Greysful Glamour a gorgeous mascot for Darby Racing
Greysful Glamour (Stratum) might not be the most talented horse to ever represent Darby Racing, but she is certainly one of the most popular and her win in the G2 Villiers S. at Randwick on Saturday only further confirmed that for the syndicate's Director Scott Darby.
Darby Racing is no stranger to syndicating a good horse, with an honour roll that includes the likes of G1 Golden Slipper S. and G1 Spring Champion S. winners, and despite not winning a Group 1, yet, Greysful Glamour, is quickly moving her way up the list of the syndicators’ stars.
The flashy grey 5-year-old mare has been racing at a high-level since running second in the G1 VRC Oaks over two years ago but Saturday’s all-the-way win in the G2 Villiers S. at Randwick was the biggest scalp of her 33-start career.
“It’s always exciting to see a front runner win like that,” Scott Darby, Director of Darby Racing told TDN AusNZ.
“She was a little bit out of form after a good effort at Randwick a few starts back, but she’s certainly bounced back to form and she just loves a firm track.”
For a long time, Greysful Glamour has been a mare just knocking on the door of the major carnival features.
She was fourth in the G2 Matriarch S. last year and returned in the autumn to win the G3 Mannerism S., but Darby believes that after her victory in the Listed ATC Cup and before her Villiers triumph on Saturday, she is now in the top echelon of horses to wear the white and navy Darby Racing colours.
“I think up until her last two wins, she was more of just a well-loved stakes-performed mare that had won at Group 3 level and was Group 1-placed as a 3-year-old,” Darby said. “Just a tough and consistent horse that was no sort of star.
“But she’s really on the rise now and she’s certainly up into our top five or six horses that we’ve syndicated and I think there’s still more to come with her.
“She’s just got to get things to suit her obviously which is the key for a front-runner.”
Racing loves a consistent horse, a front-runner and a grey, and Greysful Glamour is all of those things, making her not only a high earner of prizemoney for Darby Racing, but also a great mascot for them.
“From a marketing and advertising point of view, there’s none better,” Darby said. “Not only is it that she’s running in all the good races and now winning some of those races, but just her colour gives an extra dimension to her.
“Everyone seems to have fallen in love with her and she’s quite photogenic so from a marketing and business point of view, she’s a real dream.”
A real dream
At 5-years-old and a multiple Group-winning mare, Greysful Glamour is a valuable broodmare prospect for whenever her connections decide to retire her, but Darby said at this stage, they haven’t made any firm plans for her to head to the breeding barn just yet.
“It’s play it by ear, but I would say more than likely she’ll head to one of the sales at the end of the autumn, whether it be Inglis or Magics,” Darby said. “But that’s entirely up to the owners, we can only make a recommendation.
"I suppose it would be hard to retire her if she’s still at the top of her game come the end of the autumn.
“At the moment she’ll keep racing, we would normally put her out for a spell to get ready for the autumn but whilst we’re going to get the hard tracks, she’ll keep going. I think her next target is the Summer Cup over 2000 metres because come autumn, generally speaking, it’s a little bit wet and pretty much anything from a soft 5 or 6 onwards, she’s just nowhere near as effective at that level.”
Tried and true
For now, Darby has his sights set on the 2021 yearling sales to find his next stable star and despite a record year sales-wise for the syndicate, he said they won’t be going in with all guns blazing, but will continue to purchase with their tried and true method.
“It’s an interesting one because it’s been a record year despite the pandemic,” he said. “We’ve sold more horses than ever before by a long way, but I think to get too confident going into next year could be dangerous.
“I think you’ve just got to play it by ear early on, but I think the Magic Millions Sale will be very strong.
“Just the feeling of people kind of being let off the leash after being cooped up for so long, provided the borders stay open, there will be a big attendance there of local buyers and I think it will be quite a strong sale due to that fact.
“But overall selling shares, there’s no reason it won’t still be strong but I think we’ll just be a little bit apprehensive going into next year, just to see how we go but with all that through the pandemic, we’ve had a record year so it’s hard to pick at the moment.”
Darby Racing is known to target a variety of price ranges when purchasing their stock, with the Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain) costing just $20,000 at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.
Darby said that they will again go in and look for the best yearlings from a variety of price ranges in 2021.
“I think our model is to purchase from all ends from as little as a few thousand dollars right up to $350,000 to $400,000 and I think we’ll continue that way,” Darby said.
“We’ve got plenty of clients that are looking for the cheap end, the middle-end and the high-end, so we’ll continue to try and build the team around that and pick the best horses we can for the amount of money being spent.”
With purchasing shares a luxury rather than a necessity, it was extremely uncertain times for syndicators when the country went into lockdown at the start of the year.
But with racing continuing and people looking for a way to spend money on what would have been used for a holiday on something else, syndication shares have boomed and Darby said he was hopeful that would continue into next year.
“It’s quite amazing to think back because when we went into the lockdown at the start of March, I think we still had 16 horses to sell and whilst I didn’t panic, you sort of started thinking ‘how much money do we have in the bank to keep us going without selling another share?’, he said.
“The first few weeks were a little bit quiet, but then it gradually picked up and then it just went berserk. Who could have thought that?
“Most people would have thought that shares would have suffered that way but I think with people being locked down and not be able to travel, they wanted to spend their money on something and racing was thriving and still going to the industry’s credit, so that helped a lot.
“Syndication in Australia is very vibrant, you’re seeing the syndicators winning big races all the time and I think that spreads right throughout Australia and it just keeps the market strong.”