Matamata trainer Graham Richardson spotted a “must have” filly at the 2013 Karaka premier yearling sale and he put more than his judgement on the line.
He also put his finances on the line as he bid $250,000 to secure lot 364 without any confirmed owners to help foot the bill.
“I’ve never spent that kind of money on a horse before,” Richardson said. “But you’ve got to have a go in this game.”
But he had an inkling the move was a winning one when he first asked the Onemorenomore filly for a serious effort on the training track.
In the meantime he had syndicated the daughter of Spurcent among the stable faithful and they were ready to celebrate when their talented two-year-old, named Purcentage, won impressively on debut at Avondale yesterday.
Punters were well aware of her talent. They had spotted her winning three trials, two last September and one two weeks ago, by a collective 11 lengths and they installed her as a $1.80 favourite and she never looked like letting them down.
Fresh from a month enjoying the northern summer in Ireland and Spain, jockey Craig Grylls jumped Purcentage from the gates in front and, despite being challenged by a couple of lesser mortals, settled well and was always travelling comfortably and eased away to win by nearly four lengths.
“I thought the horses outside of me would go around and lead,” Grylls said. “When they didn’t I was able to settle and get some soft sectionals and she was strong on the line.
“She’s very, very smart this filly. I’d say she has a very good future.”
While admitting to a touch of relief after the win, Richardson echoed Grylls’ assessment.
“She’s a natural,” he said. “She’s got a lot of ability, she’s a big girl and has needed a bit of time and that’s why I spelled her after her first two trials, I really like her.”
Her immediate target is the $50,000 Listed Ryder Stakes at Otaki on July 26 where she will be joined by stablemate, Nectacolecta, winner of the two-year-old race at Te Teko last week.
Between those two fillies Richardson deals with around 30 individual owners in the two syndicates but says that’s all part of the job.
“You’ve got to have horses in the stable and in the last few years Rochelle [Richardson’s wife] and I have decided to go out and buy quality yearlings to syndicate.
“So many nice horses have slipped through our fingers over the years because they were beyond our budget and we got sick of coming second. We do our homework and have bought some lovely horses in recent times.”
Last summer they boosted their stocks with 13 yearlings including their second highest outlay behind Purcentage, an O’Reilly filly for $150,000 from Waikato Stud.