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Bluebloods : Karaka 2010 Yearling Sale Preview
78 tell you what, if you died and went to heaven, you'd wake up here." Those are the words of an Australian trainer who visited Bob and Glenda Skinner's fifty- acre farm near Cambridge, and Glenda isn't about to disagree with him. She says, "This is my heaven on earth." Obviously, the Skinners' sixty or so clients in England, the United States, Singapore, Australia and around New Zealand like it too, because they keep sending horses to Shelby Park, named for Bob's favourite car, the fabled Shelby Mustang. Weed-free pasture organised in 55 well-fenced and shaded paddocks, thirty boxes, tie-ups, a walker, an indoor breaking barn, and weighing scales represent ten years of hard work by Glenda and Bob, who both have extensive, lifelong experience with horses. Yet Glenda ducks the admiration they regularly receive, saying, "The accolades belong to breeders and trainers, we just do our job, rearing and preparing yearlings as well as we possibly can. "Winning the trust of young horses is difficult, all horses are individual so we pay a lot of attention to their individual needs. Getting a result for our clients at the end of the process is what gives us satisfaction." Shelby Park's best sale-ring result to date was achieved at the 2008 Karaka Premier Sale, when they sold a Pins filly for half a million dollars on behalf of first- time vendors. They have also broken in a number of successful performers, including Gr. 2 Zarius and Group One-placed stakeswinner Cheval de Troy. The Skinners appreciate the skills of trainers who share their horse-centred approach, citing as an example Paul Jenkins, whom they got know when dual Group One winner Bazelle stayed at Shelby Park. Glenda says, "He's passionate about what he does, very gentle and takes his time with his horses." KARAKA 2010 STANDOUTS: From the Premier draft: O'Reilly-Lady Chanele colt -- "He has a lot of appeal, he's well-grown with a great temperament." His sister is Ombre Rose, a multiple stakeswinner and Group One-placed; and their dam is a half-sister to The Sportsman (2009 MVRC Moonee Valley Cup Gr. 3) and the fine stayer Aquidity (17 wins, incl. VATC Herbert Power H. Gr. 2). Fastnet Rock-Marriage Value colt -- "A natural two- year-old type with great muscle definition, and by a hot sire, he's a real cracker." He's the first foal of a Marju mare from a family packed with dams of stakes performers, among them All Bar One (QTC Sir Byrne Hart S. Gr. 2). He will carry one of the most famous lot numbers in New Zealand sale history, 41 -- also carried by Phar Lap at the 1928 National Yearling Sale. "I SHELBY PARK Zabeel-Dane Shakira colt -- "A big strong colt, he's stunning and will get his share of admirers." Bred on the same Zabeel-Danehill cross as Hong Kong champion Vengeance of Rain, he's from a winning, stakes-placed sister to Gr. 2 Saxon, and the international family of dual Group One winner Kalanisi. From the Select draft: Keeper-Capsimation filly -- A lovely, stunning black filly, she oozes sex appeal!" She's a half-sister to Powerful Ruler (5 wins and stakes-placed in Singapore), and the good racemares Tina Temple & Suzie Temple (11 wins between them), from the family of Group One winners Purple, Sovereign Red, Gurner's Lane, Trichelle & Foxwood. Reset-Hestia colt -- "A big, athletic, good-walking colt with a great temperament." His dam is a winning daughter of Machiavellian, and related to European Group One winners Markofdistinction and Laverock. UNDER THE RADAR PICK: Lucky Unicorn- Peggy O'Reilly filly -- "Bought by a client as an underdone weanling, we thought she'd develop well and she has, she's grown into a beautiful filly." AT THE END OF SALE DAY: "We catch up with our staff, sit down, have a drink and talk about the day, then clients usually join us for dinner. Bob and I stay in a caravan behind our marquee at the Sales Centre, so we're close to our horses until the last one is sold."
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