Interview: In Conversation With Mick Malone, Stud Manager and Co-Owner, Kitchwin Hills
Kitchwin’s High Value Srikandi Leads At The Chairman’s Sale
Kitchwin Hills has always been known for its high-quality bloodstock. With the new format of The Chaiman’s sale, it was expected that only the best will feature in the catalogue. But even here, Kitchwin’s mare Srikandi was the second more expensive horse to be sold at The Chaiman’s sale.
The Impact spoke to Malone about the A$2 million Srikandi sale and his plans for the up-coming breeding season.
Q: Kitchwin sold some mares with excellent pedigree at the sale. What is the long term plan at Kitchwin?
A: We certainly had a top line draft at this year’s Chairman's sale which was a culmination of clients selling mares that they already owned fillies out of, or just want to benefit from what was looking like an exceptionally strong market for those higher end commodities. Obviously for Kitchwin, it’s a blow losing these blue hen mares from the farm, but I think we have a number of nice young mares who can take the mantle behind them.
Q: Did you expect the high-value sales and quantity of horses sold?
A: I thought the right people were there, it was just a matter of whether they found your article commercially attractive. Mares like Srikandi, there are always only going to be a handful of players, all of which were there and showed good interest with her. With the quality of such a small select catalogue, we as vendors really needed that sale to be strong to lay a platform and benchmark going forward in our mare sale season. With such a large book at the Gold Coast, it will be interesting if that trend can hold over numbers.
Q: We are going into the breeding season soon. Are there any new stallions you are excited about? and are there any proven stallions you will be trying for the first time this year?
A: The stallion ranks are again full of potential this year, with a number of new horses on the scene. Here at Kitchwin we have such a broad cross-section of mares and clients who use a vast range of stallions. Maybe a horse I will be using more solidly this year compared to others is Deep Field at Newgate Farm, he looks to have every chance from his first runners and is throwing a good type. Once again we will be going heavily towards the top stallions like I Am Invincible and Snitzel.
Our own stallion Sooboog who is entering his third season is another we will continue to support. His first foals look outstanding and covered good books of 150 and 182 in his first two years giving him a solid foundation to build on. I think at his price point and with the types, he has already thrown he looks a horse we want to support regardless if he stood at our farm or not!
Q: What is your process when you plan mating? How much in advance do you plan them and what are the things you keep in mind?
A: I think you have to be always thinking on your next move with a mare, whether you’re mating her to be selling next year in foal, or to be selling the resulting offspring as a yearling. It’s a process for me I never really start and finish, it’s a moving target that can charge right up until the cover time if you see something which changes your mind like her foal might not look as you planned so your decision may vary.
I like to do mating type on the type and get a real idea of what the foal will look like. Then obviously assessing the crosses and understanding what works.
Q: Personally, what keeps you excited about this industry despite being involved in it for such a long time?
A: It’s really just the unknown of what’s around the corner, the mare we buy and breed might throw a Group One winner or the yearling you purchase might go on to being a stakes horse. The fact that success can come from any price point as well, you don’t need the million dollar investments- in fact, I get just as much excitement from the lesser ones. A good example of this is a little Sidestep filly we purchased last year for A$5,500 at the Scone yearling sale. She won her first two starts and then went on to the Inglis Challenge running second. I’m involved with family and friends and enjoyed that just as much as some of our other bigger wins.