Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria (TBV) Executive Officer Charmein Bukovec has given a glowing endorsement to the Victorian breeding industry after more 100 million dollars of yearlings were sold over three days at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale at Oaklands.
Bukovec said one of the many highlights of the sale was that the leading six vendors for the Premier session based on aggregate were all Victorian farms – Blue Gum Farm, Rosemont Stud, Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, Supreme Thoroughbreds, Gilgai Farm and Sun Stud.
“For Blue Gum to achieve more than $4.5 million on aggregate is just phenomenal,” she said. “They had a really consistent draft and that obviously showed its value in the ring. While Woodside was leading vendor by aggregate in the Premier session.
“Darren Dance’s Esker Lodge was the leading Victorian vendor by average in the Premier session. Which is a testament to his hard work and the draft he has brought to the sales. In the Showcase session, Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm held the leading Victorian vendor average across three lots.” Bukovec said.
“Shadow Hill Thoroughbreds sold a lot on behalf of Ballarat breeder, Sean Duke for $160,000 in the Showcase session. The filly was knocked down to Ciaron and with her dam having two foals to race and her half-brother already winning twice already, she has found herself a nice stable to call home.” She said.
“The median was up by 20 per cent compared to the year prior and it’s a true testament to the work that Victorian breeders have put into their drafts and horses to really show the buying bench what we are capable of producing and achieving.” She said.
Rosemont Stud topped the final day of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale with $180,000 for a Street Boss (USA) filly, out of Irish Teardrop. The filly from the Fastnet Rock mare includes Preferement in her family.
The stud kicked off the sale on the opening day with a $330,000 result in lot 4 when the Hong Kong Jockey Club secured a Teofilo (IRE) colt out of Zanova (NZ).
Rosemont offered the biggest draft at the sale, the stud’s owner Anthony Mithen said he was pleased with the overall result.
“I would say the nice horses have probably made their overs and the market is really pushing towards that quality product and there is quality prize money and you want the best product to have a go at it.”
Mithen said he was happy to see Mike Moroney buy a Pride of Dubai x Olympic filly for $300,000. Moroney’s brother Paul told Mike it was the best filly he had seen all year and instructed him not to leave the sale complex without her.
Mithen said there had been something of a renaissance for the stud’s Starspangledbanner which was averaging around $150,000 at the sale.
Punters turned breeders, Daniel Gangi and Simon Bilalis, bred Rosemont’s Street Boss (USA)/Teardrop filly and were virtually crying tears of joy when she was sold to Caulfield trainer Clinton McDonald for $180,000. Ciaron Maher was the under bidder.
Gangi said they were expecting around $100,000. “I didn’t expect that but I’ll take it,” Gangi said.
Lauriston Park Thoroughbreds at Corinella sold a Manhattan Rain colt, out of Royal Singer, late in the final session for $175,000 to former jockey Steven King and Flemington trainer Steve Richards.
The colt was bred by long time Lauriston Park client Andrew Goulopoulos who has a farm near Flinders where he has eight broodmares.
“He was a very nice colt who comes from a family that hasn’t performed to the level I would have expected but I think there’s a bit left there,” Goulopoulos said.
“Manhattan Rain had come down as a sire of a Golden Slipper winner and it was hard to pass at the price that he came up at and he seems to always throw a nice type.
“We thought he could go for somewhere between $80,000 and $100,000 and that it might run after that, which he did. He’s gone to a very good judge in Steve Richards and he will have every opportunity.”
“My agent and friend for years Tim Stewart organises all the matings, etc. He, Richard (Scott, farm manager) and I talk about it all the time but Tim is the one who makes the final decision,” he said.
“This year we’ve got a Fastnet Rock out of Maglissa; a Written Tycoon out of Beirut; a Sebring and a couple of Star Witnesses.”
The first yearlings of Sun Stud stallion Palentino were offered and their prices pleased the stud’s sales and nominations manager, Phil Marshall.
“They averaged around $110,000 in book one and we sold a really nice colt for $105,000 in book two which looked to be a relatively tough sale,” Marshall said.
“What we were really happy about is the stables they have gone to. We have got Palentino’s going into stables like David Hayes, Archie Alexander, Ciaron Maher and Henry Dwyer, so we couldn’t be happier with them going into the right stables.
“They are going into good metropolitan stables and if they can go early and if we can get a bit of early success, he is going to be great for Victoria.
“If someone had told us we were going to average $110,000 with Palentino in the premier session, we would have taken that every day of the week.”
Woodside Park Stud’s James Price said they sold 12 from 12 over the first two days and had a big seller on the final day of the three-day sale when a colt by Winning Rupert, out of Call Me Sachi, sold for $175,000 to Hong Kong.
They achieved a 100% clearance rate by selling all 22 horses over the three days.
“We’ve sold everything, it’s been a great week for Woodside and a great week for the Victorian industry overall really,” Price said. “It’s a quality sale all round.”
Winning Rupert is a son of Woodside stallion Written Tycoon whose highest price for a yearling was $400,000 for a colt, out of Miss Promiscuity, which sold on the second day of the sale to Mark Player and Rob Roulston.
Price said they were pleased with the results produced by Woodside stallion Cable Bay who had his first yearlings offered at Melbourne Premier.
He said the Winning Rupert colt was a standout and everyone found him as a really good prospect.
“Cable Bay was really good and had two horses sell for $170,000 each and then $160,000 and $140,000 and they are going to all the right stables and for the breeders and there is a really positive return on investment,” Price said.
“If he does what he has done in Europe as champion first year sire and with all the mares being matched here on breeding, we are really excited for the second half of this year into next year.”
Price said that Written Tycoon’s result had been up to standard and he couldn’t be doing any more on the track with his progeny, including recent Oakleigh Plate winner Pippie which was bred by Lauriston Park Thoroughbred Farm at Corinella.
Swettenham Stud’s Adam Sangster was full of praise for the results achieved by stallion Toronado (IRE) whose progeny continued to be well sought after.
He said breeders who had supported the stallion in his third year had achieved an enormous return.
“Third year can be risky year to go to a stallion, but you can still get the best returns because you are hoping that first two crops off the stallion has done particularly well and Toronado has proved that,” Sangster said.
“There were only 63 foals in his third year and the yearlings which are being sold now, basically in Inglis Premier, have averaged $175,000 and that’s just under nine times his service fee. Breeders’ return on investment is enormous and the market has really warmed to him. Last year the top five Toronado lots were bought by Hong Kong and they have come back again and bought our top lot through Collingrove.”
Swettenham Stud’s Toronado x Noetic colt was sold to Hong Kong for $180, 000, while Caulfield trainer Henry Dwyer paid $200,000 for a Toronado x No Vanity colt offered by Bucklee Farm, Greta West. Cranbourne trainer Robbie Griffiths paid $150,000 for a Toronado colt, out of Space Trip, offered by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds.
Musk Creek’s Scott Williamson said it had been a solid sale but didn’t believe too many yearlings had made overs.
“We have hit a few reserves spot on and we have been happy enough with the results overall,” Williamson said.
“We sold four from five and there seemed to be a lot of inspections this year which we were pleased about.
“I don’t know whether there have been other factors which have held the market back this year, but you have got to be happy with selling four from five.
“Very much so this year we have noticed that you literally have got to be able to tick every box on the horses, whether it’s physical, x-rays and everything like that. It has to be a hot stallion and the buyer is becoming a lot fussier and picking the eyes out of the whole catalogue.”
He said with the selection of stallions and matings done two years out from the sale, it was a case of being a bit like Nostradamus to predict the future.
Bukovec said there had been many great stories to emerge from each day of the sale and all were linked to the growing Victorian breeding industry. She said Blue Gum Farm, Esker Lodge and Christine Charles were just a few of the feel- good stories.
She believes Victorian breeders will continue to step up and bring the best horses to Melbourne Premier and other sales in the state.
“I know we will just keep getting better because of our commitment to the Victorian breeding industry,” she said. “There is great momentum in Victoria and it continues to gain traction and this is only the beginning.”