This month’s upcoming Inglis Great Southern Sale will be the 53rd year that Brian McKnight has been a part of preparing yearlings for sale – not that anyone is counting!
Since preparing his first yearling in 1965 for Ed Barty’s Trevensen Park Stud, a colt which sold to Noel Kelly for 500 guineas, Brian has only missed one year.
“It was 1996, the transition year between leaving Trevensen and setting up Oakford,” said Brian. “It’s the only one I’ve missed.”
A family run business headed by Brian and his wife Judy, Oakford Thoroughbred Farm is a picturesque 800 acre boutique farm in Maldon, only a one and half hour drive from Melbourne. It is a multi-functional property that offers quality facilities for all aspects of your horse’s breeding and racing career, including a water walker, floodlit foaling paddocks and a 2100 metre race track. As well as services for agistment, pre-training and rehabilitation, Brian and his son Ashley also train in partnership from the farm.
“Our stable is ticking along nicely,” said Brian. “Hot Seat won at Ballarat last week. He’s a nice handy horse to have and we have a few more heading to the races this week.”
Oakford are presenting five lots in their draft at this month’s Inglis Great Southern Sale, headed by Lot 240, a bay filly by multiple Group 1 winner and Victorian sire, Palentino. Out of the unraced New Zealand mare Leica Gossip (NZ), her family includes Dansino and Group 1 Australasian Oaks winner Lieca Smile.
“She is a nice filly,” said Brian. “Her half-brother Perpetual Crisis, the mare’s first foal, was racing well and helping to build the family profile before he was sold to race in Hong Kong in 2017.”
Lot 246 is a filly by Star Turn. Out of Casino Prince mare Lionel Left Me, the filly is from a family that boasts Good Prince, Virage De Fortune, Railing and Australian Horse of the Year Emancipation.
Woodside Park’s Foxwedge is the sire of lot 363, a filly out of Bianconi (USA) mare Rain Shadow. A half-sister to Moonee Valley Gold Cup winner Rain Gauge, Rain Shadow won 5 races, whilst four of her foals have raced for 2 wins and 2 placings.
The Oakford draft also includes two mares. Lionel Left Me (Casino Prince x Grand Ovation) is listed as lot 672 and currently in foal to Impending while Quirimbas (Street Boss (USA) x Spurani) has produced 8 winning foals to race and is in foal to Thronum (lot 734).
“Both mares have good family backgrounds,” said Brian. “They are young mares and will fit into a number of good breeding programs.”
The Inglis Great Southern Sale runs at Oaklands Junction from 16 – 19 June 2019.