Above: Lot 584 Toronado x Don Perion colt

The champagne corks could be popping again for Stonehouse Thoroughbreds’ Ryan Arnel and his client Andrew McDonald at the Melbourne Premier Yearling sale when a colt they’re selling by the highly sought after Toronado goes through the ring. 

The colt is out of Dom Perion and his full brother to 2018 VRC Group 1 Derby winner Extra Brut (Domesday) that fetched $380,000 at last year’s sale. 

Purchased by Melbourne Cup winning trainer Danny O’Brien for stable client John Wheeler, the price was nearly double the $200,000 Arnel expected. 

Arnel said the Toronado colt – Lot 584  is the one to watch. 

Obviously his brother made good money last year being the full brother to Extra Brut,” Arnel said 

“This bloke is very much in the mould to Toronado more than the Domesday. But he has got that Hong Kong influence with Extra Brut and obviously Toronado is doing everything right over there with Master Montaro and he had had an extra couple of stakes winners on the weekend. 

So he is jumping head in leaps and bounds and this guy is just doing everything right himself as a horse.” 

Arnel said the Hong Kong owners were keen to get the progeny of a stallion that they know works in their country. 

“I am very impressed with them,’’ he said. 

Extra Brut was sold to Hong Kong but in 2019 died in an accident after having one race. 

The Toronado colt is one of 25 yearlings being offered by Stonehouse. 

With 25, it’s a massive draft,” he said. 

“It’s a very widespread draft this year and I might be going the early crow but I’d like think it’s the best draft we’ve ever taken to the premier sale. 

“Just the vastness of them all I guess. We’ve got stallions by all sorts. 

I couldn’t be sure if we’ve got a sale topper amongst them, but we have just got some seriously nice quality horses and all very well placed. 

“Our focus is Melbourne Premier and that’s our Grand Final so we always focus on stallions and types that are going to suit the Victorian trainers and the Victorian market more but obviously we’ve sold to Hong Kong, Asian based buyers, New Zealand, New South Welshmen and all over Australia. 

Arnel said Stonehouse’ultimate aim was trying to place their horses with Victorian trainers so they could work together.  

And if it hadn’t been for two withdrawals – Lots 106 and 171 – Stonehouse would have had its biggest Melbourne Premier draft. 

Arnel said they had six yearlings from Waikato Stud in New Zealand – Lots 56, 170, 239, 348, 399, and 549. 

“They are all Waikato owned and obviously came over and due to the Covid pandemic they needed to get them out of their country  and get them exposed over here,” he said. 

“They are six really nice types and we are very happy with them.” 

Arnel said Stonehouse Thoroughbreds was also the agent for four yearlings from Segenhoe.  

He said two yearlings by Dundeel (NZ) – a colt out of Hannah in a Hurry (Lot 74) and a colt out of Water Kiss (Lot 431) – would demand a lot of attention. 

Arnel said they were happy with their own Capitalist colt (Lot 377) out of Summit Breath. 

“It’s our own and it’s a homebred and it’s exactly the same cross as Profiteer (Inglis Millennium winner) and we purposely identified that and bought a Snitzel mare in foal to Capitalist, believing that would be the ideal cross. 

“And to have Profiteer came out and do what he’s done recently is sort of proof in the pudding that our theory was correct. 

“Every little bit like that helps, especially when they are your own.” 

Stonehouse’s first yearling to face the auctioneer is Lot 11, a filly by Magnus out of Elusive Magic (Elusive Quality x Raami’s Magic) and is a full sister to the Nick Ryan-trained Mahamedeis, a winner of 10 races and nearly $1 million in prize money. 

 And Lot 54, a Sebring colt is out of stakes placed mare, Glenbawn Dame (Shamardal x Starfish). 

“She was nice placed stakes mare,” Arnel said. 

“These are the last by Sebring you’ll ever see.” 

 Arnel is happy to be offering a colt (Lot 761) by Rich Enuff and out of Avenue of Glory (High Chaparral x Croisette). 

He said the young stallion was doing all the right things and getting the winners. 

“He is actually homebred off the farm here and the mare is actually owned by Adam Gay and Glen Barker who bred Swats That off this farm and she obviously ran second in the Coolmore and all going to plan she is definitely on a run toward The Everest this year,” Arnel said. 

“Adam and Glen are good Victorian breeders and are Melbourne based and doing a good job at identifying Victorian stallions and Rich Enuff was one of them.” 

A So You Think colt out of Dawning Light (FR) – Lot 575 – should be attractive to buyers following his sire’s recent successes. 

“The stallion has just had a real big, flashy period in the past two weeks and has come up with another couple of stakes winners,” Arnel said. 

“This colt is a belting type and very much in the mould of his sire and has the head and the body about him and he should go well at the sales. 

“The dam’s sire, Siyouni is obviously doing everything right in France and Europe and he is the big ticket item over there at the moment. It was quite appealing to find a So You Think out of a Siyouni mare and I thought it was a really interesting mating.” 

Arnel believes Lot 605, a colt by Tosen Stardom (JPN), out of Flirty Gertey (NZ), is a good trade prospect. 

“I would like to see him do quite well as he is a nice type and we just need to get the stallion up in lights a bit,” he said. 

Obviously our industry, especially in Australia, we are so strongly dictated to by syndication and probably our number one buyer is syndication whether it’s via a trainer or a syndication company. 

“And at the end of the day they need a product to sell and if people are asking who is Tosen Stardombut they know who Pierro or some others are, it makes it more difficult.” 

The last yearling to go through the sale – and the last in the catalogue – for Stonehouse is Lot 804, a colt by Rubick, out of I Am Invincible mare Dubai Fortress. 

“He has been an interesting stallion and I thought there would have been a lot more demand for them,” he said. 

But the mating itself is what I think is a really impressive one with an I Am Invincible mare over Rubick which I think will cross very well.”