News briefs - 2 July
By Garrick Knight
Ex-pat trainer Tim Butt has developed an elite stable in Sydney over the past two seasons and he’s just added another promising type from his homeland.
Impressive recent qualifier Ronaldo has been sold for a “six-figure” price according to his Oamaru trainer, Brad Williamson.
The juvenile son of Alta Christiano burned home in 56.6 and 26.3 on a cold trial day at Ashburton last month and that generated a fair amount of interest, according to Williamson.
“He has been sold for good money.
“Tim Butt had shown interest in him and then found some buyers within his stable so we reached a deal.”
The horse was owned by new stable clients of Williamson’s from the Roxburgh region, and they are naturally very pleased with the result.
“They bought the mother for $15,000 and she couldn’t qualify, I think due to having a few issues.
“Then they bred her to a cheap sire and got a good horse, so they are thrilled.”
For Williamson, a young trainer just starting to make a name for himself, it was a tough pill to swallow, but he understands it is part of the business.
“It would have been lovely to race him, because he’s pretty smart, and Ricky (May) was quite impressed with that last trial – the earplugs were still in.
“He was definitely the best two-year-old pacer in my stable.
“So, it’s a wee bit disappointing to lose him, but financially it was the right move.
“And I’m sure he’ll do a big job for Tim and his new owners.”
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Promising trotter Blue Coman, who cleared maiden ranks at Cambridge on Sunday, is heading to a new home in Victoria.
“He’s heading over there on Wednesday to his new trainer, Greg Norman,” said Vaughan Blanchard, who co-trained the grey son of Monkey Bones with father, Peter.
He was one of two winners for the pair on the day after Matai Geordie made a winning debut one race earlier.
The Blanchards had been training Blue Coman for South Australian owners since he was purchased out of Tim Trathen’s Canterbury stable last winter.
“He’s got plenty of ability and I’m sure he’ll do a great job over there,” said Blanchard.
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The planned ‘ready to run’ sale of later this year has been cancelled due to a lack of nominations.
NZB Standardbred had slated to bring the sale back this year, in November, and it was a key part of marketing around the successful yearling sales held in February.
But, according to the division’s manager, Peter Lagan, it just wasn’t viable.
“We only ended up getting 18 nominations and, in actual fact, one guy was probably going to withdraw his two and that would have left us with 16.
“If you do the sale, you want to do it properly, and we never got the numbers to warrant it.
“Back when the sale was a success, it was because guys like Michael House and Grant Payne under-pinned it with big numbers.
“That just isn’t there at the moment, really just a handful of people with one or two horses.”
Lagan confirmed they would revisit the idea of the sale next year.
“We hope to have it next year, but we’d want 30 or 40 horses to make it worthwhile.”