Star Aussie pacer Poster Boy retired to stud

by Adam Hamilton

ONE of Australia’s most exciting pacers Poster Boy has been retired to stud.

But owner-breeders, Bill and Anne Anderson, will consider a racetrack return next year.

“It’s been a really hard week weighing it all up, but he’s got nothing left to prove to us and COVID-19 left us without any really big races to set him for through the middle and latter part of this year,” Anne Anderson said.

“It’s cruel because this was to be his year. He got so ill with pneumonia last year and then just when we had him back and flying, along came COVID-19, but we have to move on and now’s the right time to give him his chance at stud.”

Poster Boy adds to the blossoming roster of Northern Rivers Equine in Kyabram, which will also stand recently-retired glamour North American pacer Lather Up, Yankee Rockstar and established star American Ideal as well as another exciting freshman Soho Tribeca.

“We had huge interest in him as a stallion, from two of the biggest studs, but we’ve decided to keep 100 percent ownership of him ourselves to keep the option of a racetrack return open,” Bill Anderson said.

“We went with Kath McIntosh and Northern Rivers Equine because we’ve had a long relationship with her, she’s a vet and we think she’s a rising star in the breeding game.”

Trained by Emma Stewart and Clayton Tonkin, Poster Boy ran sixth on debut at Menangle as an early two-year-old, then never finished outside the top three in his next 29 starts, winning 22 of them.

The regally-bred entire won five Group 1 races and also ran a slashing third to Spankem in Australasia’s premier speed test, last year’s Miracle Mile.

“We bought his mum (Aston Villa) as a yearling in Lexington, Kentucky and we were there when Poster Boy was born,” Anne said. “Of all the top horses we have bred, he’s the best, he’s our favourite. He’s the prodigal son.”

The Andersons do differ on one thing, which of Poster Boy’s wins was their favourite.

“Bill says the Chariots Of Fire, but my favourite was the NSW Derby,” Anne said.

The Andersons praised Stewart and Tonkin for an outstanding job training Poster Boy.

“He’s Emma’s favourite. One of her all-time favourites,” Bill said. “He’s the first horse she checks every morning. She thought he wasn’t himself one day and that turned into the pneumonia. We’ve got so much to thank them for.”

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