November Owner of the Month – Robert Hill-Smith with Thirsty Guest

Our Owner of the Month award winner for November is Robert Hill-Smith part owner of Thirsty Guest, Robert told us this about his family’s distinguished involvement with South Australian racing:

Our family have had a long and wonderful association with SA racing and breeding. Beyond my father Wyndham being Chairman of the PARC for many years he and my Mother Helen were foundation partners of Lindsay Park Stud through their long association with Colin and Betty Hayes. That happened through Bill Pyers who rode for Dad over many years and was family friend. I grew up with wine cricket and horses in my bloodline and remain an avid breeder and racehorse owner.

I work through Vintage Bloodstock for racing and Bacchus Bloodstock for breeding and after losing my mate Tony McEvoy to Ballarat have decided to support local trainers.

On a personal level I served on SATRA (the predecessor to Racing SA) for a number of years but avoided Committee invitations whilst I remain heavily involved in the wine industry and its various structures.

I bought the dam of Thirsty Guest to breed from a bloodline I had lost but she died after being served by Churchill. I gave “Thirsty” to Oopy McGillivray the wife of an old friend and she and Dan Clarken have done a grand job with him.

 On the breeding side Vintage Star with RR Jolly carries on another family bloodline as has Diamonds and others around Australia.  My family love the game and remain optimistic!

Robert’s recent winner Thirsty Guest has won five from fourteen starts with a further four minor placings and earnings of just over $180.000. He is by the mighty So You Think out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Pronto. The dam was unraced and has left one other progeny to race in Australia, More Than Quick (by Stryker) who raced four times without success. She also left two colts by Unencumbered which were exported of those Meridian Genius won four out of 35 in Hong Kong and amassed just over $5 million Hong Kong dollars, the other went to Singapore but does not appear to have raced.

Thirsty Guest’s granddam Fullazz (by Redoute’s Choice) won 4 races and over $210,000, including the Listed MRC Debutante Stakes. She is the dam of Rosehill Guineas winner D’argento (by Thirsty Guest’s sire So You Think) who was able to earn over 1.1 million dollars and is now standing at Bowness Stud. Her other performers include Quicksilver Lass (by Testa Rossa); Fullazaboot (by Sepoy) who raced in Hong Kong as Hello Beauty and Youthfull (by So You Think).

Robert indicated that he purchased Thirsty Guest’s dam because of her bloodline which is steeped in SA racing history – Fullazz is out of Battonage (by Kenmare), who is in turn out of Estate Label (by Without Fear) in turn out of Clinging Vine (by Romantic). The line goes back further with Sherry Label and Sherry Party.

Robert is well placed to continue the story with Thirsty Guest and others that he owns and has bred. Vintage Star (by Starspangledbanner) has recently won twice for the Jolly stable and is out of the Royal Academy mare Vintage Salon.

In case readers have not noticed the Hill-Smith horses almost all have a name that is associated with wine, with Robert’s family company Yalumba being an iconic SA brand.