Bevan Smith admits there have been some nervous times this year, but the young New Zealand bloodstock agent is adopting a methodical approach to establishing his own business and quickly garnered support from prominent owners and trainers.
Earlier in the month, Smith made his biggest sales ring splash so far with a combined 14 horses bought for a range of clients at the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale and the Inglis Ready2Race Sale.
He bought six juveniles on the Gold Coast and eight at Inglis’s Riverside Stables complex at Warwick Farm for an aggregate of A$1,498,500 - the most of any agent. Among his backers have been Singapore trainer Michael Clements and leading Thai owner Krit Chittaseni, Hong Kong-based owner Ben Kwok and Sydneybased expatriate New Zealand trainer Bjorn Baker.
Smith, a recipient of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Sunline Trust Management Scholarship in 2016, spent valuable time under the tutelage of bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster before branching out under his own banner earlier this year.
“I am under no illusion that it is going to be easy but I believe if you work hard and do the right thing by people then you will get the support,” Smith told ANZ Bloodstock News.
“Right now, I am very happy with a select group of clients that I do have. They have trust in me and that is probably the most important thing for me, to keep my integrity, and do the right thing by people and hopefully the results will come.”
Among Smith’s haul at the Ready2Race sale was a A$210,000 Headwater (Exceed And Excel) colt who will be trained in Singapore by Clements and a son of Wandjina (Snitzel) purchased for A$180,000 on behalf of Chittaseni. At the Gold Coast he went to A$210,000 for a Foxwedge (Fastnet Rock) colt who will also head into training with Clements.
“I have started doing some work for Michael Clements, who is one of the best trainers in Singapore and he has got the best strike rate over there, so it is great to be able to be involved with guys like that and knowing that horses I buy will get every opportunity,” he said. “I also bought one for Bjorn Baker last week who is a high-profile Sydney trainer and he was good enough to give me a call.
“For him to trust me is a big confidence booster. I am really pleased with the way it is going.”
Smith has also worked in closely with US company DataTrack’s Jay Kilgore in measuring stride length and other factors of horses who breezed up ahead of the two-year-old sales. He revealed that the data analysis was a key reason in buying a Dream Ahead (Diktat) colt from Prima Park for A$50,000 early in the Inglis Ready2Race Sale for Baker.
“The horse that Bjorn and I found got beaten in his breeze up but his numbers and stride length were really good,” he said. “We knew we could get him for quite good value, but we are confident that he is going to turn out to be a decent racehorse because we had a bit more information available than what you can see with the naked eye.”
Smith intends to be active at next month’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale of 2YOs before embarking on the Australiasian yearling sale series next year.
“There are 400 in the catalogue and there is always quality to be found and with a catalogue that size I am sure there will be value to be found as well,” he said.
Racetrack results can make a trainer, jockey or bloodstock agent and Smith is well aware he will be judged by the number of winners he is able to buy but he is confident in his ability to identify quality horses.
“That is what it all comes down to at the end of the day, the results,” he said. “I have got a few two-year-olds out there that will start running for me soon, but right now it is early days without any racetrack results. The next couple of years will be telling.
“I am just trying to do the best I can for people who trust me with horses who will hopefully win races for them and good quality races at that.”
Smith also credited Mulcaster - the key member of premier trainer Chris Waller’s buying team - for helping mould his education in the bloodstock and racing industry.
“Guy is obviously a very good judge. I learnt a lot from Guy, Chris and Tim Roberts, their vet, so that has given me a good foundation,” he said. “I know what a good horse looks like and those guys have bought enough of them. I am confident in my ability to apply what I have learnt and achieve good results for myself and my clients.” -ANZ Bloodstock News