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When the aptly named Veight (vee eight) came home 6l in front of his rivals it was a fine advert for his sire Grunt, a son of New Zealand breed-shaper O’Reilly (NZ), who entered the breeding barn a winner of five of his starts headed by victories in the G1 Australian Guineas and G1 Makybe Diva S.

Bred by Yulong, Veight is out of the dual Group 3-winning Fastnet Rock mare Neena Rock, who was purchased by Yulong for $500,000 at the Inglis Sydney Weanling and Broodmare Sale in 2015.

The colt was offered by Yulong at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale in 2021 and he was snapped up by Sledmere Stud and Cangon for $100,000, before being purchased by his trainer, Tony McEvoy and Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock Agency (FBAA) for $220,000 the following year.

Fairgray told TDN AusNZ the colt was always a standout and they made the decision to offer him as a weanling to showcase the high-class types the stallion was able to produce.

“He was a strong, compact, good-looking weanling. He was one that we wanted to take into the marketplace to let people see what the Grunts were like,” explained Fairgray. “He sold very well as a weanling and then went on and sold very well as a yearling.”

“He was a very neat horse, with a good, strong shoulder and hindquarter on him. He was medium-sized, walked very well and had a great brain on him. He had a lot of those attributes then which made him popular at the sale, but he also looks like he’s got a motor, which is going to stand him in good stead.”

Good reports

Like so many, Fairgray was taken by the manner of Veight’s win and said he had been getting good reports from trainers about the stallion’s progeny, but putting it all together on raceday is not always guaranteed.

“It was a great win. You never know what is going to happen, trainers can say they like them, but raceday is a different thing and the way he went about everything was great. His action and acceleration in the straight was very impressive.

“A great result for Grunt to get on the board and a very impressive way for him to be able to do that. Obviously, Veight was a nice yearling and sold extremely well. The expectation with Grunt is that people think they are more 3-year-olds, but we have had some fantastic feedback from some of the leading trainers about the Grunts.

“The trainers that have them are obviously very happy with them and for him to have a horse come out and perform like that is going to give people a lot of confidence. Tony told me on Derby Day, or around there, that he really liked the horse, but wasn’t going to push him and was going to let him furnish.”

Getting the progeny of a new stallion into the top stables in the country can be the difference between make or break and so Fairgray was buoyed to see some of the best trainers in the land secure progeny of the stallion at the recent sales.

Tony McEvoy, speaking to the trackside broadcast after the win, said he was expecting Veight to get out much further than 1200 metres, based on his pedigree. The trainer added that the R. Listed Inglis Millennium would likely come up too soon for his colt, but there were plenty of other targets in sight.

“I think he’s a miler, but that was an easy watch and a lovely watch,” McEvoy said. “He had great swagger (as a yearling) and when you see him walking around out here, he’s a beautifully balanced horse. He’s got a great honesty about him and great movement, and that’s what tipped me over the edge (at the sale).”


Article courtesy of TDN Australia New Zealand