By Andrew Adermann
It was a thrilling winter for two of Queensland’s homegrown stars, with Rothfire and Tyzone both enjoying Group 1 success.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a restructured winter program with only two Group 1 races on offer, and both were snapped up by born-and bred-Queenslanders.
The Robert Heathcote-trained Rothfire started the day in dominant fashion, scorching the field to claim the JJ Atkins, before Tyzone went one better on his 2019 Stradbroke Handicap placing by securing a maiden Group 1 for Team Edmonds.
As a part of QTISx, connections of both champs have elected to take a cumulative $100,000 sales voucher that can be can be redeemed on a QTIS eligible horse at four prescribed Queensland sales.
The scheme is designed to incentivise Queensland owners and recognise the invaluable role played by our breeders within the Sunshine State, and both groups of connections have confirmed their intention to re-invest back in the industry.
Alan Perry has owned horses for close to four decades, however none have compared to his maiden Group 1 winner in Rothfire.
“I was just ecstatic, I even said it on Facebook it was the best day of my life that I’ve had in horse racing and I’ve been in racing for 35 years,” Perry said.
“We were yelling and cheering and the celebrations started instantly.
“The other owners are excellent people, a really good bunch of people and we are all just so happy with what Rothfire has achieved.”
The vast majority of Rothfire’s owners chose to take the sales voucher over the cash bonus as a part of the QTISx incentives, and Alan highlighted the support it gives to the state’s racing industry as the primary reason for doing so.
“It’s a great incentive to put back in to racing and it just keeps the industry going,” Perry said.
“Especially for the breeding industry, it’s a really positive scheme to invest back into with having the voucher option.
“It’s an absolute no-brainer that this is a fantastic scheme and a really positive step for supporting the state.
Perry’s sentiments were echoed by Gerhard Posselt, a part-owner of Stradbroke winner and ‘Tolga Tornado’, Tyzone.
Tyzone’s win in this year’s Group 1 came after a second placing in last year’s iteration of the race, and the North Queensland native could not have been prouder for what he and fellow connections have achieved.
“I just felt for the horse to be honest, he just tries every start and he hadn’t won a race for 12 months or so and ran second in the Stradbroke last year,” Posselt said.
“He was looking really promising and was finishing off every run really well so the 1400 was ideal, it was just awesome and so exciting.
“When he peeled out around the turn I could see he was coming and thought he’ll either just win or just lose and as it turns out he got there in the nick of time.
“I was working for Roy (Chillemi) when he first bought Tyzone and I used to lead him into his races when he was still up here, he’s just a terrific little horse.”
Posselt has always been an avid horse owner, and says that the QTISx incentives are a fantastic way that the Queensland racing industry encourages its current owners to continually re-invest back.
“It was an easy choice for me, because I always like to have a share in a horse each year so I thought that was definitely the option for me,” he said.
“I enjoy going to the sale and may even choose to buy one on my own and can get him a little cheaper as a result of the QTISx voucher – hopefully I can find one a tenth as good as Tyzone!
“Especially now, with everyone doing it a bit tough as a result of COVID-19, I think it’s really important that we can re-invest back into the industry and support the breeders.
“The QTISx incentives are a fantastic initiative for the industry, it makes you want to re-invest in the industry as opposed to looking at tried and tested horses.
“The young horses for me are the way to go because of the QTIS prizemoney that is on offer.”