for $105,679. He collected $7,646 as well as his $10,000 bonus for his victory on Saturday.
Since coming north Fortyeighthenson has recorded a win, a second, an eighth, and a ninth.
“He’s a real credit to my brother. It was a smart business decision bring him home to Queensland. He has come through the race real well. We got home late on Saturday, and he licked his plate clean, and was ready to go again,” said McCall, who currently works a team of four in the Lockyer Valley.