When Mr Pan Sutong’s Goldin Group purchased the historic Lindsay Park property from the Hayes family in September 2013, many racing connoisseurs were worried about the potential for change. They need not have worried, as the new owner has spent the past two and a half years reinvigorating the property’s original strengths as a stud farm.
As Mr Pan said at the time of purchase, “With a long tradition and an established reputation for breeding and training racehorses of the finest bloodlines, Lindsay Park Stud is an ideal equine environment for breeding and training.”
In its heyday, Lindsay Park covered around 809ha (2000 acres). The Goldin Group purchased the middle block, approximately 485ha (1200 acres), with the remaining two sections sold to Cornerstone Farm and McEvoy Mitchell Racing. Since then, Goldin Farms has added a further 324ha (800 acres) to the west of the property to bring it back up to the original size.
David Hayes had converted much of the property into racing facilities by the time of Mr Pan’s purchase and Goldin Farms has been transforming this back into stud facilities, by extending paddock sizes, adding foaling units and a stallion area with day paddocks for the dual Gr.1 winner Akeed Mofeed (GB) (Dubawi (IRE)-Wonder Why, by Tiger Hill (IRE)).
The new owner is lovingly maintaining the heritage-listed buildings as he is respectful of the historic sensitivities of the property. The farm’s office is located in the old coach house building created with huge sandstone, soapstone and bluestone blocks. Another attraction of this property is the location, just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide airport. With this airport now classed as international, Mr Pan can fly direct from Hong Kong to Adelaide and be at the farm soon after landing.
Bluebloods asked stud manager Andrew Perryman about Goldin Farms.
Q: What is important to you about the farm, and what makes it suited to horses?
A: The farm has a nice section of flat country for the young developing bloodstock, along with some lovely undulation paddocks, which rest on a desirable limestone base. The North Para River runs through the property with several weirs catching water for irrigation. This river gives us a quality water supply and enough volume when combined with the ground water, as evidenced by the ancient river gums dotted about the property.
“These wonderful old trees survive because the plentiful ground water. One of the attractions was that the property had plenty of facilities, especially with more than 100 racing boxes, and this infrastructure gave Goldin Farm a great base to develop from. The climate on the farm is quite mild without too many extremes of temperature, with reliable rainfall and is located in the heart of the world renowned Barossa Wine region.
“The newly purchased section of the Goldin Farms, Tarrawatta, is largely virgin horse country, with plenty of mature trees offering a similar topography and established pasture like Lindsay Park.”
Q: Do you have a favourite spot on farm?
A: “I enjoy standing at the top of the property on a sunny day, under blue skies, looking across the panoramic views down towards Eden Valley and back towards the Angaston township, across the Yalumba Winery. Another top spot is down by the weir, where after rain the water cascades over the edge creating a waterfall, with the beautiful big gums towering above with an abundance of bird and animal life.”
Q: Which recent graduates stand out?
A: “Our first crop reared on the farm are two year-olds, and include Sweet Varden (Jimmy Choux (NZ)-Sea Island by Woodman (USA)) who ran fourth on debut in a Listed race and looks like she will develop into a nice three year-old. We only sold three yearlings from our first crop reared on the farm, all out of mares we purchased in foal to support Akeed Mofeed. Our second crop of yearlings have just been sold through various yearling sales, and sold up to $270,000 for the All Too Hard colt from Gr.1 winner Bel Mer (Bel Esprit-Drop Anchor by At Talaq (USA)).
“As for the land, the list of graduates is hugely impressive dating back to when Colin Hayes established it in 1965. With Lindsay Park as a base, Colin Hayes trained more than 5000 winners and graduates of this property include influential stallions such as Rory’s Jester, Zabeel, At Talaq, Jeune, and Without Fear. Better Loosen Up, Australia’s only Japan Cup winner, was also trained here.”
Q: What horse related businesses do you run off the property?
A: “This is a horse breeding property, so we have our stallion, Akeed Mofeed, who is supported by our band of broodmares. We also have the facilities for sales preparation, and do some agistment for mares owned by clients.”
Q: Do you run any non-horse businesses on the property?
Q: What is the biggest challenge you face as a farmer?
A” “There is a huge challenge to keep South Australian breeding relevant and in the limelight as a breeding area. Cornerstone Farm, across the road, is doing an excellent job investing in stallions that will attract quality mares, and we hope to emulate that. There are many owners of highly rated broodmares in South Australia and we need to stand stallions who will encourage them to keep their mares local, rather than travel away to regions such as the Hunter Valley.
“From a farming point of view, quality water is always a challenge for anyone who farms in the Australian environment. We put a lot of thought into our water management to ensure the property always has its needs met.”