Queensland move on the cards for Ascot Park Standardbreds

By Duane Ranger (courtesy of Redcliffe Paceway)

Family commitments for now, but the Tamworth-based stud farm – Ascot Park Standardbreds – is likely to relocate to Queensland in 2028.

That statement came from Ascot Park Standardbreds co-owner, Danny Evans, after the company’s gimmick buy – the grey daughter of A Rocknroll Dance mare, Achromatic, nailed her second consecutive win within five days at Redcliffe Paceway on Sunday night (April 14).

“Redcliffe horseman, Greg Franklin, has trained a few horses for us over the years and he will get a few more now that our trainer down here is pursuing other options. We’ve always wanted to relocate to Queensland, not only for the weather but the Q-bred bonuses and the good racing up there.

The Tamworth based Evans family from left: Danny, Sienna, Evie, Brax, and Amy.

“I’ve already got a few foals Q-bred qualified and those foals are bred in partnership with Reg Carkeet. My wife, Amy and I are seriously thinking about relocating our family and business to Queensland when our daughter finishes secondary school. She’s currently in Year 9,” Evans said.

Five-year-old Achromatic is not Q-bred. She was purchased by Evans’ wife and company co-owner, Amy, at the 2020 Nutrien Gold Crown Sale at Bathurst.

The 42-year-old, who has run an oil company in Tamworth for the past eight years, said Achromatic was a “gimmick purchase, simply because his wife liked the idea of having the only grey horse from the Sale.

“We actually went to the Sale looking to buy two horses, but the $12,000 we paid for Achromatic was a little bit more than what we anticipated. So, we didn’t bid on the other Kiwi-bred filly. It was a bit of a blessing in disguise really, because I later found out that other yearling actually died,” said Evans.

Both of Achromatic’s two Redcliffe wins on April 10 and 14 (top) were almost identical. Drew One. Nathan Dawson in the bike. Led, won. DAN COSTELLO PHOTOS.

He said his wife immediately named the filly Achromatic, which means being or involving black, grey, or white. It possesses no hue, and has neutral. achromatic visual sensations.

“Amy liked the name from day one,” he said.

“She’s actually a lovely little mare, who was bred by Tony Dumesny here in New South Wales. Her bloodlines are quite strong too. I don’t think she will be a superstar, but then again I think she will do a good job up there. She’s had eight starts now for Greg for two wins and two seconds.

“She was previously trained by Dean Chapple at Moonbi. She had her last start form him in January and then ran second first-up in Queensland at Redcliffe (February 14). It’s the third horse we have had with Greg. We love his work. The other two are the six-win Somebeachsomewhere 5-year-old mare, Forever Moments, and the 21-win ($192,022) Courage Under Fire gelding, Warfare,” said Evans.

“Greg is a top trainer and we are delighted with what he has done with our horses so far. He’s really worked the oracle with Achromatic. The mare is a credit to him and his staff. Nathan Dawson has driven her a treat in both of her wins. It’s not hard to see why he’s one of the best going around,” Evans said.

Tamworth couple, Danny and Amy Evan (above and below), who own the Tamworth-based stud farm Ascot Park Standardbreds.

Evans said he and Franklin, who worked a team of four on the track, had a mutual respect for one another, but the younger fella wasn’t scared to give his Redcliffe trainer a dig.

“He’s not a bad bloke for a pensioner,” quipped Evans.

Last Wednesday (April 10) Achromatic drew the ace in race seven, and Dawson led them a merry chase leading all the way, winning by 2.4 metres as the $1.65 favourite with a 2:02.4-mile rate.

Then on Monday it was a case of déjà vu.

The duo again drew one, and again dictated all the terms in front, as the $3.10 second favourite, winning by three metres with a personal best 1:58.5-mile rate.

Achromatic pictured as a yearling just prior to the 2020 Nutrien Gold Crown Sale at Bathurst – where she was snapped up for $12,000 by Ascot Park Standardbreds.

Achromatic has now won four of her 25 starts and placed in 11 others ($30,256) since making her winning debut at Tamworth back on December 1, 2022.

Evans explained that Achromatic was the seventh of eight foals out of the 2003 12-win ($104,074) Jet Laag mare, Gloria Lombo (1:58.2).

“That’s where the grey comes from. Gloria Lombo actually comes from a nice ‘Lombo’ family. She’s the first and most successful foal out of the 1995 Northern Lights mare, Lombo Rapida, who won 27 races and almost $800,000.”

Evans said he had singled Achromatic out in the Sales catalogue because he had previously paid  $4,000 to Ricky Hunt as a tried horse for a full-brother named Thehounddog (1:57.1).

“I liked him and he was part of the reason we went in on Achromatic. He won a couple of races for us, but his little sister is proving to be much better,” the father-of-three said.

Father-like son. Young Brax has also been around horses since day one.

Evans is the son of former trainer, Col, who had a brief stint in Queensland training and driving standardbreds when Evans Junior was a child.

“I grew up around horses and was actually raised on a knackery. And in my teens I drove about 60 or 70 winners as a junior, and always been involved with horses, but I left Glendale High School, and did retail for a while. I did that for a while before gaining my current job at the oil company eight years ago. I’ve been in Tamworth for about the last 14 years,” Newcastle-born Evans said.

“Horses have been everywhere I’ve gone in life. I remember my wife buying me the 2008 Art Major filly, Major Bonus (1:56.1), for my birthday a few years back. She was trained by Shane Tritton at Newcastle at the time. I grew up with Shane.

She was 3-years-old when I got her and she went on to win 12 races ($83,460). That mare is now 15, and has now left us six foals, including an American Ideal weanling filly.

Major Bonus’ fourth foal, a 2-year-old Sweet Lou gelding named Lieutenant Lou, is doing a real good job in Queensland. He’s already won a Q-bred race for Graham Dwyer and his band of owners. He’s promising and we are proud to say we have bred this gelding,” said Evans.

Evans said Ascot Park Standardbred had five mares currently in foal – one of which was the 7-year-old, seven-win, Sweet Lou mare, Geraldton Wax (1:55.1).

“She’s actually a full-sister to the New South Wales bred Steno, who is going really well in Perth at the moment. All eight foals that the dam left for the Kelly family have won races.

Achromatic, as a weanling with her mother, the 2003 12-win ($104,074) Jet Laag mare, Gloria Lombo (1:58.2).

That dam is the multiple Group One winning 2002 20-win ($564,770) Walton Hanover mare, Lady Waratah.

Her seventh foal, Steno (1:51.9, is a Group One winner, who has so far nailed 19 wins from 40 starts. He’s also placed 23 times and banked $364,703 in purses.

“Most of our broodmares are housed with Noel and Chrstine Denning and their son Jonathon at Burwood Stud,” Evans said.

Evans wife has a brother, Cameron, whose family in Scarborough, which Evans said also a plus in relocating to Queensland.

“For now, school comes first, but we are seriously thinking about moving north when the time is right,” Evans said.

So, is Ascot Park named after Southland’s harness racing headquarters at Ascot Park in Invercargill, New Zealand, or even the Ascot Racecourse in Perth? Evans reply:

“We made the name up for our horses. We live on a road called Ascot Calala and I spent lots of time watching Willy Pike win races at Ascot Racecourse in WA. I just liked the name ‘Ascot’.

Achromatic’s last two Redcliffe Paceway wins at ‘The Triangle’ on Monday (April 14) and last Thursday (April 10). The Greg Franklin trained and Nathan Dawson mare is owned by Ascot Park Standardbreds.

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