A 6-year-old gelding bred at a small stud farm in Yorkshire, England, caused a huge upset in Australia on Saturday as Redkirk Warrior defied convention in the G1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap at Flemington, becoming the first horse to win the famous A$1,250,000 sprint without the benefit of a recent prep-run for exactly 100 years.
Redkirk Warrior, sent off a 30-1 chance, was bred at Lenore Peacock’s Manor House Stud in Middleham, North Yorkshire, out of the homebred mare Flag and was sold for 22,000 guineas at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2012. His half-brothers Azygous and Liberty Ship and half-sister Twosheetstothewind were all multiple winners in Britain.
His sire, the British-bred Eclipse and Juddmonte International Stakes winner Notnowcato had started his stallion career at Stanley House Stud in Newmarket.
Redkirk Warrior started life being known simply as Redkirk, winning his first two starts for William Haggas in Britain at Yarmouth and Ascot in 2014.
He was transferred to Hong Kong, finishing second in the Hong Kong Classic, then putting in a disappointing effort when favourite for the 2015 Hong Kong Derby.
Redkirk Warrior moved again to the care of David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig in Australia, and they have long been impressed by his ability.
He ran once in 2016, landing the Group 3 Yarramalong Racing Club Stakes at Sandown in November before reappearing at Flemington on Saturday after a break.
David Hayes plans to run him in next month’s Aus $3 million Doncaster Mile in Sydney’s Championships meeting.
Manor House’s stud manager, Alan Hogg, said: “We’re all absolutely delighted. He was a nice yearling and he went off to William Haggas before what I assume was a fantastic offer was made from Hong Kong.
“Flag is retired now, but the Peacocks have had the family for over 80 years. Mrs Peacock has been very astute with her breeding.
“We have six broodmares now, it’s a very small operation, but we like to think we punch above our weight. Path Of Peace has done well, she produced Belvoir Bay, who won a few good races in America.”
- Article by Great British Racing International