Global powerhouses join forces at Saratoga

Michael Wallace: looking forward to offspring of Australia

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Global powerhouses join forces at Saratoga By Michele MacDonald 2:28PM 10 AUG 2016

CHINA HORSE CLUB, which in just a few years has risen to become a global powerhouse at thoroughbred auctions worldwide, continued to flex its buying muscles at Fasig-Tipton.

Following a past practice, the China Horse Club will rely on partners with at least some of the purchases, including a $650,000 Uncle Mo colt acquired jointly with Coolmore’s MV Magnier, said agent Michael Wallace, who has handled much of the club’s purchases around the globe.

Although limiting the number of their acquisitions, Coolmore were also prominent during the session. In addition to the Uncle Mo colt, Magnier joined with Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables on the session-topping $950,000 Pioneerof The Nile colt, a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Ocean Knight.

Both Wallace and John Moynihan, Banke’s agent, said they have enjoyed success while partnering with Coolmore.

“He’s a colt by a stallion who we haven’t seen one quite like in a long, long time. He handled the week well and he vetted well, so we’re happy to get him,” Wallace said of the bay Uncle Mo colt out of the Hennessy mare Gypsy Sage.

“We’ve got a number of horses in Ireland with Coolmore. We had a champion three-year-old, Australia, who’s at stud now with lovely foals, so we’ve had a good bit of success. We’re hopeful that one day this horse will wind up in the stud barn at Coolmore too,” Wallace added.

“We have quite a few,” Moynihan said of Stonestreet’s partnerships with Coolmore. “We have some in Australia and some here; I don’t know the exact number. We’ve had a lot of luck together. We won the maiden here on Saturday [with a colt by The Factor named Fact Finding, a 350,000gns Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up purchase] and we own [Grade 2 winner] Stanford together. It works.”

Coincidentally, Stonestreet has also partnered with China Horse Club on some young horses in Australia, Wallace said, a reflection of how large racing entities are attempting to increase their chances of success while limiting costs.

China Horse Club’s most expensive purchase in the opening Saratoga session was a $750,000 Tapit colt who is a half-brother to Coolmore-raced Grade 2 winner Corfu, and that colt also could be raced in partnership, Wallace said after signing the ticket while sitting adjacent to WinStar Farm owner Kenny Troutt.

Neither Troutt nor Wallace said they knew if the colt would be owned jointly under an already active programme China Horse Club has with WinStar that has included acquisitions in both the US and Australia.

“I’m really happy to have him,” Wallace said of the grey son of Tapit, whose dam, the Forest Wildcat mare Fashion Cat, is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Peace Rules.

“He’s going to race in America; as to who trains him, that will be a decision for further down the track,” Wallace said, adding when asked about the possibility of a partnership with WinStar: “We’ll see how things go. He’s a lovely horse and that’s something we’ll work out as the days pass.”

China Horse Club currently has 30 juveniles in training in the US in its first group of American-based runners and already has enjoyed a pair of promising winners at Saratoga racecourse in partnership with WinStar.

These are Theory, a son of WinStar stallion Gemologist and a $335,000 two-year-old purchase, and One Liner, a son of Into Mischief. Both colts are trained by Todd Pletcher, who also handles Fact Finding for Coolmore and Stonestreet.

Other purchases during the opening Saratoga session made in the name of China Horse Club were a $500,000 Tapit filly out of Grade 3 winner New Normal; a $250,000 son of WinStar stallion Super Saver from the family of Grade 1 winners Swagger Jack and Malibu Prayer; and a $150,000 Malibu Moon colt.

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