The recently revamped Inglis Oaklands Junction complex is already awash with people as inspections for the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale are taking place – and if you are one of those out there looking your next star be sure to inspect the select draft presented by Nioka Wozny’s Moorookyle Park.

Known for her keen eye for detail and her passion for everything thoroughbred, Wozny was justifiably proud of her efforts at last year’s sale; Moorookyle’s four Premier 1 session yearlings achieving an average in excess of $101,000 with highlights including a $120,000 Written Tycoon colt and a $110,000 Malibu Moon colt.

And the year before the draft included a $100,000 Written Tycoon colt who, named Benatari, has impressed at the trials.

Wozny is excited about her 2019 offering of five well related, impressively put together youngsters…

Lot 156 b.f Headwater – Eagle’s Song (by Proud Citizen): a member of the debut crop of Headwater (whose Magic Millions yearlings sold for up to $180,000), Gr.2 Silver Slipper Stakes winning son of the champion stallion Exceed And Excel and the Gr.1 Oakleigh Plate heroine River Dove, she is bred on the same Exceed And Excel/Gone West cross as 14 stakes winners including the multiple Gr.1 winner Guelph. Her dam (a three times stakes placegetter whose first three foals are all winners) is an imported mare whose sire is the high class Proud Citizen (sire of 43 stakes winners) and whose dam is a daughter of the Gr.1 mare Nice Tradition, dam of the stakes winners Raise A Tradition and Nice Serve and second dam of the stakes winners Meisho Bowler, Meisho Yataro, Two Months Rent, Transition Time and Dynasharp.

“She is a Classic type filly who is good sized and correct with a great temperament,” Wozny said.

Lot 429 ch.f Jimmy Creed – Scorpio Queen (by Choisir): by Spendthrift Stud’s exceptionally good looking Group One winning son of Distorted Humor, a young stallion who has made such a great start in the northern hemisphere with 70 of his first 115 runners being winners, eight of those (7%) at stakes level. This filly is the second foal (her first, a $140,000 Deep Field colt, is in work with Mick Price) for a classy race mare who won five races including the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet and the Listed Bernborough Handicap along with three Gr.3 placings. Hailing from the family of the triple Gr.1 winning sprinter Toledo, this filly has an exciting pedigree with crosses of the excellent mares Natalma and Mixed Marriage.

“This is a filly of great size, scope and strength with a straight forward, sensible temperament.”

Lot 660 b.c Smart Missile – Little Diamond A (by Dixie Union): a son of one of Australia’s most popular stallions who has been doing a great job with eight early stakes winners, this colt is a half-brother to three winners out of an imported daughter of the high class broodmare sire (34 stakes winners) Dixie Union and the terrific broodmare Izana, dam of the stakes winners Mi Amigo Guelo and So Elite and the five times stakes placed Tina Bull. Izana is a daughter of the wonderful Mr Prospector mare Tersa, European Joint Champion 2Y0 Filly; dam of the dual Gr.1 winning successful stallion Rock Hard Ten and grandam of the local Gr.1 winner All American and Gr.2 mare More Strawberries. Boasting a cross of Smart Missile’s fifth dam Rough Shod II, this fellow hails from an outstanding international family.

“He is typical of the Fastnet Rock line, a great looking colt with plenty of substance, size and scope.”

Lot 689 b/br.f Ready For Victory – Miss Shakira (by Snippets): bred on the successful More Than Ready/Snippets cross (one that provides for crosses of the great mares Almahmoud, Striking and Lavendula II), she hails from the debut crop of Sun Stud’s fast and classy Ready For Victory whose grandam is a half-sister to the champion Rubiton. Her dam Miss Shakira is a proven broodmare with her seven winners including the speedy Listed winner Tropic Thunder (by Ready For Victory’s champion sire More Than Ready) – and her family is a strong one with her relations including the feature race winners Rebel Raider, Shamoline Warrior, Cadillac Mountain, Haybah, Jungle Edge, Brief Kiss, Gaily Funky, Brave Warrior, A Little Kiss and Blueberry Hill.

“A 3/4 sister to a stakes winner, she is a well balanced filly with great size and strength and a lovely attitude.”

Lot 773 ch.f Toronado – The French House (by Dylan Thomas): sons (Dundeel, So You Think) of the much missed High Chaparral have been in great form of late and the dual Gr.1 winner Toronado has made such an encouraging start to his stud career with 25 debut crop winners in the northern hemisphere. And local trainers love him with his yearlings selling for up to $340,000. This striking filly (bred on the same High Chaparral/Dylan Thomas cross as NZ Derby aspirant Cutadeel) is the first foal for a talented race mare who followed up a dominant maiden victory with close up and very unlucky fifths in two Listed events, considered a major contender for the Gr.1 Australasian Oaks only to be injured in the lead-up. Her dam is the stakes placed dual city winner Deraismes whose four to race have all shown good ability; her other three Geodesic (three in a row last time in), Maigret and Marie Adelaide (last start 2 1/2 length maiden winner) all saluting within the last eight months… and in all back in work and progressing well. A descendant of the famed champion Pretty Polly, Deraismes is a daughter of the imported Listed winner Assertive Lad, half-sister to the globe-trotting two times Group winner Guiza, in turn dam of the Gr.3 galloper Drama Critic. The product of a planned mating, this filly boasts crosses of the outstanding mares Natalma, Doubly Sure, Somethingroyal, Mixed Marriage and Relance.

“She is a correct, strong filly with nice movement – very much true to the Toronado type.”

Check out the Moorookyle draft in Barn E, stables 58 – 62.

Article courtesy of Kristen Manning

Yulong is delighted to announce that former Bloodstock Manager for Mick Price Racing, Luke Wilkinson will be joining the rapidly growing Yulong operation to head their bloodstock and racing division.

Sam Fairgray, Yulong’s COO is thrilled Wilkinson has taken the opportunity, bringing with him his extensive horse knowledge and passion for the industry.

“Luke was the first person that came to mind for the position. He has a good brain for thoroughbreds, is highly regarded and respected amongst his colleagues and having been with Mick Price for nine years, it’s a great testament to his loyalty and professionalism. He will be a valuable asset to Yulong, and a great assistance to me,” Fairgray said.

“He has a great strike rate with colts and is known to do the right thing by fillies. He can place them in the right races with clever programming and has vital experience with how to work with trainers. Known to have an astute eye for bloodstock purchases, a lot of the horses he has secured over the years for Mick Price and clients, have delivered great success.”

“Luke had already developed a solid association with Yulong, through horses Mr Zhang has raced with the Mick Price stable.”

While Wilkinson is just as thrilled to take up the role and is excited to work together with the Yulong team to continue building the emerging brand in the future.

“I have learnt so much being the bloodstock manager at Mick Price Racing for the past nine years. Mick has been a wonderful influence and mentor to help develop my knowledge in both the sales ring and on the track. I want to thank Mick for being so supportive of this opportunity, encouraging me to take the next stage in my career,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson was fortunate to have been involved with many Group and Stakes winners throughout his time Mick Price Racing, and while the selection and sale of Extreme Choice is probably what he is most noted for. He has been closely involved in the careers of Flying Artie, Mighty Boss, Secret Agenda and Tarzino.

“I have been involved in the careers of so many great colts and top-class fillies during my time with Mick Price Racing. I look forward to a bright future with the many wonderful horses raced by Yulong Investments”

Officially on board for the Inglis Premier sales, Wilkinson will be on both sides of the cards, being a vendor with Yulong’s debut Melbourne draft, and as a buyer, selecting racing and breeding prospects to add to Yulong’s growing stable of stars.

While it is also a big weekend on the racetrack, with Grunt carrying the Yulong silks when he resumes in the Group 3 Shaftesbury Avenue at Flemington over 1400 metres this Saturday.

“I am close friends with the group of long-term stable clients involved with Grunt and it is a thrill to see them have incredible success on the track with two Group 1 wins,” Wilkinson said.

“They have had a great ride, and to now be a part of a future stallion prospect for Yulong, there will be plenty of cheering from all connections as he continues his brilliant racing career.”

The dual Group 1 winning entire Rebel Dane is heading to Glen Eden Stud to continue his blossoming breeding career in 2019.

The ultimate colonial bred sprinter, Rebel Dane raced in world-class company throughout his career, demonstrating his speed, quality, consistency and tenacity.

Glen Eden’s Sonia Carboni is full of excitement at the arrival of the stunning eight-year-old for the 2019 season and with exceptional first crop foals now on the ground, Rebel Dane is imparting his physical type and brilliant temperament onto a new generation of thoroughbreds.

“Bred on a Danehill/More Than Ready cross, he has the pedigree to go with his looks and soundness, and we are sure he will be as effective at stud, as he was on the racetrack,” Carboni said.

“His foals are great types, he is stamping them well, and they have been easy to handle like their dad. In the breeding shed his fertility is excellent at 96.7%. We are looking forward to Rebel Dane arriving at Glen Eden for the next stage of his career.”

He had an incredible racing career and was much loved by all at Portelli Racing, often referred to as the stable favourite.

“Gary spoke about his champ, with a real sense of respect and awe at what this horse accomplished throughout his career,” Carboni said.

“He raced the best, at the highest level, season after season, he couldn’t dodge them, he always put up a fight. He is a genuine Group 1 horse, he raced and beat the best horses in the country,” – Gary Portelli.

“He is a war horse and he retired sound. He was a real trainer’s horse and I hope he sets the trend for breeders to appreciate well-campaigned, well performed and proven gallopers, and the advantages of breeding to them.” – Gary Portelli.

Louis Mihalyka of Laurel Oak Bloodstock, Rebel Dane’s managing owner, reflects on his career and is excited about his future as a successful stallion.

“Having a horse race in Group 1 or 2 company for over 30 starts is an owner’s dream, with the Manikato Stakes the highlight. There were nine Group 1 winners in the ten-horse field, and once he drew well, he had a chance. The fact he delivered was a magic moment for all of us,” Mihalyka said.

Rebel Dane will arrive at Glen Eden in the coming weeks, with plenty of time to settle in before the breeding season begins.

“We are looking forward to continuing the great start Swettenham gave him in his first two seasons at stud, and Glen Eden will continue to source the quality mares he deserves in the future to give him every opportunity to succeed,” Carboni said.

Additionally, Carboni is passionate about supporting the grassroots “breed to race” breeder.

“They are the backbone of our industry, so the opportunity to stand a stallion of this quality for an affordable price is wonderful. Rebel Dane is exceptional value, and we want to look after and appreciate those small and hobby breeders.”

A brilliant VOBIS stallion, Rebel Dane will stand at Glen Eden Stud for the highly competitive fee of $6,000 plus GST alongside Illustrious Blue, Al Samer and Scintillo.

Rebel Dane.

The Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on Saturday featured a quality field of 18 runners with victory going to talented Written Tycoon mare Booker, prepared by Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra of Ellerton Zahra Racing.

Booker drew gate 14 but was given a perfect ride by Dean Yendall to produce the best run of her career when surging home out wide to win the 1100 metre sprint by three-quarters of a length over Lonhro colt, Encryption.

The victory was a triumph for Victorian breeders and owners Barrie and Midge Griffiths, whose best-ever mare, the Caulfield Cup winner Mannerism was honoured earlier in the day with the running of the Mannerism Stakes.

The couple can now claim an exceptional 14 Group 1’s including a Melbourne Cup with Tawrrific, three courtesy of Northwood Plume and a Thousand Guineas with Azzurro, with Booker finishing a whisker second in the Group 3 Northwood Plume last spring.

“We usually buy around half a dozen fillies every year and place them with Matt and Simon who do such a great job,” Griffiths adds. “We then sell the good ones after they have finished racing: like Heatherly who was purchased by Sir Owen Glenn for $1.6 million at last year’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale,” Barry Griffiths said.

“We just love racing them … good times, good friends.”

It was a deserved result for Booker too whose record includes victories in the Group 2 Tranquil Star (defeating 3-time Group 1 winner Shoals), Group 3 Kevin Hayes, a lip second behind Merchant Navy in the Group 3 McNeil, third in the Group 2 Danehill and a long neck fourth by less than half a length in last year’s Oakleigh Plate behind Russian Revolution.

“It’s very satisfying … she’s a bit older and stronger now. She’s certainly a deserved winner of a Group One. She’s a quality mare, and hopefully, this is her preparation to shine. I think she’s got good improvement in her too from today.”

Ellerton will consider a start in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap, but is spoiled for choice with Booker, who has options going forward in almost every state.

“She will make her way to Sydney, maybe Brisbane and Adelaide, as there are good races for her everywhere,” he said.

The victory registered Ellerton’s 17th career Group 1 victory, having had previously scored in the Oakleigh Plate with Miss Kournikova (2001) and River Dove (2003) and he said “Booker is bigger and stronger than both of them.”

The sixth Group 1 winner for Woodside Park Stud’s Written Tycoon, Booker is the first foal of Noondie, a three-quarter sister by Flying Spur to stakes-winner Tranquility from stakes-winner Creatrix and hails from the family of dual Group 1 winner, Umrum.

The rise and rise of Booker also justifies the assessment of Barrie Griffiths who first spied Booker at the 2016 Melbourne Premier where he purchased the Written Tycoon filly for $230,000 from the Mill Park Stud draft.

“I’ve been good mates with (Booker’s co-breeder) Bill Rigg for a long time and he suggested I go and have a look at his filly,” Griffiths recalls. “In all the years I’ve been going to the Melbourne sales she was, quite literally, the best-looking filly I had seen and not surprisingly, she was a bit more expensive than what I normally pay.”

Mill Park, who sold the full brother to Booker at Inglis Premier last year for $600,000 to Bruce Perry Bloodstock, will be offering the current yearling from Noondie, a colt by Starspangledbanner at Inglis Premier next week as Lot 348

“He’s a big, strong, powerful, progressive-looking colt who I suspect will be even more popular with buyers now, given Booker’s great win,” Mill Park’s Chris Watson said.

Noondie has a weanling colt by Written Tycoon’s Golden Slipper winning son Capitalist and is in foal again to Written Tycoon, who covered 160 mares last spring at Woodside Park at a fee of $110,000.

Written Tycoon has 28 lots at Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, two lots at MM Adelaide Yearling Sale, 18 lots at Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and two lots at Inglis Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale.

Booker, ridden by Dean Yendall, wins the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield 23/2/19 (Racing Photos).

Godolphin’s wonderful season with their juveniles rolled on to Caulfield on Saturday where the Freedman-trained name returned to the honour roll when Lyre stormed home to win the $1,500,000 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes over 1200 metres.

The daughter of Lonhro had just one of the 14 runners behind her on the turn. Ridden patiently under Luke Currie, Lyre stormed home to defeat Lankan Star by half a length with the South Australian Free Of Debt (Unencumbered) giving a Victorian breeder supporter base a great sight, a further long-neck back in third.

“She’s obviously a quality filly, and arguably she should be unbeaten,” Anthony Freedman said. “She’s kept improving with each run, and she was the strongest at the finish.”

Lyre was born, raised and foaled at Godolphin’s Northwood nursey in Nagambie, in Victoria’s famous North-East breeding region.

“She’s a homebred, and they have a great system. She came to us in beautiful condition and beautifully educated. It was a case of developing her and keep improving her into the race.”

Sheikh Mohammed has raced horses with the Freedman family for approximately 15 to 20 years, with Lyre becoming their first Group 1 winner, while other notable horses Freedman raced under the Godolphin or Darley banner, were Group winners Romneya, Willander, Viennese and Colour.

“We had a great association with Godolphin in the past, and we’ve remained very good friends. Our association with Godolphin has gone back a long time now, they’ve been very good to our family personally in the last 12 months. When Vin Cox came along, he pushed for me to get some yearlings and it has worked out great,” Freedman said.

Lyre advances her overall record to 3 wins from 4 starts with earnings of $1,081,400

From one of Darley Stud’s most successful families, Lyre is a three-quarter sister to dual Group 1 winner Victorian based stallion Impending (Lonhro). She is the second foal and first winner out of the Street Cry (IRE) mare Erato who was sold by Godolphin at the 2017 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale in foal to Helmet for $120,000 to Australian Bloodstock.

A sister to the multiple stakes-placed Memorial, Erato is a half-sister to Impending (Lonhro) and the Group 3 winner Forget (Exceed And Excel) out of the Group 1 MRC Thousand Guineas and Group 1 STC Queen of the Turf Stakes winner Mnemosyne (Encosta de Lago).

There would be few more likeable mares in training, than Alizee who took her Group 1 tally to three in Saturday’s $500,000 Yulong Futurity Stakes over 1400 metres at Caulfield.

Godolphin’s hulking daughter of the Victorian-based Sepoy did not have many favours in the run before defeating a star-studded field. Caught wide the trip under Hugh Bowman, Alizee had to dig deep to stave off a courageous Malaguerra (Magnus) by a half-length with the winner’s stablemate Hartnell (GB) (Authorized) another half-length away third. 

Making it three from three this campaign, trainer James Cummings was thrilled with his tough and talented four-year-old mare.

“She’s a beauty and she’s just in ripping form. That’s four wins straight for her, and she’s a deserving weight-for-age Group One winner.”

“They don’t hand them out and that’s probably the toughest I’ve seen a horse of mine win a Group One in such fashion. She can absorb the pressure, and she’s just a brute of a mare,” Cummings said. “When ridden for a turn of foot she can be even better, but that’s a wonderful quality in a horse to be so versatile, and still fend off quality weight-for-age Group One horses.”

Alizee advances her record to eight wins from 17 starts with earnings of $1,900,200 and is now the deserved favourite for the $5 million All-Star Mile over 1600 metres at Flemington on March 16.

The daughter of Sepoy is a half-sister to the Group 1 ATC Golden Rose Stakes hero and young Darley stallion Astern (Medaglia D’Oro) and the stakes-placed Mogador (Lonhro) as well as to one of this season’s most exciting two-year-old’s, Tassort (Brazen Beau).

By the speed influence Rory’s Jester, Alizes is a daughter of the Group 1 Galaxy Stakes heroine La Baraka (Euclase) herself out of the 5-time Group 1 winner Triscay.

Essaouira has a yearling filly and a colt foal by Medaglia d”Oro (USA) and was one of 114 mares to visit Sepoy last year at his first season in Victoria.

By Blue Gum Farm’s Manhattan Rain from a daughter of his half-brother Redoute’s Choice, Jamaican Rain certainly has an impressive pedigree, and she claimed her first Group win when taking out the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes at Caulfield over 1400 metres.

A lightly raced six-year-old prepared at Cranbourne by Richard Laming, Jamaican Rain won a listed race in Queensland during the winter and was having her first run back from a spell.

She raced up on the pace and scored a three-quarter length win for Damien Oliver, her seventh win from 13 starts with prizemoney topping $330,000.

Jamaican Rain was bred and sold by Newhaven Park, fetching $90,000 at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale by Homann Bloodstock with Newhaven Park retaining an ownership share.

She is the best of two winners from Heriz, an unraced Redoute’s Choice mare from an international family that features Group 1 winners Asi Siempre and Outstrip. Heriz was bought by Newhaven Park at the 2012 Inglis Broodmare Sale for $52,000 when in foal to Manhattan Rain with Jamaican Rain the result of that mating.

Line breeding to blue hen Shantha’s Choice, the dam of Redoute’s Choice and Manhattan Rain, is a common cross. So far the stats for line breeding to Shantha’s Choice according to Arion, show it has produced 98 named foals, with 30 winners from 56 runners or 53.6% winners to runners.

There are three stakes-winners bred this way, Group 2 winner Summer Sham who is by Not a Single Doubt from a grand-daughter of Shantha’s Choice and New Zealand stakes-winner Manhattan Street, who is bred the same way as Jamaican Rain.

Two further stakes horses include Group 1 placed Man of Choice, who is also by Manhattan Rain from a daughter of Redoute’s Choice and that specific cross it has produced 20 named foals, 19 have raced and 10 have won.

Manhattan Rain stands at Blue Gum Farm in Victoria and covered 80 mares at a fee of $19,250 last spring.

The 2019 Inglis Premier Sale, which kicks off this Sunday 3rd March, continues to present itself as a fantastic opportunity for trainers and owners to support the Victorian breeding industry and chase lucrative VOBIS incentives.

Past Victorian-bred graduates of this sale include Black Caviar, Ringerdingding, Rock’N’Gold, Tropezina and Cliff’s Edge, as well as recent Hong Kong Classic Cup winner Mission Tycoon.

This year’s edition features 786 lots from 79 vendors, 57 of those being Victorian farms. Established Victorian based stallions represented include Written Tycoon, Artie Schiller, Brazen Beau and Turffontein. Furthermore, five of the 22 first season sires are Victorian based – Rich Enuff (Woodside Park), Ready for Victory (Sun Stud), Trust in a Gust (Swettenham Stud), Night of Thunder (Darley Northwood) and Nostradamus (Rosemont Stud). 

Victorian based farms also take up the Top 5 spots for leading vendors by numbers – Supreme Thoroughbreds (44), Maluka Thoroughbreds (31), Blue Gum Farm (30), Erinvale Thoroughbreds (27) and Rosemont Stud (25).

Not only are all lots eligible to enter the $8 million Inglis Race Series,436 lots are nominated for VOBIS, including 229 eligible lots for VOBIS Sires. VOBIS Gold nominees are eligible to participate in $4.45million worth of prizemoney, with the Showdown being one of those races. Racing Victoria’s announcement this time last year of the inaugural Showdown saw a flurry of buyers keen to pick up those eligible Victorian sired yearlings. With an additional $500,000 1600m VOBIS Sires racefor 3-year-olds being introduced in 2020, there is little doubt this sale will also see the same level of participation.

Trainer Tony McEvoy may already have a number of VOBIS horses in his stable, however he will no doubt be looking to secure a few more to chase next season’s riches.

“I do it (the inspection process) back to front. I will look at all the lots, find the athlete first then the page tells me how much it will cost,” said Tony.

“I buy because I like the horse but it is a comfort to know they are eligible for the VOBIS bonuses.” he said.

Warrnambool based Symon Wilde is another trainer ready to open the chequebook next week. And whilst he will not have a runner in this year’s Showdown, he will still be on the lookout for VOBIS eligible yearlings. 

“Being predominately Victorian based, our stable clients who are interested in buying yearlings this year admit that the VOBIS scheme is a big incentive, a real added bonus. They are pleased with the results achieved by Victorian bred, sold and raced horses,” said Symon.

“They (Inglis) have built up an excellent book, the quality has been maintained, and there are genuine prospects on offer, over the right number of days. Let’s hope I find a few good ones to take home.” He said.

Running from 3rd to 6th March, the Premier Sale will be held at the new-look Oaklands Junction complex, which is currently undergoing an $8m renovation. Yearling inspections commence as early as Tuesday for some drafts. Please visit for more information and to download your catalogue.

With a run of success from Hollylodge graduates in recent times, the buyers at Premier this week will be sure to inspect their well-rounded draft thoroughly, with the hope of uncovering another gem.

Thrilled to add a few more names onto the honour roll, Daniel Neville is ready for a big week of inspecting and selling out at Inglis’ newly renovated Oaklands complex.

Current graduate winners include the Singapore galloper, Revolution, a son of Unencumbered, who they sold at Adelaide and the son of Helmet, Yulong Star, now a two-time winner at Morphettville who Hollylodge sold through Premier Book 2.

But there is a still a soft spot for the born, raised and Hollylodge sold, Sister Sledge, and she didn’t disappoint, destroying her rivals at Hawkesbury this week to break her maiden by six lengths.

Running third in the Group 2 Riesling Stakes on debut last campaign, Sister Sledge was back to form after two impressive trials this preparation, before an honest return in her first start at Canterbury for second, after missing the start by almost a length.

“She is a super consistent mare, with four starts for three placings. It was great to see her get her maiden out of the way and there are plenty of nice options coming up for her in the Autumn,” Neville said.

A daughter of Uncle Mo out of the Danzero mare, Unblemished was purchased by Christine Neville, in foal to Stryker at the 2013 Inglis Great Southern Sale.

“I was supposed to be buying mares for a client, but I really liked her, so I put my hand up for $3500. I thought she would have gone for much more, so I couldn’t resist,’ Christine said.

Unblemished’s subsequent foal by Stryker, named Cyclone Stryker, won two two-year-old races with the following foals, Frisky Cruiser (seven wins) and Metier also demonstrating talent.

The lovely, leggy bay filly by Uncle Mo was entered in the 2016 Inglis Great Southern Sale and caused a minor bidding war, finally knocked down to Coolmore for $48,000.

“She was the perfect girl, doing everything right as she grew up. I was happy to take her home and race if she did not get the reserve, but she was run off her feet with inspections and exhausted by the time of the sale,” Christine said.

Unblemished currently has a lovely, leggy Nostradamus weanling filly who is very similar to Sister Sledge and is currently in foal to Darley’s first season sire, Impending.

Highlighting a couple of colt and fillies from their 2019 Inglis Premier draft, Dan has made a point of picking all first foals.

“I really like first foals, and they are hot at the moment. The horses I have selected are all well grown and developed, out of young mares by commercial or fashionable stallions with happening families.”

Lot 313 Poets Voice (GB) x Millsee – He is a beautiful colt, great head, strong hindquarter, amazing walk, correct and very strong that will grow into an outstanding three-year-old. He is very kind, not a mean bone in his body but he has presence and an air of arrogance.  Senorita de Lago has now thrown a winner in Hong Kong, which will suit the trade market, from the black type family of Hour of Peril, Mighty Supremo, Chong Tong and Avatar.

Lot 446 Brazen Beau x Sheeza Commander – From a hot stallion out of a city winning mare, from the successful Commands x I Am Invincible cross. This colt will run at two, there is no doubt about it. He is compact, balanced and strong with an intelligent temperament. Black in colour he closely resembles the successful Brazen Beau progeny – Tassort and Accession.  This strong colt will suit the VOBIS Sires race or the Inglis Dash and is ready to be broken in.

Lot 136 Epaulette x De Starsandcircles – From a stallion flying under the radar, from a three-time winning Choisir mare. This filly is not overly big but correct, great strength behind the saddle, walks very well with a lovely smart head and a good eye. She is a three-quarter sister to VRC listed winner Marcado, from the family of champion sprinter Starspangledbanner and Thousand Guineas winner Amicus, so she also has outstanding residual value as a broodmare.

Lot 509 Smart Missile x Trumped Up Charges – By another hot stallion, out of a Charge Forward mare, who has thrown the last two Golden Slipper winners as a broodmare sire, and is the broodmare sire of Sunlight. A real jump and run filly, who has been very popular at the parades with a fantastic walk.

“Hollylodge Thoroughbreds has targeted these yearlings specifically, as I wanted to present horses that I believe will make racehorses, not just horses that will make heaps of money. As shown by our recent graduate success, we offer a great variety of stallions, support the Victorian industry and make the most of the VOBIS incentive schemes.” “At the end of the day, I am a small Victorian business and this sale is my Grand Final. This is what we put our heart and soul into. We want to thank all our loyal and long-term clients, both those with resident mares that have foaled on farm, and others that have sent yearling to us to be prepared. Hollylodge Thoroughbreds are excited to offer an outstanding group of future gallopers to the local, national and international buying bench.”

How do you feel your 2019 draft compares to your 2018 draft?

It’s a very nice draft with affordable horses that should sell extremely well given the success of the sale in recent years and the successes out of our Melbourne drafts. We have quite a few client horses in our draft, but buyers can have the confidence that most of the horses have been grown out at our Gnarwarre base.

What type of yearling do you feel suits this sale?

This is a sale for the owner or trainer that is looking for a sound, tough horse. It’s not the Magic Millions or Easter, so no one has to bring the big cheque book, but pound for pound, this sale stacks up for producing star horses, not to mention solid Metro winners that in this day and age owners can make a small fortune out of. Look for a good sort from a good farm and you can’t go too far wrong.

Which lots are your stand out colts?

I’m excited to present the first of the Nostradamus (Medaglia d’Oro) progeny and the Jackpot Queen (Not A Single Doubt) colt (Lot 233) is a beauty. We have a lovely Sebring (More Than Ready) colt out of Eloping (Choisir) (Lot 161) for very good breeder Michael Christian and a beautiful Real Impact (Deep Impact) colt for Palya Bloodstock. I wish I had more than one Starcraft (Soviet Star) colt, but no use complaining. The one we have is a ripper from a good family.

Which lots are your stand out fillies?

I feel like the market this year has taken a turn to nicely bred fillies and why not. We have a few that I’m looking forward to presenting including a trio by Dissident (Sebring) out of the mares Les Miserables (Volksraad) (Lot 267), Sunset Rock (Domesday) (Lot 477) and Lightning Love (Lot 272), a More Than Ready (Southern Halo) filly from Zabeel (Sir Tristram) mare Lalibela (Lot 261) and a Street Boss (Street Cry) filly half-sister to stakes winner Raceway (More Than Ready) (Lot 115).

Which lot do you feel has improved most since the beginning of the prep?

The Dissident filly out of Les Miserables has just blossomed into a beautiful filly and will continue to develop into a very good racehorse to my eye.

How do you think the sale statistics will compare to the 2018 sales?

This sale was the only sale in the world to make a step up for ten years straight, until the smallest of dips last year. I think there has been a bit of an over-reaction to where this sale sits in the landscape. I really think it will take a step forward again in 2019 as too many buyers have had a good time buying from Oaklands to ignore the sale.

Who do you think will be the leading sire at the sale?

We are very privileged to be involved in I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) owning a couple of breeding rights and his rise and rise seems to know no limits. Although I don’t have one in my draft, I think he will scoop the pool.

Of the first season sires, which have impressed your thoughts about their progeny?

I’ve seen plenty of the Nostradamus stock and am really looking forward to casting my eye over the ones entered by other vendors at this sale. With a few sold at Magic Millions and New Zealand he is averaging a very healthy $65,000 or 8-times services fee, so look to him to continue to impress the astute buyers. Take away the bias, I like the stock of Exosphere (Lonhro) and Real Impact.

How do you feel your 2019 draft compares to your 2018 draft?

Our 2018 draft was tremendous and we came in second top on gross receipts. If anything, our 2019 draft has a greater variety of yearlings on offer. We have great depth in our stallions this year including yearlings by Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice), I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), Fastnet Rock (Danehill), So You Think (High Chaparral), Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible), Pierro (Lonhro), Vancouver (Medaglia d’Oro), Written Tycoon (Iglesia), Zoustar (Northern Meteor), Deep Field (Northern Meteor), Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock), Epaulette (Commands), and Dundeel (High Chaparral). This is a great blend of the leading proven sires, and the leading first and second crop sires in Australia.

What type of yearling do you feel suits this sale?

A top yearling at Melbourne Premier must tick all the boxes – it must have a great sire, great pedigree, be a great type and have the right temperament.

Which lots are your stand out colts?

Lot 25 Snitzel – World Of Gold (High Chaparral) colt He is a strong, forward colt typical of his sire. He is a ready-made racehorse with a great attitude. He is one of only two Snitzels in the sale and I predict he will be very popular.

Lot 97 Dissident (Sebring) – Carlton Show (Hold That Tiger) colt. He is an imposing colt – he is an outstanding type with a great walk and strong colouring. He is a real eye-catcher and I predict a lot of interest in him at the Premier Sale.

Lot 141 Written Tycoon – Demasheen (Fastnet Rock) colt. It’s all upside here. He is a high-quality, striking colt. He is very intelligent, and he is the type of Written Tycoon the buyers love. He will be very popular at the Premier Sale.

Lot 150 Zoustar – Dora’s Ready (More Than Ready) colt. He is a big, strong, scopey colt – he is well-balanced and very imposing. This colt has a laid-back attitude and nothing is a problem. He will be very popular out at Oaklands.

Lot 252 Vancouver – Koonya (Nadeem) colt. He is a high-quality, eye- catching colt. He definitely has the “wow” factor about him. His big, loose walk and his impressive physical appearance will make him very popular.

Lot 280 I Am Invincible – Love Ends (Domesday) colt. He is a high- quality, dynamic colt. He has a big, free walk. He ticks all the boxes – great pedigree, great sire and great type. We’ve set him for this sale, and we can’t wait to show him off.

Lot 360 Brazen Beau – On The Loose (Strategic) colt. He is a solid powerhouse just like Brazen Beau. He is out of proportion at the moment but once he finishes growing, he will be an outstanding individual. The good judges will find this colt.

Which lots are your stand out fillies?

Lot 151 Vancouver – Dowager Princess (Savabeel) filly. She is a high-class, running filly that everyone will love. She is very sleek and is a filly I would love to own myself.

Lot 191 Reward For Effort – Framboise (Snippets) filly. I am quite partial to this filly. We call this filly Our Blonde Girl on the Beach – she is very attractive and well put-together. She has a big hind quarter and is very powerful.

Lot 695 Reset (Zabeel) – Murray Mary (Black Minnaloushe) filly. There’s something about Mary, she is a powerful, well put-together, running-type with a lot of quality and substance.

Which lots do you feel has improved most since the beginning of the prep?

Lot 215 Written Tycoon – Her Diamond Rock (Iglesia) filly. Of the 40 yearlings in our draft, she is the big improver in the prep. She is very strong and has good bone. She will need a bit of time, but I believe she will end up a cracking 3-year-old type.

Lot 784 Magnus (Flying Spur) – True Grace (Lion Heart) 17 colt. He is a well put together, neat type of colt and he has a great walk on him. He hasn’t stopped growing since we put him in prep. He will be another Ready-To-Run candidate.

How do you think the sale statistics will compare to the 2018 sales?

There’s been three major sales this year in Australia and New Zealand. One had a slight increase in average and the other two were down considerably. After eight consecutive years of growth at Melbourne last year’s Premier Sale was down by about 5 per cent. Inglis have spent $8 million renovating Oaklands and have been aggressive in enhancing their buying bench. We are confident the sale will have a solid increase compared to last year.

Who do you think will be the leading sire at the sale?

By average I would expect I Am Invincible to be the leading sire. We see him as the best sire in the country at the moment, with 21 individual stakes winners this current racing season.

On type I am very bullish about Deep Field and Dissident. They are lovely sales horses.

I also like Brazen Beau. His progeny has won $978,000 in stakes
earnings to date. His yearlings are doing it on the track and in the sale
ring – he had the two top lots at the recent Classic Sale in Sydney, and this is an extraordinary achievement for a sire that’s only had 16 two-year-old horses to race.

Of the first season sires, which have impressed and your thoughts about their progeny?

There are two first season sires that have captured my attention – Press Statement (Hinchinbrook) and Rich Enuff (Written Tycoon).

Press Statement is the Group 1 winning son of Hinchinbrook and he leaves yearlings with great hind quarters, strength of hip and shoulder and with lots of bone. His progeny are very much in the mould of Hinchinbrook. Many of Rich Enuff’s progeny are deep rich chestnuts like himself and they are similarly strong and powerful through the body. His horses look to be early-running types.

PREP stands for Planning, Resources, Energy & People – four factors that “Inside The Stables” founder Vanessa Hawkins believe are the vital tools to success, longevity and health of any profitable equine business.

“The thoroughbred industry is as much about the people as it is about the horses, and the key is connecting the two,” Hawkins said.

With the key letters explained of PREP – PLANNING involves managing short- and long-term goals and marketing strategies for growth and change. RESOURCES include managing your team of workers, property maintenance, development, and online technology. ENERGY is managing the ability to stay focused, motivated and prepared.  Finally, PEOPLE relates to managing recruitment, training and retention.

With the industry currently in the middle of a busy yearling sales cycle, Hawkins wants to share her ideas and advice with breeders so they can achieve their best results to date.

“It is essential that you are prepared and organised to ensure your sales and marketing strategy is going to maximise your return on investment on the day of the sale, including a pre-sale as well as a post-sale plan.”

“While implementing leadership strategies to prepare your staff to be focussed, productive, polished and in tune with your business objectives and corporate ethos. This, in turn, will ensure you are a stand out success, showcasing your professional brand and horses to the best of their ability, in a highly competitive marketplace.”

“PREP will endeavour to present specifically tailored plans and creative solutions to help tune-up your team with leadership, training and management strategies to bolster your human and equine capital, whilst maximising physical and online resources.”

The team at prep offer a diverse collection of skills, knowledge and understanding, drawn from our backgrounds in the horse industry teamed with professional experience in the government, sales and corporate sectors.

Vanessa Hawkins is a project and ideas developer, a motivational speaker, lecturer, coach, author, business consultant, event organiser, creative marketing strategist and problem solver. Her family has bred, raised and raced thoroughbreds and she has worked throughout the industry for years in prominent studs and stables. She has her own Equine Sports Breeding (ESB) program, which has produced over 300 performance horses, including 11 stallions and the sire of Beijing Olympic Silver Medallist, Irish Jester. 

Hawkins is supported by horse lover Jaki Halliday, who is a qualified organisational coach and HR professional. She is a former practising commercial solicitor, law lecturer and company director. Jaki specialises on career planning, how to work more effectively and how to navigate through change, team building, workplace challenges and opportunities. 

David Hawkins is the Managing Director of SOCOM, who are crisis and issue management specialists. With 30 years’ experience in the PR profession, community engagement and government relations, he has developed a world-class crisis leadership training program. 

“Key issues in the horse industry are finding staff and keeping staff. Employees want to learn new skills and feel valued. We want to help people and businesses be productive, achieve their professional goals and communicate effectively, thus increasing retention.  When colleagues work together for the same common outcome, workplaces become happy, safe, dynamic and constructive.”

“Additionally, having a crisis management plan in place is essential. Be it a human or horse accident, a disease outbreak, a bushfire, flood or a financial emergency, a crisis plan will give managers and staff the tools to cope, survive and recover if an unfortunate event occurs.”

For more information on how PREP can help your equine business, please contact Vanessa Hawkins at Euroa Horse Park on 0417 363 710 or

Yearlings by the likes of Written Tycoon, Exceed and Excel, Zoustar, Brazen Beau, So You Think and Dundeel headline a strong catalogue for the 2019 Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale, which is now available online.

The Melbourne Gold Sale has produced some outstanding results in recent years, none better than the likes of Group 1 winner Malaguerra (cost $32k, has won $1.9m), Group 1-placed I’ll Have A Bit (cost $48k, won $676k), Lyuba (cost $2k, has won $445k), Sirbible (cost $3.5k, won $326k) and Desert Lashes (cost $3k, has won $370k).

This year’s catalogue of 241 yearlings is again filled with quality, with a wide range of proven and First Season Sires. Of the catalogue, 115 yearlings are Super VOBIS nominated and 97 are BOBS eligible.

Leading vendor is Bowness Stud with 21 entries ahead of Blue Gum Farm (18), Golden Grove Stud (15) and Bucklee Farm (13).

The Gold Yearling Sale will be held at Oaklands Junction on Sunday April 28 from 10am.

To view the catalogue, CLICK HERE. To order a hard copy of the catalogue email or contact our Melbourne reception on 03 9333 1422.

Goldin Farms and Swettenham Stud are pleased to announce that Akeed Mofeed (Dubawi), a rising star of Australia’s stallion ranks, will relocate to Nagambie to join the Swettenham Stud roster for the 2019 season. 

Raced and owned by prominent businessman Mr Pan Sutong, Akeed Mofeed won the BMW Hong Kong Derby and the Longines Hong Kong Cup at four and the Centenary Vase at five, along with a Listed Race in Ireland at three. 

The historic Lindsay Park property in Angaston, South Australia was purchased by Mr Pan’s Goldin Farms where Akeed Mofeed has covered 338 mares in his first five seasons at stud.

“Lindsay Park was purchased for Akeed Mofeed and he will always have a home at the property. His first season 2yo runners were more precocious and successful than we could have imagined from only 60 live foals,” said Andrew Perryman, General Manager of Goldin Farms. “We anticipate a steep rise in Akeed Mofeed’s visibility and popularity as those horses reach their optimal racing age. Having regard to Victoria’s broodmare pool, stallion availabilities and access to VOBIS, we see it as a positive and progressive move for Akeed Mofeed to be available to breeders in Victoria for the 2019 season.” 

“Swettenham Stud is ecstatic about the opportunity to stand Akeed Mofeed,” Swettenham’s principal, Adam Sangster said. “He really is a stallion with a huge amount of upside — he was third only to Zoustar and Spirit of Boom in percentage of winners to runners last season when his first 2yo runners hit the track. As the only Dubawi stallion in Australia and as already evidenced on racetracks, his progeny will furnish into much better horses at three and four. It is a wonderful opportunity for us and for Victorian breeders.”

Akeed Mofeed currently has 40% winners to runners for the season including the Lindsay Park trained Poised To Strike, the Team Hawkes trained Heart Conquered (Track Record – 1000m Kensington) and Sunset Watch (G3 placed, 3 wins from 6), and the Phillip Stokes trained Assertive Play (undefeated at 2yo).

With 11 of Akeed Mofeed’s yearlings available at the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale and 17 of his yearlings available at the Magic Millions Adelaide Sale next month, his progeny are certain to attract plenty of attention from trainers and astute judges.

Akeed Mofeed will be available for inspection at Swettenham Stud from mid-March and will stand for $16,500 inc GST.

Stallion Akeed Mofeed.

Blue Gum Farm’s Manhattan Rain is firing out the winners of late, with seven winners in seven days, headed by the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained Thunder Cloud’s classy win at headquarters over 1600 metres under Craig Williams.

Blue Gum Farm principal, Phillip Campbell was thrilled to see Thunder Cloud put his hand up and be counted, with high hopes that he can be the next stakes winner for his sire.

“It was great to claim a win on a big day a Flemington at this time of year and receive some deserved attention for Manhattan Rain.”

“Maher has a high opinion of him, and as he said in the post-race interview, they believe he is very promising. He is a nice acquisition for the stable, and he arrived in super order, so they were positive going into the race – but the best thing is being a 2000 meter plus horse, he now has bigger goals ahead for the rest of Autumn.”

While other Manhattan Rain progeny are also ready to return to the track.

“The extremely talented Jamaican Rain is not far from a start having been entered in a recent race. I believe the Richard Laming stable will take advantage of her liking for soft tracks and may look north to Sydney and Brisbane for the superior wet tracker, having won the listed Glasshouse handicap on heavy going.  She has the capacity to win group races, so it will be great to see her back.”

Campbell is also hoping that the Group 1 South Africa winner, Whisky Baron who ran a brilliant second in his last start in a Group 2 in the UK, might have Dubai next on the radar.

And while there is only one Manhattan Rain yearling presented in this year’s Premier sale, there are some beautiful foals in the paddocks by the son of Encosta that buyers will see offered this time next year.

“The filly from Merton Creek is from his last crop conceived while standing at Arrowfield, so next year we are looking forward to presenting his impressive yearlings from his first Victorian crop, who are being weaned now,” Campbell said.

It is all hands-on-deck at Blue Gum Farm, as the team put the final finishing touches on a lovely group of 26 yearlings heading down to the Oakland sales complex for the 2019 edition of the Inglis Premier Yearling sale.

Campbell has been delighted with the positive reception the group has received during the pre-sale inspections and can point out a number of pleasing characteristics for each.

“As a whole, our 2019 Premier draft is a terrific group of horses, and if the parades we are having here are any indication, we are looking forward to a successful sale ahead.”

“Our three Brazen Beau’s are all well-grown types, with the big strong colt out of Innovation Girl (Lot 227) a standout. He is just a cracker.”

“None of the three are small. They have all developed beautifully and are ready to present to their best at Oaklands. We will be hoping for a nice update in the Blue Diamond with Tassort, who reportedly trialled well this week. He would provide a great fill up for all vendors offering his progeny, off the back of his highest-priced yearling ever sold at the Inglis Classic sale.”

“I particularly like the Exceed and Excel filly (Lot 379) out of the Group 3 winning Street Cry mare, Pittsburgh Flyer from the family of Champion 2YO South African filly Warning Zone. She is just a natural running type, powerful, well put together and being the first foal out of a Group winning, mare, a lot is going for her.”

“There is a lovely Snitzel colt (Lot 321) on behalf of Robert Crabtree out of Group 3 winning Savabeel mare My Sabeel (NZ) who will also have his admirers.”

While the Teofilo filly (Lot 122) has been extremely popular during inspections.

“She is a rangy staying three-year-old type that is perfect for the classics out of the Black-type wining Reset mare Cornelia Marie. She is a bit of a sleeper this filly, but once she is inspected in pre-sale parades, she is elevated in our draft,” Campbell said.

“She is quite similar to our Tavistock colt (Lot 6) out of Snippetson mare, Vergara. An 8-time winner, including at Group 3 level she has produced a well grown, big, scopey, rangy colt.”

“Although not one to aim at the Maribyrnong Trial stakes, I would not be surprised to see them both strutting around in the lead up to the Derby and the Oaks.”

“We will offer a lovely Dundeel colt (Lot 341) out of O’Katie for terrific WA breeders Neville Susan Duncan, who we have had great success selling for in the past. Dundeel is stepping up to the plate with The Inevitable at Flemington, so the timing is right.”

While Campbell can draw similarities between the Hinchinbrook colt (Lot 458) and the Press Statement colt (Lot 142).

“With both from the same male family, they are big and strong and look like real trainers’ horses, they will cop work, and are both very genuine sorts.”

Victorian sired yearlings include the Magus sired filly (Lot 469) out of the brilliant three-time listed winning mare Stella Marie. 

“She is a real sweetie, a neat and tidy filly, gorgeous little head on her, and a bright bay colour. A favourite with many including Peter Ford who was up last week for inspections. He took a real liking to her, following the success Robbie Griffiths has with Magnus progeny.”

“We have three Written Tycoon’s in the draft, the Just Meille (Lot 238) is a sweet, feminine, lightly framed filly that will continue to fill. She is healthy and bright-eyed. I particularly like the Indelible (NZ) (Lot 224) colt, he is a complete package, good size, length and strength, from a nice NZ page, and Alzora (Lot 48) is a strong fella and great mover that uses himself well.”

“Both Written Tycoon colts are out of Redoute’s Choice mares which are proving to be a highly successful cross, as 11 that have raced have all won, including the stakes winner in Teleplay.”

Blue Gum Farm will be ready to start parading their Premier draft on Tuesday morning, the 26th February to the buying bench at Oaklands.

Thunder Cloud, a son of Blue Gum sire Manhattan Rain,won the The Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy at Flemington Racecourse 16/2/2019 (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Phoenix Broodmare Farm maybe small but they are certainly mighty, claiming another top-end graduate sold from the Euroa based stud.

Damian Gleeson was thrilled when reports came in that Mission Tycoon was the surprise winner of the $10 million Hong Kong Classic Cup 1800 metres at Sha Tin on Sunday.

With a hot field including Queensland Derby winner Dark Dream and last start Hong Kong Classic Mile winner Furore, the talented Victorian bred four year-old by Written Tycoon led all the way to win by a length.

Considered a long shot by many, despite having finished second to Furore in the Classic Mile at his previous start, “A little bit surprised,” was how trainer Frankie Lor summed up the 91/1 shock win.

“We didn’t care about the odds. He ran well last time, he ran second,” said winning rider Derek Leung. “Today I was able to go forward without any pressure. Mission Tycoon switched off, and that’s why he was able to finish at the end.”

Frankie Lor will now look to the 2000 metre BMW Hong Kong Derby on March 17 for Mission Tycoon, the third and final leg of the Four-year-old Classic Series.

Mission Tycoon was a $50,000 Inglis Premier purchase from the Phoenix Broodmare Farm draft for Inglis as agent and started his career in Australia with Mark Newnham winning his only two starts at Newcastle and Kembla in the spring of 2017 before a career in Hong Kong beckoned.

Gleeson remembers the colt very well and is as surprised as anyone what a tremendous racehorse Mission Tycoon has become.

“He has certainly turned out to be quite the bargain. There is a lot of talk about small horses at the moment, but he was the opposite, he was a very big yearling, and was unfortunately bagged out because of it. He was a very nice horse, and correct – just too big,” Gleeson said.

“He didn’t like to exert himself in the paddock, and he didn’t show very much in trackwork, but once he was in a race, he found his feet. It seems he likes the big stage and Hong Kong must suit him, as since heading north he has been ultra-consistent through the grades for four wins and four placings from 11 starts.”

Mission Tycoon was bred by the Tobin Family, Anthony and Phillip from the Keiwa Valley. Loyal, long time clients of Phoenix Broodmare Farm, they have bred many good gallopers including horses such as Drawn.

Mission Tycoon clocks up the 27th stakes-winner for Woodside Park’s flagship sire Written Tycoon and is the best of three winners from three runners for Lakemba Gold, who comes from the family of triple Group 1 winner Drawn. Unfortunately, Lakemba Gold died foaling in 2017, and her last foal is a yearling filly by Fighting Sun.

Phoenix Broodmare Farm has also been cheering home recently the Griffiths trained, talented son of Magnus, Halvorsen, Group 3 winner Princess Posh and coming up in the Blue Diamond this week their graduate – the son of Unencumbered, Free of Debt.

A $30,000 purchase for Chris Beig from Phoenix Broodmare Farm’s Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale draft, Free of Debt was bred by Greta West Stud.  Including the Three Bridges team, there will be no doubt a few proud Victorian breeders cheering him home in the Diamond on Saturday.

Mission Tycoon wins the Hong Kong Classic Cup, 17/2/2019. (HKJC)

Millford Thoroughbreds have built a strong reputation presenting a high-quality draft each year at the Inglis Premier sales and this year is no exception.

Millford’s Jarrod Byers is upbeat about the group as a whole and based on the busy pre-sale inspections, he is quietly confident heading out to the Oaklands complex.

“All in all, it is another very nice draft of horses, even across the board. They are all good types that have come to hand very well.”

“We are proud to support the Victorian industry, so for Milford Thoroughbreds and our clients, this is our target sale each year. The interest pre-sale has been strong, with more people on the farm than any other year before, it’s a real positive.”

“Having raised seven of the nine yearlings on farm, we have managed them carefully all along to help them grow to their optimal best and peak for next week at the sales.”

Taking us through his draft, Byers points out the best qualities in each of his nine yearlings.

“The Toronado colt out of Redoute’s Choice mare Benidouna (Lot 74) is a top-quality colt, very athletic, with plenty of scope. There is plenty of Toronado in him type wise, and his half-brother El Phoenix showed promise for the Hayes stable. He has a brilliant page, coming from the family of Green Birdie, Onemorenomore and Casino Prince.”

“We are presenting on behalf of Cressfield the All Too Hard colt (Lot 84) out of More Than Ready mare, Bousquet. A typical big framed All Too Hard, he will slot in nicely to our group being well-prepped, forward and strong, with a heap of substance. It is nice to be trusted again to offer yearlings behalf of Cressfield.”

“The Written Tycoon (Lot 162) colt out of Elsedina, an Encosta de Lago mare is a mature, medium sized yearling, with great depth, bone. He has a terrific attitude.”

Lot 199 is the Bel Esprit colt out of the Casino Prince mare Give It Away.

“Although he is the only Bel Esprit in the first session, being the year he stood in Queensland, he shouldn’t be overlooked. He is a strong mature type, well rounded, precocious mentally and physically and attractive to the eye.”

“The Kermadec (NZ) colt (Lot 265) out of Lawmaker by US stallion Henny Hughes has been out biggest improver through the preparation. He has handled the work very well and flourished. He is a good mover, and a terrific horse to deal with. His sire Kermadec has already sold well as a first crop stallion,” Byers said.

“The Choisir filly out of Woodman mare, Love and Emotion (Lot 279), is a good-sized filly, athletically framed and a great walker. Being the half to dual Group 2 winner French Emotion, she has great residual value as a breeding option in the future.”

“Lot 385 is the only yearling offered in the sale by Your Song, and he is a great representation of his sire. It is good timing having sired the Group 3 winner Gem Song last week.  He has heaps of substance, is a lovely strong colt and he should be popular enough.”

“The Reward for Effort colt (Lot 440) out of the Kingston Rule mare, She’s A Knockout will be a real highlight, being a half to the brilliant million-dollar earner in Burning Front. He is the only first session colt for his sire, and is a well-developed, well put together yearling with good strength. He stands over a good amount of ground, and we are thrilled to present him for our good mate and client Justin Lovatt. Like his hugely popular big brother, he will have his share of fans out at the complex,” Byers said.

“She’s A Knockout is a resident broodmare at Millford and is now in foal to Palentino. His full-brother, a two-year-old has headed into training with Tony McEvoy, which will give him every chance being in the right stable to offer the next pedigree update.”

“There is no doubt the mare can do the job, and John McArdle rated Apollo Creed even higher that Burning Front in the early days. She is a tough, no fuss Kingston Rule mare, that has been a super producer.”

Millford’s final lot is the good sized and lovely quality Brazen Beau filly (Lot 489) out of the stakes winning Hold That Tiger mare, Temper Tantrum.

“She is a nice sized filly with a good solid front end, and Brazen Beau has made a great start to his career on the track and through the ring.”

With all horses scoped and x-rayed, Millford Thoroughbreds looks forward to welcoming the buying bench on farm by appointment or will be ready to parade at Oaklands from lunchtime on Wednesday 27th February.

Victorian trainer Symon Wilde is ready to open the chequebook for the upcoming Premier Yearling Sales to add to his already busy stable he runs with his father, Bill.

With a team of 50 based at Warrnambool and another 30 located at their Ballarat base, it’s a busy operation that is keen to get the next crop of yearlings into the stables.

“We find that Melbourne is our main sale and it is brilliant value. They are not overpriced; the vendors are genuine, and they sell a very good product,” Symon Wilde said.

“Premier is a great sale for us as we are more focused on classic and staying horses.  We didn’t purchase any yearlings at New Zealand or Gold Coast sales this year,” Wilde said, and often finds that the hype can overshadow the horse.

“They are marketed very well, and there are some outstanding horses available, but if you want to buy on type without the excessive price tag, we are happy to wait for Oaklands”

The Wilde stable attended the Classic Yearling Sales recently, but the focus remains on Premier.

“We picked up a couple in Sydney, but I just think Melbourne Premier offers great returns with the VOBIS scheme in place.”

Having purchased Dodging Bullets from Swettenham’s Premier draft, the Wilde stable has been lucky in the past with graduates from the sale.

“Being predominately Victorian based, our stable clients who are interested in buying yearlings this year admit that the VOBIS scheme is a big incentive, a real added bonus. They are pleased with the results achieved by Victorian bred, sold and raced horses.”

“I’ve had an in-depth look at the catalogue, and there appears to be some lovely yearlings on offer over the four days. Premier gives great variety in sires, bloodlines and price points. You can find the early two-year-old’s, the classic types and the dower stayers – there is something for everyone.”

A big fan of Victorian staying stallions, with the recent success of Fiorente, Wilde admits he will be high on the list, and is still being patient with his Americain’s, giving them the time, they need to mature.

“We are not tied to any farms and overall, I look for an athlete, whereas the syndicator may be more attracted to a fashionable stallion or black type relation to help sell shares.”

“I have been happy with the Toronado I bought last Premier, and he produces a great physical type, and I also can’t go past Magnus as a proven sire, who keeps delivering the goods.”

Wilde is complementary of Inglis for creating a well-rounded catalogue that has depth.

“They have built up an excellent book, the quality has been maintained, and there are genuine prospects on offer, over the right number of days. Let’s hope I find a few good ones to take home.”

With the first ballot order released last week, the countdown to the inaugural VOBIS Sires Showdown is well and truly on. At Caulfield on Saturday 27 April, a field of eligible Victorian bred two-year-olds will contest over 1200m for the $1 million prizemoney on offer.

To be eligible for the race, the contestants must be the progeny of a Victorian stallion nominated to the VOBIS Sires program, as well as nominated for Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold. The announcement of this new race caused quite a stir at the 2018 Yearling Sales, as trainers and syndicators battled it out in the sale ring for the chance to take home an eligible yearling.

“This is a game changer. It will be fantastic for the owners and it (changed) our mindset going into the sales,” said Spicer Thoroughbreds’ Bloodstock Manager, Brad Spicer.

“With a small pool of eligible horses, you’ve got a better chance of winning the Showdown than you do of winning Tattslotto.”

With over 800 incentivised races now firmly cemented into the Victorian racing calendar, the VOBIS program enhances the desire and encourages participants to breed and race in Victoria. The millions of dollars in additional bonuses and prizemoney is offered across a range of race types, distances, benchmarks and age brackets. The VOBIS Sires initiative was first introduced in 2014 to provide those that support and invest in Victorian-based stallions the opportunity for lucrative returns.

The Showdown ballot order, which allocates the 842 nominations down to a top 65 based on prizemoney earned, is looking like a fairly open one at this stage. With two wins resulting in some impressive prizemoney already, the Chris Waller trained Accession (Brazen Beau) stands out on top of the order. Another two start winner follows in Peter and Paul Snowden’s Hightail (Written Tycoon), whilst Tony McEvoy’s Group 3 winner Sun City (Zoustar) currently sits in third.

But with ten of the eligible horses on the ballot order trained interstate, could we possibly see the inaugural Showdown trophy head outside the Victoria border? Currently sitting in ninth place on the ballot, Felicia (Unencumbered) is from trainer Matthew Seyers’ Morphettville base. Courseshewill (Unencumbered) will have the support of Queensland behind her whilst Gerald Ryan’s Colada (Brazen Beau) will not be alone in flying the flag for New South Wales.

Cranbourne based trainer Mick Kent has three horses in contention – Capito (Street Boss), Shih Tzou (Zouster) and Reward (Reward for Effort) – and he won’t be the only Victorian trainer vying to keep the interstate challengers at bay. John Ledger, David Feek and Jason Warren all have their eyes on the prize, whilst Tony McEvoy, Ciaron Maher and Lindsay Park have 22 horses nominated between them.

Whilst the Showdown will be the feature race on Victorian Owners and Breeders Race Day at Caulfield on Saturday 27 April, the day will also include a $310,000 race (1600m) for Victorian sired three-year-olds.

The final field will become more apparent over the coming weeks, with many of the nominees heading to the racetrack. As we countdown towards the Showdown, stay up to date with all the information on our TBV and VOBIS Sires social media platforms.

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The Showdown Ballot Order, at 11 February 2019.

Woodside Park Stud did not have to wait long for the first dividend on their 2019 recruit Foxwedge, whose progressive daughter, Alassio, opened her stakes account in the Group 3 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes over 1200 metres at Randwick.

Ridden by Tim Clark for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Alassio defeated the favourite Manicure by a head, with the lightly raced five-year-old mare making the most of the perfect lead-in race, when finishing a strong third in the Group 2 Breeders Classic behind Champagne Cuddles at Warwick Farm the week before.

“We thought the back-up would suit her and being back on a firm surface helps,” Bott said post-race. She was in for the fight, and that’s what we wanted to see. She has shown she is up to the class now.”

While her jockey Tim Clark was also buoyed by her fighting spirit on her home track.

“She came in rock-hard fit,” he said. “She is an honest mare, and I was proud how she dug in late. Last week was a great result for her, and this is even better.”

Purchased by Gai Waterhouse and Julian Blaxland for $50,000 out of the Emirates Park draft at session two of the 2015 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, Alassio advances her record to 5 wins, 1 second and 1 third from 9 starts with earnings of $241,065.

Alassio becomes the 12th stakes-winner for Foxwedge, and the timing of the win has been ideal for Woodside Park Stud which recently secured the Fastnet Rock stallion, having spent his first seven years at stud at Newgate Farm.

Foxwedge has been represented in recent weeks by Alassio, Kiwi Group Two winner Volpe Veloce (also a Group One winner) and Charleise, who finished third in the Listed VRC Talindert Stakes at Flemington.

With 35 stakes-horses and counting and his oldest progeny now five-year-old’s, including Group 1 winner Foxplay, and English-based mare Urban Fox, there is an exciting future ahead.

A delighted Woodside Park General Manager Commercial, James Price, points out there has been considerable interest in Foxwedge since they announced he would be shifting south.

“He’s arrived on farm and really enjoying his new surroundings,” Price enthused. “I’ve been getting a lot of calls from breeders, especially after Saturday with Alassio and Charleise, who I understand is heading toward the (Group Two) Percy Sykes in April.

“Foxwedge is a Group 1 winner who produces impressive stock that captures buyers’ attention. Coupled with this, his ability to get stakes horses (8.5 per cent) will ensure his stock commands not only local but international appeal.”

 “A fee for Foxwedge hasn’t been determined yet, but it will be south of the $20,000 mark.”

Prominent Victorian businessman Eddie Hirsch, who purchased Foxwedge, is also excited about the move south to reap the VOBIS rewards.

“We thought he would be a perfect fit for Victoria and the VOBIS Scheme with his ability to get running two and three-year-old’s,” Hirsch said.

Foxwedge progeny will be offered by 2 lots at MM Tasmanian Yearling Sale, 12 lots at Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, 6 lots at MM Adelaide Yearling Sale and 1 lot at Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Australia’s champion second season sire Foxwedge will join Woodside Park Stud in for the 2019 breeding season alongside champion sire Written Tycoon, Deep Impact’s dual Group 1 winning son Tosen Stardom, Invincible Spirit’s highest rated two-year-old, Cable Bay and Written Tycoon’s fastest son at stud, Rich Enuff.

Alassio claims her first black type victory. (