Inexperienced gelding Big Rig Saint is not the most fancied runner in the $156,000 APG 2YO Brisbane Sales final but owner Noel Watson will be hoping he can pull off a miracle win similar to his beloved St Kilda AFL team did last weekend.

St Kilda came from behind to score a nail biting two-point win over ladder leader Sydney on Sunday. The Swans are hot favourite to win the 2024 premiership.

Watson names all his horses after his favourite AFL team and his race colours are (Saints club colours) red, black and white panels, with a Saint motif.

The tradition has brought a lot of success – Torrid Saint won $500,000, Saint Flash banked $285,000 and Courageous Saint has earnt $250,000.

While it is possible that Big Rig Saint was named in honour of 201cm St Kilda ruckman Rowan Marshall, the name actually came about because the youngster was a rig when Watson bought him.

Watson paid $31,000 at the APG Gold Coast Yearling sale last year and he is realistic about his chances in the sales classic at Albion Park on Saturday night.

“I haven’t seen Big Rig Saint in the flesh but (trainer) Darell Graham said he was a big youngster and he was a rig, so the name came from that,” Watson said.

“He is going to take time to mature, so although it is a big race, it is really just a part of the education process for him.”

Watson’s 27-year association with Graham began when they raced handy mare Just Speedie.

“Just Speedie was flying on country tracks in Victoria and she was Qbred, so we decided to take her up for the Qbred series,” Watson said.

“I packed up the wife and kids and stabled the mare at Tweed for a couple of weeks. She ran fourth at her first start then won the (4YO mares) Qbred final at her next run. Darrel drove her in that race. We have raced horses together since then.”

Big Rig Saint, bred by Trevor and Louise O’Reilly, has had three starts for Graham. The Biddaddaba trainer has three runners in the APG final.

The gelding showed vast improvement with a solid fourth in the sales classic heat last Saturday night, when he came from the rear to finish 14m from Pats Boys, in 1.58.4. It was his first run back since being gelded.

Graham thinks he could be his best chance in the final.

“He is drawn behind Hunger Strike (barrier 1), who is the likely favourite, so he should get a good run and be a chance to earn some money,” Graham said.

“He is a big immature horse and will keep improving. I think it has helped him since he was gelded.”

Graham’s other two runners, Tenggeri and Girl The Girl (both sold by Traxion Management Services and bought by Boots Properties Racing) have drawn 10 and 11, respectively.

Noel Watson, president the Swan Hill harness club, paid tribute to his champion broodmare Torridon for his success in harness racing.

Torridon has produced eight winners of 102 races and more than $1.2 million in stakemoney.

“I bought and raced Torridon and she has been a marvel at stud,” Watson said.

“Saint Flash was her first foal. And he is probably my favourite of the horses we have raced,” Watson said.

“He won 27 wins and 43 placings and won the first ever cup on the new Swan Hill track.

“Torrid Saint ran second in the (2022 Melton) Interdominion, which was a great experience. We sold him to America to continue his racing.

“I have also kept a couple of her daughters to breed. Saint Win is by Art Major but she has been a problem to get in foal.”


There are three McWicked runners in the APG 2YO Brisbane Sales final – Maywyns Mighty Mac, Dual Cam and Tenggeri.

Dual Cam (sold by Monarch Farm) was the cheapest purchase in the race at $28,000. Designer Jewel (sold by Traxion) was the most expensive at $75,000.

Super sire Somebeachsomewhere has one runner and his sons Downbytheseaside, Stay Hungry and Poster Boy all have one runner.