Quilly Park’s Richard Anderson admits it’s been a long process for the stallion De Gaulle to produce his first winner from only a handful of starters.
But he says the wait was and truly worth it when three-year-old filly Madame Du Gast won on debut in a 1000m maiden at Flemington on Friday.
Not only does Anderson part own De Gaulle, but he also owns the filly which he bred from his city winning mare Tremolo (Special Bond x Gabbiano).
“It was a relief, if you know what I mean,” Anderson said of the win.
“It’s four years of work. You go and buy a stallion on the belief that you can do something based on the broodmares you have and getting some advice from others.
“The win was the motivation that one needed to keep moving forward with the experience of holding a stallion.”
Anderson and John Pratt of Brooker Park in Gippsland are equal owners of the unraced seven-year-old De Gaulle (Exceed and Excel x Response).
De Gaulle won two trials and for Randwick trainers Peter and Paul Snowden but broke down with a tendon injury and was retired before getting to the races where it was planned to tackle the Golden Slipper.
The Victorian and Tasmanian manager of Magic Millions, Tim Brown, suggested to Pratt to buy De Gaulle as a stallion prospect based on his breeding.
Anderson and Pratt then got advice from breeding expert, the late Diane Neylon, who agreed they should buy the horse and then she drew up a list of broodmares that would suit De Gaulle’s pedigree.
“The results of Di’s influence will come to fruition in the coming years,” Anderson said.
“Tim Brown suggested to John Pratt to buy the stallion, and I said let’s buy him and then we spoke to Di who instantaneously said let’s do it and I’ll work with you.
“But Di passed away earlier last year.”
Anderson has heavily supported De Gaulle with his own band of broodmares and bought about eight on Di’s advice to match the stallion.
In the stallion’s first season when he stood at Pratt’s Brooker Park, he served 23 mares and eight of those belonged to Anderson, while Pratt also supported the stallion with his own mares.
When the stallion moved to Bombora Downs in his second season, six of his book of 26 also came from Quilly Park at Pearcedale.
“In the third year, I think it was another eight (from 39 mares) and then COVID came in we just cut back a little bit because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Anderson said.
De Gaulle served 14 mares in 2020 and nine last year.
“We’ll probably only have two or three (foals) this year because the mares didn’t get in foal due to the season,” Anderson said.
“You can only carry so many when you have a fixed budget.
“I can afford to do eight, and I have to race the first crop being by an unraced stallion, and everyone wants to see them race before they make a decision.
“No seeing what she has done, if we can get some better mares we will get some better results.”
Anderson has a total of 16 broodmares.
Breeding from Madame Du Gast’s dam Tremolo hasn’t been easy. Her first foal by Nadeem wasn’t a success and then she missed to Street Boss, slipped to Zoffany, her foal by Street Boss died after birth, and then she missed to Master of Design, Street Boss and Helmet before producing Madame Du Gast.
“She has had two lovely fillies to De Gaulle but didn’t get in foal to him this year,” Anderson said.
“But it’s great that she threw me a lovely animal as she was a lovely animal herself.”
Anderson admits that he went crazy in the celebrations when the filly crossed the line, but it was more so the excitement of De Gaulle producing his first winner.
“I didn’t know how to handle it because it was like it happened and it happened in town – wow – and it was just amazing.
“It’s a long, long, long road to travel and it’s a road well-travelled but I’ve enjoyed the scenery along the way.”
Anderson said De Gaulle’s first foal, now the three-year-old gelding Aeroport, which he bred from Varone (Holy Roman Emperor x Sorren Tessa), started his racing career in South Australia and has since been sold to Macau where ran second at his second start at 1500m for trainer Choi Chun Wai.
And another Quilly Park bred horse Eight Ball (Stryker x Barabba Star) won at Singapore on Saturday after being sold by Anderson, who retained a 25 per cent share, for $150,000 the 2019 Inglis Ready 2 Run Sale.
Another of Anderson’s De Gaulle homebreds is Rue Lepic, out of Great Cross (Cape Cross x Ilustria). The three-year-old filly has raced six times and her best result so far was a third at her last start and she races again at Kilmore this week.
Trepardoux (Eurouble) is a De Gaulle three-year-old in the care of Eric Musgrove and Anderson says the gelding shapes as a 2000m-plus horse.
And the spectacular looking Sapphire Sioux (Rubyone), a three-year-old filly with blue eyes and a white face, will make her debut for trainer Greg Eurell at Cranbourne this week and hopefully give Anderson and De Gaulle another winner.
“I’ve got some for sale at the VOBIS Gold Sale,” Anderson said. “The full sister to Madame Du Gast is in Melbourne Premier this year.
“I have got one colt that we’ve decided to keep because I think he could be a two-year-old and I’d just like to have him under our brand, making sure if he is not, we don’t hurt him.
“He is out Suzy Smart (Smart Strike x Minicolony) and she was a Group 2 winning mare from America who we bought under the specific guidance of Diane Neylon.
“It’s coming along, but it’s getting there slowly by surely. It’s just great for the stallion to get a winner and there is another one coming up called Bonjour De Gaulle (Plan The Peace) that is Mystyko’s half-brother and he is doing things that Mystyko (a stakes winner by Sakhee’s Secret) wasn’t doing at his age so that’s exciting.”
With just five of his progeny to have raced so far, De Gaulle has produced a winner, a second placegetter and had two thirds.”
With De Gaulle’s dam, dual Group 1 winner Response (Charge Forward x Live It Up) producing 2018 Golden Slipper winner Estijaab (Snitzel), Anderson said they would love to attract some more mares to the stallion.
Response’s first foal was by Fastnet Rock and raced as After Call, with the filly winning two races. De Gaulle and then Estijaab, a $1.7 million dollar yearling filly, followed.
Peter Moody paid $350,000 for Response’s fourth foal, a filly named Medic, also by Snitzel, and the five year-old was retired to stud last year and sent to Capitalist after managing two thirds from six starts.
Other progeny out of Response included the four-year-old mare Snappy Reply (Snitzel) which was a $575,000 purchase and three-year-old Snitzel colt Remarque, a winner and Group 2 placed.
“Having an unraced stallion we are probably playing off the family,” Anderson admitted.
“We bought him before Estijaab had run and then you’ve got Remarque which is competing in the Golden Slipper, and he is going to have to try to win a Group race because I think Arrowfield own him now.
“There is something in the family and based on De Gaulle not having a run we’ll be on their coattails for a while until he can stand on his own.”
Anderson said De Gaulle had an amazing temperament and demeanour for a stallion.
He said De Gaulle’s foals are just so affable to humans and are willing to work to please you.
“They are great doers and not one here has been anything but an angel,” Anderson said.
“Even the clients that have put mares to him, ring and just go it’s amazing what they are like.
“That might be a biased opinion based on the owner, but at the end of the day there is a common trait that they are all willing to work and they are happy to work with us and then let them show what they’ve got on the track.”
At this stage, Anderson said they were looking at “throwing the filly in the deep end” on Blue Diamond Prelude day at Caulfield next month in an 1100m Group race.
She was originally aimed for last year’s Blue Diamond, but wasn’t ready, and Anderson said it was a case of chasing dollars.
Anderson said Cranbourne trainer Trevor Rogers, who also trained Madame Du Gast’s dam Tremolo, had done an amazing job with the filly.
Anderson said Bombora Down’s Christoph Bruechert had also done an amazing job with the stallion which stands alongside Dandino, War Horse, Jungle Ruler and Frankel My Dear.
Bruechert said it was a great way to break a maiden with a win in town to give the stallion his first victory.
He admitted it had been terribly difficult to get mares to De Gaulle and said the days of getting support from owner breeders for those types of stallions are long gone.
“The horse has had quite a bit of support from his owners, but had another dozen or 15 outside mares from the first few years in the time I’ve had him,” he said.
But Bruechert said his phone had already begun to ring with enquiries from potential breeders inquiring about sending a broodmare to Du Gaulle.
He said he was pleasantly surprised with the quality of Du Gaulle’s first foals and had continued to be impressed.
“From all accounts, he could run and had ability and is obviously pretty well related,” Bruechert said.
He said it was hard to produce results from small numbers of broodmares, but there’s all a sudden a good story if the winners come.
Re-published from TBV article on January 25th 2022: Read it here
Images: Racing Photos (Reg Ryan & Brett Holburt)
De Gaulle stands at Mornington Peninsula’s Bombora Downs.
To enquire about a mating with De Gaulle, contact Quilly Park’s Richard Anderson on 0412 560 051.