Sears active at Karaka

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  • February 07, 2023
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Toowoomba trainers Tony and Maddysen Sears have made their presence felt at Karaka this week, securing six horses across the Book 1 and 2 Sales at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales.

The father-daughter training combination were keen to look for a different style of horse to what they normally find in Queensland and have been delighted with what they have been able to secure over the week.

“It is very easy to get around the sales. The staff and studs were all very helpful and it has been a great experience for my daughter and I to come over,” Tony Sears said.

“We brought some owners over with us and we have had a great time.”

Sears said the pair had been considering coming to Karaka for some time, while Maddysen had visited New Zealand in December as part of an Australian Trainers’ Tour hosted by New Zealand Thoroughbred Marketing which confirmed their desire to return.

“I’ve been thinking about it for a little while and Paul Moroney and Catheryne Bruggeman do a lot of buying for us and they told us we should look at coming over here and looking at some horses,” Sears said.

“Maddysen and my wife Leigh were over in December touring the stud farms and they loved it.

“Then we talked to Craig Black and he is one of our long-term, loyal owners and he said he would come so we thought it would be a good opportunity to look for a different type of horse, take them back and see how we go with them.”

In conjunction with Moroney and Bruggeman, the Sears have purchased yearlings by Sweynesse, U S Navy Flag, Russian Revolution, Ardrossan, Almanzor and Belardo.

“Everyone seems to be finding the good ones but I think the horses we bought would be a lot more expensive if we were buying them in Australia,” Sears said.

“We are happy with what we have paid for them and we think we are taking home some very nice horses.

“We have purchased six this year – that’s two crates so that should be enough.”

Sears said the addition of daughter Maddysen to the partnership in 2019 had given him a new lease on life and the stable has continued to flourish, with recent headliners including Yellow Brick and Steady Ready among their 31 wins to date this season .

“She put the whip behind me and made me get out there and going again,” Sears said.

He also paid credit to the talent-spotting of Moroney and Bruggeman.

“It has been very good with Paul and Catheryne. When you are trying to look at a thousand horses we can’t look at them, physically it is impossible so they do all the looking and come back to us with a short list,” he said.

“We’ve had a great run since they have been buying for us. Yellow Brick was one they bought for us. Paul rang up and said he would like to buy the horse for us and lucky for us we got him for not much

money and he has turned out a really nice horse. We are very confident when they tell us to buy something. it takes a lot of guess work out of it for us because they are such good judges.”

Jockey-turned trainer Sears, a Palmerston North native, also enjoyed catching up with old friends at Karaka.

“I started my apprenticeship with Bruce Marsh then I went to Hawera with Herb Bergerson. I went back to Bruce Marsh and took a horse called Shamrock over to Australia in 1981 for the Prime Minister’s Cup (Gr.3, 2015m) and I ended up staying,” Sears said.

“Bruce and I go back a long way so it has been good to catch up with him this week. It’s good to see his son Stephen going so well.”

Sears said he would like to be back for the Karaka Million meeting with a runner, should any of his purchases show they are ready.

“That is probably on our mind, we have paid up so if we have one that is good enough we will definitely think about coming back,” he said.

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