It was another action packed day ringside and whilst Brazen Beau progeny continued to prove popular in the sale ring, it was another Victorian stallion that took top honours on Day Two of the 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Gilgai Farm’s Kelly Skillecorn was all smiles after lot 345, a Written Tycoon x Naturale colt, sold to Mark Player’s International Thoroughbred Solutions for $675,000.

“This is the best place to sell horses. We’ve been very lucky with Inglis and it continues again today,’’ said Kelly.

Trainer Ciaron Maher secured the day’s second-top lot, Blue Gum Farm’s Brazen Beau x Innovation Girl colt (lot 227). Paying $575,000 for him, and having previous success with the family, the trainer hopes to develop him into a valuable stallion.

Whilst acclaimed horse whisperer Monty Roberts was again onsite in his trademark blue shirt and red cravat, former NRL star Billy Slater was also ringside to watch the yearling he bred go under the hammer. Secured by Busuttin Racing, the Written Tycoon x Hamam colt (lot 209) is VOBIS nominated and Billy will keep a small share in the ownership.

Sun Stud held the only Fiorente colt in Book One, which was also knocked down to Ciaron Maher. Out of Gorgonzola, a half-sister to Australian Guineas winner Startsmeup, the colt sold for $320,000.

“He had over 170 parades, which I think is the most we’ve ever had of any draft under our banner. We knew he was a really nice colt from day one and we knew he’d bring good money but I don’t think anyone expected him to bring that much,” said Sun Stud’s Phil Marshall. “I think Ciaron and the team are going to have a lot of fun with him.”

Sun Stud’s other Fiorente, a filly out of a Sadler’s Wells mare (lot 300), also provided a higher than expected result when sold to Peter Morgan for $205,000.

“She was exceptional too,” continued Phil. “If someone had said she’d bring $205,000 before the sale I would have said they were dreaming. It is a marvellous result and great for everyone at the farm who put in the hard work,” said Phil.

Doreen based Daisy Hill sold lot 370, a Golden Horn x Paper Round colt, for $425,000. Bought in foal by a Victorian breeder and foaled down in Doreen, the colt is the only Golden Horn to be sold in Australia.

Day Two concluded with Blue Gum Farm as the sale’s leading vendor by aggregate with 18 sales for $3,815,000. They will aim to hold onto that title on Day 3, as their Street Boss x Riptide filly (lot 414) gets a pedigree update after her half-brother Crown Prosecutor, won Saturday’s New Zealand Derby.

The leading vendor by average is Gilgai Farm at $260,833 from nine sales.

Yulong Investment remained at the top of the buyers’ list by aggregate ($1,490,000) and equal top for lots purchased with Robbie Griffiths Racing/Peter Ford on eight.

Book 1 continues on Day 3, which begins at 11am on Tuesday 5 March. Book 2 will round out the final day on Wednesday 6 March.

Day 2 STATISTICS (Lots 198-394)

Lots sold: 137

Clearance Rate: 78%

Average Price: $126,796

Median Price: $100,000

Highest Lot: $675,000 (Lot 345)

Sale Top Price: $800,000 (Lot 4)

Gross Amount: $17,371,000

Inglis’ newly renovated Oaklands Junction complex was a hive of activity on Sunday morning, as Day 1 of the 2019 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale officially began.

Victoria’s Stonehouse Thoroughbreds draft kicked off proceedings, however it was Lot 4, a Brazen Beau colt from the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft, which took the spotlight early.

With the hammer eventually falling to Orbis Bloodstock at $800,000, the colt (ex- Up In Lights) took the title of the second most expensive yearling ever sold in Victoria. He also became the highest-priced Brazen Beau sold to date.

Mike Fleming, of Bhima Thoroughbreds, wasn’t expecting such a high price for the colt.

“This colt is an exceptional individual. He was extremely popular all week with parades so we were confident we would get him sold well, but to reach $800,000, wow, that certainly was well above expectation,’’ Mike said.

Other Victorian stallions also proved popular amongst buyers, including Swettenham Stud’s Toronado. The progeny averaged over $120,000 with a Two Bay Farms colt (Lot 146) selling for $310,000.

Proving you didn’t have to spend big to secure a good one, trainer Aaron Purcell purchased Lot 115, a Street Boss filly from Rosemont Stud for $45,000. Trainer Matthew Williams and Sheamus Mills Bloodstock also secured a bargain with a Supreme Thoroughbred’s Magnus filly (Lot 167) for $30,000. As an added bonus for their stables, both fillies are also Super VOBIS and VOBIS Sires qualified.

Sunday morning also bought the release of the next instalment of TBV’s VOBIS Sires campaign, “Weekend at Robbie’s.” As the star of this campaign, Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths proved his support of the VOBIS program with four out of his five Day One purchases all Super VOBIS nominated. Click here to see the campaign video.

With many happy buyers and vendors, and the Day One gross sale reaching $16,944,000, Inglis are encouraged for a strong remainder to the sale.  The sale continues from 11am daily until Wednesday 6th March.

DAY 1 STATISTICS (Lots 1 – 197)

Lots sold: 135

Clearance Rate: 77%

Average Price: $125,511

Median Price: $100,000

Highest Lot: $800,000 (Lot 4)

Sale Top Price: $800,000 (Lot 4)

Gross: $16,944,000

It has been a very successful sale for Stonehouse Thoroughbreds after the first two days of selling at the Inglis Oaklands complex for this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.

Owned and managed by Ryan Arnel and Grace Teece, the Eddington based operation has had a busy inspection period, with all hands-on deck to organise the constant flow of parades.

“It has been great to see the number of people out here, throughout the week, and on the first two days selling through the ring. It is definitely one of the busiest Premier sales that I have seen and talking to a lot of fellow vendors and breeders that have been here over the years, the inspection numbers have been up. We received very strong support as soon as our horses arrived at the complex,” Arnel said.

“Having had a smaller draft last year for Melbourne, this year our numbers for Stonehouse Thoroughbreds have doubled, so it is always a great relief when you have an excellent to start the sale.”

The Stonehouse draft at Premier has great diversity throughout the sale, which is represented in the graduates that have succeeded.

“We achieved a great result for a small breeder, Sheryl Atkinson from Carrington Park Stud in Drouin who sends only a couple of horses to the sales each year. Lot 126, her Brazen Beau filly out of the Encosta de Lago mare, Crimson Ribbon was secured by McEvoy Racing for $260,000, while her Brazen Beau colt, Lot 269 made $380,000 selling to Mick Price Racing. Those two results were a great success story for the hardworking battlers.”

Stonehouse Thoroughbreds also achieved an international sale in Lot 168, with the Written Tycoon mare being purchased by US-based horsemanship master, Monty Roberts.

“Looking at draft as a whole, having worked with them over the past few months it definitely feels like there’s some winners amongst them,” said Arnel.

There will be no time to celebrate though, as Stonehouse Thoroughbreds not only have another nine going through the ring on the last two days of Premier, they will then head straight to Adelaide with 12 yearlings at the Magic Millions.

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.

First crop Fiorente gelding Hawkshot has been handed the coveted final All-Star Mile wildcard by Racing Victoria. 

A brilliant 3.75L winner of the Group 2 Autumn Stakes and a brave last-start second in the Group 1 Australian Guineas, Hawkshot will be a leading contender in the innovative $5,000,000 race.

The All-Star Mile concept has been the subject of much media attention and the discussion surrounding the wildcard recipients had reached fever pitch prior to Monday’s announcement. 

“There has been a healthy debate in recent weeks over who should receive the last three All-Star Mile wildcards, and it was impossible to overlook the performance of Mystic Journey in the Australian Guineas,” Racing Victoria’s Greg Carpenter said.

“The decision on who should receive the final wildcard was more difficult, with several contenders presenting their case over recent weekends, but ultimately the panel felt that emerging three-year-old star Hawkshot was the worthiest recipient.

“He was a breathtakingly brilliant winner of the Autumn Stakes and then ran bravely when leading in the Australian Guineas from the outside gate to beat all bar Mystic Journey.

“With his Lindsay Park stablemate Amphitrite already voted into the field, the first three runners home in the Australian Guineas, our signature three-year-old race of the autumn, will now contest the race and represent the next generation of equine stars,” said Greg.

In further good news for the stallion, Fiorente is proving a popular stallion with the buying bench at 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale this week. An outstanding colt (lot 203) sold to Ciaron Maher Racing / John Foote Bloodstock for $320,000, whilst a Marie Rose (GB) filly sold for $205,000.

Currently averaging $262,500 after Day 2 at the Sale, there are four more yearlings representing Fiorente still to be sold.

It is commonly said that the best things come in small packages and Mockery is no exception. While light in frame, she certainly makes up for it in toughness and tenacity when the sprightly daughter of Verrazano (USA) hung on to claim the Listed Very Special Kids Plate over 1000 metres down the straight at Flemington on Saturday.

“Don’t tell her she’s little – she has an attitude as big as Ben Hur and a streak in her that’s about a mile and a half wide. She is like a lamb at home but come race day she is a different horse,” Mockery’s trainer John McCardle said.

“The first time we galloped her she was so quick. I just wondered if she was a greyhound suited to 600 metres, but she runs out the 1000 metres and she’s a stakes-winner now.”

Having already shown her colours trying to kick her devoted strapper Mackenzie in the morning, and not missing McCardle’s thumb when saddling up – she was at her best.

“A mate came up to me in the mounting yard and asked which horse was mine, I simply said the angry one, and she runs well angry,” said John.

Jockey Linda Meech teamed with the filly beautifully, to ride her from the tough outside barrier.

“She was so quick out of the barriers, and then just travelled like a rocket. There was no point trying to ease her up, so I just let her go, and she still fought with her all to the line. She is not an easy ride, and a bit of a madam, but the good ones always are,” Meech said.

With an ecstatic group of owners on track, they loudly welcomed Mockery back to the parade ring.

“It was just a thrill, and I am just in awe our filly. We were hoping to get some black type, but to do it down the straight at Flemington on Guineas day was a dream come true,” breeder Scott Williamson said.

Mockery is the first foal out of his beloved Lonhro mare Madoni, who they tragically lost only hours after she debuted at Caulfield on Guineas day in the Listed Debutant Stakes.

“We arrived on course that day with so much excitement and promise, with her dam Madoni foaling down that morning a filly by Fighting Sun. But it goes to show how quickly fortunes can change in racing, as Mockery was hit hard during the race, and was not in a good way,” said Scott.

“We rushed her to the vet, only to receive a call minutes later that Madoni had collapsed and could not be saved. The whole group of owners, all closely involved in the breeding and racing community were shattered.”

Mockery will now continue Madoni’s legacy and be a valuable broodmare for Williamson.

Madoni boasts an interesting pedigree with the Eight Carat family featuring on both top and bottom halves. A half-sister to High Achiever (Exceed And Excel) the dam of the Mick Price-trained classy galloper, She’s So High (I Am Invincible) who added the Listed Bob Hoysted to her previous win in the Group 3 Proud Miss Stakes only two races later.

Madoni’s yearling colt by Fighting Sun was knocked down to Steve Morley Bloodstock and Robert Heathcote for $55,000 from the Musk Creek draft at the Magic Millions.

While plans are still to be decided as to where the filly will race next, she may head to Sydney for the 1100m Group 3 Kindergarten on Doncaster Day, or stay closer to home and focus on the lucrative $250,000 VOBIS Gold Rush on the 30th March at Bendigo.

Giving trainer Mick Price a black-type double on Australian Guineas Day, OREGON’S DAY won the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes at Flemington on Saturday in impressive style.

Ridden by jockey Damien Oliver, she dug deep to hold off race favourite Clarice Cliffs and VRC Oaks winner Aristia.

‘She seems to have come back as good as ever and will be well placed in the mares races in Sydney over autumn,” Damien said after the race.

Price said he hadn’t trained her hard in the lead-up as she has done a fair amount of racing. “We were looking for a nice third or fourth so it’s great to get a win in a Group Three race and she’s now not far off wining $1 million prize money.”

The mare is a homebred and raced by a large group of Victorian based owners, who also owned and raced the now-retired dam, Oregon Seal. She herself Victorian bred from Lambourn Stud, Oregon Seal was a Group 3 Tesio Stakes winning mare trained by 1976 Melbourne Cup winning jockey-turned-trainer, Bob Skelton. Headed up by Mr P. and Mrs M. Girolami, the Oregon’s Day ownership also includes members of Bob’s family, as well as the Danaher, Holden, McCue, Gehrig, Power, Clarke and King families.

By Silver Slipper Stakes winner Domesday, the five year old mare has now had 25 starts for 5 wins, 5 seconds & 3 thirds. Nominated for both Super VOBIS and VOBIS Gold, nearly $20,000 of her prizemoney has come from VOBIS program bonuses.

Beaten on debut at Terang in April 2016 as a two year old, Oregon’s Day improved quickly to win the Listed Redoute’s Choice Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield at her second start.

During her three year old campaign, she won the Group 3 Alexandra Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley before taking out a mare’s 1400 metre handicap at her home track of Caulfield in September 2017.

Keeping her in top company for most of her career, Price’s mare finished fifth in the 2017 Queen of the Turf, as well as narrow defeats in the 2018 Group 2 Emancipation Stakes and Group 1 Coolmore Classic. However a trip further north to Queensland saw Oregon’s Day add another win to her name after defeating Tom Melbourne and Man of his Word the Group 2 A.D Hollindale Stakes at the Gold Coast in May 2018.

Having been given the time to mature and with a number of Group and Listed winners throughout her bloodlines, including multiple Group 1 winner Hawkspur, it’s no wonder her trainer and owners are chasing Group 1 Glory.

Nominated for the All Star Mile but unfortunately not making the cut, Mick will now travel his mare north to Rosehill Gardens in an attempt to go one better in this year’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic on Saturday 16 March.

“She’s a class mare and I’m hoping she can fluke a Group One, one of these days.” Mick said.