Grenville Stud’s champion sire West Quest won his fifth Tasmanian title in a row in 2009-10 and he was straight out of the blocks when Dark Quest opened the current campaign with a win on the first day of the season.
Dark Quest (5g West Quest – Oh So Soft by Gold Brose) is trained by Dave and Scott Brunton for the Polley family’s Whispering Sands partnership. He had a couple of lengths to spare at Launceston on August 1 and will aim to make it a running double at Elwick this Sunday.
Dark Quest is an older half-brother to Apache Chance (Partners Choice) who was a 2YO winner at Devonport last December.
West Quest and Partners Choice stand at Graeme McCulloch’s Whitemore property which is situated between Launceston and Deloraine. They are both sons of Gone West (Mr. Prospector) who died aged 25 last year at Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky. His stakes winners include Zafonic, Da Hoss, Johar, Grand Slam, Commendable, Mr. Greeley, Elusive Quality and leading French sire Zamindar.
West Quest stallion Lavaca came closing to winning at Launceston on August 1 and he can atone in the TRC Members Sprint (1100m) in Hobart this Sunday. He was cut down by Lucidly over 1220m last time and is better placed over a shorter trip.
Lavaca won six races in a row last year and he easily defeated Tasmanian Guineas winner Lyell (Tough Speed) at his first attempt in open company. McCulloch trains Lavaca for his wife Christine. They bred him from their former smart sprinter Silver Wire, (Double Income) who won 7 races in Hobart and Launceston.
McCulloch added G2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes winner Incumbent to the Grenville roster in 2008. He has covered over 120 mares in two books and his first crop will be offered at the 2011 yearling sales.
Incumbent also won the Inglis 2YO Premier at Caulfield prior to winning the Sires’ Produce Stakes from Marching. He was trained by Lee Freedman for a syndicate headed by Lloyd Williams. He is by Choisir and that sireline has been in focus recently with the deeds of champion sprinter Starspangledbanner both here and abroad.
McCulloch will have about 8 Incumbents catalogued at the Tasmanian Magic Millions and reports they are lovely to handle.
West Quest is a fortnight away from beginning his 14th book at Grenville. “He’s a gentleman to work with ,” McCulloch said. “He’s getting on but is still a very fertile horse.’
West Quest has sired 219 winners of 687 races to date and his strike-rate is over 60%. Among his 10 stakes winners is Lekitama who was a Listed winner of the Vamos Stakes when trained by the Bruntons. He will stand for a $4,400 service fee in 2010.