Raheen – a family-run, hands-on stud
Raheen Stud is situated in the fertile Gladfield Valley, west of The Great Dividing Range and 130km from Brisbane.
In 1827, Governor Darling commissioned Alan Cunningham to explore the inland section of the colony, especially to the north, and when his party passed through The Gladfield Valley he described it in his report as “The finest patch of meadow pasturage I have seen in New South Wales”.
Raheen is one of Queensland’s longest established nurseries, having been founded in 1957 by the parents of the present day owner Basil Nolan. Today Raheen is run by Basil, his wife Diane, son Basil Jnr and daughter-in-law Natalie. Being a family run operation, unquestionable personal care and attention is Raheen’s top priority.
One of Raheen’s Foundation mares – Blue Halo – was purchased for 1,000 Guineas from the McDougall family when they dispersed their historic Lyndhurst Stud. This was followed shortly after by the purchase of a Stockade filly at the William Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Raced as Golden Stockade in the Nolan colours, she won the 1959 Group 1 QTC Oaks.
Today the 820ha farm consists of rich alluvial creek flats rising to undulating hills. The Glengallan Creek runs through the farm and irrigation water is provided from six underground bores. The Stud produces its own fodder and hay and the thoroughbreds are always grazed on green pasture: a mix of clover, lucerne and rye.
Raheen sold the highest priced lot from a Queensland based stud at the 2008 March Magic Millions when its Commands yearling made $480,000. Sold to leading South African trainer Charles Laird, he was named Conquered Dream and won the Derby Trial at Turffontein.
Raheen Stud is home to 150 permanent mares with this number bolstered to 350 during the breeding season. It has produced quality yearlings for the Magic Millions every year since the sale’s inception in 1986.
The top-priced yearling consigned by Raheen at the 2009 Magic Millions was the Commands – Conquered colt that sold for $340,000 to trainer Ricky Yiu. He raced successfully in Hong Kong as Harsh Brown.
In 2010, Raheen graduates sold to a sale high of $220,000 at the Magic Millions. The draft included Club Command (Commands) who has developed into an open-class sprinter in Melbourne.
The 2011 Gold Coast auction saw Raheen and its clients sell yearlings by Falvelon ($110,000), Commands ($80,000), Encosta de Lago ($75,000), Canny Lad ($70,000) and Show a Heart ($67,500).
Raheen provided more positive results at the 2012 Magic Millions with five yearlings changing hands for six-figures. They were all purchased by top judges – Stratum ($270,000 – Rick Hore-Lacy), Sebring ($180,000 – Cameron Cooke), Commands (160,000 – James Bester), Snippetson ($120,000 – Steve Brem) and Oratorio ($105,000 – Premier Park).