Monday, 20 January 2020
taken a while, but for Laurie McCarthy’s Greta West Stud the timing of
Victorian stallion Master Of Design’s first Group One success as a sire
couldn’t be any better.
McCarthy is preparing the only Master Of Design yearling entered for Adelaide’s Magic Millions sales in March.
a half-sister to the talented South Australian-trained three-year-old
Free Of Debt, the filly was already assured of attracting interest from
But with Master Of Design siring the winner of
the Group One Thorndon Mile in New Zealand at the weekend, McCarthy has
an additional marketing angle.
In a never-say-die attitude that
has become a trademark of his racing, The Mitigator (pictured)
led and held on to
win as one of the outsiders in the famous Trentham race.
“It was a bit of a surprise really but he’s been a tough, handy horse over there all the same,” McCarthy said.
“That will certainly be a kick along for the filly going through the Adelaide sales.”
of the Group One TJ Smith Stakes in 2012 among seven victories and
almost $1 million in stakes, Master Of Design hails from a famed family
of the Australian Stud Book.
Master Of Design’s dam is the
winning Last Tycoon mare Urge To Merge, making him a half-brother to the
champion South African filly Suntagonal.
Urge To Merge is
herself a sister or half-sister to five stakes winners including Tracy’s
Element who in turn is the dam of the 2010 Australian Horse Of The Year
racemare Typhoon Tracy.
Master Of Design was retired to
Sweetenham Stud but found his way to Greta West in the northeast of
Victoria for the 2017 breeding season.
He is a sire typical of
the stallions who have made a home for themselves at Greta West in that
he is a consistent win-getter who stands at an affordable fee.
West remains one of Victoria’s oldest family-owned studs with its
stallion honour roll including Toy Pindarri, a sire of more than 300
winners, including three at Group One level.
During a time when breeding to race was the norm rather than the exception, Greta West was in its element.
farm was often the first choice for smaller breeders from regional
Victorian and southern NSW to send their mares but McCarthy accepts the
landscape has changed.
“Once we would serve 150-plus mares on farm and none of their progeny would go to the yearling sales,” he said.
“Now everyone makes a decision on what stallion to use by what the yearling is worth if they try to sell it.
“Hence they either go to the proven stallions or the first-season sires.
“We used to breed to race. Mares would turn up, get served and we never worried about yearlings.”
is preparing five yearlings for this year’s round of sales and after
much thought Free Of Debt’s half-sister will go it alone as his only
“She is a late foal but that said she’s a good, strong filly,” McCarthy said.
“I tossed up whether to send to Adelaide but Free Of Debt is such a well-known horse there. We sold him through there.
“I think there’s probably more plusses in selling her at Adelaide than keeping her back for a later sale.”
Of Design stands alongside King Of Prussia, a son of Anabaa who has
also been in the news thanks to the purple patch of summer form of
Yulong January from the Ciaron Maher-David Eustace stable.
January has been one of the finds of the Melbourne off-season, winning
four successive races in a sequence that started on Ballarat Cup day in
But for the moment it is Master Of Design who has
bragging rights on a farm that continues to leave its mark at the
highest level having also raised Group One winners Le Romain and The
Quarterback in recent years.
“He’s a good ready-to-race horse and it’s great for him to get a Group One winner,” McCarthy said.
“And it’s nice when you’ve got a horse on the farm that gets a Group One winner. I certainly gave him a pat.
“I don’t know whether he had heard or not so I told him the news.”