Geoff & Maureen Duryea

Gemaura, 1-27 Cemetery Road
Corowa NSW 2646

Geoff:         0427 331 016

Maureen:   0427 331 873

Here we will endeavour to place any stories of interest, updates on our strike rate and other happenings within the stable

  2020 brought with it the COVID-19 Pandemic

As well as complying with Federal and State Government guidelines, Racing Victoria and Racing NSW introduced different protocols where residing on the border became a difficult place to continue racing.

Stablehands and track riders who resided in Victoria were not permitted to attend stables, training facilities or racecourses in NSW. We live 3kms from the bridge across the Murray River and Victoria! Luckily for us, our foreman Darrin Mathieson, lives in Mulwala (the NSW side of bordertown Yarrawonga). Our son Paul, who sometimes straps for us when work permits, lives in Wahgunyah (the Victorian side of our bordertown Corowa). As there were no restrictions on horses travelling or racing either side of the river, Darrin was able to continue riding work and strapping on the NSW side and Paul was approved by RacingVic to strap under trainer, Renee Hoysted, when we had runners in Victoria.

COVID protocols also affected our farrier Phil Kirkham, who lives in Beechworth (45 minutes away) and therefore wasn’t permitted to visit NSW licensed premises. Racing Victorian stewards permitted Kelly who had purchased Gorki Park as an agistment farm, to collect horses from the stables, transport them to her farm near Rutherglen, where Phil shod them and then she returned them to the stables. She wasn’t permitted on another licensed premise in Victoria for 14 days but she had no need to do so. The Corboy farriers from Wangaratta sent an employee to reside in Albury to cover the trainers there and we were thankful to have Cameron tend to the horses, when the need arose.

When News Girl raced at Caulfield in April, we were required to nominate a Victorian licensed trainer, who, with the stewards approval, would oversee the mare from 9am pre-race day. So it was decided that Maggie, being the “the queen of routine”, was transported to Wangandary on Thursday afternoon so that could settle-in, before travelling on to Caulfield on Saturday. Renee’s father Michael had been friends with Geoff for many years, since Geoff rode for Michael’s Dad, RJ “Mick” Hoysted. Maggie eventually settled well in a small paddock during the day. Renee was in frequent contact with Geoff reporting on Maggie’s mannerisms. Our son Paul changed work programs to enable him to strap her, knowing her quirks and providing feedback to Geoff. Michael and Paul were pleased that she had stepped off the float the same as she would from home. She ran 5th in the Bel Esprit Listed and this routine continued for her following two starts at Caulfield. Maggie won well on a heavy track and then ran 5th before going for a well-earned spell.

Stewards again gave approval for Renee to oversee Front Page, Gus and Kapover, Kapy when they raced at Wangaratta early in June. As both are relaxed horses, they were transported to Wangandary at 7am the day prior and therefore had a very short trip into the racecourse the following day. Gus won the BM64 well, taking the next step in his education in his stride. Ever consistent Kapy finished 3rd in his usual strong fashion.

This was a good exercise for Gus, in particular, as his next start was to be Flemington later in June. He would travel to Wangandary on Thursday afternoon and Michael and Paul floated him to Flemington where he won the Listed, AR Creswick Stakes at his first start on a metro track. Gus then went for a well-earned short break.

We are truly grateful to Renee and Michael, who were meticulous to ensure our horses were treated with the same care we would have provided. The time taken out of their daily routine and hours away from home could not be underestimated. The joy they showed for our victories was very humbling and is something that we will always share.  Renee was always first to call us. We can’t wait to actually celebrate our success with these extremely generous people, as without them these rewards would not have been possible. 

Front Page Creswick Stks L GermanAgain, due to Covid-19 racing protocols, Front Page travelled to Wangandary to stay with Vic trainer, Renee Hoysted for 2 nights. Gus then travelled to Flemington for his

first start in the Metro area

first start at Flemington

first start up the 1200m straight

 

and he achieved

1st Listed win in the AR Creswick Stakes

1st Stakes win for Geoff Duryea

1st Stakes win for Lewis German, big feat for an apprentice

 

Gus ran 1.09.56 on a Soft 5, which was faster than the previous two winners in Nature Strip and Gytrash.

Hong Kong came calling ++ with big offers which the 17 individual owners declined. Holding varying percentages and at different stages of life, they identified the enjoyment and connection with both family and friends, is something above anyone could have expected.

There are no promises in racing, but the stable motto at Duryea Racing is #EnjoyTheRide and it is what we all hope to continue.

A big thank you to our owners. We Look forward to his next edition.

 

Footnote: Gus and owners out for a spell!

 

 

Being a little immature, Front Page, known as Gus, was given extra time to develop and didn't trial until an early 3YO. Gus was so chilled, he had no urgency about him at all. Consequently he was spelled again and returned with a satisfactory winning trial at Wodonga in February 2020. 

Geoff had his eye on an Albury Showcase Maiden and Gus duly saluted on debut over 1175m in May. He ran a class record to equal his sister, News Girl's time when she won a F&M Maiden 16 months earlier. We were unsure how he got beaten his next start, but fair to say he was still learning. He then ran a great race to finish 1.8L 7th in the Albury Guineas over 1400m.

He had a freshen-up and returned a lot more mature mentally. He blitzed home by 9.56L to win a BM58 1175m at Albury in a smart time of 1.10.34, another class record. When he got to the front, Jordan Mallyon had to stop Gus from stargazing into the empty grandstand, hence the margin.

Geoff wanted to take another step up the ladder and Gus scored a convincing win in a BM64 at Wangaratta. Due to Covid-19 racing protocols, he was required to travel over the NSW/Victorian Border and stay with Vic licenced trainer, Renee Hoysted. He handled everything well and Lewis German came up to Wangaratta to ride him. This ticked a couple more boxes in preparation for his next start in the city.

 

"Patience is bitter, but it's fruit is sweet"

Aristotle

   The Stacey Lee Story begins ….

Geoff knew the ability Stacey Lee possessed. She could reel off sub 10s consistently.

There was nothing wrong with her conformation that would be passed onto her foals. She had injured her knee playing in the sand roll and had not been able to fulfill the heights her ability could have taken her. She was a good-natured brown mare, very solidly built with almost a stallion-like neck. She was well-bred being out of a Varick mare and showed plenty of G&D in her races.

Geoff urged her owners to breed from her, but they weren’t interested in the breeding caper. They did, however, express a desire to be part of any offspring when they were old enough to race. Thus Geoff’s three adult children, a brother-in-law and two friends commenced a breeding foundation with Stacey Lee fondly known as Jade. She was agisted at son Paul’s farm, Gorki Park, near Rutherglen.

Magnus was chosen as the first stallion. He was doing well, producing both sprinters and stayers. They performed well on wet or dry tracks, both male and females were equally good and Geoff loved the Vain cross.

Phoenix Broodmare Farm was selected as Damian Gleeson was well renowned in the industry as a good operator, who provided a walk-in/walk-out option.

The following year, Jade returned there to foal a lovely chestnut filly, News Girl, Maggie. We were actually surprised by her colour and hoped the Vain cross was shining through. Jade gained a positive test to Magnus again, but alas, two days before she was due to come home, she sustained a significant hind leg injury. Vets advised to put her down, but Damian recommended Suzanne Royal could nurse her leg back. So Jade went to Asscher Park with Maggie at foot. Suzanne ensured Jade was not in pain and did an absolutely amazing job over the next 6 months. We knew Jade was a gutsy mare and she displayed her usual courage allowing Maggie to continue to feed. Suzanne raised a lot of orphan foals and Maggie eventually went into the paddock with them and a couple of godmothers to keep them all in line.

Kudos to Jade, not only did she rear Maggie, but she retained her unborn foal which turned out to be a chestnut colt, Front Page, Gus.

We will be forever grateful to Damian for his advice and to Suzanne for her outstanding nursing expertise.

STACEY LEE  - Bel Esprit - Curio Jade (Varick) 2008

NEWS GIRL    - Magnus - Stacey Lee (Bel Esprit) 2015

FRONT PAGE - Magnus - Stacey Lee (Bel Esprit)  2016

Stacey Lee Alb 8 Oct 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Girl Maiden Albury October 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When News Girl won the 1175m Albury Maiden in October 2018 she won by 1.5L breaking the class record to run 1.08.77.

She followed that by winning a BM58 at the same track 3 months later in January 2019 winning by 2.75L.

 

When Front Page won the 1175m Albury Maiden in February 2020 he won by 2.6L to equal his full sister's time of 1.08.77.

He followed that by winning a BM58 at the same track 3 months later in May 2020 winning by 9.56L. 

Front Page took an extra step when he broke the class record by .82 on a Soft 6, 1.5 seconds fastest of the day.

 

Incidentally Stacey Lee (dam) also won her maiden at Albury by 9.5L.

 

images/News_Girl_25_Jan_2020_L_GermanA bigger, stronger version of News Girl (Maggie), returned as a 4yo mare. Being topweight with 60kg, the engagement of apprentice Lewis German, proved a smart move, with the mare notching her first city win on Boxing Day at Caulfield.

After a short freshen up, Maggie delivered a dominant win at Caulfield in another class record time. In fact, her 1100m was only around half a second off the track record!! The Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes over 1200m beckoned, where News Girl ran a brave 2nd, when nosed out by crack Sydney mare, Syvlia's Mother, again in scintillating time.

Lewis German continued his association with News Girl, when after a freshen up, she went to Open Class at her favourite track Caulfield, although this time on a heavy track, she brought up her 3rd Saturday Metro win. This last win brought total earnings to nearly $340,000 from just 18 starts, with a total of 5 wins, 3 x Metro Saturday wins, 2 x Group 3 2nds and a 4th in Group 2.

Who knows what will happen in her next 18 starts and what mountains she will climb???

 

Photo:-racing.photos.com

SDRA 3YO HOTY 2019 Trophy

We were pleased to be advised by the SDRA that News Girl was a finalist in the Horse of The Year Awards in the 3 Year Old Category.

Geoff & Maureen travelled to Wagga for the presentation evening hosted by The Murrumbidgee Turf Club on 20th November 2019.

They were joined by part-owners, Marc Duryea and Jake Edmunds.

We were thrilled to win the award as News Girl was placed at her first start at Corowa then won 2 races at Albury.

She ran close 2nds at Caulfield twice, once in the Group 3 Kevin Hayes 3YO Fillies, and 4th in the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes for 3YO Fillies.

She was able to collect VOBIS bonuses on two occasions.

News Girl Maiden Albury October 2018News Girl debuted in her 3yo season, winning at her second start in a 1175m Maiden at Albury in class record time and followed with a consecutive win at her next start with another class record in BM58 1175m at Albury.

The chestnut filly went straight to Saturday Metro racing at Caulfield at her next start to be beaten a nose into 2nd. Geoff thought highly enough of her to rise in grade and take on the Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes and was a close 2nd earning black type status for the filly.

Continuing the theme of rising in grade, News Girl next contested the time honoured Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes at her first try out to 1400m, returning a brave 4th to an eventual Derby winner.

Car Damage June 2019

On 29th June News Girl raced at Caulfield.

Little did we know we were to use all of our luck that day to survive!

On our way home along the Hume Freeway, the rain was extremely heavy, so we were travelling slowly. A B-double overtook us on the right and we came over a rise to see a huge gum tree had fallen across both lanes about 50m ahead. Quick thinking by the truck driver, as he moved into the emergency lane allowed us to move into the right lane. We had no choice but to go through and hope. At least then it was the top part of the tree and not the trunk which was approximately 900mm wide. Darrin, our foreman, was driving and did a wonderful job to keep everyone safe.

As we pulled over afterward, we found another car had stopped to report the tree.  The car following us, also stopped to see we were OK - they were very shaken too!

Miraculously the three occupants and two horses, Maggie and Basil the stable pony, were all OK.

The car was badly damaged, but drivable and we limped home. Every opening in the car and float had wood and leaves wedged into it.

Very lucky escape indeed.