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The Future is Assured

13 February 2024

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Looking back, there’s no doubt that 2023 was a breakout year for Future Assured.

The richly-talented type has proven beyond doubt he’s a topliner who belongs at the elite level of racing.

His body of work is most impressive highlighted by a superb Inter Dominion campaign, which netted an opening night heat victory in 1:51.9. This then left him in a great position to qualify for the $530,000 Grand Final.

Future Assured finished fourth and fifth in his remaining heats, which easily qualified him for the December 16 feature at Albion Park.

He was unplaced yet far from disgraced in the Grand Final, which was brilliantly won by fellow Queensland star Leap To Fame - the country’s premier pacer.

Already in his short yet dynamic career to date, Future Assured boasts six sub 1:52 mile victories.

Prepared by Trent and Crystal Dawson, Future Assured oozes class.

Raced by breeders Kevin and Kay Seymour, the Always B Miki – French Charm (by Art Major) gelding was foaled at Egmont Park Stud, on the famed and hallowed soils of the Darling Downs.

French Charm, a granddaughter of Girl From Ipanema (13 wins from 17 starts), is proving to be a great producer with five winners from six foals to race to date.

Her winners include Feel The Charm (three wins), Frontliner (six wins), Future Assured (14 wins), Free Thinker (seven wins) and Fact Finder (one win from four starts).

So, armed with an immaculate pedigree how did he find his way to the Dawson stables?

The husband-and-wife team had enjoyed success with a pair of Seymour-owned mares in Talent To Spare and Magical Maya, which led to an invitation to attend Egmont Park/Goldrush Lodge to inspect some youngsters.

Trent and Crystal Dawson with their children and Future Assured.

Toby Raeth, private breaker for the Seymours, offered Dawson to drive a batch of youngsters with a view to taking home the one he liked most following a few preparations.

“There were about half-a-dozen to choose from and, although I never sat behind him, he had a certain presence about him. In the end he kind of picked himself,” Dawson said.

“I’d never worked with the progeny of Always B Miki prior to this horse but I was fully aware of his deeds on the racetracks in North America, so I was keen to give him a go. I always liked him, and he hasn’t disappointed me at any stage.”

Future Assured, aka Murphy, raced eight times during his rookie year and netted two victories, both at Albion Park while qualifying for both the QBRED Triad and Breeders Classic Finals.

Time and maturity was always going to be beneficial.

“He’s a cool horse, a very willing type and one that was always going to improve with time on his side. He showed enough during his first season, and I thought he would come back better for his three-year-old campaign,” Dawson said.

“He’s a very fast horse. He returned in sensational form for his three-year-old [year], winning his first two starts that preparation in quick time before running into Captain Shuffles and then being unplaced behind the same horse in the Triad.”

Following a freshen-up, Future Assured returned to his best form with victories in the Group 3 3YO Colts & Geldings Classic, heat of the Peak of the Creek (third in Final) and a QBRED Pace race.

His just completed four-year-old season was his busiest to date. He raced 16 times for seven victories and two placings while amassing just under $140,000 in stakes.

Future Assured takes out victory in the opening night heats of the 2023 Inter Dominion.

As mentioned, the Inter Dominion series was the ultimate test.

The highlight victory came via the Listed $31,160 Be Good Johnny Sprint, defeating the likes of Turn It Up, Blacksdance and Leap To Fame in a time of 1:51.8.

Other highlights include placings in the Queensland Sun and Triad Final while contesting races like the Queensland Cup, The Hayden, Rising Sun, and Patrons Purse.

“Overall, it was a terrific season with plenty of great highlights. I was super proud of how he handled the Inter series because it really took him outside his comfort zone and he had to adapt to different methods of racing and training,” Dawson said.

“We’ve battled away with hoof issues for a while, although the last six months has been really encouraging. I shoe my horses myself and there’s been a fair bit of trial and error involved. He’s got a normal routine; we don’t have a swim, so all the work is done on the track.

“He’s great to have around the stables but oddly, he and Chase (For Real Life) do not get on. It’s like they both know they’re blessed with great ability and they’re vying for the alpha male role within the stable. Chase is a colt while Murph is a gelding. Like I said, they’re an odd couple.”

So, what does 2024 look like for Future Assured?

“The Miracle Mile is a priority although we’re fully aware that Leap To Fame is also headed in that direction. I’m thinking of getting him back within his comfort zone and we all know how explosive he is over the sprint trips," Dawson said.

“As a four-year-old we had endless opportunities and now, as a five-year-old, he’s right in the deep end. The Constellations during the winter is another likely target, with the Sunshine Sprint a key event. But we will get through his first interstate trip first and then reassess.

“As a result of Murphy, Crystal and I bred a mare to Always B Miki last year. The mare is bred on a very similar cross, so here’s hoping lightning can strike twice.”

Sounds like 2024 is going to be a busy time for the Dawsons given For Real Life is being aimed at several features, both locally and interstate.