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By Graham Potter | Friday, October 27, 2023

The third and final part in a series of articles on HRO on a road-trip in search of a multi-million-dollar pay-day! It was an ambitiouis undertaking that, unfortunately, never even reached its final destination, but, at least, no-one will die wondering.




It was a campaign launched with justified optimism … a campaign which hit a speedbump … and finally a campaign which never recovered from that setback leading to a decision being made which was one hundred percent correct.

With the Tony and Maddysen Sears training partnership the welfare of the horse always comes first and their withdrawal of their stable star Yellow Brick from the $10 million Golden Eagle stems directly from that stable philosophy.

A $10 million race or a Maiden Plate … it doesn’t matter. That philosophy doesn’t bend to accommodate the occasion.

Yellow Brick’s trial at Rosehill on Friday morning (October 27) and the immediate aftermath of that effort rang some warning bells. It was not a bad result on paper … finishing third behind the Group 1 placed Cannonball (who finished third in The Galaxy) and Cepheus (who has hit top form heading for The Big Dance), but the Sears camp’s trained eye thought he should have been hitting the line better than he did.

Warning bell number one!

Then, when Yellow Brick came back, he was blowing to an extent that it troubled the Sears team.

Warning bell number two!

The clincher came when Yellow Brick exhibited a slow recovery rate.

Warning bell number three!

A case of three strikes and you are out. The racing gods don’t play favourites. The trip south was not to be Yellow Brick’s time to shine.

“Pulling the plug now is the best thing for the horse, that’s for sure,” said co-trainer Maddy Sears.

“On the surface, there was nothing wrong with his trial. They ran the fastest time by nearly a second and a half on the day and he was only beaten by Cannonball and Cepheus by two and a bit lengths … but, dad and I thought he would have found the line a bit better than he did … and after the trial he was having a pretty good blow which we were very surprised about.

“Ryan (Maloney), who rode Yellow Brick in the trial, thought the trial was ok, but he said afterwards he was also surprised that he was having a blow … so all of our thoughts were on the same page at that stage.

Then, when the e-tracker data was loaded to my phone it showed he had a very poor recovery rate, so there is something going on with him.

“I think the two gut-busting runs he has had has taken a fair toll on his body, so dad and I made the call to pull the pin and put him out now.

“I was obviously a bit deflated after the trail and especially when the data confirmed that all was not one hundred percent, but, later in the day, the horse was happy and eating everything … but we’d made out decision on the basis that we didn’t believe he was one hundred percent.

“We’d rather miss out on a race and have him ready … hopefully for the King Of The Mountain and the Magic Millions and the Winter carnival after that … if we can.

“We’ve sent him straight for Universal stables, where all our spellers are.”

“All of that aside, it’s been an amazing experience for me personally … bringing Yellow Brick to Sydney and having a first-hand look at Sydney racing.

“I’d go so far as to say, it has been a pivotal point for my career in terms of moving it in the right direction.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back home and changing a few things after watching things and learning how the big stables are being run.

“As I said to dad, I want our stable to be like the best … so we have to run it like the best.”

More articles

Co-trainers Tony Sears (above) and Maddy Sears (below) ...
Co-trainers Tony Sears (above) and Maddy Sears (below) ...
... and jockey Ryan Maloney were all on the same page after Yellow Brick's trial
... and jockey Ryan Maloney were all on the same page after Yellow Brick's trial
Yellow Brick ... is now being spelled

Photos: Graham Potter and Darren Winningham
Yellow Brick ... is now being spelled

Photos: Graham Potter and Darren Winningham
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