Roseito and Caerless Choice neatly sum up Paul Messara’s downsized training operation as the Arrowfield Stud manager fashions an impressive strike rate with horses he couldn’t sell.
His consistent team has given Messara a win percentage this season of 57.14 as he heads to Warwick Farm on Saturday with two last-start winners.
Messara has had eight winners from 14 runners so far this season as he combines training with overseeing the family business at Scone.
Caerless Choice and Roseito line up in the Boxing Day At Royal Randwick Handicap (1600m) and the Highway Handicap (1600m) respectively.
“We’ve been ticking along nicely,” Messara said.
“We’ve been trying to place our horses well. We’ve only got a small team so we try to be as effective has we can.”
Since taking on his role at Arrowfield in 2014, the Group One winning-trainer has reduced his numbers from 50 to about 15 in work.
“It’s a number that’s comfortable for me to oversee. When you’ve got a large number you’re there every second of the day so it frees up a bit of time,” he said.
“I’m not having to deal with big syndicates which demands a lot of time. We’re basically training our own horses, the ones we haven’t been able to sell.”
Lightly-raced mare Roseito and gelding Caerless Choice also fitted another criteria for Messara.
“I tend to train the ones that might take a bit of time or have a few little issues,” he said.
“Roseito was an immature type and needed plenty of time. She’s fine now.”
Pre-sale examinations have also worked in Messara’s favour.
Madame Pauline, a daughter of the stud’s champion sire Redoute’s Choice, won her maiden at Scone last Friday after her racing future looked grim.
“She had a bone cyst, which plants a big cross on the X-rays so she couldn’t even go to a sale,” Messara said.
“Just because they have issues doesn’t mean they can’t run particularly if you take your time with them.”
Messara said Arrowfield would have a draft of 58 yearlings at the Magic Millions sale on the Gold Coast next month.
“It’ll be another exciting sales season with the likes of the Snitzels we’ve got and those sorts of horses we should have some popular ones up there,” he said.