Cover image courtesy of Michael McInally
The Chris Munce-trained filly has proven herself a bit of an iron horse during her 2-year-old campaign, debuting back in October, then winning at Doomben and placing in the Listed Calaway Gal S. all before Christmas.
Having finished third in the G3 Ken Russell Classic at her first run back this campaign, she showed dogged determination to lead all the way under Justin Huxtable on Saturday and register a deserved stakes success.
Bred by GSA Bloodstock, Rhapsody Rose was purchased for $120,000 by Munce and agent Arthur Hoyeau at the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale from the draft of Bhima Thoroughbreds.
Bhima's Mike Fleming was delighted to see Rhapsody Rose win on Saturday, with the black-type addition particularly useful for the Dundeel colt set to sell under the Bhima banner as Lot 1527 at next week's National Yearling Sale.
"She's obviously been a tough filly all the way through and she really deserved the black type," Fleming said.
"Chris and the team have done a great job with her. It looks like he will back her up next week (in the G2 BRC Sires' Produce). She certainly looks tough enough that she will be able to do that and hopefully by the end of the carnival, she's got some more black type beside her name."
"Chris and the team have done a great job with her (Rhapsody Rose). It looks like he will back her up next week (in the G2 BRC Sires' Produce)." - Mike Fleming
Fleming recalls Rhapsody Rose as a straightforward filly growing up on the farm and then going through the Yearling Sale last January.
"She was just always a lovely, correct filly with a good attitude. She copped everything you put at her. She was a good first foal," he said.
Pinecliff, GSA's racing arm, remained in the filly, and share ownership with former federal minister Peter McGuaran, who is also a former CEO of Racing Australia.
Delay works out well
Her half-brother was initially set to go through Bhima's draft at the Magic Millions January Sale, but had to be withdrawn in what may prove a fortuitous piece of timing.
"He had a little setback, so we had to regroup with him. We put him back in the paddock, but the plan all the way through was to come back through with him for June. GSA Bloodstock, they always tend to move on all their colts," Fleming said.
"So we gave him a bit more time heading here. He's a good, strong horse, not overly big, like the Dundeels are. He's obviously going to be pretty well-received here."
"We gave him (Lot 1527) a bit more time heading here. He's a good, strong horse, not overly big, like the Dundeels are. He's obviously going to be pretty well-received here." - Mike Fleming
Asked to compare the Dundeel colt to his older sister, Fleming said the pair share some similarities.
"It's not a big family and the mare is not that big. But he's a good-moving horse. People will be a little bit surprised by the quality he has got when he gets here next week. The market is strong, there are still plenty of people here willing to spend money and buy yearlings and current black-type form is not going to do any harm for a horse like him."
The page already had plenty of black type on it with Ritzy, who was purchased by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock as a yearling for $500,000, a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Fiveandahalfstar (Hotel Grand).
She was sent to New Zealand last year, foaling another colt by Dundeel before missing to Waikato Stud's Super Seth.
Ritzy will now head back to Bhima to visit King's Legacy, who was also bred by GSA Bloodstock, and who starts his career out at Coolmore this year at $33,000 (inc GST).
"GSA always breed well to the first-season horses and give them good support," Fleming said.
Selling and buying
It’s a busy time for everyone on the Gold Coast, particularly for Bhima, which sold 11 foals through the National Weanling Sale last week, consigns 14 mares and fillies through the National Broodmare Sale, and offers 12 yearlings through the Yearling Sale, which starts on June 1.
On top of that, Fleming was doing mare inspections on Sunday, looking for possible acquisitions for the Bhima broodmare band.
"Personally you always try and trade a little bit and that means buying a few too. We traded a few weanlings, and that market has gone through the roof. We will obviously have a look at a few mares over the next few days," he said.
Fleming expects the National Broodmare Sale to feature a very strong three days of selling, given the buoyancy of the market.
"People have had very good yearling sales. I think in the scheme of things, when you look at what we are racing for here in Australia and you compare to what is happening overseas, the top end of the market, dare I say it, is a little bit cheap compared to elsewhere in the world," he said.
"I don’t see the market slowing down anytime soon, with the prizemoney and quality of racing we have here. Everyone is keen to be investing in horses, so long may it last!"