Wangaratta trainer Dan McCarthy is pretty confident he has scored himself a bargain after picking up former Lloyd Williams-owned stayer Spanish Steps for $18,000.
Spanish Steps, who competed at Group 3 level in Australia and at Group 1 grade in Europe, was one of four ex-Williams horses to go through June’s Inglis Digital Auction with stablemates Venice Beach, Baritone and Sir Edwin Landseer.
Venice Beach was sold to Equine Physio & Management’s Jeremy Cross for $17,000 and Attilio Rosolini purchased Sir Edwin Landseer for $20,000, while Baritone went to Kendrick Racing for $35,000.
The quartet were all once part of Williams’ Melbourne Cup arsenal after being purchased in Europe.
McCarthy said he was excited to welcome a talented stayer into his stable and would target the horse at some of the region’s country cups.
“We don’t have a lot of staying stock in our stable and just the opportunity to get one in was too much, especially with his record and everything that goes with it,” McCarthy said.
“The problems he’s had is not an overly concerning thing to us. We’ve dealt with those sorts of problems over and over, over the years. We are excited about it.
“I honestly do feel like I’ve got a bargain. He would have cost a fortune, you know. He beat Johannes Vermeer and another Group 1 winner.”
McCarthy said he was hopeful of attracting local owners from around the Wangaratta region to buy a share in Spanish Steps, so they could enjoy the country cups campaign.
He said a full racing plan would be made once he inspects the horse over the weekend.
“I would presume he would go straight into work. Our aim would be a long prep and we will lower our eyes a little bit to what he has been running in and hopefully run in the Wangaratta and Albury Cups,” McCarthy said.
Venice Beach, who contested the G1 Australian Cup at his last race start, will go through a rehabilitation program mapped out by Cross with an autumn campaign in 2021 in mind.
“We will put him through a rehabilitation project. We are going to finalise that (on Friday) and what we are going to do is put him through our rehab program, which we have done in the past and been successful with,” Cross said.
“We will return him to racing with the aim of autumn next year.”