The champagne corks were popping at Yalumba Wines in Angaston last Wednesday following the win of Monsoon Poon at Murray Bridge.
A $5 chance, Monsoon Poon, trained at Kildalton Park by Tony McEvoy, resumed from a spell with an easy two and a half length win in the Winning Edge Presentations (1400m), a 0-68 three-year-old event.
For Yalumba’s managing director Robert Hill Smith, Monsoon Poon’s win caused him great enjoyment and also caused him to laugh.For all his time in the thoroughbred industry, Mr Hill Smith has never found himself in a winner, virtually by chance.
Now he is happy to share in the three-year-old’s potential selling a share in the horse to the Barossa-based Signature syndicate with which he has raced horses for nearly a decade.
The Signature syndicate is made up of a group of Yalumba employees and Barossa identities. Member Brad Collings said the syndicate had had limited success but was excited after the win of their new venture on Wednesday.
The Monsoon Poon story goes back to a Sydney yearling sale where Mr Hill Smith purchased a yearling filly which raced as Shanghai Moon.
“She was talented but never really ran up to her ability on race day,” Mr Hill Smith said. “Having said that she was placed in a Listed race so I decided to breed from her and sent her to Redoute’s Choice, the triple Group One winner who had just gone to stud.
“The mating produced a colt foal and within the blink of an eye Redoute’s Choice’s stud fee tripled as his progeny performed on the race track so I was hoping that when the colt went to auction he would fetch much more than the original $20,000 stud fee.”
Mr Hill Smith said the colt was being prepared for sale but a final x-ray showed the horse had cysts on his legs and would have to be withdrawn from the auction.
“So from hopefully fetching perhaps up to $200,000, he virtually become worth nothing. After some time I gave him to a trainer to try and stand a preparation but unfortunately the horse, now named Beijing Sun, went sore so he never saw a racetrack and I tried to sell him as a stallion prospect.
“Five times I thought I had him sold but the cash never arrived so I threw him into a paddock with three mares. He got two of them in foal and one was a colt out of a mare I had called Punchline and the result is Monsoon Poon.”
Mr Hill Smith said he had sent Beijing Sun to a thoroughbred sale in Melbourne and he was purchased by a Victorian breeder but after an accident the horse was gelded and now is involved in equestrian activities.
Ironically, granddam Shanghai Moon produced a colt foal to Cornerstone Stud stallion Reann on Wednesday, the day Monsoon Poon scored his initial win.
Monsoon Poon is named after a New Zealand Asian-influenced restaurant.
“Some mates of mine in New Zealand run the Monsoon Poon restaurant in Wellington and have just opened another in Auckland.”
Trainer Tony McEvoy said he believes Monsoon Poon has a bit of a future.
“He is still very immature but shows enough to believe he can measure up on the racetrack,” McEvoy said.