Written By dominant in the Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield
Les Young's joy as star juvenile colt makes his mark
As an observer, few Group 1 wins have given me more pleasure and satisfaction than last Saturday's victory by the unbeaten colt Written By, a son of Written Tycoon, in the Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200m.
Overcoming his wide barrier under young rider Jordan Childs, Written By never looked like losing, passing the post two and a half lengths ahead of the previously undefeated Magnus filly Enbihaar, with Oohood, a daughter of I Am Invincible, a head away in third. A decision on Written By's participation in the Golden Slipper Stakes is expected in the next week.
For former leading Randwick trainer Grahame Begg, now reigniting his career in Victoria, Written By's victory was a timely boost as well as providing a large dash of poetic justice which has taken more than a decade to arrive.
It was also a wonderful and well-deserved result for the tight-knit Begg family as Grahame's parents Neville and Yvonne bred and race Written By, who was passed in for A$180,000 (£101,000/€115,000), just A$20,000 below his reserve, when offered in the Basinghall Farm consignment at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Written By is the fifth Group 1 winner for his sire Written Tycoon, who was purchased by Grahame Begg for A$50,000 at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and never far from the headlines ever since, often for the wrong reasons.
Grahame Begg was acting for new clients racing as Written Bloodstock, who had also spent big money on tried mares Our Egyptian Raine and Perfect Promise but while good success was achieved on the track, within a few years the venture folded leaving Grahame Begg with unpaid training fees totaling many thousands of dollars.
Certainly Written Tycoon the racehorse provided some bright spots, showing dazzling speed on the track before winning brilliantly on debut at Randwick over 1100 metres as an early two-year-old, then returning in the autumn of 2005 to win the key Golden Slipper lead up, the Group 2 Todman Slipper Trial Stakes, but in the Golden Slipper the flashy colt finished well back behind Stratum.
Shortly after that run Written Tycoon was sold, primarily as a stallion prospect, to Iskander Racing. He was later transferred to trainer John O'Shea and in two more seasons of competition failed to win another race although he was twice stakes-placed. Two wind operations failed to enable him to recapture what he showed as a youngster.
Retired to Eliza Park Stud in Victoria for the 2007 season, Written Tycoon has done a remarkable job to overcome not only a number of stud moves but also to survive several well-publicised ownership disputes, one of which saw him go to auction in 2009 before a final private sale in 2013 resulted in him moving to his present, and hopefully, final home at Woodside Park Stud in Victoria.
Right from the start, Written Tycoon never lacked for mares but their quality had been average, until his results and higher fees attracted mares of far higher quality over the past few seasons. Starting out at an advertised fee of A$8,250 in his first two seasons, Written Tycoon's fee dropped to just A$6,600 for his third and fourth years, before being set at A$11,000, A$15,400 and A$13,750 for the next four seasons, before it rose to A$19,800 in 2015 then zoomed to A$49,500 for 2016 and to A$88,000 last year.
A striking, good-sized liver chestnut with not the best of front legs, Written Tycoon showed out immediately when his first two-year-olds began racing in the 2010-11 season when he became Australia's leading first-season sire, and in the 2015-16 season his son Capitalist made him Australia's champion sire of two-year-olds, both significant achievements for a stallion standing outside of New South Wales.
Turning to Written By's dam Yau Chin let me first mention the strong friendship and working relationship this writer developed in the 1970s and 1980s with Written By's breeder Neville Begg, a great trainer and one of the true gentleman of Australian racing.
In the early months of 2012, Neville called me to seek some advice about a mare he owned, Yau Chin, who had been retired from racing and he was uncertain if she was worthy of sending to stud.
Neville, a very good judge, had bought the grey Yau Chin for only A$3,000 in 2007 at the Scone Select Yearling Sale and despite her low price she had performed with some credit, winning a 1200m maiden at Newcastle but more significantly placing five times in Sydney.
After reviewing the mare's pedigree, my advice was to make Yau Chin a broodmare, given she was a daughter of dual Group 1-winning two-year-old Tobougg and from the same branch of the noted Segenhoe Stud family tracing to Humour as leading New Zealand sire Pins, Marceau and Zasu. Another feature of Yau Chin's pedigree to appeal to me was her 4f x 4m double of the superbly bred American mare Hopespringseternal, by Buckpasser.
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