Rocky debutant colt ‘Astapor’ Not for Sale.
Published 14 November 2023
The “Not For Sale” sign has been firmly entrenched around last Friday’s brilliant Clinton Taylor trained Rockhampton debutant colt Astapor after it scored an emphatic runaway win in the $35,000 Breeders C & G 2YO Plate (1050m) at Callaghan Park.
This is despite an offer to purchase for half-a-million dollars not long after Astapor (Justin Stanley, $1.70) romped home winning seemingly effortlessly by 4.87 lengths.
That win came about after Astapor got well back in the field and then deviated by taking the turn into the home straight very awkwardly costing himself valuable ground.
Astapor then reeled in the leading pack with consummate ease scoring what could be described as a breathtaking win branding the colt as something special.
So much so, that trainer Clinton Taylor while supervising Astapor shortly after the win received a telephone call from a would-be buyer.
“Clinton took a call with an offer of $500,000 to purchase Astapor but the horse is not for sale”, owner Rodney Hay disclosed.
Astapor was a “street corner” tip in Rockhampton in the days preceding the win with Taylor confirming he had tried not to disclose too much about the colt’s ability.
“He showed us something special in his work and we kept it as quiet as possible and I suppose we got away with it in some respects”, Taylor said while confirming the telephone call to purchase Astapor.
Despite being sent out for a “’quiet trial” at Callaghan Park over 900 metres on October 23, Astapor was too good beating his stablemate Valorous Performer.
Valorous Performer came out and won the $35K Fillies division of the Breeders Plate just 35 minutes before Astapor’s race last Friday, thereby dousing any hope of covering the latter’s tracks” so to speak.
Hay purchased Astapor (Tassort-Black Minx x Lonhro) under his Livistona Pastoral Company banner for $32K as Lot 1032 from the draft of Telemon Thoroughbred, Beaudesert on January 14 this year from Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
A “dyed in the wool” devotee of thoroughbreds and the racing industry, so much so that Rodey Hay trains 14 of his own horses out of a thoroughbred property and complex at Chinchilla.
Since acquiring the property and selling his extensive grazing holdings near Taroom in the last 12 months, Rodney has invested heavily in thoroughbreds with horses placed with other trainers in Brisbane, Rockhampton, Roma and Blackall.
He has at least 40 thoroughbreds, including broodmares in his horse racing portfolio.
“Clinton (Taylor) told me after the race that Justin Stanley believes Astapor has the capabilities of winning in Brisbane, so I won’t be selling him. Anyhow he is a Magic Millions horse and who knows he might make it into that race ($3M MM Classic) in January”, Hay said.
Today (Tuesday) Talyor elaborated on the likely immediate future plans for Astapor.
“It’s pretty hard as there isn’t an open class 2YO Handicap for him to run in here for quite some time but there is a suitable race coming up in Brisbane for him on Saturday week. I’ll see how he goes in the next week or so, but that race may be the way to go considering he is a Magic Millions horse”, Taylor said.
The alluring offer to purchase Astapor comes just weeks after a $300,000 proposed purchase from a Hong Kong based buyer for brilliant Tom Smith trained four times winner Acre’s Away fell through when the 3YO gelding did not make the weight criteria the buyer preferred.
Later during last Friday’s Callaghan Park meeting, Rodney Hay trained Momack (Olivia Kendall, $2.15), a recent online Sydney purchase, provided him with two winners for the day by taking out the BM 70 (1600m).
Photo Credit: Caught in the Act Photography.