the following article appeared in the May 1, 2016 edition of the TDN
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by Alan Carasso
Spendthrift Australia's Swear (Aus) belied debut odds of 11-1 in Saturday's A$125,000 Claret S. at Hawksbury Racecourse in New South Wales to record a 0.3- length success over fellow debutant, the Godolphin-owned Flow (Aus).
Partnered by Christian Reith, who also guided Spendthrift first-time starter Redouble (Aus) to victory at Canterbury earlier in the week, Swear broke without incident from his wide barrier and was snagged back to last as the field raced down the side of the track in the 1,300-metre test. Flow made good headway at the head of the lane and Reith had Swear in that one's slipstream before switching off heels at the 200m point.
Flow took over from his favored stablemate Radcliffe (Aus) inside the final furlong, but Swear found the line generously and swooped for a narrow triumph (video).
“We couldn't have been happier with that performance,” commented Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey. “You hear mixed things. Talking to the rider, he thought he'd preferred Swear's trial [to Redouble's victorious trial], even though he had finished second. I never want to get too excited. Swear was beating winners, so for him to win there, we couldn't be happier. Mr. Hughes got to see it live on TV and he enjoyed it very much.”
Toffey anticipated a positive run from Swear, even if he admits that his overall expectations were exceeded.
“He settled well off [the pace] in his trial and then made a very nice run, so it didn't surprise me that it unfolded that way,” he offered. “That was as good a scenario as we could have envisioned.”
Bred in New South Wales by D. R. Fleming, Swear was consigned to the 2015 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale by Tyreel Stud and was hammered down to the Spendthrift team for A$725,000 before being turned over to the training trio of John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes. The son of MSW Crossyourheart (NZ) was one of four horses acquired at Easter for gross receipts just shy of A$2 million, and further illustrates Spendthrift's commitment to building an Australian base.
“First of all, it”s a lot of fun. It's nice when things work out,” Toffey admitted. “We want people to understand we're not just dropping stallions in there from time to time. We've made a fairly sizeable investment in some of these yearlings and we hope people will recognize we are fully participating and that these are horses that may make their way into our stallion barn there. It's tough to get there, but that's where these horses are headed, hopefully. Seeing is believing, but it's great for people in the industry in Australia to see us having some success.”
Plans for the near future will reside in the hands of Team Hawkes, Toffey indicated.
“We'll give both some time and then talk to John Hawkes,” he explained. “One thing that impresses me about John is that he is able to get an early horse ready to roll, but if one needs time, he's willing to do that too. John will primarily determine what we'll do.”