Wendy Roche speaks on Nettoyer after the mare claimed her second Group 1 victory in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes at Randwick last Saturday.
How’d she get into your stables?
“John Crowley and I bought her together as a yearling at the Easter sales, I think it was the last year it was at Randwick. She was passed in and I was coming home from the races and asked John if he could go and have a look at her. I broke her in myself, she was difficult and gave her a ‘Ready to Run’ prep and kept her. I was never really going to sell her, it was just to put her through the system and we went from there.”
How many do you have in work?
“Six… Actually two. I just sent four to the paddock.”
What does it mean to have a horse like Nettoyer for your business?
“I don’t look at it like that. I look at every horse I have as an individual and assess them and get told I’m quirky when really I just judge horses individually and work them individually. I just don’t go and do interviews, such as a pre-race interview on what I should say, rather than I just say it how it is.”
I can tell you love her.
“Of course, there’s days we love to hate her. There are days we don’t like her. She bites and kicks and screams and kicks, and you wish she wasn’t in (work) today and things like that, because she’s very difficult. But as she’s gotten older we’ve learnt to deal with her and her quirks and just ignore her and walk away or get someone else that’s new to come and catch her for us. She has her days, and she’ll be missed when she’s not in the stable, because she is so quirky and she’s just a character to get along with. She is a tremendous horse. She has a rottweiler that’s her friend and she doesn’t have anyone or anything that is her friend, she doesn’t be clique or matey with anyone, she’s just her own person. When she’s in the paddock spelling she’s the same, on her own. To catch her you go out there and need a lolly or some pizza or a sandwich or whatever to catch her because you can’t catch her and she’s got to have a head stall on all the time. So it’s not just in work, it’s everywhere, she’s just a very in-your-face, human type of horse. If she was a little pony she’d be living in your house.”
Seems like it’s a love/hate relationship.
“Well she does love us but she doesn’t like us. It’s just her terms, typical female, it’s her terms. You can’t tell her what to do because she’ll start jacking up or rear up, you’ve just got to work with her. Like on the weekend, Tommy (Berry) got to the steward’s tower and nearly fell off. I just said to Tommy ‘look if she mucks up, you’ve just got to stand over her a little bit and she’ll go close to winning if she’s naughty, because the naughtier and quirkier she is, the better she runs. That’s what she is, that’s just her. Don’t get me wrong, in the tie-ups out the back she’s a kids’ pony, it’s just when you’re saddling her she’ll bite you and kick you or jacks up. She’s just very quirky.”
Is she nominated for a sale?
“She is nominated for a sale. So whether people pay their bills or she goes through the sales, she’ll be going to stud this year. Maybe have two more starts or three more starts, or even five more starts, it depends when she gets old. She could probably still race over in Japan at the end of the season and then get served at their stud season early in the year or goes in foal to Exceed And Excel if I still owned her. That’s the same cross as Bivouac, he’s a sprinter and she’s a bit of a miler. Breeding experts are probably a bit better than me, but type for type you could get a good horse.
“I believe that if you put her to a horse that’s a bit versatile like Exceed and Excel and it’s got a good looking head and he’s good looking and compact, put that extra bit of sprint into her. It’s a similar cross to Bivouac, three quarters or seven-eighths the same cross as bivouac, you know you could end up with an exceptional horse.”