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Record Sale For Statue Of Liberty

HONG KONG RECORD Statue Of Liberty – Prompt gelding parades for buyers at the HKJC Sale

Statue Of Liberty broke new ground with a gelding that realised $3.70 million at the Hong Kong 2YO Sale last week.

The Australian equivalent of $620,805 is the highest price achieved by the Eliza Park International stallion at public auction.

He was purchased by Allen Shi Lop Tak whose best horse to date has been G1 Champions & Chater Cup winner Mr Medici.  The Irish bred galloper was named Champion Stayer at the 2010 HKJC Horse of the Year awards.

His latest acquisition was easily the biggest horse to parade among the 25 lots on Saturday.  He weighed in at 563kg – down 15kg from a fortnight before the Sale.

Statue Of Liberty’s Hong Kong gelding is from Prompt (Exceed And Excel) and was sold as a yearling for $200,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.  Before the latest transaction, his younger half-brother Prompt Return improved the pedigree winning the G3 Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington.

The Eliza Park International stallion has enjoyed a career-best spell in the last twelve months with stakes winners Spirits Dance (G2 Angus Armanasco), Liberty’s Gem (G3 Lee-Steere Classic), Miss Steele (G3 Proud Miss) and Dawn Approach (LR Miss Andretti).

He has sired the winners of 78 races this season and the only downside was the loss of his champion sprinter Hay List to laminitis last month.  He died within weeks of the anniversary commemorating a last-stride victory over Buffering in the 2012 Newmarket Hcp.

Statue Of Liberty’s next yearlings going under the hammer will be at the Inglis VOBIS Gold Sale on April 19 and 20.  He has 7 catalogued including the EPI colt from Poco Gusto (Lot 174) offered as agent for Melbourne breeder Dennis Nicol.

The colt’s older half-sister Primo Pintxo (Street Boss) is trained by Robert Smerdon and she has been nominated to make her debut in the $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) at Bendigo this Saturday.

Running Double For Ridgeview Park

Promising three year-olds Contilla and Aagas opened Terang’s Sunday meeting with a running double for Ridgeview Park.

Contilla (Bianconi) benefited from a first-up outing at Ballarat with an on-speed victory in the Sungold Milk Plate (1206m).  Trained by Len Porter at Colac, she is a half-sister to Danny O’Brien’s former black-type filly Strata Title.

Golden Snake’s talented staying son Aagas made it a running double in the Allfresh Seafood Maiden (2156m).  He is trained by Todd Balfour for owner Paul Kristoris and is the latest winner for Caulfield Group 3 mare Brindabella (Bellotto).

Bianconi joined the Ridgeview Park roster last year after a successful career at Swettenham Stud.  Studmaster Phil Sloane stands him alongside Golden Snake at Ridgeview Park in Muskerry East.

Brazen Win For Victoria

Brazen Beau

Darley’s escalating support for the Victorian industry reached another level when champion colt Brazen Beau blitzed the G1 Newmarket Hcp (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible) responded in kind to the consummate skills of Joao Moreira to win Australia’s premier sprint from the three highest-rated sprinters in the world – Chautauqua, Terravista & Lankan Rupee.

He will retire to Darley’s Seymour base later this year but not before a northern hemisphere assignment targeting the G1 Golden Jubilee in June.  “We were delighted to secure Brazen Beau for stud,” Darley’s Australian managing director Henry Plumptre said.  “We identified him as a top class colt in the spring.  He’s a powerful type and will be a popular addition to our roster at Northwood Park.”

Brazen Beau won the G2 Roman Consul Stakes in Sydney and the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival.  “It was no surprise to us when he won the Coolmore so impressively,” Plumptre explained.  “He will underline that ability at Royal Ascot.”

Plumptre remembered champion sire Bletchingly when assessing the stud potential of Brazen Beau.  “I cared for Bletchingly at Widden Stud,” he said.  “This colt reminds me of him in so many ways.”

Trainer Chris Waller was not buying into any arguments as to the current world rankings after his colt demoralised the small but select field down the straight.  “I will leave that for others to judge – I only train the horse that just won a very competitive race.”

Brazen Beau was sold to Sheikh Mohammed before his autumn campaign, however, the colt still races in the gold colours of his original owners Ontrack Thoroughbreds.  He is a son of champion sire I Am Invincible from Black Opal Stakes placegetter Sansadee.

“He’s got the speed at the front and the back end of a race,” Waller said.  “The Newmarket was a target and he’s achieved that.  I think he’s a very special horse with a very special ability.”

Eliza Park Graduate Wins TBV Stakes

Pasadena Girl

Eliza Park International graduate Pasadena Girl was a fitting winner of the G3 TBV Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday.

The Peter Moody trained filly cost just $25,000 at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and she earned more black-type at the expense of Queensland bred filly Air Apparent and Darley NSW homebred Pursuits.

Pasadena Girl (Savabeel) had won the LR Talindert Stakes on debut at Flemington last month and sent her earnings to $162,000 in just two starts for a large syndicate of owners.  She is the first foal from Redoute’s Choice mare Nina From Pasadena who was bred by Emily Krstina owner Tony Santic.

“I tossed up whether to run her against the fillies in this race or the colts in the Sires’ Produce Stakes,” Moody revealed.  “She didn’t beat much first-up but showed she was capable up the straight.  She stamped herself with a bit of class today.”

Later in the day, Eliza Park International graduate Lazumba (Sebring) was runner-up in the G2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes. She races for the same connections as Group 1 winner Rostova and cost $165,000 at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale.

Eliza Park International has upped support for the Victorian industry since Sun International owner Ting Kong Cheng bought its operations in June 2013.  New stallions added to the roster since then have been Fiorente, Fighting Sun and Squamosa.

Champion EPI stallion Bel Esprit broke through $3.50 million in progeny earnings this season when Belcielo won at Geelong on Saturday.  His sire has won the last seven Victorian premierships and is weighted to win again – Bel Esprit (253) has the numbers with double the starters of close rival Reset (127).

First Australian Winner By Equiano

Domanus

Speedy two year-old Domanus became the first Australian-bred winner by Swettenham Stud shuttler Equiano (Fr) on Saturday.

The Garry Portelli trained colt crossed from an outside barrier to sit outside the leader until the home turn of the Castle Personnel Maiden (900m) at Newcastle.  He sprinted clear of Valyrian Steel (Redoute’s Choice) at the top of the straight and then dug deep to hold a narrow margin over Miss Ellie Grace (Denman).

“He’s a colt with a fair bit of ability,’’ Portelli said.  “I’m sure he will be a better horse next campaign but he has good natural pace and can gallop.”

Domanus (2c Equiano – Dangerous Seam by Straight Strike) is part owned by Erinvale Thoroughbreds owners John & Crystle Kenneally.  The Geelong couple kept a share after selling him for $50,000 at the 2014 Melbourne Premier yearling sale.

At the 2015 Inglis Premier earlier this month, Equiano had 11 of his 12 second-crop yearlings find new homes for up to $120,000.  Top of the dial was the colt from Scenic stakes performer The Gem sold to Adelaide trainer Richard Jolly.

Equiano sired 16 individual first-crop winners in Europe last year and that will multiply when they return as new-season three year-olds.  The Swettenham shuttler won the first of two G1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot as a three year-old in 2008.

Johannesburg Sireline Firing With Turffontein

Blue Gum Farm Team

Blue Gum Farm owners Philip and Patti Campbell are looking forward to another busy breeding season after a successful Melbourne Premier Sale.

A total of 24 of the 27 yearlings catalogued changed hands during Premier I for turnover of $2.96 million at an average of $123,438.  “Thanks to the Blue Gum team who did such a fantastic job with those yearlings,” Philip Campbell said.  “Here’s hoping there’s another Fontiton or Fontein Ruby or Alinghi among them!”

Blue Gum stallion Turffontein has enjoyed a tremendous start to his stud career siring Group 2 winners Fontein Ruby (VRC Edward Manifold Stakes) and Fontiton (MRC Blue Diamond Prelude) in his first two crops.

Turffontein (Johannesburg) was a high-class three year-old winning the G2 Queensland Guineas but peaked as an older sprinter capturing the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and G1 William Reid Stakes.

Blue Gum took a calculated risk purchasing Turffontein in 2010 – it’s unlikely Johannesburg was high on many lists as a potential sire of sires at that time.  But the son of Storm Cat sire Hennessy has since built up a band of successful sons at stud led by Scat Daddy, a high-profile stallion in Kentucky and sire sensation in Chile who sprang to prominence in Europe as the sire of No Nay Never.

Another American-based son – Teuflesberg – overcame a $5,000 fee to sire Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Trinniberg out of his first crop, while Prix d’Ispahan winner Sageburg sired three stakes performers including Group 2 winner Peace Burg out of his first French crop.

Johannesburg shuttled to Coolmore Australia for five years before transferring to Japan’s Shizunai Stallion Station in 2009.  He may have taken some by surprise as a sire of sires but it’s worth noting that others from his female family have enjoyed similar success in that department.

Top of the pile is Pulpit, who is responsible for American champion sire Tapit in addition to Group 1 sires Sky Mesa and Sightseeing.

Another relation, Tale Of The Cat, is the sire of Group 1 producing sons such as Lion Heart (himself responsible for emerging sire sons Kantharos and Line Of David) and NZ sire Falkirk.

Opportunity Of A Lifetime For Damian Lane

Damian Lane flies to Hong Kong later this month for the next stage of a career that has been on an upward spiral since he started riding in 2009.

Lane, 21, has been given an extraordinary opportunity by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and he’s got what it takes to succeed in the world’s most competitive environment for jockeys.

The contract lasts from March 29 until the end of the current season in July.  “I’m pretty excited to be given the opportunity,” Lane said.  “I’m very happy with the way things have gone so far and Hong Kong can only improve my riding.”

The West Australian born jockey started his apprenticeship with his father Michael who has been a successful trainer in Bunbury since finishing his own time in the saddle.  Lane snr was apprenticed to Wally Mitchell during the halcyon days of champion sprinter Placid Ark.  He also won the G1 WA Derby on Chipolata for his master in 1990.

Damian moved to Melbourne during the 2010-11 season and finished his apprenticeship with Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra.  He has ridden 76 winners in Victoria this season and is leading the jockeys on the Super VOBIS table with earnings of $155,200.

His 500th career win on Whistle Baby at Sandown on February 4 arrived in the same week as his 21st birthday.  “Things have gone well over the past two or three years,” he said.  “It’s an honour and I’m thrilled to be going to Hong Kong.”

The latest move means he will lose the rides on several Super VOBIS winners including brilliant Magnus filly Propelled who is part of Ellerton -Zahra Racing at Flemington.  She bolted in at Moonee Valley in November for owners Barry & Midge Griffiths and will target black-type during her next preparation.

Lane also partnered Super VOBIS star Trust In A Gust to their first Group 1 victory in the Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield in September.  Before the breakthrough, he had won at Group 2 level on Super VOBIS fillies Se Sauver (VRC Edward Manifold Stakes) and Solicit (VRC Kewney Stakes).

In a recent press release, the HKJC said Lane is considered one of the emerging young jockeys in Australia.  After graduating to the senior riding ranks, he didn’t break stride riding 106 winners and 105 winners in the last two seasons in Victoria.

Lane has advised authorities his riding weight will be 119 lbs (54kg) in Hong Kong and he has been studying replays and the same jockeys and trainers that will be sizing him up on arrival.

He recently posted a photo on social media of the Hong Kong night skyline and retweeted this comment after the International Group 1 meeting at Sha Tin;  “74,000 attendance and turnover of HK$1.46 billion.  How’s them dim sums?”

Master Of Design Tops Adelaide Magic Millions

Master Of Design $220k Adelaide MM

Swettenham Stud sire Master of Design topped Day 2 of the Adelaide Magic Millions with a colt that sold to local trainer Lloyd Kennewell for $220,000 on Tuesday.

Master Of Design’s first yearlings have been popular this year – they sold to $300,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier and $180,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions.

His Adelaide colt from Group 3 performer Swiss Vault (Lot 233) is a half-brother to El Magico and he equalled the Day 1 mark of $220,000 set by Tony McEvoy for a Smart Missile colt.

“I’ve trained the majority of the family,” Kennewell said.  “El Magico was one of the best sprinters I’ve trained and I’ve got the sister who’s on the way up and looks very promising – she won her first start by five lengths.

“He was purchased on behalf of some Melbourne clients – Ozzie Kheir and a few of the boys are involved.  It should be a good ride.  I thought he was probably the best colt in the sale.”

Kheir is part of the syndicate that purchased Master Of Design’s $300,000 half-brother to Trust In A Gust at Melbourne Premier.

Kennewell is one of Adelaide’s up-and-coming trainers and he also purchased the Equiano half-brother to Trust In A Gust at last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions.  Racing as The Show Goes On, he was placed in a Morphettville trial in October before going out for a spell.

Apart from his high-priced Smart Missile, Tony McEvoy weighed in with $60,000 for a colt by Swettenham sire Equiano from Check in Time on Day 2.  He is a half-brother to last start winner Aussie Host and descends from Group 1 mare Better Comment.

Master Of Design is bred on the Redoute’s Choice – Last Tycoon that has produced five Group 1 winners.  The Swettenham sire scored his in the G1 T J Smith and the latest addition is last Saturday’s G1 Australian Guineas winner Wandjina.

Strategic Maneuver Popular At Adelaide Magic Millions

Strategic Maneuver Yearling $87.50k Adelaide MM

Bullarook Park stallion Strategic Maneuver topped Day 3 at the Adelaide Magic Millions with an $87,500 filly on Wednesday.

Magic Millions, acting for a Victorian based client, bought her after a duel with local trainer Phillip Stokes.  The filly was part of the Bullarook Park draft and is the second live foal of Canny Lad mare Millisecond.

The Adelaide session-topper is related to stakes winning sprinters Jetball, Marwina and Into the Night.

Strategic Maneuver is bred on the same Royal Academy – Vain cross as Bel Esprit.  Trained by Gai Waterhouse for Gooree Stud, he was a juvenile winner on debut at Randwick but broke a pedal bone second time out at Canterbury.

Bullarook Park owner Malcolm Boyd has bred three Strategic Maneuver fillies from Millisecond since he retired to stand in Victoria in 2011.  He is available for a $4,400 (inc gst) fee at Avenel.

Fellow Victorian sire Host was second on the leader-board with a colt from Noble Glow that made $55,000 to Cranbourne trainer John Price while Victorian based studs Noor Elaine Farm and Ampulla Lodge also figured in the Top 5 vendor and buyer lists.

No Drama For Soosa Rama

Winning Connections & Chris Mills from TBV

Trainer Colin Little had promising mare Soosa Rama primed for the VOBIS Murray River Gold (1400m) and she responded at Echuca on Sunday.

The Caulfield-based trainer secured the $70,000 VOBIS Gold Premier Race Series plus a further $30,000 worth of Super VOBIS bonuses for her connections.

Little said the key to the Bel Esprit mare was getting her to the outside in the home straight.  “She’s now won four races and she’s never been inside a horse in all four of those wins.  We had her pretty right for today and it’s a great race to win.

Soosa Rama (4m Bel Esprit – Make My Dane by Danehill) is from a three-quarter-sister to Danehill stakes winner Springsteen and cost $40,000 as a foal from Phoenix Broodmare Farm at the 2011 Inglis Great Southern Sale.

Winning jockey Chad Schofield angled Soosa Rama off the fence approaching the home turn before she powered home for a convincing victory.  “We drew the inside barrier but Colin said she was better off getting off the fence and swooping,” Schofield said.  “She relaxed well and rounded them up really quickly – once in front she coasted.”

Eliza Park International champion Bel Esprit is engaged in a two-horse war with Reset for this season’s sires’ title in Victoria.  He has reigned year-after-year but is $150,000 in arrears of the Darley stallion settling into the second-half of the season.

Mawingo Leaves Larneuk Stud

Mawingo (GER)

Group 1 winning stallion Mawingo (Ger) has transferred out of Victoria after one season at Larneuk Stud.

Mawingo attracted just 18 mares, according to ASB records, at a $5,500 (inc gst) fee in his first book last year.  He will take up duties at Grenville Stud in Tasmania.

A Group 3 winner in Munich in 2011, he was exported to Australia to win the G1 Doomben Cup in 2012 and he was narrowly defeated by All Too Hard in the G1 Orr Stakes the following year.

Larneuk Stud owner Neville Murdoch also has O’Lonhro and Ilovethiscity on the roster at Euroa.

O’Lonhro (Lonhro) was a Group 2 winner of the Chelmsford Stakes and his first crop three year-olds are winning in Australia and Singapore.

Ilovethiscity (Magic Albert) was a Group 1 winner of the Randwick Guineas and his oldest are yearlings including a $70,000 graduate from last week’s Melbourne Premier Sale.  His Oaklands Junction filly was purchased by Boomer Bloodstock and is from Troposphere (Stratum), a winning half-sister to G1 Golden Slipper winner Prowl.

Victorian Colt Ready For Golden Slipper

Ready For Victory. Rail.

Eliza Park International colt Ready For Victory is on track for the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes following a brilliant debut at Flemington on Saturday.

Ready For Victory’s Listed win in the VRC Festival Of Racing 1000 saw the Mick Price trained colt firm into $15 for the $3.50 million stallion-making race at Rosehill on March 21.  “He will be new to the reverse way and it looks a hot field this year,” Price said.  “It’s a big task but you certainly can’t win it sitting at home.

The More Than Ready colt is from a half-sister to G1 AJC Champagne Stakes winner Meurice and he was a $240,000 buy for Eliza Park / Sun International owner Cheung Ting Kong.

“Sun International buy these colts with a view to running them in the better races,” Price continued.  “He’s pretty educated and full of himself and we were disappointed when he got a cold and had to miss the Blue Diamond.”

Nick Hall was forced to work hard aboard Ready For Victory down the straight course – he clocked 33.06s for the final 600m to collar speedy filly Heatherly close to home.  “For a horse that we’ve done a lot of work with, he was a little bit new on the day,” Hall said.  “He came off the bridle quite early and had to do a lot of chasing, so it was a good effort to the line.”

Sun International colt Fighting Sun was one of the favourites for the 2014 Golden Slipper after winning the LR Canonbury Stakes by three lengths before a suspensory injury curtailed his career.

Fighting Sun (Northern Meteor) retired to Eliza Park International last year and covered 147 mares in his first book at a $13,750 (inc gst) service fee.

Zoustar On Parade At Woodside Park

Woodside NM - Ryzhkina filly Matt Tillett & Kristy Perkins

Zoustar (Northern Meteor) will stand his first breeding season in Victoria at Woodside Park Stud for a $44,000 (inc gst) service fee.

The dual Group One winner stood his first year at stud in 2014 at Widden Stud in NSW for the same fee and makes the switch as part of a partnership deal announced between the two operations last year.

“We are parading him for breeders at Tylden now,” Woodside Park’s incoming bloodstock manager Matt Tillett said.  “He covered over 180 mares at Widden and will have a book of approximately 150 down here.”

Zoustar joins an increasingly attractive roster at Woodside Park Stud, with recent results on the racetrack significantly boosting the profile of Written Tycoon (Iglesia).

His son Rich Enuff won the G2 Danehill Stakes and G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude and remains Timeform’s equal highest rated three-year-old in Australia.  He’s likely to target some of the spring’s leading sprint prizes.

Written Tycoon will stand for $19,800 (inc gst).  He was also represented by five stakes winners in February, including Written Dash who caused a $101 upset in the G3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes at Moonee Valley.

The roster is completed by Foreplay (Danehill), whose fertility has been improved to a foal percentage of over 80% since undergoing stem cell treatment.  His fee is $6,600 (inc gst).

Woodside Park finished the Premier I Sale in Melbourne with 9 lots knocked down for an average of $132,778.  Top price was an outstanding Northern Meteor – Ryzhkina filly that made $420,000 to the bid of Mick Malone from Kitchwin Hills.

Malone had to beat off Gai Waterhouse, Mike Moroney and Tony McEvoy to buy the filly who is the first foal of a Storm Cat mare related to King Of Kings and General Monash.  She is pictured outside Barn H with Matt Tillett & Kirsty Perkins.

Master Profits At Melbourne Premier

Owner Ozzie Kheir is pictured with Lee Freedman and their $300k Master Of Design colt along with strapper Adam Rumsby and Adam Sangster. Photo / Sharon Chapman

Breeders who booked to Master of Design first-up in 2012 were rewarded with record-breaking results at this week’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Swettenham Stud’s Group 1 sprinter was the leader among Victorian first-season stallions with an average well ahead of Helmet, Canford Cliffs and Toorak Toff.

Master of Design stood his initial season at Swettenham for a $12,500 service fee and that proved a profitable choice when his Premier I yearlings returned an average of $106,786.  That’s 8.5 times his fee and it was the best result of any first-season sire at Oaklands finishing above Hunter Valley stars Sepoy (7.27), Smart Missile (5.38) & Foxwedge (4.89) and well ahead of Victorian freshmen Canford Cliffs (4.00) and Helmet (2.82).

Master of Design also topped the Melbourne Premier freshman sires for service fee / median (6.40).  Next best was Sepoy (6.06).

Topping the Master Of Design draft was Swettenham Stud’s half-brother Group 1 winner Trust In A Gust.  Trainer Lee Freedman paid $300,000 for what he called ‘a great physical specimen’.

Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes set the tone early on Day 1 at the Melbourne Premier when he outlaid $120,000 for a Master of Design half-brother to Fontein Ruby.  “He’s a strong, good-looking type,” Hayes said.  “And Master Of Design is a very promising young sire.”

Other six-figure returns by Master Of Design were paid by the Hong Kong Jockey Club ($210,00), leading agent James Bester ($200,000) and Group 1 winning owner Barrie Griffiths ($160,000).

Master of Design also topped Premier II on Wednesday with all 4 lots sold for an average of $53,875.  Most expensive was the $85,000 colt from Lady Of Dormello (General Nediym) purchased by NSW based Proven Thoroughbreds.

Major Progress At Melbourne Premier

Lindsay Park David Hayes & Sheamus Mills.

The Inglis Melbourne Premier I Yearling Sale rose to new heights for the sixth consecutive year at Oaklands Junction.

The Inglis Premier average increased by 16% from last year to a record $97,003 while the median was up 23% to a record $80,000 and gross up 19% to a record $44.50 million.

“We are ecstatic at the strength of the sale,” Inglis Victorian Director Peter Heagney said.  “As Melbourne’s principal yearling sale, these positive results are indicative of the progressive nature of the Victorian industry as a whole.”

Victorians spent over $20 million making up 45% of the sale’s gross.  International support was also strong with overseas buyers spending over $10 million on 90 Lots.

The three sessions of Premier 1 saw 6 Victorian studs figure in the Top 10 by average.  Woodside Park Stud led the locals with an average of $132,778 to just tip out Yallambee Stud ($131,389).

Yallambee topped Premier I with a $560,000 Snitzel – Belle of the City filly heading to South Africa.

Swettenham Stud’s Master Of Design joined Foxwedge and Sepoy as the only first-season sires to have a yearling on the Top 10 leader-board.  Swettenham’s half-brother to Trust In A Gust made $300,000.

Lindsay Park trainer David Hayes (pictured with agent Sheamus Mills) was the leading Premier I buyer for the third consecutive year having outlaid $1.35 million on 11 Lots.  Eliza Park International led the vendors by aggregate selling 24 Lots for $2.95 million.

Americain Going Global In Ireland

Americain Irish National Stud

Americain (USA) is currently covering his first mares at the Irish National Stud and chief executive John Osborne admits he jumped at the chance to stand the 2010 Melbourne Cup winner.

The 10 year-old Dynaformer stallion also shuttles to Swettenham Stud in Victoria and, for the last two years, his northern base had been Brad Kelley’s Calumet Farm in Kentucky.

“We were asked by Brad if we would be interested in standing Americain,” Osborne said.  “He is ambitious to expand globally and we were happy to assist.  There were a few eyebrows raised when people heard he was coming here but when breeders have seen him they’ve been pleasantly surprised.

“He’s already produced strong foals in the USA and Australia and he’s particularly good-looking.

“I suppose staying horses have had a pretty rough press in recent years,” Osborne continued.  “But Americain was an exceptional racehorse and is probably one of the highest-rated horses we’ve ever stood.

“He’s the highest-earning son of Dynaformer and we’re big fans of the Roberto line here – Big Bad Bob has been a big success for us – and the Roberto line has always produced hard-knocking horses.

“There has been a lot of sameness to the European roster in recent years – you couldn’t find a stallion that didn’t have Danehill in the first two lines.  Americain will offer a different angle for breeders.

“The market is dominated now by cheap speed and the quick return horses – we’re heavily invested in that side of the market ourselves because that’s what the customers want – but there are also a lot of people who play the game differently, and I think that’s where there’s a niche for a horse like Americain.”

Americain will continue shuttling to Swettenham Stud where he has covered some 290 mares in his first two southern seasons.

Six Of The Best For Written Tycoon

Written Dash wins the G3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes on Friday night

Tycoon Tara capped off a career-best month for Written Tycoon with a Group 3 victory in the Mannerism Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The Woodside Park Stud champion sired the winners of 17 races during February including 6 at stakes level.

It is Written claimed his first black-type in February in the LR Abell Stakes at Moonee Valley and he was followed by Stoker (RL Inglis Premier) at Sandown, Vibrant Rouge (G3 Vamos Stakes) in Launceston and Written Dash (G3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes) at Moonee Valley.

Woodside Park bred three year-old San Nicasio (Hard Spun) weighed in with more black-type winning the G2 Autumn Stakes at Caulfield on February 14.

Tycoon Tara (4m Written Tycoon – Mosstara by Encores) won the G3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) on the same day before completing a Caulfield stakes double on Saturday.  “The way she has progressed this prep is astonishing,” trainer Symon Wilde said.  “We always knew she was talented and we may keep aiming high in Sydney.”

A Dunkfeld winner in November, she is now under consideration for the G1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14.

Tycoon Tara is a homebred for Tony Krushka and has earned $277,670 from 5 wins in 10 starts.  She is the penultimate foal of Mosstara who died in November.  Her final foal is a yearling by Magic Albert’s Group 1 winning son Ilovethiscity.

Written Tycoon was Australia’s Champion first-season in 2010-11 and has now sired 11 individual winners.  He stood for a $13,750 (inc gst) service fee at Woodside Park last year.

Bel Esprit Highlight From Swettenham

F - Bel Esprit x Amorosa

Swettenham Stud sold the highest priced Bel Esprit yearling filly at the Inglis Premier Sale since 2008 at Oaklands Junction on Sunday.

It’s Bel Esprit – Amoroso filly made $260,000 in the first hour of trade of Premier I. She is a half-sister to Group 2 winning mare Arinoso and was purchased by Cloud 9 Thoroughbreds trainer Brett Stanley.

The last Bel Esprit filly make that sort of money was Black Caviar. The world champion was a $210,000 graduate from Swettenham’s consignment at the 2008 Premier.

“She’s a lovely, strong filly and is built like a colt,” Stanley said. “She’s a great walking horse from a good winning family and hopefully she can run!”

In another plus for Swettenham, its Group 1 freshman Master of Design sold all five of his Day 1 yearlings with top price of $120,000 paid by David Hayes for the half-brother to Fontein Ruby.

“We’ve been beaten by Fontein Ruby and know how hard it is to get past her,” Hayes admitted. “Our colt is a strong, good-looking type and Master Of Design is a very promising young sire.

“It was a good investment considering those VOBIS incentives are worth over $100,000.”

Swettenham will have more Premier highlights by Master Of Design this week including his Subtle Breeze colt (Lot 546) on Tuesday. He is the half-brother to Group 1 star Trust In A Gust.

Day 1 Inglis Melbourne Premier – Average rises 20%

Melbourne Premier 2015

A diverse buying bench purchased 112 yearlings for $10.58 million during Sunday’s opening session of the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale in Melbourne.

Buyers from Victoria snapped up over half the lots sold, but had healthy competition from interstate buyers (28 lots) and overseas guests (27 lots).

“It is very satisfying to see our Day One average ($94,473) increase by 20%, and especially pleasing was a 33% increase in the median,” Inglis director Peter Heagney said.  “As we still have many quality yearlings to offer we are confident that the sale should continue to remain buoyant.”

A classy Snitzel filly from Bel Esprit mare Belle of the City (Lot 44) topped the leader board at $560,000.  She was sold to South African trainer Brett Crawford by Yallambee Stud and helped the Woodard family finish Day 1 as leading vendor with 10 Lots for $1.55 million.

The support from South African buyers continued throughout the day, including the purchase of Lot 67, a filly by hot freshman sire Foxwedge from Carlton Show.  Bred and sold by Romsey based Supreme Thoroughbreds, the filly sold to fellow South African Joey Ramsden for $340,000.

Supreme owner Brent Grayling sold three at an average of $186,667.  The others were a Medaglia d’Oro to Gai Waterhouse and a Reward For Effort knocked down to Aquanita Racing.

Victorian based stallions with six-figure sales included Bel Esprit, Reward For Effort, Helmet, Wanted, Turffontein, Magnus, Master Of Design and Canford Cliffs.

Darley Victoria sire Helmet headed locally based freshmen with an average of $85,000.

Hong Kong trainer Ricky Yiu leads the buyers’ table having spent $680,000 on three colts by Not A Single Doubt, Foxwedge and Sepoy.  Cloud 9 Thoroughbreds bought five for $645,000, including $260,000 for the half-sister by Bel Esprit to Group 2 winner Arinosa from Swettenham Stud.