When a young Richard Foster (who had raced a horse as soon as he was legally permitted) borrowed a mare to send to a $150 stallion, breeding himself the ten times winner Lone Trice, it confirmed the love of racing and breeding he’d always had.
A decade later with some guidance from the late Jim Atkins he trained at Toowoomba for a while; cheering home nine winners from just 15 starters. After a highly successful businesscareer culminating in the development of the ASX 200 company Cromwell, Richard and Joanie Foster bought Yarramalong Park at Kalbar, 70km south-west of Brisbane in 2005 and set about developing a run-down dairy farm into a horse stud.
Steadily increasing the broodmare band, both in numbers and quality, the Foster’s soon realised that sending their mares away was not an efficient model – “the costs were just too high.”
And so, upon discovering in 2015 that the fast multiple stakes winner Better Than Ready was looking for a home, he was quick off the mark. Approaching the Krugers at Lyndhurst Farm, he found an ally and the handsome son of More Than Ready stayed in Queensland; those who raced him remaining in the ownership.
Syndicated within a month, Better Than Ready has proven popular serving over 640 mares in his four years, making a great start with eight of his debut crop runners being winners including the stakes winners The Odyssey and Better Reflection.
The latter is one of five Better Than Ready winners carrying the Yarramalong brand, making inspection of their Inglis Melbourne Premier yearlings by the emerging stallion (current leading first season sire and third leading 2Y0 sire behind Snitzel and I Am Invincible) a must.
“We were very careful regarding our selection of which yearlings to take to Melbourne,” Foster said, happy with last year’s results; all three of his Better Than Readys finding homes; averaging over $58,000. “If you take a nice type to Melbourne, it will sell,” he said.
Yarramalong have a very nice bunch this year, four of the six being by Better Than Ready who was represented by two six figure yearlings at the recent Magic Millions.
Lot 515 bay filly from Ultimo (by Exceed And Excel): first living foal for a granddaughter of Ochiltree from the family of Blue Diamond Stakes-Gr.1, 1200m winner Earthquake, she is described as “a lovely, very athletic filly.” “I bought four Exceed And Excel mares for Better Than Ready (resulting in crosses of Natalma, Almahmoud, My Charmer and Glamour) and their progeny are all outstanding types.”
Lot 530 bay colt from Yankee Hoedown (by Encosta de Lago): first living foal for a multiple placed mare whose dam is a half-sister to the dam of European stars Daylami and Dalakhani. This “very athletic colt” brings together More Than Ready and Danehill who combine so well in the pedigrees of 82 stakes winners.
Lot 562 brown colt from Bright Planet (by Manhattan Rain): one of the best ways to combine More Than Ready and Danehill is through this fellow’s second dam sire Redoute’s Choice (8.8% stakes winner to runner ratio). Also of interest here are strains of Lyphard and Vain in both his sire and dam’s dam lines. “I am just watching him working in the round yard as we speak,” Foster said of the relation to Miracles Of Life, “and what a nice, big strong fellow he is. You can see immediately that he is a Better Than Ready.”
Lot 577 bay filly from Commanding Epic (by Commands): sister to Girls Are Ready who created such a fine impression winning twice in Sydney in December. “She is an outstanding filly, bigger and stronger than her sister and I will be surprised if she does not attract a fair bit of attention being out of a half-sister to the stakes placed She’s Miss Devine and the multiple city winner Choisborder who have both raced well in Melbourne.” Foster is looking to also showcasing the Yarrmalong brand with three other well related youngsters…
Lot 193 brown colt by Wandjina from Freshness (by Galileo): “looks a seven furlong/miler “ out of a half-sister to the Group Two winner Rock Me Baby, he carries crosses of Natalma, Almahmoud and Lalun. “He is an outstanding type with plenty of strength, size and scope.”
Lot 297 bay colt by Rubick from Mareeza (by Freeze): son of a Gr.3 placed metropolitan winner from a strong European family, he boasts multiple strains of the prolific Dalmary family via Fairy King, Nureyev, Sadler’s Wells, Thatch and Thatching. “He is a really striking colt, a powerful boy who will sell himself.”
Lot 441 brown filly by Wandjina from She’s A Meteor (by Northern Meteor): “another lovely filly,” this half-sister to the promising Sydney placed two year-old Ready’s Girl who Foster hopes will be in winning form before the sale, is out of a half-sister to the dual Group winner Fast Clip. Whilst her sire carries a Best In Show duplication via Redoute’s Choice and Try My Best, his dam has Try My Best’s brother El Gran Senor. n