The Group 1 Winter Stakes at Eagle Farm this Saturday will be a bitter sweet affair for Highview Stud’s Brent Gillovic. It’s the last Group 1 race on the Australian calendar and represents the final race that he will condition the mighty mare Wealth Princess.
Wealth Princess (NZ) is to undergo her future racing assignments from the Melbourne yard of Lee Freedman, having switched ownership hands from her Hong Kong-based breeder Victor Ngai to prominent Australian owner-breeder Sean Buckley in April.
Although excited about the black-type opportunities ahead for the San Luis mare, there will be a slight twinge of sadness for Gillovic on Saturday. “She’s been a very special mare to us,” said Gillovic. “She’s the best mare I’ve trained by streets and I guess we’ll see on Saturday, but I think she is up there with the best around.”
Bursting onto the racing scene in 2009, Wealth Princess (NZ) won each and every one of her five outings last year including the Listed Newmarket Hcp (1200m) at Ellerslie. She also clocked a track record for 1200m at Te Rapa in 1:08.59s.
Stepping up to the big time in 2010, Wealth Princess was runner-up in the G1 Waikato Draught Sprint and then added to her record with a runaway win in the G3 BRC Glenlogan Park Stakes.
“Her changing hands is a win-win situation for everyone really. The owner now has a mare that he is going to have a lot of fun with, and we have some siblings back home that we will be bringing on,” said Gillovic.
Wealth Princess’ success for Highview Stud and Victor Ngai could potentially be extended with a 2YO full sister who is currently in work, a rising yearling filly by Danroad and the dam is currently in foal to Align.
Much like her trainer, Wealth Princess has proven herself to be a bit of a character. “She is a beautiful, kind, quiet mare but she does have some quirks about her,” Gillovic said. “She’s a real character alright. When saddling, she might occasionally paw the ground or perhaps even try to take a bite at you, but it is just her being quirky and it keeps you on your toes.
“Until this week, she had been sharing a paddock with Miss Keepsake, but when she left, my mare decided she didn’t like that yard anymore, so she jumped out over a four foot fence and put herself back in her old paddock. She didn’t have a scratch on her.”
Wealth Princess goes into the G1 Winter Stakes with a record of 6 wins and 3 placings from 10 starts. “We’ve had a few hiccups along the way, but her work on Tuesday and Thursday was good, so we are pretty happy with her going into Saturday’s race.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but I have to say I am looking forward to getting home, back to the stud. “I’ve been very lucky in that I have a very capable wife, who has taken care of 200 plus horses, whilst I’ve been over here taking care of just one!”