Mt Hallowell Stud’s Craig Thompson reckons the thoroughbred industry is a nice ‘hobby’ away from his day job of operating a shipping services company – Seacorp – that moves around 600 million tonnes of cargo every year.
Owning a lot of racehorses, broodmares, young stock, stallion shares and a fair whack of acreage at Denmark in WA might constitute something more than a hobby for most, but not Thompson.
And Thompson certainly got a lot of pleasure from his hobby on Saturday when Lusaha, a More Than Ready 3yo that he bred and races, won the Listed Sir Ernest Lee-Steere Classic (1400m) at Ascot.
“It was a great win and nice to see him pick up black type,” Thompson told Aushorse. “He’s been a good horse…that was his third win from nine starts and he’s also been stakes placed on a couple of occasions.
“Actually, we went close to a stakes double on Saturday with Hazzabeel running a neck second in the Festival Stakes after winning the Kilmore Cup a fortnight ago.
“We did manage to go coast to coast once before – back in 2012 – when Hallowell Belle won the (Listed) Darby Munro at Rosehill the same day as Luke’s Luck took out the (Group 2) Karrakatta Plate in Perth.
Thompson continues to build on his broodmare band with the likes of Group 1 winners The Offer and Pornichet plus Hallowell Belle who won to Group 2 level in the Gilgai Stakes.
“Quite a few of our mares are sent to leading stallions in the eastern states – Fastnet Rock, Lusaha’s sire, More Than Ready, Lonhro etc – and we then decide as to whether we race them over there or bring them to WA.
“We’ve had a bit of luck over the past 10 years and as they say, you’re only one win away from a good time.”
Thompson had purchased Mount Hallowell Stud in 2005 when it was a still a vineyard, but decided to take a different direction three years later, removing the vines to make way for horse paddocks. He believes that high rainfall, rich soil and rolling hills are ideal for growing out horses and Luhasa appears to show that he’s on the right track.
His interest in thoroughbreds really blossomed after taking a share in the Star Thoroughbreds syndicated Theseo, who then went on to win 11 races – including the Epsom, Ranvet (twice), Chipping Norton and Mackinnon at Group 1 level – and over $3.30 million in stakes.
“Your first horse should never be that good!” Thompson adds. “After that you’re really hooked.”