Bloodstock tyros James Harron and Henry Field knew they had to take a different approach if they were going to survive and flourish against the big boys of the breeding world and by backing their own judgment and getting a little colt called Capitalist they have done just that.
Harron and Field are brothers-in-law and put together a syndicate to buy colts at the yearling sales last year. It turned into a $7 million investment and for that you need backers. When you’re in your early 30s, it also needs to work or you’re not going to get another chance for a while.
In four months, Capitalist has made the gamble pay off by winning Saturday’s Magic Millions Classic and assuring himself a career as a stallion at Field’s Newgate Farm.
“We are already getting his name plate ready at the farm, but he has a bit of racing to do before he gets there,” said Field, who was left in tears by the win on Saturday.
“We had to think about it differently to get a stallion because once they do it on the track, we can’t compete with the big studs. This was the dream, and we still have the Golden Slipper to go. Capitalist was the horse we were looking for when this started.”
The idea was to find a champion on the track that would go on to become a stallion, giving returns for the next 10 to 20 years. It is not a new idea and many have tried, and failed, in such schemes.
Nevertheless, the reputation of Harron and Field delivered a select group of smart cashed-up investors and they went to work finding the right horses.
Capitalist proved a conundrum for the pair last year, being from Written Tycoon, an unfashionable stallion not associated with great success at the highest level, certainly not one that would be thought of as a stallion maker.
“He was a Maserati at the sales,” Field said of Capitalist. “But he was a Written Tycoon and when you are looking for stallions he is not really the page you are looking for.
“We debated him for hours, when we were getting our list ready. He, more than any other horse, because we both loved him.
“I remember he was in the back box at Magic Millions and walking up there pulling him out to have looks at him again and again.
“We had what we were looking for on type and he was it, but you have to consider other things.”
The cost in the end was $165,000, which seems small for a horse valued at $3 million to $5 million after three starts, but the purchase wasn’t assured when the bidding started on lot 361.
“We were sitting at the table and it got over $150,000 and we were going to stop. At 160 it was over and Matthew [Sandblom, one of the investors] said “one more, you guys really like this horse” and we got him,” Field recalled.
Capitalist is a perfect three wins from three starts and after Saturday was tightened into $3.50 favourite for the Golden Slipper.
“That is the next goal,” Field said.
Field’s Saturday was rounded off by New Gate selling a $1 million filly, a product of Fastest Rock and Ten Carat Rock, which was from the Redoute’s Choice family, at the night session.
“This is the sort of day you dream about,” he said.