South Island-based stallion Prince of Brooklyn, who stands at Grassyards Farm on the Taieri Plain near Mosgiel, sired his first winner on Sunday from his first runner when the Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr-trained Brooklyn Boss won on debut at Ballarat.
The stylish three-year-old gelding is from the first crop of the son of Magnus who commenced stud duties at Grassyards Farm back in 2017, with the victory completing a fairy tale story for Australian-based part-owner Chris Marks.
The Mick Price-trained Prince Of Brooklyn was bred and raced by Marks before injury cut short a promising career on the track that saw him win three times including the Group 3 National Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on debut.
While his race record didn’t seem to support a career at stud, Marks was adamant the colt deserved a chance and set about putting a plan in place that saw him offered for sale on New Zealand Bloodstock’s online auction platform, gavelhouse.com.
“Prince Of Brooklyn really was a lovely type and didn’t really get to show that on the track after a promising start that saw him win a stakes race at his first start,” Marks said.
“He sustained a knee injury that cut short his racing career, but I’m a real horse enthusiast and I thought if we could find someone to take him on as a stallion prospect, then I would do what I could to make that happen.
“We put him up on gavelhouse.com with instructions for any potential purchaser to call me.
“I ended up getting a call from Jason Coutts, who is based down in Mosgiel, who told me he and his wife Charlotte were setting up a stud and were looking for a foundation stallion.
“After we had talked some more we did the deal and the horse was off to their farm.”
Marks was keen to stay involved where he could and when the stallion’s first crop of foals were on the ground, he and Price made the trip over from Melbourne to look them over.
“Mick and I went over to visit the stud and we really liked what we saw so we ended up picking out two colts and a filly to purchase.
“The first colt we liked turned out to be Brooklyn Boss, so it really is a fairy tale come true with his win today.
“The plan for Jason was to get some of Prince Of Brooklyn’s progeny into Australia and to try and make an impact over here and that win will make plenty of good judges sit up and take notice.”
Marks is now looking forward to seeing both the second colt and the filly he picked out making their way to Price for their future racing.
“The second colt, who is a gelding now, is nearly ready to have a jumpout and if he goes well he will be on a plane to Melbourne shortly after,” he said.
“The best part about the win by Brooklyn Boss today was that he dented quite a few reputations.
“The second horse (Oriental Legend) is a half to Australian Derby winner (Group 1, 2400m) Jon Snow, while Mick and Michael also had two others in the race that I know they rate highly.
“John Allen rode Brooklyn Boss and when he got off him he said he was very strong through the line and looking for more ground, so I’m trying to keep my excitement under control now.”
Another trying to keep his excitement in check is Jason Coutts, after watching the impressive victory from his Mosgiel home.
“I’m still pinching myself after what we saw today,” Coutts said.
“Mick and Michael have done a superb job with him and he lived up to the nickname of Dynamite that we gave him before he went over to them.
“I guess you could say that we were as mad as a meat axe when we first went about setting up our farm and then thinking we could stand a stallion here, but I can tell you it is a very warm feeling we all have right about now.”
Coutts and his wife Charlotte had originally planned to set up an eventing-based property with his wife having a wealth of experience in that area. Those plans morphed into much more with Coutts believing their hard work is about to pay off.
“We definitely weren’t planning to stand a stallion here as we wanted to be focussed on the eventing and equestrian side of things,” he said.
“We saw Prince Of Brooklyn on gavelhouse.com and managed to secure him and it has all gone from there.
“He only served 15 mares in his first season and then 25 after that, but there has been really good chat about them and we’re hoping that what people saw today will translate into more business.
“Actually, after the horse won today we were out serving Rio Nugget, who is the dam of top sprinter Ferrando, so that is indicative of the better quality of mares he is getting now.
“What was also really satisfying is that our boys Noah and Quin were heavily involved with Brooklyn Boss in his early days with Quin breaking him in and Noah doing all the trackwork on him.
“We are just thrilled for Chris and the other owners in the horse and can’t wait to get the next one over to Mick and Michael.”
Brooklyn Boss is out of Stravinsky mare Zoe Brook, a daughter of Zabeel mare Thousand Veils who numbered the Listed South Australian St Leger (2400m) amongst her three career wins.