Tom Simon could be on the verge of a major Australian success, ironically not long before 240 of his Australian bloodstock, including 100 broodmares, are sold under his Vinery banner at auction in Sydney.
Simon was at Caulfield to see Perfectly Ready, a 2-year-old colt he part-owns, stake a strong claim to the $1 million (Australian funds) Blue Diamond (Aust-I) with a solid success at Caulfield Feb 12.
As the name suggests, he is by Vinery's More Than Ready. The colt made it two-for-two in overcoming a wide gate (15) to win the BD Prelude (Aust-III), by 1 3/4 lengths from The Rhine and Bradbury's Luck. On a damp track the 1,100 meters took 1:03.9.
The Vinery and Newstead syndicates had another juvenile winner at Randwick 90 minutes later with Fashions Afield (by Redoute's Choice).
Newstead is headed by Neville Gibson, the Melbourne-based businessman enjoying a lot of success with Vinery-bred horses over the past few years. Newstead-Vinery race no less than five from More Than Ready's first Australian generation.
The closest Simon has come to a group I success in Australia was in the 2003 Blue Diamond, when Red Ransom filly Halibery finished third. She was belatedly awarded second when the winner produced a positive drug result.
The Australian branch of Vinery represented a $50 million (Australian funds) investment by the German barrister. The former Segenhoe Stud in NSW will continue as a stallion station, but is on the market, as is an ancillary pre-training facility at Euroa, Victoria.
The Australian start made by More Than Ready mirrors his start in the United States. In 2004 he was sixth on the first crop sire list with 17 winners from 35 runners, including three stakes winners, and earnings of almost $850,000.
Simon bought a controlling 60% interest in More Than Ready after the Southern Halo's 17-run and seven win career. The King's Bishop (gr.I) winner had a then market value of $9.5 million.
Perfectly Ready was a $90,000 purchase as a foal at the 2003 Australian select weanling sale. Other More Than Ready winners part-owned by Vinery are Blizzardly and Readyforcatherine.
The Blue Diamond (1,200 meters) is scheduled for Feb 26.
The Vinery broodmare dispersal is on the first day of the Broodmare Sale, April 3. The foals are listed at the Australian Select Weanling Sale May 15.