Day At The Track

He's Watching to Tipperary Equine

06:00 PM 15 May 2020 NZST
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He's Watching
He's Watching - Five track records and two world records from eight starts as a 2-year-old

There is no doubt covid-19 has left an indelible mark on the entire world. Firstly its shattering infection and death rate sent tremors through every country, no matter how big or powerful. Then came something equally as shattering... the economical trail of destruction.

Like most businesses, harness racing was always going to wear financial implications.

Already West Australia and New South Wales have applied 20% cuts to stake money and it is logical  to think other states will not be spared a similar fate in the not too distant future.

Given everyone is or will be taking a financial hit at some stage, it is refreshing to see instances where people are willing to forgo for the long term health of an industry set to struggle through the foreseeable future.

Last season Tipperary Equine was established by Luke Primmer at Young, with Alta Christiano the stallion tasked with the headline act.

What an act he proved to be, serving over 160 mares as his progeny Australia wide racked up win after win.

However, tragedy struck and Alta Christiano lost his battle with colic at the Wagga University in late March.

Whilst Alta Christiano may be gone, his siring feats will be heralded in years to come with his 2020/2021 foals sure to dominate the headlines when they hit the track.

Tipperary Equine's establishment was a breath of fresh air, especially for breeders in New South Wales, and it appears once again it is the stud that will be on most people’s minds this coming season.

He’s Watching, who retired as the equal fastest three year old of all time, is the studs new headline act.

This horse brings everything to the table.

He was undefeated in eight two year old starts with a season’s best 1.50 to be named USTA 2yo of the year.

He set his world record lifetime mark of 1.46.4 winning the million dollar Meadowlands Pace for three year olds, leaving horses of the llke of Always Be Miki in his rear view mirror.

World record lifetime mark of 1.46.4 in The Meadowlands Pace

He is a son of the great American Ideal and has bloodlines to dream of, he carries no fewer than four strains of the outstanding mare K Nora.

He has the score on the board already as a sire, 15 winners in New Zealand and 16 in Australia this season alone.

His first crop in Canada raced in 2019 and He's Watching sired the quinella in the Two-Year-Old $225,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Super Final with just the two starters in the race. The very good Tattoo Artist with Dexter Diunn driving for the first time, won from Examiner Hanover in a time of 1:52. Tattoo Artist has had 8 starts for 5 wins and a third for $240,405 in earnings. Here is that race.

With his oldest progeny just three years of age, He’s Watching has plenty of upside.

And he makes his New South Wales debut with a hugely reduced fee of $2500 inc gst. 

“Obviously it was devastating to lose Alta Christiano, and to be honest, I couldn’t see us standing a stallion for some time,” Primmer said.

“Horses like him don’t come along very often, he was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the best stallions in the country and I just couldn’t see how I would want to have a stallion that wasn’t in the same class as him”.

“Then it became apparent the connections of He's Watching were interested in standing him at Tipperary and with a few conditions met a deal was done”.

One of the “few conditions" was that He’s Watching would be made affordable to every breeder.

“Coronavirus was destroying the world economy and given the amazing support breeders showed us last season it was essential we were able to offer those people a quality horse at a fee that was inline with what was happening around the world” Primmer said.

“His northern hemisphere connections were very understanding, which was an amazing gesture by them to agree to setting his fee so low given he had over 130 foals standing at $6000 and then $5000 for his first four seasons down under.”

“They are leaving a lot of money on the table to stand him in New South Wales this season, and I know the breeders will appreciate that.”

“One of the things I have always been mindful of as a breeder is the discounts available to stallions for multiple mare bookings and the like.”

“Not everyone has multiple mares to send to stud, and obviously we expect everyone is going to be doing it tougher this breeding season so we decided that everyone would be equal.”

“The biggest breeder or the little one mare man, no one would be better off than the other with He's Watching.”

“We cut his fee in half.”

“He is discounted for everyone.”

So whilst covid-19 is playing havoc around the globe, it has also given something back.

The opportunity for breeders, big and small alike, to access a horse of the calibre of He's Watching, at an unheard of service fee and an equal footing for all breeders.

Alta Christiano may be gone, but his replacement is just arriving.

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