Feb 06, 2018
For those with an appreciation of local racing history the victory by Goethe at Kyneton on Saturday was a significant one for it had been a number of years since his colours - cerise with a gold cap - had been seen in the winners circle.
Go back a few decades and those colours were prolific; seen worn by jockeys riding the likes of the outstanding gallopers Tontonan (Golden Slipper, AJC Sires' Produce Stakes, All-Aged Stakes, Doncaster Handicap, Oakleigh Plate), Toy Show (Golden Slipper, AJC Sires' Produce Stakes, 1000 Guineas, William Reid Stakes, Newmarket Handicap), Show Ego (VRC Oaks, WA Derby, Queensland Oaks) and Kiss Me Cait (VRC Oaks).
Originally registered as the second set of colours for famed racing administrator and breeder W.S Cox, they were passed on to family friend Ken Cox at the time that he was setting up Stockwell Stud, home to local legend Showdown.
Upon Ken Cox's death his family called W.S Cox's descendant Tricia Cox and asked if she would like them back... which she certainly did!
Training on a small scale, referring to herself as "a one man band," Tricia a few years back had a filly by the name of Running Eagle. Whilst that daughter of Desert Sun was racing she kept an eye on a full sister, the Nigel Blackiston trained Solarco.
A mare who happened to come up for sale and so Tricia bought her, deciding to send the two times winner to stud, the dual Group One winner Bel Esprit chosen as her first mate.
And that foal is Goethe who made such an impressive debut for the stable on Saturday - settling well back in a 1200m contest at Kyneton, racing greenly but charging home before drawing clear to salute by a soft 2 3/4 lengths.
A horse who has always shown plenty of ability, Goethe - named after the famous German writer - was originally trained by Tricia, racing twice without a great deal of luck for her.
"He was always a bit of a handful," Tricia said, adding that "the stronger he got the less I was able to handle him."
And so she gave Mick a call after an unplaced but very good run at Swan Hill... "I asked him to take a look at the replay and get back to me if he was interested in taking him on. He rang back within two minutes!" she laughed.
Having one initial preparation with the stable before a break and his successful return, Goethe is a horse of good potential, one that Mick describes as "typical of the male Bel Esprits, a back-marking sprinter who has just needed a bit of time."
Watching Goethe win on her own home track in such famous colours was a big thrill for Tricia - "it was very exciting," she said, "and everyone at Kyneton was very happy, they all remember him from when he was in work at the track."
"Mick has done an outstanding job with him," she continued, adding that "there are not many trainers who would put in the sort of time this horse needed to get his head right."
One of those quick to congratulate Tricia on the win was George Smith who ran Stockwell Stud so successfully for many years - "he was chuffed," she said.
Served last spring by Redente with unraced sons by Written Tycoon, Statue Of Liberty and Bel Esprit to come, Solarco is a daughter of the city winning Umatilla mare Ocoee from the family of VRC Oaks winner Rom's Stiletto.