Bargain buy delivering a great ride
AS A couple of youngsters with bulging price tags try to force their way into the Magic Millions at the Gold Coast on Saturday, Peter and Will Hulbert have a little gem of their own in Oh Five Glory, despite a modest price tag.
For the combined cost of Saturday's rivals Lubuk ($500,000) and Exhilarates ($600,000), you could have purchased Oh Five Glory 44 times over - and she is already virtually assured a place in the 2YO Classic field.
Hulbert Sr, 73, won the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares race with Endless Shadow in 2015 when he was training in his own right. He said it would be more special having Will alongside his name this time around.
"Will was with me when we won (with Endless Shadow). He mainly used to ride her work," Peter Hulbert said.
"Tony McEvoy originally had her and I believe the staff there used to draw straws to see who would ride her work. She was a bit of a headstrong thing.
"When she came up here, Will settled her down, did a lot of work on her and got the result. But it is a different feeling (this time) because of that fact he's my son, both our names are there and I'm pretty proud."
Hulbert gives all the credit to Will for securing Oh Five Glory for just $25,000.
"I've always said to Will when you go to buy a yearling and you want it to be an early comer, it's got to look right there and then athletic and it's got to look like it will run tomorrow," Hulbert said.
"When he rang and said, 'Dad I've found one that looks like it will run tomorrow. It's a bit small, but it's by Unencumbered and out of a Flying Spur mare', I said 'Mate, go for it.' Now here we are."
The majority owner of Oh Five Glory is Jeff Kennedy, who raced the talented Mischievous Devil to win four races with the Hulberts.
"Jeff rang Will out of the blue and said to find him a QTIS filly," Hulbert said.
"This was the first one that came up. He bid on her and bought her."
Kennedy races Oh Five Glory with several other Wests Tigers fanatics, who named the filly to pay homage to the 2005 NRL premiership.
"She's had two starts and with the bonuses has won over $100,000 and the owners are just beside themselves," Hulbert said.
"The fact they can come up and rub shoulders with the big wigs, they are rapt in that.
"We are not deluding ourselves. It's going to be a bloody lot harder from here on in. The big guns start to appear now.
"But win lose or draw, they're coming up from Sydney and they're determined to have one hell of a good week.
"They will be at the barrier draw on Tuesday and hopefully Jeff will draw us a good alley."
SNOW VALLEY TREBLE WITHIN REACH
MATT Dunn rates Snow Valley a filly with stakes-winning potential and anticipates her making it three straight at the Gold Coast on Saturday, even if it won't be enough to earn a Magic Millions Guineas berth.
Snow Valley is a daughter of champion sire Snitzel from the talented mare Deer Valley, but sold well below the established mark for Snitzel's progeny when Dunn and bloodstock agent Neil Jenkinson forked out $200,000 for her at the 2017 Magic Millions.
"Maybe the reason was the same reason she hasn't had very much racing. She was a bit immature and wasn't ready to get up and going," Dunn said.
"We have had to be patient, but she's got a good pedigree page.
"We tried to get her there as gently as we possibly could and maybe take some BOBS money too.
"She was pretty good first-up when she belted the older horses and she's improved a bit. She's still got a way to go, she's still not quite ready yet, but she's improved a lot on last (preparation)."
Snow Valley won on debut at Lismore in August before romping home against older horses first-up at the same venue last month.
She tackles her toughest test in Saturday's 3YO Open Handicap, but Dunn expects her to take the step.
"I've got a decent wrap for her. She's always shown nice talent and I would think she will be just about winning on Saturday," he said.
The trainer admitted it would be difficult to pass up a run in the Magic Millions Guineas the following week if she scraped into the field, but he felt it would probably be a moot point, given the current cut-off is about $50,000 ahead of where she would be if successful on Saturday.
However, stablemate Badoosh will definitely back up if he forces his way into the 2YO Classic by winning the juvenile race on Saturday.
"He goes really well," Dunn said of the Sebring gelding. "If he goes in a straight line he finishes right next to the favourite (Dubious) last time and everyone says 'wow, look at you'.
"I've put blinkers on him and I think he's a genuine chance (in the 2YO Classic) if he can win Saturday."