Court Command chasing Group One glory
The decision has been made to keep the promising QLD stallion on the racetrack for another season in order to secure a Group One win.
Wattle Brae stud principal Gary Turkington has announced Court Command will soon return to work with trainer Liam Birchley to prepare for a spring campaign.
Court Command spent last spring at Wattle Brae Stud on Queensland’s Darling Downs and served a book of more than 100 mares with 90 per cent fertility.
Iskander.com brokered the stallion deal that led to Turkington’s purchase of Court Command, recommending the stallion because he was such a magnificent, athletic type.
Sheriff Iskander commented "It’s great to see the horse doing well for them, although some of our clientele will be disappointed not to send their mares in 2009. We really hope he kicks the Group One goal for Wattlebrae – his comeback has been amazing and his value as a stallion will skyrocket as a result."
Turkington decided to give the five-year-old another chance on the track and sent him to Birchley to be prepared for the winter carnival, including the Group One Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap.
The son of Commands performed above expectations and was rated most unlucky at his first start for more than a year when 13th to Mr Hornblower in the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) at the Gold Coast in May.
He then won the Group Three BTC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben but his hopes of winning the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke were ruined by wet tracks.
Turkington believes Court Command will become an elite-class stallion if he can win a Group One race before he’s retired again next year.
"We’ve decided after a lot of thought to give it a go and see how good he is," Turkington said.
"He’s a magnificent horse and is no problem in the stud barn and is very fertile.
"His racing career was limited when EI (equine influenza) hit and if he could win a Group One he’ll be in elite class as a stallion."
Court Command struggled in heavy condition when 15th to Apache Cat in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 23 before putting up a brave performance in similar conditions when sixth to Black Piranha in the $1 million Stradbroke (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 6.
"He got skittled in the Prime Minister’s Cup which was his first run for 58 weeks," Turkington said.
"Then after he won at Doomben he had no luck in the 10,000 and Stradbroke as he doesn’t like the wet.
"He’s only had 14 starts and is still young so we weighed up the pros and cons and have decided to give him another go."
Turkington said Court Command would begin pre-training next week before heading back to Birchley’s stables at Eagle Farm.
"Liam thinks he could become a top weight-for-age miler," he said.
"We’ve got plenty of options with him in the spring and there’s several races to choose from in either Sydney or Melbourne.
"After the spring he’ll have a light spell and then there’s races like the Futurity in Melbourne in February."
Court Command won three Group races as a three-year-old in Sydney including the Group Two Stan Fox Stakes (1400m) at Randwick in 2006 which earned him favouritism for the Group One Caulfield Guineas in which he finished third to Wonderful World.
He then had two brief campaigns but lost form before becoming stranded by equine influenza.
A large number of breeders will be disappointed to miss out on using Court Command for the coming Stud season, however, those lucky enough to have bred their mares to him in 2008 will be glad at the prospect of upgrading on their investment.
By Glenn Davis