Tait on hand to see his colt make $300,000
Olly Tait (right): bred the Scat Daddy colt out of Batalha
PICTURE: RP GRAPHICS Tait on hand to see his colt make $300,000
By Michele MacDonald 2:40PM 13 SEP 2016
AS THE former chief operating officer of Darley, Olly Tait has been involved with racing at the highest levels around the world, but the Australian native who now lives in England has a special interest in the sport in America.
Tait and his wife, Amber, both were on hand when Keeneland's September Yearling Sale got underway in Lexington on Monday, but not just as onlookers. They were there to watch a colt they bred by the late Scat Daddy go through the ring.
The next to last yearling in the sale's initial session, the rugged chestnut consigned by Blandford Stud as hip 200 drew a final bid of $300,000, the second highest price for an offspring of the sire during the day. The colt is set to be exported for racing in Japan by buyer Capital System Co. Ltd.
"Today was a good result," Tait said. "I bought the mare carrying that foal, so I got a good result first time around."
The mare, Batalha, by Smart Strike, is a stakes-placed half-sister to multiple Grade 2 winner and sire Strong Contender, and her third dam is Argentine Group 1 heroine Eterna Fe. Through Gatewood Bell's Cromwell Bloodstock, Tait paid $180,000 for the mare at the 2015 Keeneland January Mixed Sale.
Batalha is one of six mares Tait boards in the United States, three with Padraig Campion at Blandford and three with Joe Seitz at Brookdale Farm.
"I've got a good relationship with both those guys, and I naturally take a keen interest in the horses. And I really enjoy racing and breeding in America – I think it's so exciting," said Tait, who has campaigned his homebred three-year-old gelding by City Zip, The Zip Zip Man, with trainer Michael Stidham. The Zip Zip Man won his debut and finished second in the Colin Stakes at Woodbine last year, and has finished second twice in three starts this year.
In addition to his mares in America, Tait said he keeps two mares in England at Andreas Jacobs' Newsells Park Stud.
Since leaving Darley in November 2014 after 15 years of service, Tait has been working in various consulting capacities. One of his primary clients is Aushorse, the marketing organisation for Australian racing, for which he is listed as the American and European consultant.
Currently a resident of Newmarket, Tait plans to attend the three sessions of Keeneland's Book 1 prior to a visit with friends in New York. He intends to return for the second session of Book 2, when his bay colt by Elusive Quality out of a granddaughter of Razyana, the dam of Danehill, will be offered as Hip 1074 by Blandford Stud.
That colt is a brother to The Amber Fort, a colt Tait and his wife sold for $100,000 to Blandford Bloodstock at Keeneland last year and who won a maiden race at Wolverhampton last month for Rachel Hood and Elaine Lawlor and trainer John Gosden.
Tait, who was given credit by John Ferguson for having a major influence in the development of Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock businesses in Japan and Australia prior to moving first to Kentucky and later to Newmarket, said his Darley experience has aided him as he forges his own way.
"I've been fortunate, because of my old job, that I've gotten involved with the business around the world," Tait reflected.