Conor Dunlop is one of Western Australia’s most experienced horsemen with a penchant for breeding quality. Geisel Park sold the most expensive horse in the MM Perth Winter Thoroughbred Sale last year.
The Impact speaks to Dunlop about the sales season, breeding quality thoroughbreds, the farm and much more:
Q: Could you please tell us more about the high valued weanling you sold at the recent sale? (How did this mating come about? Did you feel that this one would be a sale topper? Did you get a lot of people coming in to see him? What was your price expectation? Are you happy with the buyer?)
A: For early days the colt always had a great degree of class about him, from birth he was a fantastic mover and progressed as he developed, he is a real eye-catching type whom we believe will have a bright future.
We purchased the mare solely for the cross to our resident stallion and we couldn't be happier with the quality of the resulting colt that was also her first foal.
Being a nice colt with a nice pedigree that always gets people talking and generates interest; he had a lot of interest and ultimately was purchased by a good judge in the form of Jason Miller. We are delighted that Jason and his clients bought the colt as we know Jason will give him every chance.
Q: How do you plan matings to ensure high-value foals? How far in advance do you plan them?
A: We are focused on finding the right mare to match up on type and on pedigree; we have put together a nice band of broodmares to suit both our stallions.
Q: How many horses did you bring into the sale and how many did you sell? Are you happy with the prices you received for all your horses?
A: We took five to the sale and sold three for prices that we expected, we know the quality that we had on offer and I think buyers saw the quality also.
The two that didn't meet reserve have now been broken in and spelt, the reports on both horses have us quite excited; we are really looking forward to the upcoming 2yo campaign.
Q: Do you consider breeding for specific races or do you breed for athleticism?
A: With our breeding band of mares, we have some that will tick all the boxes we ultimately want to be producing horses that can compete at the top level and be successful equine athletes.
Q: What were your 2018/2019 successes?
A: For us, there have been a few with some of our homebred horses winning some nice black type races. War God, Mr. Motown.
We also had the highlight of our resident sire All American having his second Gr1 winner in the form of Dark Dream who won the Queensland Derby
Q: Please tell us more about your Farm and your journey in the racing and breeding industry thus far?
A: We have had our Myalup property since 2008 owner Eddie Rigg has set up the perfect farm for breeding quality racehorses, with top pastures and fantastic infrastructure we have a leading set up in WA.
Over the seasons we have had success with quite a few of our home breeds as well as horses we have purchased at sales throughout Australia.
We believe the future for Geisel Park is a very bright one with the quality of the foals produced by both of our Gr1 winning stallions All American & Vert De Greece we believe we will be leading the way in WA for years to come.
Q: Which horse has brought you the greatest joy?
A: For me personally, it would have to be a stunning filly called Habanera, as 2yo she suffered a horrible injury and was out of action for a long period of time. During that time she continued to develop and was a pleasure to work with. She returned to racing and was very consistent and eventually won a maiden. Some people will mention the joy of winning major races but for me, the day Habenera won was one I won't forget.
Q: Is this the end of the sales season for you, or do you have any more sales we will be seeing you at?
A: We currently have a number of horses nominated for the 2019 Perth Winter sale; we have two weanlings, a yearling and two broodmares.
Weanlings by Demerit and War, a nice yearling filly by Magnus and two nice mares one in foal to Vert De Grece.
Q: Which sales do you attend during every year?
A: We attended Magic Millions of sales and Inglis sales throughout Australia either selling or in search of what could be a star of the future.
Q: What do you enjoy outside the Thoroughbred world?
A: Outside of the thoroughbred world, I enjoy spending time with my family. I am usually always watching or playing some form of sport be it cricket, AFL, rugby or soccer.