Trainer Lindsey Smith and bloodstock agent Craig Rounsefell (FBAA) have formed a formidable buying act and familiarity has continued to improve their strike rate with th...
Potent partnership continues to churn out stream of winners

Trainer Lindsey Smith and bloodstock agent Craig Rounsefell (FBAA) have formed a formidable buying act and familiarity has continued to improve their strike rate with the smart Corner Pocket (Toronado {Ire}).

The Warrnambool conditioner Smith and Boomer Bloodstock Principal Rounsefell are a tight-knit duo who have been sourcing yearlings for the last seven years with the late Scales Of Justice (Not A Single Doubt) their stand-out performer.

Success came early for the partnership when in 2014 with the purchase of Scales Of Justice out of Milford Thoroughbreds’ draft for $180,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Scales Of Justice (Not A Single Doubt x Beymatilla) as a yearling

“He has been our flagship performer and such a beautiful horse and so intelligent. It was one of the first sales that we worked together,” Rounsefell said.

Scales Of Justice overcame a series of foot problems and other issues to win the G1 Memsie S. and the G1 Railway S. and earned more than $2.3 million.

“If you keep buying them, hopefully you might find another one like him. I think we’re up to about 70 or 80 per cent of the horses we’ve purchased have won,” Smith said.

Tried and true method

They have a set approach to yearling selections and Rounsefell knows only too well the style of horse Smith prefers.

“I’ve been buying with Lindsey for about seven years now. I look at everything at the sales and he usually comes in the day before and we look at about 20 horses and then narrow it down to four or five we want to buy,” he said.

“As time goes by and the more time you spend with different people and trainers, you get to know what they like. Lindsey’s type is set and when I see a particular horse I know now that he’ll love it.”

Since Smith moved to Warrnambool from Western Australia a couple of years ago, the pair has sought to add another dimension to purchases, usually securing around eight a year.

“It’s got to the point now that we are very much on the same page. The thing is that before $200,000 was the absolute top we’d pay and usually dealing up to $100,000 so pedigree was out of the window and the focus was on type,” Rounsefell said.

“Now Lindsey is in Melbourne, the competition is tougher week in and week out so we’re trying to get a bit more pedigree into our purchases.

“Hopefully, that will come through in the next couple of years. We never buy big numbers, but our record together is very good and one of Lindsey’s bigger owners, Chris Wells, has an input as well.”

A prime example is the unbeaten Tuvalu (Kermadec {NZ}), bought out of the Merricks Station draft for $200,000 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and boasts a strong international pedigree that includes this year’s G1 English Derby winner Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {GB}).

Part-owned by Wells who also shared in the ownership of Scales Of Justice, Tuvalu has won both his starts by wide margins at Warrnambool and Sandown and is back in work ahead of another campaign.

“He’s an exciting horse and he’d want to be after paying $200,000 for him, but that’s what you have to do,” Smith said.

“Craig knows the style of horse I like and he’s very good at picking them out. He looks at every horse in a sale and then says these are the ones you may like.

“Most of my input is done on type and we’ve had a lot of luck around that $200,000 mark and under. Craig has plenty of integrity and is outstanding at his job.”

Stablemate Corner Pocket (Toronado {Ire}) is another progressive performer, who placed in his first two starts and has since reeled off six wins on the bounce, including a last-start victory at Caulfield. He was secured out of Musk Creek Farm’s Inglis Classic Yearling Sale draft for $175,000.

Toronado ({IRE} x Baize) as a yearling

“He’s a tough horse and an interesting one as Lindsey has been so patient with him, as have the owners. He went shin sore maybe five or six times, Lindsey has always said he’s got a lot of ability and would be worth the wait,” Rounsefell said.

“They are great owners who have been with me a long time and it’s all starting to come through now. We still don’t know where the top is with this horse.

“He has been very well looked after early in his life and through Lindsey training on the beach, they do get to freshen up between runs.”

Corner Pocket will be given the opportunity in the near future to prove himself worthy of a crack at a major spring target.

“He’s a perfect example of being able to give a horse plenty of time and he’s rising five and only had eight starts. We’ll keep going with him and give him another run or two.

“If he steps up and wins again we might give him a little rest and bring him back for the Rupert Clark, I’m not saying he’s a Group 1 horse, but you have to have a plan.”

North American trip

Rounsefell will be keeping tabs on the Australian spring racing from afar as he will be attending the Keeneland Yearling Sale from September 13 to 25 with the possibility of extending his stay.

View the Keeneland Sale dates

“I’ve been approved by the Government to travel so I’ll go to the Yearling Sale and see how all that goes and look at quite a few of the mares as well,” he said.

The Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale follows on from the yearling action from November 9 to 19.

“The Yearling Sale will be for Californian clients and there has been quite a bit of Australian interest in the mares,” Rounsefell said.