Sydney was set to be a major focus point in the coming months for Trelawney Stud’s Brent and Cherry Taylor, however, their attention has swiftly changed with measures implemented as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Cambridge couple had yearlings set to fly over to go through the sales ring in Sydney, while exciting filly Two Illicit was earmarked for Group One assignments during Sydney’s autumn carnival.
While disappointed Two Illicit will no longer get her chance to be tested in Sydney, Brent Taylor said combating Covid-19 needs to be everyone’s number one priority.
“It’s a real shame,” he said. “Three-year-old fillies don’t get a lot of opportunities for Group One racing.
“She certainly showed with her runner-up effort in the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) that she is up to that class. It would have been nice to have given her that opportunity in Sydney to benchmark where she is at, but unfortunately that opportunity has been taken away from us.
“We have about 10 racehorses coming back in the next few days. We are in the same boat as everyone else and it is a disappointment for trainers, owners, clubs, and everybody.
“But it is a fact of life and the health of our community is far more important.”
Taylor was also philosophical about the prospect of retaining a number of yearlings set to go through the sales ring in Sydney, however, he said there remain alternative avenues they may explore.
“It is a tragedy for those that had prepared a number of yearlings for the Easter Sale, but at this stage it doesn’t look like it is going to happen at all for the Kiwis.
“We had prepared for this eventuation by doing some video footage,” he said. “There is still a chance that the sale may go ahead in some form online. The landscape is changing daily, but we are prepared for that if it does occur.
“If that does not eventuate, they will head to the breakers in due course and prepare for the ready to run sale in November.”
Taylor is heeding the Government’s advice and will be implementing a lockdown at Trelawney for the foreseeable future, with only essential staff remaining on-farm to care for their horses.
“We will be closing the front gate and self-isolating at the farm,” Taylor said. “Those who don’t need to be on-farm to work will be working from home.
“It is about protecting ourselves, our staff, and the community. We will be following the instructions of the Government and doing our part to stop the spread of this disease.”
While there is no good time for a pandemic to hit, Taylor said the timing could have been a lot worse and Trelawney would do its part to comply with Government enforced regulations.
“We are probably a bit fortunate that it hasn’t occurred in the foaling and breeding season, at this stage.
“Farming will still have to continue, be that milking cows or dry stock farming.
“We will be trying to conduct business as usual on the farm within the confines of the regulations.” – NZ Racing Desk