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Canadian Fipke is a man on a Melbourne Cup mission

November 26, 2010

I wrote this for Thoroughbred Village in June. I find Chuck Fipke a very interesting character and I hope that he has some success in his quest for the Melbourne Cup.

This is a really interesting story, I’m sure some of you may have heard it but I’ll tell it for those who haven’t. I had heard about it briefly around the time of Karaka in January, but I just read it on the site of Jack Werk. In fact, most of the information is included in a blog he put up 10 days before his death in February – his 2nd last blog before he died. He was very keen to help Fipke achieve his goals, and I hope Fipke can do it in his memory.

There’s this Canadian diamond magnate, Charles “Chuck” Fipke. Really wealthy bloke. He has a reputation in North America for working as hard as he can to get what he wants. He’s bred horses for years in the United States, his best horse being Tale of Ekati. He’s set himself goals in racing, and he’s always achieved them. For example, his main reason for getting into horses was to win the Queen’s Plate, the oldest horse race in North America held at Woodbine in Canada every June. He accomplished this in 2008 with Not Bourbon. He is also an avid student of pedigrees, and he wanted to create the perfect match in his eyes. So he bought a daughter of Secretariat in 1996 and sent it to Ireland to be served by Sadler’s Wells. This match occured every year, and resulted in (among others) G1 winner Perfect Soul.

In Perfect Soul he now has a stallion which he hopes can help him reach his second goal – to win the Kentucky Derby. He has been building up a band of broodmares who he believes would be compatible with Perfect Soul in order to create a Kentucky Derby winner.

Anyway, in 2007, the owner of Darby Dan stud (where Perfect Soul stands), John Phillips, invites him out to dinner on the night of Monday 5th November. He wanted Fipke to see this race called the Melbourne Cup. Fipke was intrigued as Efficient flashed down the outside to score.

In 2008, this occurred again. And after Viewed wins for Bart Cummings, Fipke stands up and says, “That’s it, I wanna win the Melbourne Cup.”

As someone who was there recalled, you just don’t doubt Fipke. If he wants it, he’ll make it happen. And not in a bad way either. He’ll work hard to make it happen for himself.

A couple of weeks afterwards, they thought he might have been over it. No way. He’d already organised with Cambridge Stud to have his mare Perfect Secretary, a full to Perfect Soul, sent out to New Zealand to be served by Zabeel, the champion sire of stayers. Furthermore, he wanted her housed there full time, in the hope that she would produce a Melbourne Cup runner and perhaps, a winner.

But he realised this wouldn’t be enough. So in 2010, he comes out to the Karaka Premier Yearling Sales. With a couple of advisors, he peruses the catalogue and chooses two Zabeels and one Montjeu, all out of Danehill mares.

However, he realised there was only one man he could trust to make his goal a reality. And so the yearlings (and all of his future purchases) are headed to Leilani Lodge to be trained by Bart Cummings.

I think that this is a fantastic thing for the race. Fipke has weight in American racing, and if one man can be motivated to do this, I believe the rest can too.

If they race in his colours in Australia, they look something like this:

I’m going to keep a close eye on the yearlings he bought:

Zabeel x Markisa (Markisa is a 3/4 to Danewin, Commands, Court of Jewels and a 1/2 to Showers of Roses and Minqar Qaim – 3rd dam is Eight Carat)

Zabeel x Love Diamonds (Love Diamonds is also from the Eight Carat family, she’s a sister to Viking Ruler, Kempinsky, Diamond Like and a 3/4 to Lovetrista, Flora Danica)

Montjeu x Blowin in the Wind (dam’s unraced, but a European family including Honolulu, Cerulean Sky, Moonstone)

Note: his purchases are now two year olds, all are yet to be named. Perfect Secretary is not listed as having foaled on Cambridge Stud’s website.

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