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Bargain buy delivers surreal result

29 September 2017, 1:59 p.m.

Harry Parslow has been in the racing and breeding game long enough to know what part luck can play.

And while it may have swung his way with his on-line purchase this year of the appropriately-named broodmare Surreal, the Wanganui identity isn’t getting too carried away.

Tavistock Abbey Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

“You know racing – you can be king for a day, we’ll see what happens,” Parslow said.

He parted with $2300 in May to secure Surreal, who has subsequently presented him with a colt foal to the multiple Group One winner and former New Zealand Horse of the Year Jimmy Choux.

“I’m pretty partial to Zabeel mares so I thought she was worth a chance,” Parslow said.

At the time of the purchase, Surreal’s son by Tavistock was unraced but the three-year-old named Tavistock Abbey is now the equal favourite for the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m) following his victory on Wednesday at Flemington in the Derby Trial.

Parslow’s experience mirrors that of Taranaki scrap dealer Graham Meredith, who bought the Zabeel mare Zarzino for $1200 in 2014 and cashed in handsomely when her son Tarzino won the VRC Derby the following year.

He wisely sent Zarzino back to Tavistock and he sold the resulting brother to Tarzino at Karaka in 2016 for $400,000.

Tavistock Abbey was bred by Rich Hill Stud and was bought out of their 2016 Premier Sale draft at Karaka for $200,000 by Freedman Racing. Under the guidance of trainer Anthony Freedman he is the winner of two of his four starts.

“We can go to the Caulfield Classic, the (Moonee Valley) Vase or Geelong (Classic),” trainer Anthony Freedman said.

“We'll just plot a course through to the Derby and if we're happy with him on Derby Day we'll run.”

All good news for Parslow, who has indicated Surreal is likely to be served close to home this spring.

“She’ll probably go to Nigel Auret’s new horse,” he said, referring to the Group One winner Unusual Suspect. “I look after the stud part of things for Nigel.”

Parslow has been involved in the stallion game himself and formerly stood Esquire, who left the New Zealand stakes winners Scutarius and Bruno, and Maltese Century, sire of the Group performer Venus Serena.

“I also bought Spirit Of Tara, but he was unfortunately infertile and didn’t get a foal,” he said.

Spirit Of Tara won seven races, including the Gr.3 Randwick City Stakes and ran third in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. – NZ Racing Desk.