Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It’s amazing how many of life decisions are determined when the grape is involved.
Now, while opinions differ as to the amount of red wine involved, the end result remains the same … i.e. when Kerrie O’Callaghan was offered the opportunity to take a share in a ‘soon-to-be-purchased’ yearling at the 2010 Tasmanian sale, she put the hand up.
“We were down in Tasmania for the sale and races and the folk down there had been very kind, inviting us – often at the last minute – to a number of functions. I just thought it would be nice to get involved,” Kerrie points out.
A couple of days later, Kerrie was the proud (part)owner of a yearling colt by West Quest from the Baryshnikov mare Miss Barysh, which was purchased from Ace Shaw’s draft for $20,000.
The colt is a grandson of 3-time Tasmanian stakes winner Annie’s Pride and the new owners – appropriately named the Lobsters & Legends No. 1 syndicate – soon placed the horse with leading Apple Isle trainer Gary White.
Now we’re sure Kerrie will forgive us for saying that she’s been around the traps long enough to know that the twain rarely meets between red wine aspirations and fast racehorses, but lo and behold, the kid has talent.
Named Barysh Quest, the now 3YO won for the first time at Hobart in September – despite racing greenly – and, resuming just before Christmas, ran a credible fourth at Launceston.
Still, it was his effort on 4 January at Launceston in the Listed Tasmanian Guineas-LR that really made us stand up and take notice. Hampered at the start and overracing for a good part of the journey, Barysh Quest (below) flew home to just get beaten.
However, he soon turned small black type into capitals when he blitzed the opposition in the Listed Hobart Guineas, scoring by over two lengths after being forced to race wide.
Now it’s on to the $100k Listed Schweppes Tasmanian Derby this Sunday (5 February) and, if successful in Hobart, may make the trip to the mainland for the $750,000 Group One Australian Guineas at Flemington on 3 March.
In the words of the late, great Bob Marley (OK, UB40 too): “Red, red wine, it’s up to you, all I can do is done …”

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