Mill Park Stud is a 10,000 acre property on the limestone-based country of South Australia with 2000 acres dedicated to their successful thoroughbred operation. TDN AusNZ’s Paul Vettise chatted with Chris Watson about their thriving business.
Paul Vettise: How many broodmares do you currently have on the farm, and what is the farm's approach to selecting stallions?
Chris Watson: We run about 80 mares for clients and ourselves. We look at all aspects involved when selecting stallions for mare bookings. Type, pedigree and commercial appeal are all important criteria when choosing a stallion for a mare.
PV: Any notable new mare additions to the 2018 line-up?
CW: G2 Doomben Roses winner Arabian Gold produced a lovely first foal, a colt (pictured below) by Snitzel and she is being covered again by Snitzel.
Arabian Gold will be covered by Snitzel and has a colt foal by the same sire
"Type, pedigree and commercial appeal are all important criteria when choosing a stallion for a mare. " - Chris Watson, Mill Park Stud
Beluga Blue, winner of the Listed Hill Smith S., and second in the G2 Wakeful Stakes has produced a really nice colt foal by Snitzel and is to be covered by I Am Invincible.
G2 Wakeful S., runner-up Glam Guru, who is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Gamblin’ Guru and out of a half-sister to Gold Guru, was retired this season and is going to be covered by American Pharaoh.
Gold Coast Magic Millions Mares winner I Am Zelady is a full-sister to Comprendre and she’s produced a lovely first foal filly by Snitzel and is being covered this season by Zoustar.
Mella Maria, winner of the G2 Turffontien Spring Fillies’ Challenge, produced a first foal by Golden Horn and is being covered by Not A Single Doubt.
PV: Who is involved in the mating decisions?
CW: This is usually a long, drawn-out process taking weeks and involves the whole family. A good few arguments and bottles of red are involved before a decision can be made!
PV: How much do sales trends inform your decision making?
CW: We try not to be influenced by sale trends as we feel this is being reactive to historical market occurrences. We try to be proactive and focus on racetrack results and what we believe will be the next success stories in the stallion ranks.
We feel it’s important to go out onto the farms and look at the first couple of crops of foals on the ground of new stallions to get a guide on what types the stallion is throwing and what style of mare will mostly likely suit the stallion.
"We try to be proactive and focus on racetrack results and what we believe will be the next success stories in the stallion ranks." - Chris Watson, Mill Park Stud