Volpe Veloce lives up to her price tag
Graham Richardson’s decision to put his head on the block in early 2015 has paid a big dividend.
Volpe Veloce, who cost $240,000 as a Karaka yearling, is shaping as a potential star with two wins from as many starts.
On Saturday at Wanganui she trounced good quality opposition to win the Listed Castletown Stakes, following up on an impressive autumn debut win on her home track.
The daughter of former star Australian sprinter Foxwedge is now being spoken of as a real prospect for major spring agegroup racing.
She is the second expensive yearling purchase by her trainer, after he paid $250,000 for the wellbred filly Purcentage at the 2013 Karaka sale.
‘‘I was sick of being beaten in the bidding on yearlings I really liked, so I made the decision to go all the way if I felt that strongly,’’ Graham explained. ‘‘I went to $250,000 on Purcentage and she looked like a filly going places when she won her first start as a late two-year- old.
‘‘Unfortunately she got a virus and was really crook and she never came right. We ended up selling her as a broodmare and she still made $180,000, so it wasn’t all bad.’’
In the meantime Graham put his hand up for a second time to secure the filly that was to become known as Volpe Veloce.
‘‘She was another filly I just had to buy but I had to sweat on it for a while.
‘‘It took me a year to sell all the shares in her, but I ended up putting together a syndicate of people from New Zealand and Australia, even one bloke from Hong Kong.
‘‘She’s obviously got a lot of ability, much.
‘‘She can have some time out and be back to prepare for the spring.
‘‘At this stage she might have a trial to begin with and maybe kick off her season in the Gold Trail Stakes at Hastings. ‘‘All going to plan her major spring target will be the 1000 Guineas.’’
Volpe Veloce’s emergence coincides with the retirement of former Richardson Racing headliner Queens Rose.
Queens Rose was raced by a partnership that included Matamata teaching couple Brian and Mel Priest and won eight races in her 28-start career. Bred on the well proven O’Reilly-Pins cross, she is a daughter of the Group Three-winning mare Rosetti Bay and will be a valuable broodmare.
Saturday’s big win came on top of a Richardson treble at last Wednesday’s local meeting, which was also an auspicious occasion for young apprentice Sam Weatherley.
Having just his fourth raceday ride, the 16-year- old gave the big contingent of family and friends on hand something to cheer at when he led throughout for an easy win on longshot Maddee Fae.
Sam, who has the good fortune to be apprenticed to one of the best in his previous career, Lance O’Sullivan, comes from a long line of horsemen.
His great-grandfather, the late Fred Beguely, was one of the most respected trainers of his era, while his grandfather Dan and father Darryn were successful jockeys. I just don’t know how