Above: Phil and Patti Campbell
Blue Gum Farm celebrates its 40th Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale at the Oaklands Junction complex this month and along the way Phil Campbell and his team have achieved some remarkable results. These results have reached an even higher level in the past six years.
Campbell laughs when he is asked if he is feeling any pressure about going back-to-back by providing the sale topper in the farm’s draft of 31 yearlings.
He could be forgiven if he says he’s taking it one yearling at a time, but this sale has always been the Euroa farm’s Grand Final.
A Snitzel colt out of a Jestajingle, a three quarter brother to Group winner Jukebox, topped last year’s sale at $725,000 for Blue Gum. The colt was sold to Aquis Farm on behalf of Neville and Susan Duncan’s Oakland Park Stud in Western Australia.
The sale topper, achieved on the first day of the sale, was quickly followed by the top result of the second day when Blue Gum sold a Pierro x Pass the Parcel colt for $575,000.
Campbell is extremely proud of what Blue Gum has achieved and their results in the past six years include being leading vendor by gross three times, second leading vendor by gross twice and third leading vendor by gross once.
Above: 2021 Inglis Parade Day – Staff Photo.
And the last two years – 2019 and 2020 – Blue Gum has been leading vendor.
“It’s been a great effort,” Campbell said.
“We made a conscious effort those six or seven years ago to get back on top of the yearling sale again here in Victoria and I think it is a real credit to the team that we have been able to assemble the right sort of horses to do that. It’s been a lot of fun watching them perform on the race track once they’ve gone through the sale ring.
“We are proud of our record.
“I was there at the very first sale at Oaklands Junction and I have got a funny feeling that was in 1982 and this may even be our 40th anniversary – if those maths are right.”
Campbell said there wouldn’t be another farm that would come within a bull’s roar of Blue Gum’s history with the sale.
“We were there for the first one and we’re still going,’’ he said.
And as for the pressure of perhaps again providing the stale topper, Campbell was philosophical, saying: “We can’t control that. All we can do is work with the group of horses we have assembled and do the best we can with them and then go to the market.
“The last six years at premier have been phenomenal for us.
“We have had a number of on farm inspections recently and we are getting the feeling we have got some nice horses here again this year. The rest will take care of itself.”
Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria have selected several yearlings from Blue Gum’s draft of 31 and asked Campbell to provide his thoughts, starting with Lot 45, a Merchant Navy colt out of Fuhrnatic.
Campbell: “He is a well bred colt being a half to the very smart Fuhryk who won two Group races and was Group 1 placed during a career which saw her amass over $760,000 in stakes.”
“The folks who have been at the farm this week have labelled this fellow as a very good advertisement for Merchant Navy. He is a really nice colt, a nice size with good length and a real presence about him. He has been a constant improver through his prep and continues to trend in a very positive direction.”
Lot 70: Written Tycoon x Gybe colt.
Campbell: “He is a ripper and by the right stallion out of a multiple Stakes winning Fastnet Rock mare who has had two to the races for two winners. This is the first colt from the mare and being by Written from a mare with her credentials, it is really pleasing that we have got the article to match the page. He is a quality Written Tycoon and a very, very nice horse.
Lot 242: Manhattan Rain x Personal Ensign colt.
Campbell: ‘’I am lucky enough to say it every year but Personal Ensign has given us another cracker. Her Manhattan Rain colt is a lovely big loose walking horse with a great frame.
“She is a proven producer with two Group winners already and this colt’s full sister sold really well last year ($310,000) when purchased by Ciaron Maher.
“Manhattan Rain’s first crop conceived here at Blue Gum are now two-year-olds. He has sired a number of Stakes winners including a Golden Slipper winner and there is plenty of Dad about this colt ”
Lot 321: Sebring x Shamalia filly.
Campbell: “Once again Shamalia was a very solid race mare, a Group winner in Sydney by the wonderful stud success Shamardal. This is a really smart filly with a great shoulder and hindquarter on her. She certainly fills the eye and they aren’t making any more by the stallion who has been a great source of quality fillies. This is another who has really blossomed through her prep and she has been well thought of in our pre-sale inspections. Fantastic dual purpose filly.”
Lot 336: Shalaa (IRE) x Sistonic colt.
Campbell: “Another very stylish colt with a terrific page. Well that’s probably an understatement isn’t it?. It is the family being the Black Caviar – Scandinavia family and the stallion has started off brilliantly with a Magic Millions two-year-old winner in his first crop here. The Invincible Spirit sire line has worked well out here through I Am Invincible and now this horse has started off so well.
“Once again I believe we have the type with the pedigree!”
Lot 364: Headwater x Squaw Peak colt.
Campbell: “He a big, strong chestnut and is the first foal out of his dam, who was a winner and Sydney placed mare by Snitzel. He is just a cracking type regardless of being a first foal or not but the fact he is a first foal is a real credit to the mare. I think he is a very good looking rooster who moves well.
Lot 440: All Too Hard x Wichita Woman.
Campbell: “He is a really solid article too. He is a November foal but ever since he was born, he has been physically well ahead of that foaling date. We’ve had a bit of luck with All Too Hard colts. We raised Behemoth from weanling to yearling stage and raised and sold Allibor a couple of years ago who went on to win the Sandown Guineas last spring. This is another really nice All Too Hard colt in that sort of mould.”
Lot 543: Street Boss (USA) x Charleston Dancer
Campbell: “This filly has been a stress free girl from day one. A sound, solid article, she reminds me a bit of September Run as a yearling actually. She is the first foal of a quick Lonhro mare, who is currently in foal to Snitzel, and it is a real speed pedigree. Street Boss has had another terrific season with his two year olds including the flying filly Arcaded who is also out of a Lonhro mare. She’s definitely got credentials this filly.”
Lot 559: Territories (IRE) x Copy.
Campbell: “I have got a lot of time for this colt out of a well related Street Cry mare. He has been physically impressive since day one and just continues to make great progress through his prep. Copy is now two from two as her three-year-old Teofilo filly (Templates) won last start for James Cummings and looks progressive.
“This again is the Invincible Spirit sire line and Street Cry mares have done a wonderful job at stud. He’s just an aristocrat this fellow. A nice big scopey animal, he has got a great head on him, a lovely full eye and I believe he has serious appeal.”
Above: A group of mares and foals galloping at Blue Gum Farm
Campbell commented that he was fortunate to be able to make solid comments on all yearlings in the draft this year.
“Once again, they are a very good group of horses.
“We try to put together the best group of horses we can to take to this sale and as you know it’s our Grand Final. We take the best horses from our farm and our clients that we can to this sale.
“Have we got a $725,000 sale topper – I can’t say that but I think we have got a really, really good bunch of solid horses that should average well.”
Campbell said the right horse and at least two people wanting it created those record prices and says Blue Gum has been lucky enough to get those perfect storms in the past.
To view the full draft click here.