Major owner and Christchurch car dealer Graham Beirne would be the first to dig Cran in the ribs and tell him he’s paid good money for the odd slow horse over the years.
But he couldn’t complain about 2017 acquisition Chevron Flies, bought out of the Auckland Autumn Weanling Sale by Cran Dalgety on spec for just $6000 from breeder Charlie Roberts, and a winner first time to the races with a value now well in excess of the buy price.
“We all want the Rolls Royce for the Morris Minor price,” quipped Cran.
“The owner (Beirne) couldn’t sell me a Rolls for that money – I’m up one-nil on this one.
“He only wanted to tune me up about her paying $1.20 – but I’ve never seen a bad winner before.”
Cran was quick to seize on the stock of former top-class American pacer Sweet Lou, this being another. The yearling filly caught his eye at sale time, and he liked the family; her dam Lisconnie descended from third-dam Lismore (Albatross – Brets Romance) who won 12 of 53, nine of those as a two-year-old, an later became an inductee into the Hall Of Fame in North America as a prolific broodmare.
Lismore left Albert Albert p,3,1:52.1 ($1,237,070), Curragh p,5,T1:51.4 ($509,740), Lisheen p,3,1:52.3 ($518,405) and Lisryan p,5,1:52 ($550,587).
“I really just bought on spec at that Autumn sale and came up with her, and Pocket Watch (another Forbury winner on Sunday),” said Cran.
“I knew a bit about Sweet Lou. He wasn’t your general rule-of-thumb-type horse, very, very big for a two-year-old – had the big white blaze. But he was a good horse, and as we’re finding we have a bunch of happy campers at home (his stock). They enjoy what they’re doing and are great horses to work with,” he added.
And why would Cran and Nathan Purdon be disappointed? Of the eight winners for the month out of Kentuckiana Lodge and a premiership lead, four individual winners of five races are by the up-and-coming star sire.
“We all want the next superstar. And we’re looking for that next cab off the rank when your consider Art Major and dear old Bettor’s Delight are getting nearer than end point.
“What I find with the Sweet Lou’s is you don’t, or to this stage, have to pay the glory prices for them at sale time – but you get a nice horse to work with for the money you’ve paid.”
Chevron Flies, named by Beirne in the continuous theme of “Chevron” after his Christchurch car company Chevron Quality Cars, has the potential to be a Group filly this term based on her debut victory, albeit in weaker company at Forbury.
And while Pocket Watch (He’s Watching – Samantha Chloe) an $11,000 Autumn Sale buy, may not be a Derby winner according to Cran, he’s a horse that his connections will have some fun with this season.
“Even at Forbury, not many pick up 10 of them from the 500m mark and win,” he said.
“It was a good effort in any race to get up. He probably won’t be the sort of horse that’ll win a Derby. But he’s going to chip away and do his thing.”