Lime Country Thoroughbreds has recently taken over Think Big Stud under a lease agreement, and will present its first Easter draft from this location in 2017.
Bluebloods spoke to Jo Griffin about the farm’s debut draft and the transition to Australia. Griffin said “The move to Australia was set in motion a year ago and after much planning, in February 2017, we relocated to the beautiful property formerly known as Think Big Stud. It is the property of a lifetime, the opportunity of a lifetime and we feel extremely blessed to have secured it along with taking care of the Tan family’s bloodstock in the future. We’ve also taken a lot of time and care about who we have employed, and we have a great team assembled now. This farm is so beautiful, and with all the rain recently, it’s very green.”
Inglis Easter is promoted as the “Best of the Best”. How do your rate your draft this year?
It is our first Easter draft and we’re clearly very pleased to be heading to the sale with stock by sires Savabeel, Redoute’s Choice and So You Think who is on fire. I expect all of the draft will be well inspected.
Tell us about your farm, the facilities, and how you prepare your Easter Draft.
Lime Country is a progressive thoroughbred enterprise specialising in sales preparation, broodmare and racehorse agistment, breaking-in and pre-training. The property consists of 300 acres of fertile, fully irrigated pasture, which provides a consistent pasture quality for young stock thus avoiding bone growth issues that can arise from dramatic pasture changes, i.e. from extremely dry conditions to a sudden growth of new grass. A total of 47 stables are spread around the farm from the horses-in-work barn to the yearling barn and broodmare boxes. Our yearlings are probably prepared like most others with an individual feed and exercise program. We work on getting everything right for the individual; from the box which it is happiest in to the staff member who deals with it. Small numbers with regular tweaking throughout the prep.
Name some of the best mares on your farm.
Gr.1 winner Norzita has a yearling by So You Think who will be retained, and a Fastnet Rock colt at foot. Laylia is the dam of Gr.3 winner Shamalia and is in foal to Tavistock. Forever Rafter is the dam of Gr.2 winner Miss Gunpowder and is in foal to So You Think. Yattarna is a recently retired Gr.3 winner by Exceed and Excel, and and Marechal winning General Nediym mare who was stakes placed at two, she is a 1/2 sister to WFA Gr.1 winner HUMIDOR and is in foal to I Am Invincible.
What is your favourite saying?
It’s actually one I nicked off Petrea Vela – We eat the elephant one bite at a time. Meaning nothing is too big to overcome if you just break it down into little bits and get going!
What type of music do you like?
It’s very eclectic – shamefully so. Everything from potty mouth rap, to modern country, through to Billie Holiday, 80’s Rock to Audioslave, Avicii and Bruno Mars – go figure?
Who is your hero?
My hero swings and changes. At this stage, probably my husband Greg. He is unstoppable. He’s had life threatening surgery only eight months ago and has bounced back far quicker than expected. He works huge hours, loves what he does and still manages to have a good time knowing he’s now only allowed two drinks a day for life!
Finally, what would you say to a young person wanting to work in the industry?
Try and get a job where you get to work with a variety of classes of stock on one farm. This helps your CV you’re not seen as a job hopper and only up-skilling in one area. If you want a career in this industry or your own farm, remember every time you meet someone it is literally a job interview. People remember the impression you leave with them. If possible work with people who have a history of assisting young people to get ahead, stick your hand up and work hard – it gets noticed.
Let’s take a look at the draft as individuals.
The draft includes a colt, Lot 22, by New Zealand Champion Sire Savabeel from A Real Princess, making him a half-brother to stakes winner and Gr.1 placed Kingdoms; from the strong New Zealand family of dual Gr.1 winner Candide.
“An impressive type out of this young mare who’s doing a great job and his owner John Bromley certainly has excellent stats as a breeder, I think he should have plenty of admirers.”
A true Think Big pedigree is Lot 126, a Redoute’s Choice colt from Gr.1 winner and Champion 3YO Filly Faint Perfume whose first foal is a winner. Faint Perfume’s dam is out of Gr.1 winner Danendri, making this colt 2×4 to Danehill. “A neater running type of Redoute’s Choice, he’s the son of two champions and he certainly seems to know it, he’s a very spunky type of colt.”
The other five yearlings in this draft are by Champion racehorse and now Gr.1 sire So You Think. From the Faint Perfume family is Lot 432, a filly out of Danendri’s unraced Galileo daughter Keep de Fortune, whose first foal is a winner. A half-brother, Lot 95, to Gr.3 winner Awesome Planet (dam of recent Gr.1 winner Awesome Rock) is also a half-brother to group placed Solar Eclipse. “He is physically an impressive type that we’ll be pleased to bring out of the box.”
Lot 458 is a colt from So Sydney, an unraced daughter of stakes winner Very Sydney; while Lot 436 is a filly out of Maie Casey, who is a daughter of Gr.1 winner All Time High, dam of stakes winner and Gr.1 placed Zydeco. A well related colt, Lot 305, is out of Reglisse, a Zabeel half-sister to group winner Valpolicella, dam of group winner Vavasour and Vilanova.