Rodney Hay not interested in $1 Million offer on Astapor.
Published 27 November 2023
The phones have not stopped ringing with offers of as much as $1,000,000 being made (to buy) after Rockhampton racing’s latest sensation Astapor scored an ultra-impressive win at Doomben races in Brisbane last Saturday.
Carrying 57kg, Astapor (Justin Stanley) hesitated slightly at the start but was skillfully worked into a challenging position before racing away in the straight to win the $105K 2YO Plate (1100m) by three lengths.
Upping the ante from a bid of $500K to acquire the Clinton Taylor trained Astapor (br c 2 Tassort-Black Mink x Lonrho) after he won on debut at Rockhampton on November 10, an offer of $800,000 came in shortly after the Doomben win.
Ï told the fellow who made that offer I believed his owner Rodney Hay wasn’t going to sell him and then he asked would he be interested in a million dollars for the horse (Astapor). It has been crazy really with all the calls from agents and people from Hong Kong and all over the place wanting to buy him. As far as I know he is not for sale”, Taylor said on Sunday.
That night Chinchilla based owner Rodney Hay, who has close ties with Rockhampton racing reaffirmed Taylor’s belief with a simple “no Astapor is not for sale.”
“Look I don’t owe anybody any money and I am not in that position that I have to sell him. Look, there was even a call from a very prominent southern owner wanting to buy a half share in the horse. As a friend of mine said, if you sold him for a million dollars you would most probably spend that money on buying more horses and they could turn out to be slow ones. I have another 12 young two-year-olds that haven’t been raced yet. “No, really he is not for sale”, Hay who has about 30 horses on his books said.
Hay, a hobby trainer himself and a prominent cattle man, sold up his Taroom cattle property, acquiring the magnificent horse property of prominent breeder Wally Gleeson at Chinchilla and moved there in the last 12 months.
Never in his training career that has covered many decades has Rodney Hay had a horse of the calibre, class and promise that Astapor asserts.
“1 paid $38K for him at Magic Million in January. There was just something about the colt I liked even though he was a little on the small side. His sire Tassort was an outstanding young horse as a 2YO. Going back through the pedigree page (Lot 1032 – Sunday, 15/1) I saw his great dam mothers were daughters of Zedative and Bletchingly so that was good enough for me and I bought him. I can remember Cameron Bond (Kenmore Lodge) once telling me, if you buy a yearling from Magic Millions make sure you pay-up to get them in the race series. I have always done that since then,” Hay said.
To this day Hay has certainly stuck to that advice as by doing so, Astapor has now qualified for the $3 million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at Aquis Park, Gold Coast on Saturday, January 13.
While his trainer Clinton Taylor floated Astapor south for his Doomben assignment last weekend, he drove home the 634km to Rockhampton arriving at 9.30pm Saturday minus his star horse.
“He has gone out to Embrook (spelling farm Beaudesert) for 10 days freshen-up. He is a raw talent and still learning how to race. I thought his win on Saturday was fantastic as he picked them up easily in the straight and accelerated away. There is still plenty of improvement in him,” Taylor said.
Clinton Taylor, a workaholic with about 30 horses in training at Callaghan Park has enjoyed a meteoric and well-deserved rise through the training ranks since setting in Rockhampton four season ago after commencing training in the Condamine region in 2018.
Apart from Astapor, he has developed from yearlings the boom mare Chinny Boon and well performed Divine Purpose.
Chinny Boom, a dual Brisbane winner for the Taylor stable is likely to resume racing in a Callaghan Park Open Handicap (1100m) on Friday.
In a typical week from the Taylor diary, after Doomben last Saturday, he floats horses to Home hHill races (631km on Tuesday), Mackay (335 km, Thursday) before just a short drive over the road from his stables to Callaghan Park races on Friday.
Taylor and the other marauding highwaymen and women Rockhampton trainers who float their horses’ long journeys seeking an outcome, deserve every success they achieve in their very demanding roles of being Central and North Queensland professional horse trainers.