Astute young bloodstock investors Julian Blaxland and Grant Morgan are out to crack their Group 1 duck in Saturday’s J.J. Atkins.
Blaxland, of Blue Sky Bloodstock, purchased PRESSING for $100,000, while Morgan’s Ontrack Thoroughbreds syndicated hot favourite Brazen Beau after giving $70,000 for him as a yearling.
Ontrack is based on the Gold Coast, while Blue Sky relocated to Sydney last year after starting out on the Coast.
“Winning Group 1 races is what we all strive for,” Morgan said.
“There’s definitely a few little butterflies. I’ve had Group 1 runners in the past, but none with the expectations this bloke has around him.”
Morgan’s first Group 1 runner was Man O’ Mars, who ran 10th in the 2000 Goodwood as a 25-1 chance. He was the first horse Morgan raced and it proved a forerunner to him setting up Ontrack Thoroughbreds in 2008.
Today, On Track has between 300 and 400 clients on the books. Brazen Beau has about 35 owners who call him their own.
Blaxland said Blue Sky had SUPER EASY (Singapore) and GOOD BABY (Malaysia) win Group 1s overseas, but were still trying to crack it in Australia.
“We’ve had a number of Group 1 placings with horses like SHRAPNEL, BENETEAU and BETTER THAN READY and we’re keen to get the monkey off our back,” he said.
Blue Sky set up in 2006 and from their first crop of yearling purchases came the Magic Millions runner-up SHE'S MEANER and BLACK AND BENT, who retired this week as one of Australia’s greatest ever jumpers.
Since then Blue Sky has unearthed stakes performers including HAVANA, EXPRESS POWER, INSTINCTION, WOODBINE and KEEP DE ROSE.
Morgan concedes 1600m is a query for Brazen Beau, but says it is the same for virtually the entire field.
“The speed map looks positive for him, providing he doesn’t repeat his slow getaway from last time,” Morgan said.
“Hopefully he will be between fourth and sixth in the run and his best asset is a nice turn of foot.”
Jim Byrne gave Pressing a glowing stamp of approval after riding him with the shades on Tuesday and stable foreman Mick Nolan reports the colt is thriving in Queensland.
Pressing was originally passed in for $90,000 through the ring at last year’s Easter sale in Sydney.
“Mick (Price) and I were keen to buy a colt, so when he was passed in we bolted down to the stables and were able to do the deal,” Blaxland said.
“He’s a very lazy track worker and at his first start Mick told us if he finished in the first four or five he’d be happy.
“Then next time out he went to stakes grade and Mick said ‘we might get found out this week’ and he won again. So he’s been a bit of a revelation this horse.
“We’re just hoping the blinkers will sharpen him up.”
Morgan is a former President of the Queensland Owners Association and during his time in administration, lobbied strongly for changes to owners’ privileges.
“One of the things I am most proud of is that we were able to convince the Australian Racing Board to increase the number of owners’ names in the racebook from 10 to 20,” he said.
For more information on how you can be involved in Racing with Blue Sky Bloodstock, please call Julian on +61431746803.