The great start to life and the solid foundation that Egmont Park Stud provides has made Dumbo and Mouse look good.
That’s the opinion of Taree dairy farmer, John Polson, who bred and owned Big Wheels to win his first Group One victory at Albion Park on July 25.
“Pete (McMullen) and Chantal (Turpin) have added the finishing touches to them, and now they are just starting to warm up. I’d hate to think what Dumbo and Mouse will be like next season. They just keep getting better with each start.
“They aren’t the prettiest full-brothers in the world. In fact, I’d say they are quite ugly. They are certainly no Brad Pitt lookalikes that’s for sure. Dumbo has big ears so his nickname was obvious, and that’s why we called the other fella, ‘Mouse’.
“They are both by A Rocknroll Dance, and out of a New Zealand mare, Washington Lass, who was by Washington V C. I always liked great racehorses (stallions) from the USA,” the 60-year-old said.
Mouse is the Group One Qbred Triad 2yo colts and geldings champion, while Dumbo is the 3-year-old six-win pacer, Blacksadance, who ran third in the Group Two South East Derby a week before his little brother gave Polson the biggest win of his life.
Polson said it was a ‘no-brainer’ having them bred and raced in Queensland.
“Egmont Park gives my horses the best possible start in life. I just love going there and immersing myself amongst the horses. It’s equine luxury. The mares and foals are looked after like they are part of the family. It’s horse heaven almost. The incentives are far better for my horses in Queensland than back here in New South Wales,” Polson said.
“Mouse’, aka Big Wheels, gave Polson his first big victory when he nailed the Listed Breeders Classic 2yo victory on May 23, also at Albion Park.
“Up until that night I had never bred or owned a big winner before, and then Mouse goes and grabs an even bigger piece of the pie for me.
“I’d been struggling with the drought earlier this year and it’s been tough. I will continue to breed and race all my horses in Queensland because your State Body seems to care more for grass root breeders like me,” Polson said.
“It was so exciting; I couldn’t contain myself. I’ve only ever bred a couple of horses and now I’m a Group one winner. Unbelievable!” Polson said.
He said had it not been for NSW trainer, David Thorn, he would not have come across Washington Lass.
“He found her for me and started this great trip for me. I’ve owned horses before and bred a couple with friends, but this was my first solo venture. I’m still very raw, but am learning as I go.
“All I know is that Chantal and Pete are so good with my horses. They have developed them beautifully from the perfect start they got at Egmont Park Stud. I can’t speak highly enough of them. I wouldn’t want my pacers in any other stable. The progress they have made in recent times has been unbelievable,” he said.
“The staff also need a big pat on the back too because they do the hard yards handling them every day,” he added.
Washington Lass had 10 races in New Zealand for 10 starts and four placings. She came to Thorn’s barn in July 2011.
“She was quite a nice pacer. She won second up for us at Menangle as the $1.60 favourite, and then went on to win eight more races (1:55.6), and $53,000, before we retired her in July 2015.
“She could have gone a lot further, but she was a ‘roarer’, and in the end we had to have her operated on. She would have been a much better racehorse had she not had throat and breathing problems,” Polson said.
He said because he had raced a horse with Turpin before, Polson decided to send Washington Lass north where the weather was kinder on her lungs.
“She won three races up there, including her first two at Redcliffe. She never reached her full potential as a racehorse because of her breathing problems, and for that reason I always thought she would make a nice broodmare,” he said,
The Egmont Park-based Washington Lass has left three foals, the last a Sunshine Beach brown yearling colt named Awaywego, who is also being prepared by Turpin and McMullen.
“He’s a lovely little fella as well, but his feet aren’t the best and Chantal said he was a work in progress, but once they get them right, he could be anything as well.
“The mare is due to foal to Sunshine Beach again and after that we have a booking to Captaintreacherous, which I’m very happy about.
“They didn’t want to know us it seemed until we won a Group One race, and now that we are booked in, I’m very excited. He’s a lovely and much sought after stallion. Like Sunshine Beach, he really attracted my eye,” Polson said.
“It’s up to Chantal and Pete what happens next with the horses. I leave all the decision-making to them, because they have done such a wonderful job for me,” he added.