Early run the right recipe for Ramage’s new stock - DGR Thoroughbred Services

Early run the right recipe for Ramage’s new stock

for Ramage’s new stock

Earl Of Devon (NZ) as a yearling | Image courtesy of New Zealand Bloodstock
Earl Of Devon (NZ) as a yearling | Image courtesy of New Zealand Bloodstock

While Earl Of Devon (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) may have a ‘slim’ winning chance on debut in Saturday’s G3 Schweppervescence S. at Rosehill, the outcome won’t worry Duncan Ramage, with the astute agent banking on a proven formula.

Trained by John Thompson, the Brendan and Jo Lindsay-bred Earl Of Devon will don the famed Think Big Stud silks after earning himself an ‘educational’ trip to the races off the back of two ‘satisfactory’ trials at Randwick over 780-metres and 1050-metres respectively.

“He’s had two nice enough trials against much speedier bred opposition, and he’s acquitted himself satisfactory enough to go to the races and it will do him the world of good,” Ramage told TDN AusNZ.

“We’ve got Hugh Bowman riding so we will get good feedback and the horse will learn a lot. He’s not going to be the worst horse in the race and while you may not be reading about him after the race (on Saturday), in his career, we feel that you will be.”

Although it’d be foolish to suggest Earl Of Devon could scale anywhere near the lofty heights reached by Ramage’s Hall of Fame purchases Saintly (Sky Chase {NZ}) and So You Think (NZ), the talented juvenile will replicate the star gallopers by getting a run or two under his belt before targeting bigger prizes in his 3-year-old season and beyond.

Ramage said the NZ$230,000 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale purchase, which he secured in partnership with John Thompson from the draft of Cambridge Stud, doesn’t profile as an out and out staying type as he has more sharpness on the female side of his pedigree than some of the Tavistock progeny.

“He will either have this race and that will be it, but if he executes well and we get enthused he could run again but I think it’s very important to get a run under their belt as 2-year-olds,” Ramage said.

I’ve got two horses in the Hall of Fame that I have been involved with, in Saintly and So You Think, they both ran as 2-year-olds and it’s nice for these horses to have a run and get some experience.”

Karaka the key

Ramage had no concerns when targeting last year’s New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale despite Australian-based agents being unable to inspect yearlings in the flesh due to New Zealand’s COVID-19 protocols at the time.

He said he was confident in the connections he had on the ground at Karaka and that they all gave a glowing report on Earl Of Devon as a yearling.

“It was a COVID year and while we were restricted from doing it at arm’s length, I had a number of people I have worked with for 30-years to give me a good description of these horses,” Ramage said.

“He (Earl Of Devon) comes from a leading farm that keeps producing good horses and we were pretty sure Tavistock was going to come back with a resurgence and I think we’ve been proven right with Tavistock’s winning left, right and centre lately.”

Unfortunately for Ramage and Thompson, they were unable to secure Earl Of Devon’s brother at the recently completed National Yearling Sale, with David Ellis of Te Akau Racing blowing them out of the water when going to NZ$500,000.

And despite the disappointment of missing out on Lot 67 Ramage was delighted to walk away with Lot 367, a filly by So You Think out of the winning Exceed And Excel mare Lagertha for NZ$380,000.

He said the filly will remain in New Zealand until at least June before making her way to Australia.

“She will follow the same path that Earl Of Devon did, she will stay in New Zealand and head to Curraghmore Stud, get broken in across the road at the Cambridge racetrack by Mark Brooks, who did Earl Of Devon and our last two crops from New Zealand,” Ramage said.

“They (yearlings) used to go from the Sale (Karaka) grounds onto the first plane then back to Australia but due to COVID we came up with this plan and we are quite struck with it because we get the benefit of the remainder of the New Zealand growing season and the horses we are buying there aren’t Golden Slipper types, so they’re not behind.”

Earl Of Devon is the second foal out of the unplaced Zabeel (NZ) mare Ziffel (NZ), who was purchased by the Lindsays for NZ$300,000 at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.

Ziffel herself is out of the Listed Doomben Slipper S.-winning, R. Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic-placed Shalt Not (St Covet), making her a half-sister to G2 Silver Slipper S. winner Amelia’s Dream (Redoute’s Choice).

The G1 Australian Derby, G1 Tulloch S. and G1 Victoria Derby-placed Young Werther (NZ) also features in this pedigree.

The Fire continues to burn

The legacy of the late Dato Tan Chin Nam’s racing and breeding activities were on display last Saturday when Mull Over (So You Think {NZ}), a mare bred and raced by Think Big Stud became the dam of G1 Golden Slipper winner Fireburn.

Dato Tan, Think Big Stud and Ramage’s connection to the Laurel Oak Bloodstock-owned Fireburn goes back three generations, with Dato Tan and his long-time friend Ananda Krishnan racing the fillies G1 Flight S.-winning third dam Danarani (Danehill {USA}), who was purchased by Ramage for $50,000 from Segenhoe Stud.

Dato Tan would retain Danarani and in turn breed Fireburn’s second dam Zahani (Zabeel {NZ}) in partnership with Kia Ora Estates.

“We keep seeing this and it gives us great pride that Dato’s legacy is still there,” Ramage said.

“There’s a lot of examples of lineages of stallions we bred and raced from families that we bred, raced and reared that are now producing and it’s a proud moment, I’m a proud old breeder.”

Story courtesy of TDN AusNZ