Sunnycoast’s Dream Start in Townsville: By Tony McMahon

Published 25 October 2022

Sunnycoast’s Dream Start in Townsville: By Tony McMahon

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Rockhampton’s Capricornia Yearling Sale (CYS) and the Hall family’s Graceville Thoroughbreds Mornish had a dream start to the new 2YO racing season when Sunnycoast won at Townsville last Saturday.

Contesting the $44,500 Pallarenda 2YO Stakes (1000m) for the males, the Jamie McConachy trained Sunnycoast (Chris McIver, $3.20F) scored a dashing 2.8 lengths win. 

The son of the Sebring stallion Sebring Sun (2012) and the unraced Choisir mare Even So (2010), stopped the clock at 57.23 seconds – over a second faster than Average Jane which won the female version an hour before.

The time thrilled connections particularly Bryan Hall who conducts Graceville Thoroughbreds with his wide Lorraine with the couple also breeding the winner.

“He (Sunnycoast) ran 57.23 on a track rated a Good 4 whereas last year’s winner Missile Thunder ran 57.79 on a Good 3 (faster track)”, Bryan said. 

It is a thrilling comparison as Missile Thunder is unbeaten in six starts accumulating $179,600 in stakes.

The Pallarenda win was a training triumph for Callaghan Park’s Jamie McConachy who had plotted the win for months.

“He is a Capricornia Sale’s horse so by winning the Pallarenda he is assured of getting into the Classic final for those graduates next April. That will be his big dance. He can go for a spell now and grow and mature”, McConachy said.

Jamie knows all about that $125K race having won it earlier this year at Callaghan Park with another of the Sebring Son breed in Semiballerina which is raced by Glenthorne Park, Taree where the sire stands.

The Halls and the Rutley family of Glenthorne Park have been friends for years, an association which brought about Sunnycoast.

“We bought his mother Even So when she was in foal to Sebring Son and of course, Sunnycoast was the result. So, as we could get her progeny to be eligible for QTIS (bonus prizemoney) we sent Even So to Aquis to be mated with Kobayashi (x I Am Invincible) and we have just weaned a nice filly from that mating who just looks like Sunnycoast. Even So is now in foal to our resident stallion Perast (x Snitzel)”, Bryan Hall said.

A multiple GR winning stallion, Perast is somewhat of a hidden jewel in Central Queensland and the Halls have sent some of their best broodmares and former top race mares to him.

 Sunnycoast has continued the remarkable sequence of winners from the Capricornia Yearling Sale with graduates’ year in and year out over the last three decades “punching above their weight”.

These include the GR 1 winner River Lad and a host of big race winners in Australia and overseas which originate from an annual Rockhampton Sales catalogue of about 100 yearlings.

Interestingly, Sunnycoast went to last year’s CYS on the open market but when his reserve was not reached the Hall’s bought him back for just $7000.

Similar scenarios including that of Marway, are a regular feature of the CYS.

At the 2017 CYS, the Sturgiss family from The Caves offered a Hemingway yearling which failed by $1000 to make it’s $15K reserve so they retained and raced him

He became Marway and has gone on the win Sydney races as well as the prestigious Wagga Town Plate among his CV of 13 wins and $454,875 in prizemoney.

While Bryan and Lorraine Hall are realists as well as passionate racing and breeding enthusiasts, they couldn’t be blamed if those thoughts of Marway have entered their minds. 

The 2023 Capricornia Yearling Sale where dreams once again be hatched will be staged next year on Sunday, April 2 at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

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