Sociable wins Queensland Oaks

NZ HARNESS NEWS

The unraced and unheralded horse Buy Kiwi Made is now the sire of a Group 2 winner with his only foal of racing age following the success of Canterbury filly Sociable in Saturday night’s A$75,540 Queensland Oaks at Albion Park.

The filly wrapped up her Australian campaign on a high note for her Kiwi connections, which include Rangiora trainer Andrew Stuart, when she proved too strong in the 2138m feature in a 1.55.9-mile rate in the hands of Luke McCarthy.

Sociable’s three races in Queensland, which have also netted a win in the $20,450 Redcliffe Oaks and a third in the South East Oaks for a return of $60,000, have been ample consolation for an unlucky Victoria Oaks campaign in April.

Sociable won her debut at Wyndham in 1.56.3 in February and scored again in Auckland while on her way to Australia, where she won at Shepparton in the lead up to the Victorian feature.

But things turned to custard at that point and Sociable was very lucky to even make it to the post for the Oaks there.

“In her heat the horse in front of her fibrillated and carted her back on the home turn and she finished a certainty beaten in third,” said Stuart.

“But she wasn’t at her best for the final after pulling a muscle in her back and just battled into fifth.

“She probably looked a bit ordinary that night but it was a pretty good performance (behind Shez All Rock) considering what she had been through during the week.”

Stuart made the decision to race Sociable in Australia because, due to her breeding, she wasn’t paid up for anything here.

“We decided to send her to Australia to chip away at things away from the top fillies, but also because we all like a trip away.”

Stuart was in Brisbane for the weekend along with co-owners and breeders Hamish Scott and Dr Kim Lawson in what has been their fourth trip to Australia in recent months.

They race Sociable along with Lisa Shirtcliffe, an employee in Scott’s accounting business, and her parents John and Sandra Howson.

Scott is also the breeder of Buy Kiwi Made, an unraced half-brother by Presidential Ball to his brilliant mare Kiwi Ingenuity.

Buy Kiwi Made is only still around due to Scott’s enthusiasm to save him following a floating accident where he fell on his head and was left unable to stand and walk.

“He was like a paraplegic and I had to fly in a vet from Australia to do an operation to place metal plates between his spine and vertebrae,” said Scott.

Buy Kiwi Made would eventually make a full recovery but he was never going to be racing prospect.

Now with the emergence of Sociable and the look of three other foals by Buy Kiwi Made (one yearling and two weanlings), Scott has been fielding enough enquiries to warrant standing the horse commercially at stud next season.

“I think we’ll stand him at $1500 (payable on live foal) and we’re also offering a $5000 bonus for his first 10 individual winners, which will be the next nine now,” said Scott.

“Andrew has bred a weanling by him and is sending two mares next season.

“He’s producing great looking foals and I’ve even been taking enquiries from Australia thanks to Sociable.”

Sociable is from the one-win D M Dilinger mare Socialiser, who has also produced good Australian performers in Real Social (1.51.9, 18 wins, $111,000) and Entourage (1.57, 8 wins).

She will now be spelled in Australia and then head back to Stuart to resume work on September 1.

“She won’t do a lot of racing next season but we’ll set her for the mares’ races in Auckland over Christmas and the mare features at Addington.”

Sociable kicked off a big night at Albion Park for New Zealand-bred horses as half an hour later, Tact Tate won the Sunshine Sprint over Celestial Arden and Ohoka Punter, and then Dreamlover won the G2 Queensland Trotters Cup over Gee Up Neddy and Our Overanova and Duplicated bolted away with the G3 South East Derby.    

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