Chika Muna! with Horseowner Cesar Avila
Horseowner Cesar Avila began his racing operation four years ago, but before that he was an eager bettor who wanted to be more deeply involved in the industry. He now has seven horses, among them runners Stouthearted and Simplicity.
Just last May 22, he acquired three two-year-olds in training at the Fasig-Tipton sales in Timonium, Maryland. Along with other horseowners and members of the Philippine Racing Commission, he also got to watch Curlin nip Street Sense at the wire to win the Preakness Stakes run at Pimlico Racecourse.
As he watched the races at SLLP last June 10, I asked Cesar about his buying trip and his concerns about the industry, about which he has passionate opinions.
Why buy from the US, rather than in Australia or NZ where it’s cheaper? “The American lineages are proven in terms of performance, Even Australian breeders have US stallions at stud. Also, the training of two-year-olds in the US is very good; they have exercises to build up muscles. But I’d say their chances of winning are just the same as any other horse. But you can make money on in breeding later because of their better pedigree.”
As a horseowner, what pressing issues do you think need to be resolved? “Ownership should be made more affordable so more “ordinary” bettors can become owners. That’s how I started. Supplies such as medicines should also be more affordable.
“Importation should be made easier. Right now, you can’t import a horse older than seven years old. This rule should be amended so you can buy a horse of any age. There should also be more stakes races for imports with higher prize money. In Hong Kong, there is no room for breeding so all their horses are imports. Look how exciting their races are.”
What juveniles caught your eye at Timonium? “I got three, sired by Officer, Glitterman, and Gibson County. They’re in quarantine now in the US and will be shipped to Manila soon. I can’t wait to see them race.”
Photo: (L-R) Cesar Avila and Comm. Boboc Domingo at SLLP, 10 June 2007.