As far as opening acts go, Olivier makes for interesting theatre.
The Statue of Liberty 3YO showed his true mettle at Ballarat on Sunday, ploughing through 1200m of a Heavy 10 to score his first win for a very excited breeder-owner in Georgia Fraser (and her mum, Veronica).
Coming from near last on the turn, Olivier produced an eye-catching effort to grab victory right on the wire and it now appears the youngster is on target for rich spring roles.
According to Veronica, trainer David Hayes has always had an opinion of the horse, and considers him a black type contender – perhaps as soon as Flemington on Turnbull Stakes day (5 October).
This was only Olivier’s second trip to the races: first time around he produced a fighting third at Geelong despite being caught wide throughout after drawing a wide barrier. Merely a warm up: a dress rehearsal if you will.
But Ballarat on Sunday … well, that’s a different story. For the Fraser women at least, it may as well have been headquarters on Cup Day.
They are very passionate about their horses, with total focus on bloodlines, environment, nutrition, education and training.
Olivier is out of the Belong To Me mare, Our Cache, a black type family which includes Irish 1000 Guineas winner Al Bahathri, Group One winners Haafd and Military Attack, along with Hong Kong Group One winner and Melbourne Cup runnerup Red Cadeaux.
Sold for $100,000 as a yearling at Easter, Our Cache proved to be a real barrier rogue and was unraced as a consequence.
So, when the Frasers got hold of her (“we love the Belong to Me mares – we’ve got six of them!”) they were determined to get the perfect match.
“Despite his success, Statue of Liberty is one of the most underrated stallions in Australia and, best of all, he’s got a marvelous temperament,” Veronica points out.
Statue of Liberty was Our Cache’s first cover and both Georgia and Veronica were determined to play it by the book, having the vet – based close to their boutique Harkaway (Victoria) property – on standby.
Apart from displaying some typical first time mum behavior, both mare and foal bonded quickly and with the freedom of a 15 acre undulating paddock, the latter grew like topsy.
And, as it turns out, the education process would be little more than a lunge in the park: “they broke him in in eight minutes!”.
Determined to go the extra step, the Frasers then placed the youngster with champion trainer David Hayes and, fingers crossed, the rest is history.
Who knows … maybe this Olivier will be awarded a statue of a different kind.
|No ... the other Olivier!|