A picturesque, fertile 150 acres proves the ideal environment to breed and raise healthy happy horses.

Merton Creek Thoroughbreds, located in Merton is owned and run by Sunny and Neil Mitchell, who have had the farm for 10 years.

Their philosophy is happy minds equal happy horses. They achieve this by ensuring they put a focus on the mindset of the horse from the time the horse is born.

Their aim is to ensure a flawless transition from the farm to the racing stable. Nutrition, balance and building up their confidence, is key in Sunny and Neil’s minds to delivering the perfect yearling to prospective buyers.

While Sunny and Neil had anticipated a live auction, this hasn’t stopped the team from receiving glowing feedback about the draft they had catalogued for the Inglis Gold sale.

Originally presenting a draft of 14, eager buyers have already purchased seven horses from the Merton farm, leaving the team with seven to present to buyers on Inglis’ online platform.

The farm has been busy with buyers calling out to inspect the horses, with Jason Timperely from Lindsay Park Racing, Tom Ryan of Euroa’s Knockawad Farm and buyers from as far as Stawell, Sunny and Neil have been overwhelmed with the feedback so far.

“We have been really busy with inspections. We have had a lot of buyers from all over Victoria come to the farm ahead of the sale. Buyers have been pleased with what they have seen and I know that buyers will be able to find a yearling to suit their needs,” Sunny Mitchell enthused.

“There are three yearlings which buyers seem to be drawn to. They are lot 131, the Frosted x River Tribe filly, lot 232, the Holler x Uproot filly and lot 269, the Reset x Andallthatjazz colt,” Sunny said.

“Lot 131, the Frosted x River Tribe filly will be a three-year-old and will go over a bit of ground as well. She is a placid and pliable girl and any horse trainer would love to have,” Sunny commented.

Lot 131 of Merton Creek Thoroughbreds draft is a Frosted x River Tribe filly

“Lot 232, the Holler x Uproot filly is just an all-round athlete. She is fluent in her action and doesn’t waste the ground she covers. She will be an early runner,” Sunny said.

“I am really pleased with how they have developed, despite being a bit woolly due to the time of the year it is,” Sunny said.

“Our Reward For Effort colt (lot 346), is a big strong yearling who is ready to go. He is very quiet and placid but as soon as you break him in, he will be ready to go. He is your typical sprinter,” Sunny said.

“Lot 427, the Jimmy Creed x Happy Sequel filly is much like the Reward For Effort colt, in that she is a big strong type and well bodied,” Sunny commented.

Lot 427 is a Jimmy Creed x Happy Sequel filly

With the entire draft being VOBIS nominated, be sure to arrange an inspection by calling Sunny on 0414 896 988.

To view the draft, click here.

Following recent announcements from Inglis that inspections for Melbourne Gold yearlings cannot be conducted at the “Oaklands” sales complex, Inglis have drafted a spreadsheet on where the yearlings are currently located.

Please find attached a regional breakdown of areas, together with the stud name/contact name/phone number/lot numbers.

All potential buyers are encouraged to inspect as many horses as possible by calling the stud contact or Inglis.

Further, Simon Vivian (0417-006546), Will Stott (0408 126 952) and Mark Dodemaide (0404 839 452) will be conducting on-farm inspections on 13, 14 & 15 July as detailed on the attached schedule and you are invited to call them for further information and inspection times. They are available to assist with any enquiries.

The Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale is sure to present some outstanding opportunities to purchase quality future racehorses and your participation is strongly encouraged.

Click here to view the locations of Melbourne Gold Yearlings

Click here to view where the Inglis team will be next week

Above: Lot 111 Shooting to Win x Prudence Perfecto (Colt)

Within ten years Victorian-based Supreme Thoroughbreds have established themselves as a notable consigner on the sales complex. The results achieved by Supreme in the last few years have been impressive to say the least. In 2017, Supreme was the leading vendor (by aggregate) and two out of the six horses achieved $500,000 more. In 2018, they achieved the equal top lot on day one and the top lot on day 2 with their yearling selling 20% above the average sale price. Most recently, in the 2019 Melbourne Premier Sale, Supreme accomplished an impressive 96% clearance rate.

Supreme Thoroughbreds has a draft of five lots going through the Gold Sale which includes four fillies, with one by the first season sire, Palentino, and one colt by Shooting to Win.

‘We have a lovely Street Boss filly (Lot 321) who was prepared for the Premier Sale in March but was withdrawn due to a small injury that has since totally resolved. The filly is very compact and well put-together and I believe she will be a sprinting type. She is a very precocious two-year-old type and we really like her’ remarked Brent Grayling, General Manager of Supreme Thoroughbreds.  The Street Boss is filly is out of the Encosta de Lago mare, Chevovessence.  Chevovessence is out of a Danehill mare.

A highlight on paper is the Toronado filly out of Jubilee Blue (Lot 454).  Toronado has had multiple winners on the track recently including stakes winner Still A Star with 56% winners to runner’s statistic. The mare Jubilee Blue, herself a winner over 1300m is half-sister to Black Type successes Ten Gun Salute, Bella Princess and Red Typhoon. ‘She is a quality filly with a great pedigree but will require patience and time in order for her to develop.’

The Palentino filly has impressed the team at Supreme and it has been evident from her characteristics she is a sprinting type with the dam, Murray Mary, a winner over 1200m. ‘She is a big strong filly, with a great deal of bone and really covers the ground. It looks like she will take on the speed that comes from this family.’

Brent has been pleased with the popularity of Holler, with buyers searching the catalogues for the stallion’s progeny. ‘Our Holler filly is a really nice type and holds a lot of quality. She is out of a good family with a strong pedigree.’

The one colt of the draft is by Shooting to Win out of the So You Think mare, Prudence Perfecto.  ‘This colt is a slow developing type but someone who is patient with him will be rewarded.’

Brent’s outlook on the Gold Sale is positive, despite the difficult circumstances.  The industry seems to have adjusted to new ways of inspecting pre-sale, and he is hopeful for successful online bidding.

‘I am surprised how the market is holding up.  If you look at the Easter and Scone sales it shows people are still buying and online sales seem to be strong. I hope this trend will continue for the Melbourne Gold sale.’

To view the full draft, click here

Ponderosa Park were the top selling Victorian weanling vendor at 2019 Inglis Great Southern sale.

Paul Kelly and Sue Miller of Ponderosa Park are no strangers to success in the sales ring. In 2019, the pair achieved a record for their Nathalia based farm, by claiming top vendor by average for their 20 weanlings at the Great Southern sale.

Fast forward a year and the world has been thrown into an unprecedented situation.

Normally at this time of the year, the pair would be busy preparing for the upcoming breeding season. And while they still are, they are also about to take a draft of seven yearlings to Oaklands to be inspected prior to being sold via Inglis’ Digital platform.

Paul is super proud of the draft, which he describes as being ‘diverse’ and ‘there is something for everyone’.

The draft of seven include yearlings by Victorian sires such as Fighting Sun, Palentino and Jimmy Creed will appeal to all trainers. With almost all the draft bred by Ponderosa Park, they are eagerly awaiting buyers to inspect them.

“Each time they have had to come in (due to the change in the sales dates) they continue to get better and better. They just keep on improving and in real good order,” enthused Paul Kelly.

When asked which horses were his stand outs of the bunch, Paul said the So You Think x  She’s On Target (supplementary entry) is a strong and precocious colt. Paul said he is a nice type, which he has seen develop since he was foaled down. The colt is bred by Ponderosa Park.

The other stand out for Paul is the Kermadec x See How You Are filly. See How You Are has three foals which have raced with two winners. One of these is Darebin, sired by Written Tycoon who has had four wins at 1200 metres to 1625 metres and Vainqueur sired by Statue of Liberty and has had one win at 1625 metres. The family also boasts King of Hastings who is stakes placed in the Caulfield H.D.F McNeil Stakes over 1200 metres.

Paul does however say, that he can’t go past another one of his supplementary entries which is a filly by sire Palentino out of Parmigiana Girl. The filly is nominated for Super VOBIS and Parmigiana Girl is by Champion sire Snitzel.

“She’s a really nice type and her mare is by a great sire in Snitzel. Palentino has also had great results in the ring with his progeny selling for considerable amounts,” Paul commented.

“There really is something for every trainer in our draft and buyers won’t be disappointed,” Paul said.

With majority of the draft nominated for VOBIS except for Kermadec x See How You Are (potentially eligible for category C), Winning Rupert x Shuefetish, the additional incentive of the ability to race for VOBIS bonuses will also entice buyers.

Ponderosa welcome inspections on the farm as they will not be taking their draft to Oaklands Junction for parades.

You can arrange an inspection time by contacting Paul Kelly on 0427 761 016.

You can view the entire draft here.

Hoofnote:  Conformation photos will be available from Monday the 13th of July 2020.

Lauriston Park sire Rock Hero

Lauriston Park’s Chris Bakker has a draft of three, prepared ahead of the Inglis Gold Yearling sale. The Euroa based farm stands stallion Rock Hero and Chris will present three of his colts for the upcoming sale.

Rock Hero is Chris’ resident stallion at his farm. Trained by David Payne, Rock Hero was a talented racehorse with an impressive turn of foot. He won the Listed Dulcify Quality, overcoming a slow start to claim the 1600 metres contest in easy fashion.

Payne at the time claimed that he was so impressed with Rock Hero, there was a time that he believed Rock Hero may be as good, ‘if not a bit better than Criterion.’

Rock Hero is bred on the same Fastnet Rock/Galileo cross as Group One winners Intricately, Rivet, Qualify, Zhukova and Magicool; a cross that boasts an outstanding 17.7% stakes winners to runners strike rate.

The three colts which Chris will present to buyers are Rock Hero x Not For Me (lot 85), Rock Hero x Paleste (NZ) (lot 91) and Rock Hero x Cracklin’ Rosie (lot 336).

They are all bred by Lauriston Park and have all been bred on a similar line to Rock Hero’s daughter Bellx.

Bellx is a three-year-old filly, trained by Lindsay Park Racing and is a homebred of Lauriston Park.

While she has only been racing for a short time, the filly already has started to build an impressive resume.

In her first prep alone, she ran third in the Tasmanian Oaks, second in the Galilee Final, was fourth in the St Ledger and third in the South Australian Classic.

Chris regards her as a ‘handy’ filly and says that while she needed the time to get going, she is very promising, and she will be targeted at the Andrew Ramsden Stakes over 2800 metres.

Chris is excited about this draft due to the promise Bellx has already shown so early on in her career. He firmly believes that the three colts are race horses and that trainers will be pleased with the quality which is on offer from his farm.

Of his draft, Chris says that the Cracklin’ Rosie colt is ‘very athletic and has a great temperament and already looks like a racehorse.’

“The entire draft are superb with all of them displaying great temperaments and they are going from strength to strength. They all have good feet and trainers will be taking home a great racehorse,” Chris said.

With the oldest of his progeny now three-year-olds, Chris is confident the best of Rock Hero’s progeny are yet to be seen on the track.

With Rock Hero already achieving 3-4 winners and a couple of placegetters with two of those in stakes races, there is no doubt that Lauriston Park’s yearling draft is worth a look at.

Lauriston Park welcome on farm inspections and will be parading at Inglis Oaklands Junction from Tuesday the 14th of July 2020 until Thursday the 16th of July 2020.

You can view the Lauriston Park draft by clicking here.

Hoofnote: Lauriston Park’s draft are all nominated for Super VOBIS and are eligible for VOBIS Sires. Rock Hero will stand at $4500 plus GST for the 2020 breeding season.

Above: Lot 368 Jakkalberry x Dressed

Hollylodge Thoroughbreds’ Daniel Nevill is confident yearlings in his draft at the Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale are the equal of what he presented earlier this year in the main session of Melbourne Premier.

“Some of them were pulled out of Premier 2 and we used to do drafts for Adelaide but instead of going there we were targeting this sale with some of them that we thought would standout more here than Adelaide of Premier 2.”

The Avenel based farm is offering 14 yearlings which Nevill describes as lovely horses.

Sires of the yearlings included Jakkalberry, Puissance de Lune, Reward For Effort, Turffontein, Unencumbered, Kuroshio, Hampton Court and Scissor Kick.

Daniel certainly has a few of his yearlings which he believes have special attributes.

“I really like the Jakkalberry colt out of Dressed which is a Zabeel mare,” Nevill said.

“He is an absolute ripper.

“And I really like the Your Song colt out of Answers Are. He is a really nice colt.

“The Unencumbered colt out of With Angels Wings is another one I really like. He is the last of the Unencumbereds and is a nice horse.”

Nevill said his Kuroshio colt of Devon Belle looms as a perfect horse to get ready for a breeze up sale.

“If anyone wants a horse for all the breeze-ups, he is the one or if someone wants to get one to Hong Kong or something like that, he is perfect for that.

“He is super correct and is just ready to be saddled up to go.”

Nevill said with the postponement of the Gold Yearling Sale from April to July 16, it meant that they still had “all these lovely horses hanging around the farm” ready to start their racing careers in the coming months.

“I think the buyers love looking at the horses, don’t they,” he said.

“If they can’t see them, it’s very hard to sell young horses online. The prices have to suffer as well.

“It’s like I say to some people, a few of these horses aren’t going to standout on paper but if you see them in the flesh, you’d be taken by them.”

Nevill said the dam of the Your Song colt, Answers Are, is a good stakes winning mare from Western Australia and this is her second foal.

“They bought her online because she didn’t go into foal for a few years in a row and she went out to Widden and she got into foal to Your Song and she has got a lovely Spieth colt for next year’s sale,” Nevill said.

“These are only her second and third foals.

“The Kuroshio colt out of Devon Belle is closely related to More Than Exceed (seven wins from 27 starts) and he has won in town.

“As I said I quite like the Jakkalberry out of the Zabeel mare and I think it is a really great cross. They are the perfect broodmares.

“He is by a horse that ran third in a Melbourne Cup and is out of a Zabeel mare and is a lovely rangey, good walking horse and just looks like a stayer. He looks exactly what he is meant to be.”

Nevill said while they are offering a nice draft they know that under the current circumstances that they won’t be breaking any records in the ring.

“Type wise and if you’re a small trainer, we are going to meet the market, that’s for sure,” he said.

Hollylodge is also offering a Turffontein colt out of Tiki and last year sold this year’s The Showdown winner, Khoekhoe (Turffontein/Walvis Bay) at Melbourne Premier.

“We have got a soft spot for Turffontein at the moment and this one is a lovely horse,” Nevill said.

“It’s just a really nice bunch of horses and at this stage, all going well,  we have got in the supplementary a Belardo filly, a half to Savaheat (Savabeel/Heat Storm) flying in from New Zealand.

“Belardo is the leading first season sire (runners to winners) in Great Britain at the moment and is by Lope de Vega and he needs no introduction in Australia.

“Savaheat is a stakes winner for Mick Price and it’s going to be absolute beauty in the supps. I am sure it will be on everyone’s list to look at.”

Nevill said he could make a solid case for most of the horses in his draft.

“Even the Reward For Effort colt out of Croatian Quality is a beautiful horse,” he said.

“The sire is the leading sire of winners again in Victoria and he has got the Super VOBIS attached to him and he’ll be a nice horse for a small trainer.”

Nevill said he would hope all of the Victorian trainers would try to get around the Victorian breeders and support them through these tough and unprecedented times caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“If the trainers don’t get behind us and support us at these sales, we are going to be in a bit of strife,” Nevill said.

Nevill said that he would adapt the correct protocols if anyone wanted to inspect the yearlings at his farm.

“I would love them to come and inspect this draft,” he said.

“They have to be sold and people have been paying for these horses for an extra couple of months when they should have been sold,” he said.

To view the entire draft click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Lot 436 Teofilo (IRE) x Hot Augusta (NZ) (Colt)

Despite all of the withdrawals from their draft, Chatswood Stud’s Nic Willis is confident the best horse still remains among the three that they’ll sell at the Inglis Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale.

Willis said the Teofilo (IRE) colt, out of Zabeel mare Hot Augusta (NZ), would have to be a standout at the sale.

“It is just a real shame that we can’t get that many people to see him as you would have liked for a live sale,” Willis said.

“He is beautifully bred and just a very nice classy animal and a really nice walk, a loose action.

“Anyone wanting a stayer, he would be it and he would have to the highlight of the sale and definitely one of the best stayers in the sale.”

Teofilo’s have been highly sought after at sales and Willis points out that in Australia and New Zealand, 14 have sold this season for an average of $199,000.

He said the owner of the colt specifically wanted the horse in this sale because he believed he would standout more but unfortunately the decision was made before the sale was moved to a digital format.

Willis said the price would suffer but they would be realistic and attempt to sell him.

“Someone should get a bargain, I think,” he said.

Willis said that after selling a yearling by Rakti, out of Citrium, at the 2013 Gold sale, for just $4000, they feel they have to always support this sale. The yearling – Polanski – was purchased by former Cranbourne trainer at the Gold sale’s equivalent in 2012. Polanski went onto win the 2013 Group 1 Victoria Derby and more than $1 million in prize money.

Willis said another yearling they sold for $8000 at the 2016 Gold Yearling Sale – That’s Justified (Reward For Effort/Explobo) – won again at Alice Springs on Wednesday. The gelding has done all its racing in the Northern Territory and won 11 races (all at Pioneer Park, Alice Springs) and $218,999 in prize money.

Willis said Lindsay Park representatives and a few others had inspected the yearlings last week, including one by Chatswood Stud’s resident stallion Reward For Effort.

Out of Empress Milly, Willis said the colt hadn’t been disadvantaged by having the sale delayed.

“He has really filled out and has improved the best out of them and he is a really nice, strong looking type that probably has a chance to run early,” Willis said.

“He was bred here and has always been a very classy looking horse but was a little bit small as a younger yearling and thankfully there are no size problems now.”

Willis said the colt had his sire’s big rear end and looks a powerful type.

The dam, Empress Milly is in foal to Chatswood Stud’s other stallion, Inference.

“She has only one named horse (Trafalgar), a Sebring that looked like it was ready to win before the Singapore races got called off,” Willis said.

“It won a trial on the second of July and hopefully he will improve the pedigree even more.”

Chatswood Stud is also offering a Zebedee (GB) colt of Exalted Blonde.

Willis said the grey colt had grown into a good type with nice bone on him and was well mannered and enjoyed his work each morning when he was being lunged.

“He is a nice big strong school boy bully type of horse,” Willis said.

He said the dam, which is by Face Value, won three races in South Australia and had produced four runners for three winners.

“The family is well known in South Australia with all of those Exalted horses,” Willis said.

“The client purchased the colt has a weanling.”

Willis said Reward For Effort continues as one of Victoria’s most sought after stallions.

To view the entire draft click here 

Above: Lot 290 Sports Edition x Barrett’s Mark (Colt)

Oakford Thoroughbreds have confidence ahead of the Gold Sale with their draft of nine yearlings. Earlier on in the year there was much anticipation with new style of sales being held online, however recent results have proved that buyers are still in the market for quality horses.

The highlight of the draft is a lovely Frosted filly with an attractive pedigree to accompany her. ‘She is lovely filly with a very nice pedigree and I believe she should be one of the highlights in the sale.’ Remarked Brian manager of Oakford Thoroughbreds.

An eye-catching yearling of the draft is the Sports Edition colt out of the mare Barrett’s Mark. ‘It may not on paper look as good as it should as his half-brother has won three out four races and was second in the other race with recently been sold to Hong Kong for $500,000. This particular colt for anyone who wants to spec a horse is well worth looking at as he is a lovely big horse.’

The Extreme Choice is another lovely filly in the draft with a good pedigree. ‘For anyone looking for a filly in that category, she won’t let you down.’

Brian is taking a flexible approach to the sale by not holding big reserves as believes buyers are still active in the market. ‘During these uncertain times these horses won’t have big reserves on them at this sale from our draft. I hope people who can come and see the horses will come and inspect. Let’s hope that we can get something out of this difficult time.

Earlier on in the year Brian had large concerns if any sales or racing was even able to go ahead with the restrictions that were put in placed due to COVID 19 but has recently been encouraged with sales results. ‘I was very worried early on when the Gold Sale was cancelled along with Easter Sale I had big concerns. The online sales and recent Easter and Scone sale I believe was very encouraging. The online sale of racehorses I believe have been very strong. There are still people who want to participate in the industry and this is the last opportunity for an untried yearling. I believe there will be a reasonably strong market for the right horses.’

Due to technology the ability for videos and photos of the yearlings have made the accessibility for an online auction much more effective. ‘Oakford Thoroughbreds will be providing videos and photos of their draft. For anyone unable to get out to the sale complex, agents will be available to give detailed information of the horses. From what I have seen bidding online is just like bidding in the sales ring.’

To view the full draft click here.

Above: Lot 44 Kuroshio x Manzie de Lago (Filly)

With their Basinghall Farm at Nagambie recently sold, Tas and Julie Rielley will offer four yearlings through Hollylodge Thoroughbreds’ draft at the Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale.

The four yearlings in the Inglis catalogue, which was printed months ago for the then April scheduled sale, are still listed under the Basinghall Farm banner, but will be sold by Hollylodge.

Rielley said he only had 10 horses on their 600 acre property and they would all be gone within the next 10 days.

“We couldn’t change the draft to be going through Hollylodge because the catalogue had already been printed months ago,” Rielley said.

“We sold the farm a month ago and we have to be out by the end of this month,” he said.

Rielley said they had put a lot of things into storage as they search for another farm, but says the timing was good as they had planned to downsize,

“We are just happy that it is happening,” he said.

“It’s a big farm and if I was 10 or 15 years younger, which I’m not, we’d still be flying along.”

Already with 15 yearlings in the sale, Hollylodge’s Daniel Nevill said he was happy to add another four from Basinghall Farm – three fillies and one colt.

Nevill said he was quite impressed with the first of Basinghall’s yearlings, Lot 44, a big filly by Kuroshio out of Manzie de Lago (Encosta de Lago).

“She is a lovely filly and is quite big but a beautiful filly,” Nevill said.

“She is a bigger, rangier sort of horse and has a sensational action. She has a great attitude and just, a lovely, lovely horse.”

Manzie de Lago was retired in December and the Kuroshio filly is her last foal. She has had five runners and all are winners, and there is also a stakes placing.

Nevill said Lot 166 – Your Song/She’s Rosie filly – and Lot 192 – Mshawish/Stormy Affair filly – would be both suited to a smaller type of training establishment.

He said the Mshawish filly was a nice enough type of yearling and is the first foal from She’s Rosie (Stratum).

The last yearling in the original Bashinghall Farm draft and now being offered by Hollylodge is a described by Nevill as a “lovely animal.”

Going through at Lot 386, the colt is by Mshawish (USA) and out of Feerique (Al Maher/All The Rave).

“The colt is very flashy and correct,” he said.

“He is big and strong and should really suit any trainer. He is just a lovely, lovely horse.

“He is probably a little bit too good for this sale. He’ll be a good buy to syndicate as he is very flashy and I think he should make his money, personally.”

Nevill said the colt was probably one of the best of the 19 yearlings that will go through the Hollylodge draft.

The dam Feerique won the Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Launceston and finished second, beaten a length, in the Listed Strutt Stakes (2100m) at Hobart.

One of her progeny, Naadam (Written Tycoon) won six races in Tasmania and also had six seconds and six thirds.

Nevill welcomes as many potential buyers to come and inspect the yearlings at his Avenel Farm. He can be contacted on 0424 001 016

To view the entire draft click here. 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Lot 117 Street Boss x Radar (filly)

Blue Gum Farm have been setting record yearling prices since the 1980’s. In 1981 they sold the first yearling to make over $100,000 in Victoria. In 1982 they sold the highest priced filly to sell in Australia, and so it has continued. Fast forward to 2020 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and Blue Gum Farm were the leading vendor selling 23 lots for just over $4.5 million. Amongst the draft were the two highest priced yearlings and three of the top five yearlings at the sale. Blue Gum Farm have set a precedence for the quality yearlings they are producing out of their Euroa property.

Due to the change of format of this year’s Gold Sale, Blue Gum Farm will be offering six yearlings at the sale and Phil Campbell is delighted with his draft. Of the six yearlings, four are half relations to Group or Stakes winners and another is out of a Stakes winner.

“The three fillies are terrific dual purpose fillies,” remarked Blue Gum’s Phil Campbell recently. “We have two Street Boss fillies. Lot 117 is out of an Exceed and Excel mare who has already produced a Stakes winner and lot 332 is out of a Stakes winning Reset mare. We have the Manhattan Rain filly who is a half-sister to two Group winners. I don’t believe there will be too many fillies with those credentials in this catalogue.” Phil believes they are all nice fillies noting that there is as much to recommend them physically as there is on paper.

“Lot 117 is a half-sister to Intuition, a Stakes winner of over $440,000. Her full sister reached $80,000 at this sale last year and, named Classy Gal, is pleasing trainer Shaun Dwyer. This year’s filly is a precocious looking girl, strong and correct, she has a great attitude and has impressed us through her prep. The proven cross of Street Boss over Exceed and Excel is exciting too. It has already produced the likes of Group winners Hanseatic, Petit Filous and Tris. There is plenty to recommend this filly”.

Manhattan Rain is the only Victorian based stallion to sire a Golden Slipper winner. His first Victorian conceived crop of yearlings have sold terrifically well this year. His average of $132,500 for six sold at this year’s Premier Sale was a fantastic result and these rising 2yo’s are now in some of the best stables in the land. Lot 318 is a Manhattan Rain filly out of Chalonne, making her a half-sister to the Group winners Incumbent and Royal Chalon. “The additional time that this sale has provided has proved a great benefit for this filly. She has come on in leaps and bounds and is really developing into her frame now. She too is a nice correct filly who I can see really coming into her own after Christmas this year and beyond.”

One of Blue Gum Farm’s three colts for the sale is another Manhattan Rain yearling, this fellow (lot 239) being a half-brother to Stakes winner Vinland. “He’s a big, strong colt who stands over plenty of ground and, being a half-brother to a Stakes winner of almost $400,000, he should be a popular colt. Another with similar credentials is lot 67, the All Too Hard colt out of Miss Rangoon (USA). “He is a nice, solid colt. A half-brother to the Group winner Platinum Kingdom and a full brother to the Stakes placed winner Eclair Sunshine who has just continued to furnish over the journey. His sire is certainly doing a wonderful job too.”

‘As a group of six there is plenty to recommend our draft both physically and on paper. These yearlings have Premier Yearling Sale qualifications but we decided to give them more time to come on even more physically. Obviously they have ended up with a whole lot more time but it hasn’t done them any harm at all and they are presenting very well.”

Although it is not an ideal situation, Phil has already experienced the online format of selling and been impressed how well the horses sold. ‘It would appear to me that the online format has been embraced and Inglis deserve a huge amount of credit for the time and resources they have put into developing this selling format. As a result it has turned into a wonderful tool during this turbulent time. The whole concept has continued to pleasantly surprise me and I’m looking forward to the sale next week.”

You can view the entire draft here. 

If you would like to view Blue Gum Farm’s draft, please get in touch with the stud directly to arrange inspections.

Above: Lot 426 Palentino x Happy Hussy (filly)

Sun Stud will present 10 youngsters for the 2020 Inglis Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale, including 4 by exciting first crop sire, Palentino.

“The delay to the sale – from April to July – clearly hasn’t worked in favour of vendors, but as last week’s sale in Sydney showed, there is still money for quality types,” Sun Stud’s Sales & Nominations Manager, Phil Marshall points out. “On the plus side, the yearlings have been given an extra three months to grow out and buyers will have plenty to work with.”

Selling up to $160,000 and averaging $108,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier in March, Palentino’s first yearlings have landed in all the leading stables including that of Chris Waller, Tony McEvoy, Gerald Ryan, David Hayes, Ciaron Maher, Peter Moody, Robbie Griffiths and Peter Moody and his Sun Stud quartet are bound to get a lot of attention from prospective buyers.

“A big, flashy chestnut with the white blaze … he’s definitely stamping his stock,” Marshall explains. “Race fans will always remember that Australian Guineas win against 8 Group 1 winners and then he followed up with another Group 1 in the Makybe.

“His colt from European stakes winner and successful producer, Testama [Lot 208] is really typical of the Palentinos … a looming presence!”

Marshall is likewise keen on the Bel Esprit filly from Costa Mesa [Lot 333].

“There’s a lot of upside to this filly … not only is she built in the mode of those tough Bels, but Bel Esprit is also the damsire of Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Beauty Generation and recent Magnus stakes winner, Front Page,” Marshall reveals. “Bel Esprit runners this season include outstanding 2YO, Kisukano (3 from 4) – the only horse to ever beat Rothfire – while this filly is a full sister to Tony Gollan’s Socialising, the winner of her last 3 starts and a red hot favourite at the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.”

Given all the talk around the first yearlings by Written Tycoon’s Golden Slipper winner, Capitalist, Sun Stud’s filly from Miss Mossman [Lot 65] is sure to have plenty of admirers.

“Just like her sire, this filly is a really forward, precocious type and it wouldn’t surprise if this isn’t the last time we see her this year,” Marshall adds. “What’s more, the filly is a half sister to this season’s multiple winner, Private Council, and the 3rd foal of Group 1 NZ Oaks winner, Miss Mossman.”

To view the entire draft click here. 

Above: Lot 434 Danerich x Idolwise (filly)

Danerich will be dominating most of the draft for Rangal Park Stud at this year’s Melbourne Gold Sale. There will be ten yearlings in the Rangal Park’s consignment with seven of these being by Danerich. This is no surprise as Danerich is one of four stallions standing at Rangal Park in Eurora, alongside Boomtime, Soul Patch and Cliff’s Edge.

‘They are very nice types and have been pleased how they have come along. It is now for the eyes of the buyer.’ Remarked Eric Buttler from Rangal Park.

There is a Danerich by Firestorm Baby that has caught Eric’s attention, ‘I believe the Firestorm Baby filly (Lot 393) will catch people’s eye as she is striking to look at. I think she should hold herself up pretty well. She will hold residual value.’ Lot 185 is another highlight, the Danerich filly by Stage Doll by a Stakes winning mare. However, it is the Danerich filly x Idolwise (Lot 438) that has really impressed Eric in her preparation. She is the first foal by the Artie Schiller mare, Idolwise. Two colts from Royal Sonata and Homeland Sheila will catch buyers eyes.

Eric is confident that all of the Danerich’s that he is offering should sell well next week. ‘The Danerich’s are good solid horses provided you don’t push them too early. If you can persevere and give them time you can reap the rewards later on.’ A prime example of this is Flow Meter who is a ten-year-old gelding by Danerich. He has had 137 starts and 15 wins including a Stakes places and is still racing in South Australia.

Danerich has nine stakes winners to his name including Ritch Itch on Turnbull Stakes day last year. Although Danerich himself was lightly raced during his racing career his speed on the track was stand-out with wins including Group 3 McNeil Stakes, the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes and he was placed second in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes and third to Apache Cat and God’s Own in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude.

Danerich has produced winners from 900m to 3200m and since his stud career in 2007 has proved he is a consistence performer. ‘Danerich is the most under-rated stallion in Australia and seriously updates his mares. He is a very fertile stallion and hasn’t been punished with excessive books. His rewards are quite remarkable for what mares he has had.’

To view the full draft click here

Above: Lot 348 Manhattan Rain x Dance of Choice (Colt)

It’s been a long wait but Stonehouse Thoroughbreds’ Ryan Arnel is looking forward to when six of his yearlings go under the hammer at the July 16 Inglis Gold Sale at Oaklands.

The Eddington-based farm is offering four colts and two fillies.

Of the four colts, Arnel says there are definitely a couple which would be ideal purchases for traders.

“The Manhattan Rain (Dance of Choice) and the Starspangledbanner (Highleigh) are two very nice horses,” Arnel said.

“I think the Manhattan Rain and the Dissident (Roman Sandals) are two good trading options.

“This sale tends to be one of those where a lot of the trading type of guys are looking for something to trial up or go into. The Manhattan Rain colt is both Super VOBIS and VOBIS Sires nominated.”

Arnel said he really liked the Manhattan Rain’s dam, Dance of Choice which is by Stratum. This is her first foal.

“I know she didn’t have a huge race career herself but she is very well related and the pedigree matches very nicely and I am really keen on that match and where it actually goes,” he said.

Arnel said there had already been plenty of interest in the grey Starspangledbanner colt  which is out of a So You Think mare, Highleigh, a half-sister to gelding Danleigh (Mujahid/Graceful Lily)) which won nine Group races, including four at the highest level and $2.5 million in prize money.

“It’s a very well-known family,” he said.

“We would be expecting this boy to be in the mould of a mile-plus horse.”

He said he had fielded a lot of inquiries about the colt which gives him confidence he’ll be in a demand and a good seller.

A Cable Bay (Miss Eddy) colt, which Arnel describes as a good type, completes the male side of the yearlings being sold by Stonehouse.

The two fillies on offer from Stonehouse are by Palentino (Finishing School) and Press Statement (Dubai Fortress) – both also good types, according to Arnel.

Arnel reveals a lot of people might think there are some C grade yearlings in the Gold Sale, but he said they have some good types that will go under the hammer.

“Quite a few of ours we would have been pushed into Melbourne Premier and they would have found a spot in that sale, but it was simply because of the numbers that we weren’t able to prepare them for Melbourne Premier,” he said.

“The numbers were just too great to prepare them.

“We had to drop down to the Gold Sale.”

Arnel agreed Palentino’s first crop of yearlings had achieved some healthy sale results.

“They have been represented quite well and this filly is quite a nice type and he (Palentino) is a nice type himself and has thrown some very nice horses,” Arnel said.

“We have had a couple come through the system at Melbourne Premier, as well as post sales and spelling and what not.

“We are really happy with the types and they seem to be very smart horses, that’s for sure.”

Stonehouse’s Cable Bay (Miss Eddy) colt is sure to attract plenty of interest with buyers. His yearlings are the oldest of the shuttle stallion’s progeny in Australia, but he has been well represented at UK racetracks.

“They are looking like early types so it wouldn’t surprise if they showed a bit early on,” Arnel said.

Asked whether he thought they would still get Melbourne Premier type of prices, Arnel said: “We would love to for sure. But we are very realistic and I own a lot of these myself.

“I am very much about meeting the market and we understand there are tough times at the moment. What we might have once thought were 30 or 40 grand horses, we understand they might be more down to 10 or 20 grand.

“We are going to go there and we are going to meet the market. They will be there and we’ll let the market dictate their price.

“Hopefully the buyers aren’t too shy and speaking to other Victorian breeders and vendors, there are going to be some nice horses here and people really want this sale to be live because of the simple fact that they have got some nice types of horses.

“There will be some great buying opportunities for some good types.”

Arnel said any live auction would always be preferable over the digital format.

He said when he buys horses, including weanlings, it was a case of trusting your own eye more than anything.

“You do want to see them at the end of the day and you are willing to go that little bit extra if you have seen them,” Arnel said.

To view the entire draft click here

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Lot 18 Warhorse (NZ) x Late Watch (filly)

The long wait for the Melbourne Gold Yearling sale has added some extra maturity, plus some winter coats, to the Bombora Downs draft of six.

Four of the yearlings are by two of the Bittern farm’s resident stallions – Warhorse (NZ) and Jungle Ruler.

Bombora Downs owner Christoph Bruechert said he was happy with the draft in what has been a tough period for a lot of breeders.

He said the delay in the sale had allowed the horses to develop and would provide the successful bidders with something to go on with immediately.

“It’s been good for those immature types particularly. A couple of extra months has made a big difference,” Bruechert said.

“I have got some particularly nice horses physically. If they like them on paper, they will love them once they’ve seen them.”

Bruechert did not hold back when asked to nominate a yearling in his draft that stood out.

“The one out of Late Watch (by Warhorse), Lot 18 just looks like a rocket to me,” he said.

“She is a stunning individual with a great body, a massive top end and she’ll go quick.”

“Lot 294 the Jungle Ruler/Bella Coureuse colt is a well put together package too.”

“The Jungle Ruler/Skewiff colt, Lot 174 is a pretty nice horse as well; great walker plus has a nice page.

“The Late Watch is probably the pick. She hasn’t got a bad page either and is just a really nice horse.”

Bruechert said that Lot 442, a filly by Trust in a Gust out of Inablitz (Testa Rossa) is developing into a genuinely nice horse. She is still a bit of a “baby” but has come on quickly while in work.

A chestnut colt by Jimmy Creed (Distorted Humor), and out of Away With Words (Dylan Thomas/Moll Flanders), is also being offered by Bombora Downs. This is Away With Words’ second foal and her first, a filly, is by Warhorse.

“I don’t know how the Jimmy Creed’s will sell, but this is a very nice horse. He is good, strong, athletic and covers a lot of ground. There would not be anyone who would disagree, with some people falling in love with him one they see him in the flesh,” Bruechert said.

Bruechert is still hopeful that his stallion, Group 1 winner Warhorse (General Nediym/Rathlin Island), will make it as a stallion.

“He has had 18 runners for two winners at this point, which is a little disappointing, but I think it is a lot better than it looks as many of the runners have had only 2 or 3 starts. I’ve got a couple in work myself, one with Doug Harrison and he sent me some information this morning saying he really likes the horse.”

“Warhorse is at the crossroads for sure and I can keep talking the horse up but at some point, they have to do it on the track.”

Bruechert said he recently bought out the other owners of Warhorse, on the strength of the feedback he was receiving about the stallion’s progeny. He believes Warhorse is a bit of a sleeper with the best coming just around the corner.

On another note, Bruechert is getting quietly excited about one of Bombora Downs’ other stallions, Dandino, which had one yearling entered for the sale, but was withdrawn.

“The reports on Dandino progeny are really, really good and I am hearing some really positive stuff. He had his first starter the other day for Cindy Alderson (Tarantello) and the filly came home extremely well in very tough conditions at Bendigo.’’

Bruechert said Jungle Ruler has had 30 runners for nine winners. Of those, three are city winners with another three placing in the city, including Jungle Jane at Sandown last Wednesday. Again, many of the runners have had just a handful of starts.

“He is really doing a good job given the number of horses in work,” he said.

“It’s not an easy process.”

Bruechert said it was obviously always difficult for stallions that do not receive big books.

To view the entire draft click here 

 

 

 

 

 

Above: Team at Ultra- Yearling Manager Emily Taylor is the second from the right.

Like every Victorian, Ultra Thoroughbred Racing in Kilmore have been eagerly awaiting Inglis Gold sale.

Their yearling supervisor Emily Taylor has put countless hours and time into ensuring this draft is, as her manager Anthony Swords describes the yearlings, ‘as the best draft of yearlings which Ultra and Golden Grove have produced, so far.’

Presenting a draft of 12 for the Inglis Gold sale, the majority of the draft except for two are the progeny of Rosemont sire Shamus Award, who Ultra have the majority ownership share of.

While Anthony does acknowledge that the yearlings could have been presented for other sales, the operation has decided to give the Victorian market the first opportunity to purchase these sons and daughters of Shamus Award.

“We have been waiting to sell these yearlings since April. While we could have sent them to other sales, we couldn’t have predicted what COVID was going to do but we wanted to give the Victorian bench the first bite of the cherry,” Anthony Swords – General Manager of Ultra Thoroughbred Racing commented.

“We have had five withdrawals however this is due to four being sold prior to the sale and we decided to retain a filly as she has great bloodlines,” Anthony said.

The four which were purchased were two by Lindsay Park Racing (Lot 382 & 446) and another two by Troy Corstens (Lot 105 & 248) and the final lot, 329, being retained by Ultra, who will be raced by the team.

Shamus Award moved from the Hunter Valley to Victoria’s Rosemont Stud for the 2019 breeding season.

With seven stakes winners to date, his progeny includes horses such as Mr Quickie, Etana, Soul Patch and Flying Award.

While these yearlings catalogued for the Inglis Gold sale were conceived while the stallion stood in the Hunter, the mares were moved to Victoria either in foal or with their foal at foot.

“I think the move from the Hunter Valley down to Victoria due to the drought has done wonders for the horses. They have grown out well and had access to green pastures, which has allowed them to be strong and good boned. This has been integral in their development,” Anthony commented.

The three yearlings which Anthony believes will command good money for when the bidding starts online are lot 209 a King Cugat x Testthebudget colt, lot 341 a Shamus Award x Culminate (NZ) colt and lot 349 a Shamus Award x Dane Julia (SAF) colt.

“The King Cugat x Testthebudget colt, may do just that! He is a big strong athletic colt who has a big strong shoulder and a powerful hind quarter. He is out of a Testa Rossa mare and a black type, listed and group winning family. He’s also the full brother to Budget King,” Anthony commented.

“The Shamus Award x Culminate colt is a ready to run 2-year-old sprinter type. He has a strong shoulder and hind quarter, good length of rein and strong presence in the stable. He is out of a multiple group 1 winning mare over 1200 to 1600m and a family of group and listed race winners. He is definitely one for trainers to keep their eye on,” Anthony said.

“Finally, the Shamus Award x Dane Julia colt is another that you can’t go past. He is smart colt with a nice head, good girth and length of rein, forward moving and well grown. He would definitely be a 2-year-old runner. Dam Dane Julia is a mare by Caesour with 9 wins including international group 1, 2, 3 and listed races between 1400 metres and 1800 metres,” Anthony said.

“Ultra are committed to supporting Shamus 100% of the way and this draft represents his best to date. We will continue to produce the best for the market and no doubt this will translate to success on the track,” Anthony said.

Ultra Thoroughbred Racing are welcoming buyers to come and inspect the draft at their Kilmore based property. To arrange an inspection, you can contact Anthony on 0428 876 876.

To view their draft, click here.

Hoofnote: While the draft are not nominated for Super VOBIS, Ultra Thoroughbred Racing would be more than happy to provide the necessary documents for the yearlings to quality for Category C of the Super VOBIS program.

Above: The Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit on mobile
In an era of tech start-ups and digital disruption, Ardex has been delivering technological solutions to the racing and breeding industry for well over 20 years, utilising what it says is its greatest asset, its relationships.

Innovation has been in Ardex’s DNA, right from when founders Scott Miers and Bruce Baker met while studying Computing Science at university and combined their passions for technology and racing to create a software solution for breeders and trainers to manage their financials.

But what has parlayed that early inspiration into the successful company Ardex Technology is today, according to its Business Development Manager, Suzie Stephen, has been the relationships it has built, which have further fostered that spirit of innovation into a new era under the ownership of Inglis.

“We have built on the principals which Scott and Bruce worked very hard on, which was talking to the clients to see what they need and building that for them,” she said.

“It’s custom-built software for the racing industry. It is not an out of the box product. It’s been years in the making to deliver something for the racing industry and tailored for that industry and that’s very important.

“It’s been years in the making to deliver something for the racing industry and tailored for that industry and that’s very important. ” – Suzie Stephen

“I always say, our products are built by clients for our clients. What’s at the core of our model is feedback-based development and projects are based around what our clients want.”

Ardex now offers a suite of products, customisable both for the size and purpose of the client, be they a breeder, trainer, farrier, dentist, vet, agistment farm, race club or auctioneer.

It offers subscription-based solutions for a wide range of requirements, including communications, financial management and reporting, racing management, stallion and broodmare management, documentation control and process management.

Above: The Ardex Breeding Menu available on the Digital Breeding Toolkit

Ardex’s greatest asset though, is its client base, which includes some of the biggest names in the thoroughbred industry in Australia and New Zealand, while continuing to expand its services internationally.

Local people, global approach

The entire business, including a technology and development team, is based out of Sydney, something which Stephen says has ensured that Ardex has been able to retain its connection with its client base.

“It’s really great having people in house. I work in the same office as the developers. We have that relationship whereby we are working on projects together; it is really collaborative. Client requests come in and we are all trying to brainstorm what to build and how to build it,” she said.

“It’s a really great environment for that. It means when things need to get done, they get done, which is good.”

The collaborative influence also flows on to Ardex’s relationships with its clients, with an absolute focus on identifying and resolving problems for them. It is that approach which Stephen says has ensured the company has remained innovative over its 22 years of existence.

A key Toolkit for breeders

That approach was the genesis for the latest innovation from Ardex, the Digital Breeding Toolkit, which was launched this week, and is available for Ardex Premier users.

Its aim is to help streamline the breeding process for users and it will give increased visibility of all elements from scheduled coverings to following a mare’s pregnancy scans. It includes a digital covering book that can help plan and schedule coverings, a pregnancy scan tracker, Docu-sign integration for electronic contracts as well as other features, with the aim of replacing manual processes with mobile technologies.

Above: Entry procedure on the Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit

It’s really important to us that what we’re building not only meets our clients’ needs, but is almost ahead of them. We want to be on the forefront of what our clients may need,” Stephen said.

“The Digital Breeding Toolkit is exactly that. It shows them what can be done with breeding technology. It’s about those constant conversations with our clients, and then us setting the agenda for ourselves year on year that we are going to be improving on what we have developed. We can confidently say that the technology we are offering is cutting edge. It’s innovative, and most importantly it’s serving their needs.”

“It’s really important to us that what we’re building not only meets our clients’ needs, but is almost ahead of them. We want to be on the forefront of what our clients may need.” – Suzie Stephen

The Digital Breeding Toolkit is the result of not just the innovation coming from within Ardex, but the realisation of the potential of the relationship it holds with its clients.

“At the end of the breeding season, we caught up with our breeders and asked them what it was that they wanted to get out of the Ardex software and Ardex program and that’s how the Digital Breeding Toolkit evolved,” Stephen said.

“We worked really closely with a number of our clients, especially Coolmore Stud in Australia and Waikato Stud in New Zealand, to discuss what manual and time-consuming processes we could alleviate with the use of technology. We sat down with those clients and worked through what the major pain-points were. It’s a good place to start with any development project.

“We worked very closely with them ongoing, going back and forth with demo builds and test builds and people trialling and testing, and we’ve worked over that six-month period to put out a product we were really happy with.”

Above: Ardex worked closely with Coolmore Stud throughout the development of the product

The key achievement of the Digital Breeding Toolkit, according to Stephen, has been to implement a digital covering book, which not only makes documentation a lot more straightforward, but also allows greater understanding and collaboration across major breeding operations.

“You have the option to share that information more easily within the team. It’s not a book locked away in an office somewhere. Your staff can view that and generate reports more easily as well,” she said.

“With all of these things, the bottom line is to save time. We always want to achieve that for clients. As we know, the breeding season is one of the most hectic and busy times of the year, so for us it is really important for our clients to take back that time.”

Above: The covering book menu on Ardex Digital Breeding Toolkit

Accessibility a key plank of future strategy

There are a variety of product development ideas in the future roadmap for Ardex, but key to its strategy is further development of its web-based product, Ardex Essentials, to provide greater flexibility and usability for current and future clients.

“That’s a shift towards the more accessible and compact version of the Ardex Premier program, in our new product Ardex Essentials. It’s all the core features in a web-based system. That’s the direction we want to take that product,” Stephen said.

“It needs to be accessible, easy to use and we want the subscription to be affordable for the various sizes.” – Suzie Stephen

“It needs to be accessible, easy to use and we want the subscription to be affordable for the various sizes. Everything from an agistment farm with 20 mares to a larger operation, or from the smallest trainer to the big stables and everything from pre-training to breaking.

“Technology should be for everyone and everyone should be able to benefit from that and that is something that we would really like to achieve moving forward.”

And at the heart of that is the people, be they within the Ardex team or part of the client base, which drive that innovation.

“The thing I really value about this industry is that it is an industry of people. The people in this industry are so fantastic. We just want to work with those people to help them and help their businesses,” Stephen said.

“That’s where the passion comes from. It’s about giving people back their time and making things easier.”

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Lot 223. Toronado – Settecento colt. Picture: Inglis

An excellent pinhook result from Jazcom Thoroughbreds proved the highlight of the 2020 Inglis Scone Yearling Sale, which followed the Easter Round 2 sale.

At A Glance

>> The clearance rate was 81 per cent, only slightly down from 90 per cent at the same sale last year

>> Hawkes Racing struck to secure the top two lots , with the $180,000 top lot a record for the Sale

>> The sale gross of $2.26 million was only slightly down on the total of $2.685 million last year

>> The sale average was $17,652, up from $15,797 in 2019

>>The median was $10,000, a slight fall from $12,000 in 2019

Pinhook pays off

The top lot was Lot 223, a colt by Toronado (Ire) out of Settacento (Nadeem), the half-sister to Listed winner and Group 1-placegetter Citirecruit (Citidancer {Ire}) from the family of champion filly Savana City (New Regent {Can}).

Hawkes Racing paid $180,000 for the colt, from Jazcom Thoroughbreds, who purchased him as a weanling from last year’s Great Southern Sale for just $10,000.

“I’d made it quite clear to people close to us that I thought he could top the sale, I thought he’d bring $60,000 but wouldn’t be surprised if he bought $100,000 so to get that great result, it really pays off for what Meagan and I do with the pinhooking investment,’’ Jazcom’s Colin Branthwaite said.

“He’s a quality horse, he’s got a lot of presence, an aura and demeanour that good judges like.’’

He was the clear top lot, with the next highest price the $70,000 Hawkes Racing paid for Lot 220, an Exosphere colt, offered by Waylon J Stud.

He is out of Save A Penny (Exceed And Excel), making him a half-brother to stakes-placed Excess Funds (Rubick) and the winner Cobra (Poet’s Voice {GB}).

Above: Lot 220 – Exosphere x Save A Penny (colt)

Hawkes Racing ended the top buyer for the Scone sale, spending $325,000 across three lots.

The top filly of the sale was Lot 278, a Nicconi filly out of Chaste (Lonhro), offered by Middlebrook Valley Lodge and sold for $65,000 to John Thompson Racing.

Chaste, a half-sister to stakes-placed pair Epic (Stratum) and Mighty Maverick (Snitzel) is a granddaughter of G1 Newmarket H. winner Ruffles (Zeditave) and has already produced the winners Desirable Miss (Snippetson), Ibini (Commands) and Purest (Stratum).

Above: Lot 278 – Nicconi x Chaste (filly)

Vinery Stud had two lots sell for $60,000, Lot 217, a filly by All Too Hard who was purchased by Belhannah Stud, and Lot 292, a colt by Vancouver which went to Wattle Bloodstock.

Vinery’s seven sales for a total of $236,900 was enough to put it second on the vendors’ list, behind Jazcom, which sold eight yearlings for a total of $332,000.

Nicconi was the leading sire on both aggregate and averages (more than 3 sales), with three sold for a total of $120,000.

“The Scone Sale was particularly pleasing, the sale held up very well setting a new record price for a top lot,” Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said.

Article courtesy of Bren O’Brien TDN

Above: Michael and Siobhan after Eloping won the Blue Sapphire Stakes

It would be fair to say that the owner of Victoria’s Longwood Thoroughbred Farm, Michael Christian, did not have the most conventional entry into the world of breeding. A Chartered Accountant and an AFL premiership player with Collingwood, Michael had invested in some small shares in horses with colleagues during his stockbroking days in the mid 1990’s. In keeping with his interest in racing he purchased “A Lunch With Gai Waterhouse” at a charity auction with the thought that it would be something his clients would enjoy.

‘We had twenty of our best clients to lunch on the Wednesday before the 1997 Melbourne Cup. Gai was fashionably late but when she did arrive she had an aura about her that captivated the entire room. She entertained us through a great lunch and as I was escorting her to the lift, Gai enquired if I had any horses running? I quickly replied ‘I have a share in a two-year-old running next week on Cup day’, and as the lift doors closed I managed to spit out the horse was called True Blonde not thinking that she had even heard me.’

True Blonde duly saluted on Melbourne Cup Day and after arriving to work the following day, Michael was surprised to find a fax (remember those) on his desk from Gai congratulating him on True Blondes win. He hadn’t thought she’d even heard the horses name! Gai also invited Michael to visit her Tulloch Lodge stables if he was ever in Sydney which he did the following January. Before he knew it, he was attending yearling sales with Gai and investing in horses with her.

The first horse Michael purchased with Gai was Phoenix Park, who started favourite in the Magic Millions, ran 4th in the Golden Slipper and went on to win the T J Smith Stakes – the first time Gai won the race named in honour of her father. ‘I absolutely loved racing and was spending three days a week in Sydney with my broking job so would go and visit Gai and see my horses whilst enjoying lunch at Tulloch Lodge.’

Following Michael’s departure from the stockbroking world, he embarked on a media career working with Channel 10 and Triple M commentating on AFL football and hosting breakfast radio on RSN, Melbourne’s racing station. He continued his racing involvement in Melbourne with trainer, Peter Morgan after being introduced by a friend. The pair formed a strong bond and Michael credits Morgan with not only fueling his passion for horses but teaching him about the thoroughbred. 

So much so that Michael enrolled and completed (as the only mature aged student) a Diploma in Horse Breeding at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE in the early 2000’s. The Diploma included several out placements (including with Christoph Bruechert at Bombora Downs) where Michael gained some valuable practical experience and knowledge. The course and experience gained just deepened his passion and interest for thoroughbreds. ‘The course and experience gained was incredible and it made me more determined to increase my involvement in the thoroughbred industry.’ 

It was almost a natural progression that in 2007, Michael purchased a forty-acre property in Whittlesea next to Morgan’s training property, Talwood Park. Starting with one mare he gradually built a niche broodmare band which he personally cared for and managed. With only a handful of broodmares he has enjoyed success breeding stakes winners, Hallowell Belle, Fuddle Dee Duddle, Eloping, Unpretentious, Of The Brave and Fuhryk.

Michael and his wife Siobhan predictably out grew their small Whittlesea property and in December 2018, together with Michael’s brother Brad and his wife Pauline, purchased the property which is now known as Longwood Thoroughbred Farm in Longwood East. The property was formerly Roselands, part of the Vinery Stud operation in Victoria’s thoroughbred breeding heartland.

Above: A view of the paddocks at Longwood Thoroughbred Farm

‘Growing up I never really had any close association with horses. My interest started with the excitement of racing but developed quickly into something a lot deeper. I still enjoy racing but now my real passion is the thoroughbred itself. With my first property in Whittlesea it was just me working with the horses with my friend Bill Birch helping out. I find it so rewarding. There is no better feeling than personally raising a foal, seeing it develop into a yearling and then watching it race to stakes glory. My favourite time is just standing in a paddock with a group of weanlings and just admiring and hanging out with them. It is all about the horse now.’

On his Whittlesea property, due to his media commitments, Michael outsourced the foaling down of his mares and yearling sales preparation was outsourced to his friend and former breakfast radio colleague, Anthony Mithen from Rosemont Stud. Now with his new property, Longwood Thoroughbred Farm, he not only foals down his own mares and prepares his yearlings for sale but offers a full range of breeding and agistment services to clients including a dedicated 24/7 foal watch team. ‘Initially the intention was to be a hobby breeder but my love of the thoroughbred industry means my hobby and passion has turned into a business which is a dream come true”.

In such a short time Longwood Thoroughbred Farm has built a reputation for excellent service. Michael credits his wonderful staff for creating an immediate impression on the Victorian breeding landscape. ‘We have been very lucky that we have been able to assemble a great team at LTF including recently appointed Farm Manager, Lelaina Vennemeyer who is doing an amazing job”.

Above: The Longwood Thoroughbred team with Lot 402, I Am Invincible x Runaway Jesse Colt at the Inglis Premier yearling sales

Michael and his family have been involved with some wonderful racehorses. When asked who his favourite was he nominated, Eloping. Michael bred and raced Eloping who was trained by Peter Morgan. She won five stakes races including two as a 2YO and won $1.23 million in prize money. ‘She was born on Siobhan’s birthday and to watch her grow from a foal and develop into a multiple stakes winner was so exciting and rewarding. We had so much fun travelling to watch her race”.

When asked what advice he would give to anyone looking at starting out in the industry Michael responded by saying, ‘Don’t take any shortcuts. If you try and take shortcuts in this industry, you will get caught out. You need to have good, passionate people, great facilities, invest in quality mares and send them to highly commercial stallions. If you do that, you’ll have a lot of fun and hopefully enjoy some success along the journey.”

Above: Cousin Ivan wins the Listed Aquanita Stakes at Belmont Park, Western Australia

There’s a lot of history surrounding the coastal city of Albany.

Once famous for its whaling, Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia and sits some 400 kilometres from Perth.

In 1914 it was the last port of call for troops heading off to fight in World War 1.

On Saturday at Belmont Park, it was Albany’s own – the 3YO chestnut, Cousin Ivan – who managed to land a whale by capturing the Listed Aquanita Stakes over 2000m: showing plenty of fight along the way.

Firming from $20 to $14, Cousin Ivan wasn’t expected to trouble the hot favourite, Uncle Dick, but after hitting the front with 200m to go, the Fiorente chestnut refused to cave … much to the delight of breeder, Grant Gibbs, and an understandably emotional trainer, Holly Taylor.

This was not only the first stakes winner for Taylor – who turned 30 last week – but her first city winner to boot.

“I took out my trainers’ licence two years ago and currently have eight in work at Forrestdale (30 minutes drive from Belmont Park),” Taylor points out. “Cousin Ivan won at Belmont on debut – at the end of May – but that was actually classed as a provincial meeting after being transferred from Northam due to coronavirus.

“That was Cousin Ivan’s fourth run on Saturday and to win a black type with him is just a huge thrill. Amazing.”

Although Cousin Ivan only ‘officially’ joined the stable at the start of his current prep, both Taylor and the Fiorente galloper have a history.

“Cousin Ivan was bred by Grant Gibbs and his partner, Annette Crump and they’re based at Albany,” Taylor explains. “I spent a bit of time down there when the horse was having his early education and then they contacted me about taking the horse for a short prep last year.

“He went back to Albany and I thought that was that, but then they phoned me in May about taking Cousin Ivan on full-time. It couldn’t have worked out better!”

While the journey has barely started for Taylor, the road for Gibbs – conversely – has been fairly lengthy: ever since he started out as an apprentice jockey in New Zealand, “the day after I turned 14”.

“I was a jockey in New Zealand for around eight years before shifting to WA in my early 20s,” Gibbs reveals. “I rode quite a few winners in the bush and also won the 1988 Bunbury Cup on Muromoon, who ran third in the Perth Cup too.

“I gave riding away at 43 due to arthritis, which resulted in a double hip replacement, but I still manage to ride trackwork.

“My wife is a licenced trainer but we’ve scaled right back and these days we only race what we breed.”

Gibbs’s actual journey getting to Cousin Ivan has had some winds and turns too.

“I was sitting in a pub one day back in the 1990s and chatting to a bloke who asked me if I remembered a horse called Spring Moss, who was a Group winner of 13 races in New Zealand,” Gibbs recalls. “Long story short, he said he had the full sister (Miss Trapani) and I could buy her for $500.

“Miss Trapani produced Waxed Lyrical for me, who didn’t race due to a bowed tendon, but Waxed Lyrical’s second foal was Chong Nonsi, who won six of her first nine starts. Chong Nonsi’s first runner is Cousin Ivan.

“You’ve got to be patient in this game.”

Interestingly, Belmont Park’s two stakes races on Saturday – both over 2000m – were won by Victorian based stallions: Cousin Ivan becomes the fifth stakes winner for Sun Stud’s Fiorente, while the exciting, unbeaten 3YO filly, Chantrea took her tally to five from five in the Belmont Oaks and is by Swettenham Stud’s Puissance de Lune.

Although winner of the Australian Cup and Group One placed over 1400m, Fiorente is best remembered as winner of the Melbourne Cup, while Puissance de Lune would win eight from 1400m to 2600m, including the Group Three Queen Elizabeth, and was regarded one of the best stayers of his generation.

“You’ll note with both Cousin Ivan and Chantrea that they weren’t pushed early and it’s paying dividends now,” Gibbs adds. “Cousin Ivan is getting tipped out for a few months and we’ll bring him back for the Cups circuit in the south west … he could be our retirement fund.

“All things being equal I’d like to give him a shot of winning the Perth Cup as a 5YO … who knows, I might just win a Perth Cup yet!”

HOOFNOTE: Cousin Ivan is not only the toast of Albany but has something of a fan base in Walpole, some 120 kilometres west.

“My partner in the horse is Darren White and he named him after his actual cousin, Ivan, who is local hairdresser in Walpole and something of a legend around town,” Gibbs reveals. “We’re sticking with the theme though because Cousin Ivan’s full brother – an unraced 2YO – has the stable name, Boris.”

Article courtesy of Aushorse

Above: Lot 435 Rich Enuff x Honey Pie (filly)

It’s not all doom and gloom.

Stockwell Thoroughbreds’ Mike Becker can see plenty of advantages coming out of the delayed Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale.

Originally scheduled for mid-April, it is now set for auction via Inglis’ online digital platform.

The delay, caused by the COVID-19 crisis, has allowed plenty of yearlings to mature and take the next step in their development, according to Becker.

“It’s interesting and to the point where I would like to say to Inglis that maybe we should be having this sale at this same time every year,” Becker said.

“And that’s for a couple of reasons. These horses are ready to go to the breakers and are twice the horses they were back in April. And a lot of the punters who bought yearlings at the earlier sales are ready to come back into the market.

“They have had a bit more time to try to syndicate some of those horses and to sell shares and can reload and re-evaluate whether they can come back into the market.”

Becker said the yearlings would obviously be a bit woollier but are now different horses.

“A couple of these colts we’ve got you wouldn’t know they were the same horses that would have been hard to sell in April but will now be very saleable,’’ he said.

“They just have developed and thickened and grown because the Victorian horses as a rule don’t grow much before March. You go to the Gold Coast and you see whopping big yearlings and you come home and you think what have I done wrong, but by March you are starting to catch up.

“But by now they have certainly caught up.”

Becker said there was a good mixture of yearlings in their draft of 14.

He said a big Rich Enuff filly, out of Honey Pie, would have been difficult to sell in April when the sire was yet to record a winner.

“She was tall and narrow and has since developed and now Rich Enuff has had six or seven winners, so it gives some perspective as it has helped the pedigree,” Becker said.

“I think out nicest colt is the Super One colt and he has kicked on and the sire has since had six or seven winners too. And the mare (Arazi Belle) has a colt (Art Major) by Artie Schiller come out and has been placed in three of his first four starts and looks to be a pretty promising and she needed that bit of upgrade.

“And this colt has got a nostril on him like no young horse I’ve seen. He won’t lack for air this boy.”

Becker says some good things can happen with time as he has seen with his Rubick colt.

“The Rubick colt was going to be too small and would have been dodged back in April but he has thickened up and he has grown into a lovely little colt,” he said.

Becker said it was still going to be a buyer’s market and everyone had to meet that market.

“You can’t be looking at them doubling their service fee or reserve,” he said.

“But you look at our Puissance de Lune colt. He went to Adelaide (was passed in) and was very immature but he came out of the paddock. He is still a time job but is taller and he has got a bum on him.

“He is still going to need time but that’s what his pedigree page says he is going to do any way.”

Becker said that with stock market crash, half the people got on a plane and left Adelaide, although he said the market at the top end held up all right.

He said the sale got very picky, but they knew the colt would continue to improve but still needs another 12 or 18 months.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone and we had a dozen foals to go but we pulled those and we just have to sell these yearlings to make room for our foals,” he said.

“The difference in these colts has been, as I said, amazing and this extra time has given them the chance to have pedigree updates and improve physically and have more development.

“Hopefully some of these trainers who have bought yearlings earlier have had a bit of a chance to pass those on and now restock.

“It will be a buyer’s market, I’m sure. There will be great value.”

Becker said they had three or four yearlings to sell and the balance were their clients.

“A number of our clients have yearlings and are going to be hit with service fees, for live foal service fees from last year, in the next couple of months and they need to get some money back and just need to meet the market to continue to trade,” Becker said.

And Becker said they had a bit of luck with a Casino Prince filly, out of Scarletta, which won on debut at Albury last week.

Although he said he knows Casino Princes aren’t the flavour of the month, they had kept a share in a two year-old filly which is trained by Mitch Beer at Albury.

The filly, Sunrise Ruby, ran against the older horses and Becker said she bolted in.

And with her full brother part of the Stockwell draft, Beer didn’t want to risk the colt going to the Gold Sale and rang the next day after the filly’s win to buy him.

“He was probably going to try to come down and buy him anyway because he has an opinion of the filly, but he said he just had to grab the colt to syndicate,” Becker said.

“It helped the lady out who had the colt because she is up for several service fees.”

Becker said from what they breed, they could not afford to race the colts but with the fillies they will try to lease them if they like the family and hopefully get them back as a broodmare.

He said the Rubick colt, out of Indy Rock, wasn’t big, but big enough and still had growing to do.

Becker said his Bobby’s Kitten colt out of Soft Dollar, was another one that had gone to the Adelaide Yearling Sale (also passed in) but was tiny but has benefited with an extra few months to develop and lengthen.

“And Bobby’s Kitten (served 42 mares in his one Australian season in 2017) never came back because he couldn’t get the mares,” he said.

“He has come up with a couple of pretty promising two year-olds in England this year from his first crop. He was a Breeders’ Cup winner of some note and was no slouch. And the Kitten’s Joy line just keeps nailing them.”

It might be a bit of cliché but with horses by several top stallions, Becker believes Stockwell Thoroughbreds at Diggers Rest has something for everyone.

To view the full draft, click here.