(November 13, 2017)
Trial win for son of Prodigal Seelster
Prodigal Seelster's first crop of 2-year-olds numbers just 16, but a few of them have already started making a big splash with their trainers.
Stephen Boyd took his two Prodigal Seelster babies off the place for the first time two days ago, lining up the gelding Ive Already Told You and filly Vi Lee in a juvenile trial at Motukarara, and they walked away with almost the perfect result after running first and third respectively.
"I led up on my guy and the filly ran home nice from back on the fence," Stephen reported, adding that Jeremy Markham partnered the latter for him.
Ive Already Told You won the mobile mile Heat "quite easily" in 2:07.3, sprinting home in 59.9 and 29.1 to score by half a length.
"They're both big, strong horses; really powerfully-built, and good looking types too.
"In fact, Jimmy Curtin drove another one in the Heat for me and couldn't believe that my guy was only two - he reckoned it looked like a 4-year-old!
"They're both going to take a wee bit of time, due to their size, but Ive Already Told You should make a beaut 3-year-old and Vi Lee might even target the Young Guns Series in Auckland this season yet."
Next up for Stephen's pair of Prodigals is a qualifying trial at Ashburton a week tomorrow, and he's expecting them to both get their tickets.
"We went 2:07 at Motukarara, so I think they'll quite comfortably run about two minutes around Ashburton," he said.
"And what I also like about them is that I know they'll improve a lot more yet."
Stephen's heard through the grapevine that there could be some 2-year-old events programmed at Addington sometime next month, so if they end up getting off the ground then he says his two Prodigals are definite candidates.
Highly regarded as a conditioner of young equine talent, every season Stephen gets asked to break in and educate dozens of horses for outside stables including the powerful All Stars barn of Mark Purdon's and Natalie Rasmussen's.
And of the 30+ 2-year-olds he's handled so far this year, he says his two Prodigal Seelsters are "right up there, in the top half of them at least".
Ive Already Told You (out of the racewinning Jenna's Beach Boy mare Braithwaite) and Vi Lee (a daughter of Holmes Hanover mare Mackles Creek, 3 wins) continued the encouraging start made by Prodigal Seelster with his first crop, because this sire has now had a trio of triallists and all three have run in the money.
Boulton Home was the first to step out, making an appearance at Ashburton on October 31.
A son of Lordship's Falcon and thus a half-brother to four winners including Crystal Star (11 wins), Boulton Home got a bit overawed by the whole occasion but still managed to run third in his three-horse Heat, albeit some distance from the winner.
Prodigal's first crop about to turn two
The fast-approaching 2017/18 Season is going to be an exciting one for goStallions, because it'll the mark the 'coming of age' of Prodigal Seelster's first crop.
Our son of Camluck's oldest progeny will turn two on August 1. There may only be 16 of them, but if the various opinions about these youngsters are anything to go by then there's some bright futures ahead.
(co-breeder of a colt out of Pocket Salli and a filly out of She Has The Look)
"I just love them and can't fault either of them," Tracie said.
"The filly was only in the cart a couple of days and flicked into a pace straight away.
"She's very tall with fine, long legs but she's a beautiful pacer - nothing like her mother, who wore spreaders and was hard to gait up even as a 3-year-old.
"No, she's just a wee dream and I absolutely love her."
As enthusiastic as Tracie is about this filly, it's her other yearling by Prodigal Seelster who's putting even more of a glint in her eyes.
"The colt is just stunning," she said.
"He's got a big, broad chest on him and is much bigger and stronger than the other one.
"Yeah he's huge, but not in an oversized way - everything's in proportion.
"And he's so elegant around the paddock, he just holds his tail up and covers the ground so quickly.
"He's had all the gear on and been long-reined, and next month I'll bring him back in again and start breaking him in.
"He looks like he'll gait up perfectly."
(co-breeder of Boulton Home, a colt out of Lordship's Falcon)
"He was born on December 24 so is a late foal, but he's doing brilliant - we may end up trying him as a 2-year-old," Michele said.
"He's a nice, compact horse who's just a natural and is doing everything right.
"We've got him in work at the moment and he's pacing beautifully, plus he's got an impeccable nature.
"Nope, no issues whatsoever... easy, easy as. He's a really nice colt."
Michele and her partner Lindsay Boulton also bred Lordship's Falcon back to Prodigal Seelster the following season, and having since foaled a filly the mare has now given the Oxford couple a 'pigeon pair'.
"She's huge," Michele said affectionately.
"These Prodigal Seelsters - from the day you first put them in the cart, they're dead straight."
(co-breeder of Short Hand, a filly out of Karpetorme)
"I couldn't want for any more in a horse," Merv said.
"She's a pretty good size and is very leggy, but she's just so obliging and is a very nice pacer to handle.
"We've got a qualified 3-year-old out of the same mare, but this one would be half a hand bigger than her already."
Short Hand has also done educational stints with Invercargill horsemen Carl Hanna and Austin Stack along the way, and Merv and his partner Karen Birch are looking forward to getting her back in again for another campaign next month.
"She really is a lovely filly," Merv continued.
"You can do just anything with her, she's so willing.
"And when she's in the cart, the one thing she wants to do is run - she definitely knows what she's out there for.
"If we had another mare, we'd certainly breed back to Prodigal Seelster."
(breeder of Runover, a colt out of Twitch)
"He broke in very well," John said.
"He's a nice pacer, was easy to gait, is sensible and a quick learner.
Runover has been out for six weeks, and in a month John will bring him back in again for another stint in the cart.
"He's done exceptionally well during his break," John continued.
"We haven't sped him up enough yet to know what sort of ability he's got, but he's certainly got the body to be a 2-year-old prospect."
John bred another one of his mares (Beardsley) to Prodigal Seelster the following season, the result of which is a filly whose physique also impresses him.
"She'd be the strongest foal I've got on the place," he said.
Off to a steady start
Despite there being a plethora of stallion choices for broodmare owners last season, Prodigal Seelster still managed to attract 20 bookings so he's underway.
It might've been because of his stunning physique, or the fact that he's a son of Camluck and performed with great distinction on the racetrack himself before having to retire, or due to the unique goStallions offer which allows breeders to 'pay nothing' until the resulting progeny qualifies.
Or, all of these put together.
Whatever the reasons, Prodigal Seelster was well-received by the enthusiasts who sent mares to him.
Don't worry if you missed out either, because we're repeating the same offer again in the 2015/16 season.
The key to any sire's success is numbers on the ground, so goStallions will be doing everything we can to ensure that Prodigal Seelster gets the chance to prove his worth.