The best was saved for the closing stages of the opening day of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale at Oaklands when a colt bred by Gilgai Farm’s Rick Jamieson sold for $675,000.
With two days still to go in the sale, it was the colt by Yulong’s champion stallion Written Tycoon that was predicted to be the day one sale topper.
And he lived up to those expectations – and more.
Team Hawkes grabbed the Written Tycoon colt out of Soorena which produced the Group 1 winning The Quarterback (Street Boss).
The training team have had plenty of success with yearlings they’ve bought from Melbourne Premier, including Written Tycoon’s dual Group 1 winning son Ole Kirk which they also bought for $675,000 at the 2019 sale.
Wayne Hawkes said that no-one has one has ever walked out of Oaklands and driven home with a bad one from the yearling sale.
“But I got here the other day and I say on the wall that Rick had 149 yearlings go through for I think about 14 Group 1 winners and we have had three of those,” Hawkes said.
“It’s a pretty fair old stat. There is Black Caviar, there is Ole Kirk, All Too Hard, Masked Crusader. He is a pretty special breeder this guy.
“Whenever you buy a horse off Gilgai, you know you are going to pay a premium. He’s a premium breeder it’s a simple as that.”
Hawkes described the son of Written Tycoon as just a beautifully balanced colt with a “big fat pedigree.”
“And we’ve had some good luck with Written Tycoon in the last few years with Ole Kirk and Dirty Work,” he said.
“This bloke has a stallion’s pedigree there is no doubt about that
“I know the Quarterback well. He beat Chautauqua in a Newmarket. He was a very, very good horse, because it’s not easy to get past Chautauqua.”
As well as the colt being a half-brother to the prolific and Group 1 winner The Quarterback (Street Boss), the mare also produced Vanilla (Host) which raced in Australia as Philippi, winning the Listed Uci Stakes at Flemington and the Group 2 Alister Stakes and the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes before being sold to Hong Kong where he won another seven races
The colt is the last foal out of Soorena which died in December, 2020.
Soorena also produced Octane (I Am Invincible), a winner of seven races and full brother, Born A Warrior won one race. Ra Ikane (Invincible Spirit) was also a seven-time winner, while Rude Warrior (Kempinsky) won five races. The Source, a three-year-old filly by Sebring, was retired last year after one trial.
Gilgai Farm sold Octane sold for a record $1.4 million at the 2017 Melbourne Premier Sale, while Born A Warrior was sold for the same amount at the 2018 Easter Yearling Sale.
Gilgai Farm manager Kelly Skillecorn said the Hawkes, along with the under bidders, the Freedmans, were among the best trainers in the country.
He said it justified what they thought of the colt.
“He’s a gorgeous horse,” he said.
“He’s the last of the mare and I always thought he was the best out of the mare, not a heavy colt like the last two she’s thrown. He is just a real athlete and as good as we can breed, that horse.
“We sold every one of her foals at Inglis. She had $2.8 million in two horses and now $675,000.
“It’s good to have the good horses back here. We went north for a few years, we lost our way, but now we’re back. It’s good to be home.”
Skillecorn understands that the Hawkes bought the colt for prolific owner Rupert Legh who raced Chautauqua and is part of owner of Masked Crusader. Legh has won dozens of top races.
“My boss (Rick Jamieson) and Rupert are good friends, so hopefully we will be in on him and hopefully we can get a big cheque at the end of it.” he said.
The Written Tycoon colt was chasing the early day one sale topper, a I Am Invincible colt out of Mark Two (NZ) was sold to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for $550,000.
The top price was matched later in the sale for a Snitzel x Reply Churlish (NZ) colt.
A Gilgai Farm-bred colt by Deep Field out of Mossin’ Around loomed as a serious contender to pass $550,000, but the bidding stopped at $520,000. The successful bidders were China Horse Club in partnership with Newgate Bloodstock and Trilogy Racing.
Gilgai’s Skillecorn said it was a great result and always reassuring when two of the best judges in the game were on him. John Hawkes was the under bidder.
“He has been so popular and all the right judges were on him and (Deep Field) is an exceptional stallion who can do no wrong,” Skillecorn said.
“He’s out of a good, young, fast mare and everyone liked him and he made his money.”
China Horse Club’s Michael Smith said it was a great colt that had come off an outstanding farm and they were delighted to have bought him.
And it seemed that $520,00 was the magical figure with another two yearlings being locked in at the figure.
The Musk Creek bred Dundeel (NZ) colt, out of Personalised (Snitzel x Personify) also got to $520,000 – but that’s where the bidding stopped again.
But Musk Creek’s Scott Williamson was delighted with both the price and the fact that the colt will still be near their Flinders farm after being purchased by Mornington trainer Matt Laurie who is based at Moorooduc.
And he explained that the Dundeel mating with Personalised happened after Musk Creek owner David Kobritz paid $100,000 for the service fee at a charity action to aid injured jockey Tye Angland who was left a quadriplegic after a race fall in Hong Kong in 2018.
Dundeel’s service fee at the time was $66,000.
Williamson said he wasn’t surprised that the cot sold for $520,000.
“He is a cracking colt and the mare is outstanding,” he said.
“It’s a great reward to see him develop on the farm since day one and then to go to a good home like Matt’s and he stays close to home which is good.
“We are delighted. You hope they make that sort of price when you bring them to the sales and he had plenty of interest.”
Williamson said there might have been a bit of karma with buying the Dundeel service fee at the Tye Angland charity auction.
“And we bought the mare off the back of buying that charity nom,” he said.
“We bought the mare for $525,000 and she was carrying her first foal and after we bought her, Personal, her half-sister won the Group 1 so she’d be worth a lot more now.
“And obviously with her first two foals making $575,000 and now $520,000, she is obviously a very valuable mare for us. She has got a Zoustar filly at the farm now that is outstanding and arguably our best foal that she has had so far which is very exciting for a small boutique farm like us.
“It’s our aim to build on that quality of mare. We want to be known as breeders.”
Williamson said that Personalised tends to go a bit overdue when she foals and it was decided not to put her into foal last season but she will have an early service this year.
Personalised’s first foal, by Spirit Boom, was bought by Tony Gollan and John Foote at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
The two-year-old colt races as Spiritualised and has finished second at both of his starts.
A Snitzel colt, offered by Widden, out of Prairie Star (High Chaparral x Maryann Jones) was also sold for $520,000 as Lot 163.
Widden expanded to Victoria when it took over Sun Stud.
Anthony Thompson, the proprietor of Widden, said the colt was a real a star.
“A much-admired colt and we were hoping that he would sell for something around that and he sold according to the interest shown.
“He was bred and owned by Sun Stud, he carries their brand, so he had been down here at Widden Victoria and we thought he would be a star wherever he went but that he’d standout here and with Widden Victoria in its first full year of operation it’s really nice thing to be able to sell a lovely horse on behalf of Sun Stud.
“It has been a solid day. Like all the auctions we’ve been to this year, they start slowly while people find their feet but once you get an hour into selling, they really kick on.
“From the buyers’ point of view, if you’ve bought early, you should be happy with yourself and that’s just a pattern throughout the sales. There’s a really solid buying bench for a sale where the trend continues.”
Although there was no million dollar colt on the opening day, some experts predict that Lot 269 – the fourth lot to go under the hammer tomorrow – will spark plenty of interest. Again, it’s a colt by Written Tycoon, out of Sunset Affair (Exceed and Excel x Tuscan Sky) and is being offered through Rushton Park’s draft.
Swettenham Stud’s Toronado matched his highest price for a yearling when a chestnut colt offered by Michael Christian’s Longwood Thoroughbred Farm was sold for $460,000.
The colt is out of Redoute’s Choice mare Smooth Edge.
Written Tycoon had another big number at Lot 29 – $360,000 for a filly out of the unraced La Paris (Falvelon). The filly, offered by Victoria’s Morningside at Wahring, was bought by Cranbourne trainer Mick Price.
First season sire Grunt equaled his top price for a yearling when Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths and Mathew de Kock paid $300,000 for a colt out of Not A Single Doubt mare Little Indian (Fidele by Encosta De Lago) that won two races.
Fidele was the dam of eights foals and all won, including the Griffiths-trained mare Fidelia (Not A Single Doubt), a winner of five races and $405,850 in prizemoney.
The colt, Lot 56, was sold through Blue Gum Farm’s draft.
Grunt was Yulong’s foundation stallion and now stands alongside Written Tycoon, Tagaloa, Lucky Vega and Yulong Prince
The dual Group 1 winner at 1600m had his first crop of yearlings offered at this year’s Magic Millions where they totaled $1.48m in the sale ring at an average of $106,000. Five of the yearlings sold for six figures in Book 1 and the top three were sold for $300,000, $250,000 and $180,000.
Romsey’s Supreme Thoroughbreds’ got the Victorian’s off to a flying start when a Deep Field colt out of Khalama (Starspangledbanner x Sevruga) sold for $300,000 as Lot 14.
Toronado was again in high demand early in the sale and his first colt offered by Supreme Thoroughbreds as Lot 2 was sold to Chris Waller Racing/Hermitage Thoroughbreds for $300,000.
Highlights for Victorian breeders and farms included a $380,000 result for Esker Farm which sold a Camelot x Mrs Bannock colt born in Ireland.
A So You Think colt out of Miss Keepsake (Keeper x Jacilo) was sold by Gilgai Farm to UK bloodstock agent Stephen Hillen for $250,000.
Bucklee Farm at Greta West had a big result with its Magnus colt, out of Simbelation (Bel Esprit x Simulation), which sold for $300,000. The dam is a half-sister to Cliff’s Edge (Canford Cliffs) and Delago’s Lad (Delago Boom).