Maguire's miracle mating sets up Slipper success

stay-inside tdn3While Paul Maguire does not hold any official title in G1 Golden Slipper S., winner Stay Inside's (Extreme Choice) career, nobody knows better than the man who planned the mating that produced the colt, how unlikely it was that he came to be foaled in the first place.

Racing is full of sliding-doors moments, but few can match the 'what if' story of Stay Inside, bred from a stallion with fertility issues out of a mare whose breeding record is best described as patchy.

It was Maguire who sourced his dam, Nothin' Leica Storm (Anabaa {USA}), sight unseen out of the Inglis Sydney Weanling and Broodmare Sale for just $1000 in 2015 and started out the journey that six years later would lead to her colt's dominant win in the world's richest 2-year-old race at Rosehill on Saturday.

"I am always looking for hidden diamonds. I always used to go through the pass ins (lots)" Paul Maguire said.

"Myself and my wife, Lyn, we have always liked Anabaa mares and we try to ensure our mares are by the leading broodmare sires and 70 per cent of them would fit that category.

"We had bought another Anabaa mare earlier that same season and when Nothin' Leica Storm was passed in at an Inglis sale I rang Simon Vivian. I left a message to ask why this mare had fallen through the cracks, and he texted me back and asked if he could get back to me the next day."

Moderately performed as a winner of one of her 20 starts on the track, Nothin' Leica Storm had a bit on the pedigree page, with her dam Nothin' Leica (Nothin Leica Dane) a half-sister to the dam of G1 Caulfield Guineas winner Wonderful World. That was enough to convince Maquire to take a punt on her.

"I was anxious to get her, so I simply rang in the morning and bought the horse having not laid eyes on her. I found the vet clinic where she was at and secured her from there," he said.

Maguire sent Nothin' Leica Storm to Written Tycoon, then standing for $19,800 (inc GST), and she produced a colt, which Maguire sent through the draft of his good friends, Lyndhurst Stud Farm, at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale. The return of $140,000 was an excellent one, however, the foal died not long after being purchased leaving the mare without an early runner to further her breeding career.

Nothin' Leica Storm had subsequently missed to both Rich Enuff and Show A Heart, and that heightened Maguire's concerns, and when she successfully got in foal to Extreme Choice in his first season, he was faced with a commercial decision.

"Having looked at the stats in the Studbook, we realised Extreme Choice had fertility issues. I started to think that her first foal had died and then she had missed twice the following year. Now the next sire she visited had fertility issues, so I thought we’d had to trade out of her, which we did," Maguire said.

"I am a commercial business person and we sold her in foal for $90,000 to a table which included Henry Field and Bruce Slade was there, and she went to Kingstar.

"I always work on the business principle, that you sell when something has reached its peak in value, which in hindsight, may or may not have been right."

A minor miracle

History will record Kingstar Farm as the breeder of that Extreme Choice colt, who on Saturday became a Golden Slipper winner. Stay Inside was sold by Kingstar as a foal to Newgate for $60,000 before Richard and Michael Freedman and Rick Connolly Bloodstock picked him out at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $200,000.

While there have seen so many hands in his success, the man at the very start of the journey appreciates better than most, how much of a miracle Stay Inside really is.

"It’s a needle in a haystack job when you think about it," he said. "That mare has only had a 30 per cent success rate. I think they have got one other filly out of her. She seems to have kept on missing.

"I wouldn't say it’s a fluke, because technically, it’s a very good mating. We’d love to have held the mare and said we were the official breeder of the Slipper winner but, in reality, we couldn't have afforded to have kept that mare, if she was going to have those fertility issues."

Extreme Choice has proven problematic in his three seasons at Newgate, producing crops of 48, 29 and 39, albeit with increasing fertility percentage. Maguire returned to him the season after he produced Stay Inside with another Anabaa mare of his, Anabarbie.

The subsequent colt proved a hit at this year's Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, selling for $220,000, the third-highest price in Book 2, to Kacy Fogden.

"You’d have to say that Extreme Choice really is a quality horse. When I first saw him parade down at Newgate on a Sunday morning, he was stunning. He is such a strong back-ended horse. He's got that lovely depth of girth and all of those things," Maguire said.

Newgate support pays off

Maguire takes satisfaction that he has not only played a significant role in providing Extreme Choice with his first Group 1 winner in his first crop, but also in the creation of a next-generation stallion for Newgate, who he has been a strong supporter of in the past decade.

"You have to take your hat off to Henry Field. From a greenfield start in the space of 10 years, he has achieved so much," he said.

"We sent three mares to Henry in the first year he kicked off at Newgate. What he has achieved has taken other people generations to achieve.

"I reckon we'd have three mares that would suit Stay Inside, I hope Henry looks after us," he said, tongue in cheek.

Maguire also paid tribute to the strong relationship with Bruce Slade in his time dealing with Newgate, while Lyndhurst Stud farm and the Kruger family have also been important and play host to the Maguires' current broodmare band of eight.

"Griff (Kruger) is very sharp when it comes to breeding recommendations. We get breeding advice from a range of people. We've used people like Simon Vivian and Vin Cox over the years and we now do a bit with Neil Jenkinson," he said.

His name may not feature anywhere in the Golden Slipper honour boards, but Saturday sits as a high point on Maguire's 30-year association with racing.

"I used to ride a horse barefooted and barebacked to school when I was 13-years-old, living on the Northside of Brisbane, and that's where my connection with horses started," he said.

From breeding and racing stakes winners like Gene's Interest (Foreign Interest) and Director's Special (Wrong Page {USA}) in the 1990s and 2000s to his successes as a commercial breeder in recent times, he now has a story to tell about a $1000 mare, a miracle mating and a colt that won Australia's greatest 2-year-old race.

Extreme Choice has one yearling heading to the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, Lot 366 from Keysbrook offered by Willow Park Stud.

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