The moment of truth came when the son of Sebring was presented at the Sales and Monds concedes there was a high level of interest in the horse but some “doubting Thomases” simply because he was big.
“We had a lot of interest in him at the sales but given his sheer size he was critiqued quite harshly by some judges believing he needed a lot of time. There were a number of people, however, who were impressed with him physically; his balance and his walk. Full credit goes to George Moore for seeing the athletic potential in him and backing his judgement, as we did.
“I know George was ecstatic when he secured him. He visited Tyreel in March this year to inspect our Inglis Easter Yearling Sale draft for 2019 and mentioned that they had an extremely high opinion of him and even at that time he was comparing him to Able Friend,” she said.
The Monds are unable to attend the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races meeting but stud manager Rob Sims will represent the Tyreel team. “We follow every horse that we have sold with pride but unfortunately, as much we’d love to be there, Laurence and I are unable to go in December for personal reasons.
“We have had reassurance that the unrest in Hong Kong will not create any issues for travelling and I believe Rob will benefit enormously from the experience of representing our brand and farm in Hong Kong. We will be watching the race with great anticipation. We are so excited for the Moore stable and everyone that has been involved with Aethero, but most of all we are extremely proud of our product and the plans that we had put in place for Pinocchio and we have such a high respect for Aethero and the horse that he has made of himself,” Monds said.
Pinocchio has a So You Think yearling who will be presented at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale 2020. “He has the same quality physical attributes and demeanour as his brothers,” Monds said. Pinocchio is currently in foal to I Am Invincible.
Monds and her husband are very much hands-on at Tyreel. “It’s seven days a week during the breeding season. Laurence does all the walk-ins and I do the foalings and I also run the office, which is a full time job in itself,” she said.
The Monds embarked on the Tyreel project after working in various other industries but Linda says it was in her blood. “My parents had a cattle breeding property at Bylong. Dad had a few broodmares and so I was around horses from a very young age and have early memories of going to the sales. The lovely process of watching foals develop into yearlings made quite an impression on me as a teenager and has a lot to do with where I am now,” she said.
HOOFNOTE: Only two southern hemisphere bred three-year-olds have contested Hong Kong’s sprint grand final and both competed before the race was switched to 1200 metres in 2006.
The first was King Of Danes, trained by Tony Cruz, who finished three quarters of a length third behind Falvelon in 2000 when the race was a Group 3 at 1000m. He was having his eighth start after beating Fairy King Prawn in the equivalent to the Jockey Club Sprint (then also 1000m) at his Hong Kong debut after having won three from six in Australia and finishing eighth in Belle Du Jour’s G1 Golden Slipper.
The second was Anabatik, trained by Moore, who finished three and three-quarter lengths seventh behind the David Hayes-trained All Thrills Too in the 2002 version which had been elevated to G1 status but was still run at 1000m. Anabatik had recorded five wins and three placings from his first eight starts in Hong Kong and also contested the Jockey Club Sprint equivalent, finishing third behind All Thrills Too.
Aethero has a weight concession given his age and origin and will carry 117lb in the Hong Kong Sprint but will be disadvantaged at the relative weights against many of those who ran in the Jockey Club Sprint.