Star goes to stud
By TONY WHITE
BRILLIANT Grafton trained mare Star Of Sequalo has been sold as a broodmare to Bylong Park Stud near Scone.
Part owner and the mare's breeder Brian Paine said from his Gold Coast property yesterday the sale, finalised late last week, was for a six-figure sum, a 'price readily acceptable to me'.
Paine said the new owners of Star Of Sequalo were yet to determine which stallion she would be served by this season but added 'they've got big ideas in mind for her'.
Star Of Sequalo was one of the best racehorses to come out of the Grafton area.
Trained by John Shelton, the daughter of Sequalo out of Pemway Star, won eight of 11 starts and close to $300,000 in prizemoney.
She was officially retired with tendon problems just before the July Racing Carnival.
"By far the best horse I've ever trained," Shelton said. "Nothing got within two or three lengths of her in her wins.
"She was a kind natured horse. If there was one disappointment it was her premature retirement.
"I would loved to have had one more preparation with her. She would have won black type races, for sure."
Paine, a long-time owner and breeder whose family raced dual Group One and 1984 Grafton Cup winner Riverdale, said he agonised over the mare's sale for some time.
"It was a very hard decision to sell," Paine, nicknamed BP, said.
"When I left Grafton for the Gold Coast I'd bred horses from Riverdale Lodge for many years and I'd more or less decided to retire from the breeding side. Star Of Sequalo would have been great to breed from, I bred her dam and grand dam, but I just didn't want to go back into it (breeding). While I've got a few acres up here (Gold Coast) I've just had hip operations and I can't afford to get dragged around by young foals or horses.
"I know the pitfalls of the breeding industry. Star Of Sequalo has been a wonderful horse and it's especially pleasing having bred her but there have been others who have foaled twins, been deformed at birth or broke down early.
"There's been a lot of pluses mixed with a lot of minuses.
"It was a great thrill racing her. While Kiamba Star (by Pemway Star) won nine or 10 races, Star Of Sequalo was without doubt the best."
Paine and Shelton both agreed Star Of Sequalo's best win was when she came from the outside barrier to win the Country Cash Final at Royal Randwick on June 7, 2003.
"John was driving down with the horse and I'd just seen the barrier draw. I rang him and asked where he was," Paine recalled. "John said he was at a roundabout at Newcastle and suggested he keep turning and come home after finding out she drew barrier 17. Fortunately, we decided to start and she won. That was a great thrill."
Paine said he was likely to put some of the sale money towards buying other horses at yearling sales rather than breed.
HOOFNOTE: The family tradition is set to continue. Kiamba Star has a colt foal at foot (by Sequalo) that is a three-quarter brother to Star Of Sequalo.