Local breeders hit jackpot

Viva Pronto as a two-year-old at the Magic Millions sales on the Gold Coast.
Viva Pronto as a two-year-old at the Magic Millions sales on the Gold Coast.

YOU would think selling a horse for $20,000 only to see it go on to earn more than $500,000 would leave you peeved. But that’s not always how it works in the racing industry.

Wyrallah thoroughbred breeding brothers Kirk and David Elliott sold an innocuous two-year-old colt through the Magic Millions sale ring in November 2007.

After maturing and changing hands a few times, the horse ended up in Hong Kong to be trained by Australian Gary Moore under the name Viva Pronto.

Earlier this month Viva Pronto won the A$350,000 Group Three Hong Kong Macau Trophy (1400m) at Sha Tin racecourse.

The key for the Elliots is that they still own Viva Pronto’s mother, Steel Shuffle.

Now that she is the dam of a Group Three winner, every foal from Steel Shuffle will sell at an inflated price.

And given that Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-Sun owns Viva Pronto and is a regular at the Gold Coast Magic Millions sale yards, the Elliotts could be in for a serious windfall.

“It was an amazing feeling seeing Viva Pronto win that race,” Kirk Elliott said.

“And it’s good to know we have plenty more where he came from.”

The Elliotts recently sold a yearling colt by Antonius Pius out of Steel Shuffle for $56,000, but that was before its big brother’s big win.

The Elliotts’ cash cow will be each of Steel Shuffle’s offspring sold following Viva Pronto’s triumph.

Magic Millions bloodstock manager Paul Knight clearly remembers Viva Pronto as a youngster.

“He was one that stuck in your mind; he just floated across the turf,” Knight said.

With a Spinning World colt on the ground and an Aussie Rules in her belly, Knight says Steel Shuffle’s next two could reason to celebrate.

“If they are well conformed they could each bring upwards of $50,000,” he said.

Steel Shuffle won 12 races on the Northern Rivers for Jim Richardson in the 1990s.