IMAGINE a volatile mix of pride, passion and joy all jumbled together in the euphoria of Group 1 success. Then multiply it three times by owning three Derby winners in three states.
Prominent Queensland owners Graham and Linda Huddy have done just that. Firstly with Shoot Out who won the AJC Derby (2400m) at Randwick in 2010. Next came Preferment who won the VRC Derby (2500m) at Flemington in 2014 for a syndicate which included the Huddys, and the treble was completed last Saturday, May 13, when Volatile Mix won the South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville, Adelaide.
Shoot Out and Preferment were both yearling purchases but Volatile Mix has the added distinction of being the first ‘home-bred’ Group 1 winner bred and raced by the Huddys who base their breeding operations at Peachester Lodge in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Their only other home-bred black type winner has been 3YO gelding Silvera (High Chaparral/Silver Tiara) who won a Listed race in Adelaide last September for trainer Tony McEvoy.
All three Derby winners were conceived in New Zealand. Shoot Out was foaled on the Darling Downs at Neville Stewart’s Oaklands Stud and sold at the Gold Coast. Preferment was bred, raised and sold in New Zealand and arrived in Sydney as a late 2YO to be trained by Chris Waller while Volatile Mix was also foaled and raised in New Zealand before being sent to Darren Weir’s Ballarat stables as a young 2YO. The main reason Volatile Mix is called a ‘home-bred’ is because the Huddys sent their New Zealand-bred mare Utopia back to New Zealand to be mated with Pentire.
Opinions differ and heated arguments often occur when trying to apportion success to bloodlines or environment so it’s appropriate the Huddys named their Pentire colt Volatile Mix. But that’s not the reason for the name. Instead, with his sire Pentire, maternal grandsire High Chaparral and maternal great grandsire Zabeel all noted for ‘fizzy’ temperaments, Linda Huddy thought “that’s a volatile mix” and hence the name.
Formerly based in Mount Isa when they ran an earthmoving contracting business, Graham and Linda Huddy achieved national prominence when they paid $15,000 for a first crop yearling colt by High Chaparral from the Pentire mare Pentamerous at the 2008 Magic Millions yearling sale. Earlier that year, they paid $170,000 for a High Chaparral/Joie De Vivre filly at the New Zealand Premier yearling sale.
The Magic Millions colt named Shoot Out went to local Gold Coast trainer John Wallace who prepared him to win seven races in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne including the prestigious Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and the Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick. Shoot Out was then transferred Sydney trainer Chris Waller who won a further three Group 1 races with him in Sydney. On his retirement to Peachester Lodge in September 2013, his race record read 37 starts for 10 wins, 11 placings and more than $3.2 million prizemoney. Sadly, Shoot Out’s retirement was short-lived as he died from a suspected colic attack in January this year.
The New Zealand filly named Utopia was given to John Sargent at Matamata. Under his care the filly raced five times as a 3YO for a win but, more importantly, earned black type with a second in the Group 3 Manawatu Classic for 3YO fillies. Utopia was then transferred to John Wallace (Gold Coast) who prepared her for a win and another two more placings from 11 starts.
Having retired her, the Huddys then faced the issue of choosing a stallion for her first mating. Based on the success of the High Chaparral/Pentire cross that produced Shoot Out, the Huddys decided why not try the reverse Pentire/High Chaparral cross.
So back to New Zealand she went with a resultant colt foal produced in September 2013. The mare stayed in New Zealand to be mated to Pins and subsequently delivered a filly foal in Australia. Her Pentire colt was left to grow-out in New Zealand and arrived back in Australia as an early 2YO.
When it came time to race, Ballarat trainer Darren Weir was a ‘natural fit’ for their Pentire galloper after Weir and jockey Michelle Payne achieved international acclaim eight months earlier when the Pentire gelding Prince of Pezance won the 2015 Melbourne Cup. Weir has started Volatile Mix nine times for three wins and two placings for $423,750 earnings. The Huddy/Weir association goes back four to five years. While Volatile Mix is the most notable winner, 6YO gelding Try Four (Fastnet Rock/Allow) has shown his versatility by winning on the flat and over hurdles including a last start Novice Hurdle win during the recent Warnambool carnival.
A blood sister to Group 2 winner Show The World (High Chaparral), Utopia is from Joie De Vivre (Zabeel). A winner of five races, she a sister to dual Group 1winner Bazelle (also the dam of Show The World) and a half-sister to Barbie’s Game (Comeram) – dam of Listed winner and Caulfield Cup runner-up Lisa’s Game (Umatilla). This is also the family of champion 1970s filly Toy Show whose dazzling speed carried her to victory in four Group 1 races – namely the STC Golden Slipper, AJC Sires' Produce Stakes, VATC 1,000 Guineas and VRC Newmarket Handicap.
National Yearling Sale catalogue now online
THE catalogue for the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Yearling Sale to be held from June 6 to 8 is now online at magicmillions.om.au.
With 584 lots, the auction will boast progeny by a record 130 individual stallions including 20 first season sires.
The National Yearling Sale has established itself as one of the best value in the region with graduates having won races including the Golden Slipper, Victoria Derby, KrisFlyer International Sprint, Kelt Capital Stakes, Oakleigh Plate, Australian Oaks, Dubai Golden Shaheen and Rosehill Guineas.
All but six of the catalogued lots are eligible to be paid up for the $11million Magic Millions Race Series while the majority also qualify for rich state based bonus schemes.
Book One of the sale will be held on June 6 and 7 with Book Two on June 8, followed on the final day by the National Racehorse Sale. The catalogue is also available for download via the Equineline iPad app.