For David and Kayley Johnson of Rushton Park, the past year has been one which has been a whirlwind.
The pair celebrated their first Group 1 win as owners of the Will Clarken trained Bella Vella, albeit, they had to watch from afar due to COVID restrictions and then came more stakes success with Tinker McPhee, who they bred and sold and The Art of Flying who is twice stakes placed, sold out of their 2020 Premier draft and Victoria Quay sold out of their 2019 MM Adelaide draft, who won the Group 2 Wakeful and is on track for some autumn Group 1 targets.
Given the duo continue to have graduates from their drafts who goon to be promising gallopers, there is little doubt that this Melbourne Premier sale will be any different.
The draft for the 2021 Melbourne Premier sale, is as Kayley puts it “¾ fillies and ¾ proven.”
“This year our draft is predominantly fillies and mostly by proven sires. We have yearlings by Written Tycoon, Starcraft, Magnus, Frosted, So You Think to name a few,” Kayley said.
The yearlings in the Rushton Park draft, are either Super VOBIS nominated or Super VOBIS eligible, with one exception.
“The year which we bred this crop, we purposely decided to focus on proven stallions as we thought that would be beneficial for us,” Kayley commented.
“The draft is pretty much all VOBIS, which is important as it is such a lucrative scheme with the rewards on offer for those who purchase nominated yearlings,” Kayley said.
With a draft of 18 heading to Oaklands Junction, Kayley was hard pressed to highlight only a few yearlings from her draft, as she felt that the quality of this draft was consistent throughout.
However, Kayley lists her highlights, in no particular order, as follows; lot 403, a Victorian-bred colt by Astern out of a Duporth mare, Tizso Wicked.
The colt has American Group 1 winning galloper, Paynter in his family, who in 2012, was awarded Leading 3YO male on 2021 WTR (Mile).
“Lot 403 is from an international stallion pedigree. His dam is also a stakes place mare and is an athletic colt who is a good size for a first foal,” Kayley commented.
Kayley also made mention that she had two really nice Pride of Dubai fillies in her draft. Catalogued as lot 22 and lot 89, the fillies are out of Evening Glitter and Ice Creme respectively.
Lot 22, by the Rock of Gibraltar mare, Evening Glitter, is the dam of two foals to race for two winners. The filly on offer at Oaklands, also includes Group 1 Australia Stakes winner Tempest Morn, in her family.
The second Pride of Dubai filly, out of the Encosta de Lago mare, Ice Creme, has had one foal to race for one winner.
“They are two really nice Pride of Dubai fillies. Pride of Dubai is doing quite nicely and both fillies have really good pedigrees on them,” Kayley said.
Another filly which Kayley has a high opinion of is lot 223, a daughter of Champion stallion Written Tycoon, out of the Fastnet Rock mare, On A Given Day.
“This filly is by a sire who couldn’t get any hotter, in the Champion Written Tycoon. She is a quality filly, who is sharp and looks to be an early style of filly. I have no doubt that she will go well in the ring and also on the track,” Kayley enthused.
The daughter of Written Tycoon not only is a pretty picture to look at her but also has a pedigree to match, with gallopers such as Snitzel, Hinchinbrook, Viennese, Rathlin in her family.
Another for the ‘pedigree buffs’ as Kayley eagerly mentions, is lot 312, who is a direct descendant of Eight Carat the dam of Cotehele House.
Cotehele House is none other than the dam of Danewin, Commands and Bramshaw.
“This filly definitely should appeal to those who love their pedigrees given the family she is from and that she is also the half-sister to the stakes winner Miss Exfactor,” Kayley commented.
“She is an exceptionally conformed filly, very athletic and she just looks like a runner. She quite possibly is one of the best types we have ever bred,” Kayley said. “Sooboog also started off his carer very nicely with four winners from seven starters.”
Lot 303 of Rushton’s draft is a Shalaa filly out of the stakes-winner, Saigon Tea. She is by the same sire as the Magic Millions 2YO Classic winner Shaquero.
Saigon Tea is out of the Champion 3YO in NZ, Boulevardofdreams, who boasts all her progeny to race, to be winners.
This filly is the half-sister to the promising Saigon who is currently being trained by the Waller stable and is being set for some Autumn carnival stakes races.
“This filly is a well put together filly and with her pedigree, there could be some nice pedigree updates to her in the future,” Kayley said.
After starting off his season with Ingraitiating winning and Cloudy placing in the first stakes race of the 2020/21 season, Frosted is another stallion on everyone’s lips. His progeny have continued to step out on track and show that they appear to be seriously talented horses.
Lot 234 of Rushton Park’s draft is a beautiful filly by the Darley Northwood sire and true to her sire, she is grey.
“She is a very attractive filly and is possibly in our top two or three of our draft as far as types go. She is from a strong family and has a great temperament as well,” Kayley said.
The last lot Kayley highlighted is lot 365, a daughter of More Than Ready. The filly is a ¾ sibling to multiple Group 1 winner Prized Icon.
Champion stallion More Than Ready has shuttled to Australia for years, but last year it was announced that he would not return, which means that this daughter who is on offer at Oaklands is out of his second last crop.
“This filly is from a good pedigree and would make the perfect residual style filly for those who are interested in them. She is a tidy filly and very typical of her sire, and we have no doubt that she will do well,” Kayley commented.
With Rushton Park’s last year of success and their proven track record, there is no doubt that yearlings who graduate their 2021 draft will continue to follow in their footsteps.
To view their entire draft click here.