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Cup victory a life-changer

Rich Hill Stud's John Thompson is still coming to grips with the few minutes at Flemington on Tuesday afternoon that have thrust him into the spotlight of the racing world.

The Walton farm near Matamata is the birthplace of the Melbourne Cup hero Prince Of Penzance and with that comes unprecedented attention, not that Thompson is for a second complaining.

"It's something no-one can ever take away and I can die a happy man, not any time soon though, knowing I've bred a Melbourne Cup winner," he said.

"While it's great for Rich Hill, myself and my family and all the staff, it's also terrific for the New Zealand industry. This is what we do best.

"The Melbourne Cup is such a big deal, one of the world's biggest races, and I was on the phone for more than an hour straight after the race and I missed 11 calls as well.

"It hasn't let up and people I haven't heard from for years have been texting and there's been calls from radio stations all over and we've had television crews here filming. It's just been incredible."

There's also the matter of the bay colt in the paddock at Rich Hill wondering what all the fuss is about.

The son of resident sire Pentire and the Mr Prospector mare Royal Successor, who died earlier this year, is the little brother of Prince Of Penzance.

The bay youngster's presence at the NZB National Yearling Sales at Karaka in 2016 has now become even more significant.

"He is very athletic and that is a trait that the mare has thrown to all her foals," Thompson said.

"Prince Of Penzance was a later foal and he was a little bit behind the others, but he was a good walker and that's what attracted John Foote to him."

The Queensland-based agent purchased Prince Of Penzance for $50,000 at Karaka in 2011.

Prince Of Penzance was bred by Thompson and Katsumi Yoshida, of Japan's Northern Farm, and they have also retained an interest in a full-sister, who was purchased by Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer for $110,000 at Karaka last year.

"We bought back into her, we've got 25 per cent and Henry's clients have got the other 75 per cent," Thompson said.

The three-year-old is called Penthouse Princess and she is now making good progress after an early injury in a paddock mishap.

"She's a really nice filly and Henry is very happy with her," Thompson said. "She hurt a leg, but that may have been a blessing and given her more time."– NZ Racing Desk.


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