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Breeder Spotlight – Craig Pearce & Princeton Park Thoroughbreds
February 23, 2017
A wonderful supporter of the thoroughbred breeding industry, Craig Pearce from Princeton Thoroughbred Stud in Moorooduc is an important player, both in buying and selling yearlings, through breeding and as an owner enjoying success on the track.
Princeton Thoroughbred Stud was set up in late 2007. On 55 acres, it took Craig over 12 months to fix it up to be ready for horses, as previously the land was used for cattle and flowers. Craig recalls, “It was full of cows and roses!” But Craig saw an opportunity with the great location and the lovely sloping land. Now well established, it is a boutique thoroughbred stud that aims to buy nice fillies, race them with success and then retain to breed.
Currently Craig is developing a small quality band of thirteen mares, and as they continue to improve, he will keep evolving the group and replacing. Craig will look at keeping any fillies that he has bred specifically or any obvious standouts, but the majority they will sell as yearlings.
Two of the nice mares on stud duties at Princeton Stud include Commanding Secret and Pride Rock.
Commanding Secret was a $200,000 Magic Millions graduate, raced by Craig & his wife, Kathleen
. A daughter of Commands, she was a filly with outstanding residual value, being a full sister to the four times Group One winner Appearance and the Listed winner Mascareri.
Pride Rock is a royally bred Fastnet Rock mare winning two starts, including at Flemington over 1200m. Being a $250,000 Inglis Easter purchase for Craig, Pride Rock is a sister to Group 1 SAJC Goodwood Handicap winner Lone Rock being the third winner from Pride of Pine.
Selling three yearlings this year at Premier in the Swettenham Stud draft, Craig is hopeful to sell around six next year. “We want to get bigger and better”.
“I will look at selling most through Inglis Premier or if I have the right yearling go north to Easter. I think it is better to be a big fish in a little pond”.
Craig is offering three colts at the 2017 Inglis Premier sales through the Swettenham Stud draft –
Lot 78 is a bay colt by Denman from Miss Provocative (Pictured).
A first foal for the Flying Spur mare, she was purchased at the 2010 Inglis Easter sale for $240,000. A big, roomy mare she has produced a colt that is a good size, well balanced and with a great walk. Sired by Denman, he is now getting results back on the board and as Craig mentions “it will be interesting to see what happens with him going forward”. Out of the La Baraka family, this colt has a quality pedigree behind him, and Craig is confident that he will certainly get his admirers.
Lot 190 is the bay colt by Street Boss from the mare Princeton Miss.
Princeton Miss was a favourite of Craig’s when she was racing. He recalls her winning her trial by 10 lengths. Piloted by Craig Williams he commented after that she “felt like I Got Chills”. Princeton Miss ran second in the MRC Debutant, and as a racehorse she was a strong, short-coupled precocious filly from the wonderful family of Analight. She has produced a colt that looks like a real sprinter. An early type, short coupled like his dam and a real power packet.
Lot 255 is Sebring chestnut colt out of the mare Solar Rock.
By Encosta De Lago, Solar Rock mare was a cracking mare, purchased by Craig for $450,000 at the 2012 Inglis Easter sale. A wonderful family page highlighted by her dam Cirque du Soleil being the full sister to Fastnet Rock. Craig comments, “You couldn’t get any more precocious than Sebring as a sire and this colt will run early. He is a very well put together colt, and has “I’m a little sprinter” written all over him. He has such a quality page behind him, and being a great moving type, I am quietly pleased with how he has turned out.”
You will see Craig’s Princeton prefix popping up in the future, but as any emerging stud knows you have to be cautious - “you only want to put your name to them if they are going to be good. You have to be careful – ideally you want them to look like winners or in a mares case have a great family that can produce quality foals in the future”.
Swettenham Stud wishes Craig all the best at the sales and every success with Princeton Thoroughbred Stud in the future.