It is not a secret that Richard Foster of the Yarramalong Park is a lifelong devotee of Horse racing and the Thoroughbred Business as a whole. Along with his wife Joanie Foster, Richard founded the Yarramalong Park in 2005 and the moment right there kick-started the journey for this highly respected farm in the sport of racing. Along the way, he needed to make a minor modification to their strategies according to the situations, this ability to spot and isolate the problem and fix then is not an achieved easily and requires years and years of training and observing the business.
Yarramalong Park has been the breeding ground for many champions. Their star stud “Better Than Ready” has been keeping busy, as have been the other studs and mares the farm. As the CEO off the business, Roger keeps a hawk-eye view on everything. Through him, we got a sneak peek at this year’s draft and here we are sharing it with you.
Q: You were one of the top 5 vendors last year. You sold a Better Than Ready yealing to Blue Sky Bloodstock. Could you tell us a bit about that sale and where is he now? What was special about the horse?
A: The filly was x Licenced to Chill and sold to Edmonds Racing on the Gold Coast for $170,000. She was a magnificent yearling who attracted multiple bidders even though she was a mid-November foal. Toby and Trent Edmonds have allowed for her age and taken her along slowly. She is now furnished into a lovely 2yo and hopefully, we will get to see her ability soon. Meanwhile, her sister Lepreezy has now lodged 6 wins including her last 3 by a combined 15 lengths. She is now a major qualifier for the upcoming $500k The Jewel at the Gold Coast.
Q: This year you have a great draft of 10 horses. Which of them would you consider your highlights? (Could you please send a complete list of the horses along with some commentary and photos about each for yearling separately as well?)
A: 8 of our draft are bred for speed and 2 have middle distance dam lines which give the draft a great balance. The first 4 are probably the highlights on type and family. However, the market will sort them out as it always does:
Q: How do you plan your matings to eventually breed the best quality horse for speed? How do you choose which horses you would like to present at this sale?
A: We put in thorough research on proven pedigree nicks, particularly on the female side of the damsire and then try to match physical type. We place emphasis on soundness and favour some precocious speed in the mare even if she descends from middle distance lines. Clearly, the QTIS Bonus Scheme focuses on precocious 2 and 3-year-old speed up to 1600 meters, so we send mostly good early speed types to this sale. That said, Better Than Ready has already sired 5 or 6 1600 meter winners.
Q: Performance-wise, of your homebreds, which ones are you particularly proud of this past year 2019/2020?
A: Yarramalong produced 9 individual 2yo winners in Better Than Ready's first crop, headed by Stakes winner Better Reflection, who has trained on to be one of the leading 3yo's in Queensland. Sydney winner Girls are Ready also qualified for the Magic Millions 2yo race with the above.
Q: What implications (short term and long term) do you see for the industry after the launch of the Saudi Cup and with Dubai World Cup race meeting & the DWCC increasing its prize purse?
A: Prize Money in Australia has increased dramatically in Australia to a point that rises in DWCC should have little effect in our country.
Q: Please tell us more about yourself and how you got into horses as well as about your farm and your team.
A: We have bred and raced our own horses over most of our lives and Yarramalong Park was originally purchased in 2005 to house the private breeding and racing stock owned by Richard & Joanie Foster. The property was selected because it has, a secure water supply flowing through it constantly from the upstream Moogerah Dam, high-quality volcanic soils and hills, which are an ideal combination for the production of sound athletes.
As the broodmare band expanded, the decision to make the farm a commercial enterprise gradually became a reality. Yarramalong does not provide outside agistment services and has operated solely for Richard & Joanie Foster. The quality of the broodmare band (now 40 mares) has risen with the judicious selection and purchase of new breeding stock from some of the best families and the retention of the best race fillies for breeding. Yarramalong foals to winner’s statistics are exceptional by industry standards; they demonstrate the results of the Yarramalong Park breeding program and model. In 2015 Yarramalong syndicated the exciting stallion Better Than Ready, who stands at Lyndhurst Stud, Warwick. Better Than Ready has achieved the highest first crop number of winners in the last 30 years in Australia.
Q: Are you seeing a renewed interest for homebred stayers after the success of Vow and Declare or do you still feel that the majority of the horses bred, will be bred & sold for speed?
A: This sale will be predominantly for speed but our stallion ranks now have more staying lines standing and combined with our speed lines will soon match and maybe surpass the imported 2nd tier stayers we see successful at present.