A new promotional video released by Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria outlines the slew of international breeding operators now investing in Victoria.
In recent times, Hong Kong’s Sun Kingdom, the USA’s Spendthrift Farm, Al Shaqab Racing, Qatar Bloodstock, Darley and many others have all either begun their involvement in the Victorian breeding industry or significantly increased it.
“This major international involvement in the Victorian breeding industry is giving great confidence to local breeders,” said James O’Brien, President of Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria.
“Locally based stallions are getting full books, mare coverings by Victorian sires are up year on year, Victorian bred yearlings are topping sales and racehorses raised in Victoria are winning the big races around Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Africa.
“Add to that the growth of the State’s world leading breeding incentive scheme, VOBIS, to a record $20 million-plus this season and the recent launch of the new $1.5 million VOBIS Sires feature race series.
“It is no wonder international operators have now made Victoria a major target for multi-million dollar investments!”
Last year, Spendthrift announced their arrival in Australia through the purchase of Yallambee Stud near Romsey. One of North America’s biggest breeding operators, Spendthrift is sparing nothing when it comes to the infrastructure upgrade of the picturesque farm. They have also been strong on the buying bench in Australian yearling and broodmare sales rings.
In the 2015 breeding season, Victoria’s Swettenham Stud also hosted Toronado and The Wow Signal, two of Al Shaqab Racing’s most exciting and impressive young sires. It was a bold play by this prolific and dynamic Sheikh Joaan (of Qatar) owned breeding and racing operator that was welcomed wholeheartedly by Victorian breeders. Toronado was one of the busiest first season sires in Australasia in 2015.
Sun Kingdom is the owner of Eliza Park International in the Macedon Ranges undertaking major investment in new infrastructure on the stud’s properties following the takeover in recent years. Like Spendthrift, they too have been major buyers at the sales in a hot yearling market.
While Darley, the breeding business of Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has had a presence at Northwood in Victoria for some years, its recent decisions on new stallions has been instructive and welcome. Brazen Beau and Helmet, superstar multiple Group 1 winners, occupy the stallion barn at Northwood and their presence indicates how strongly Darley believes in Victoria as a breeding state.
The 2015 breeding season saw the appearance of one of the world’s very best 3yo sprinters, Zoustar, standing as a sire at Woodside Park at Tylden in Victoria. Shuttling between Woodside Park and NSW in alternative years, Zoustar is part owned by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani’s Qatar Bloodstock. The Qatari operation also has a number of broodmares in Victoria.
And, of course, Victorian breeders now have enormous confidence in their industry and are beefing up their broodmare bands and further upgrading the State’s stallion ranks.
On the eve of the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale at Oaklands Junction complex, James O’Brien said international investment in Victoria and local industry confidence added up to a strong sale.
“I am sure it will be a very competitive sale with buyers from Victoria, Australia and overseas all bidding hard for yearlings throughout the catalogue.
“In fact, many would argue the Melbourne Premier yearlings have never been better in pedigree and type.
“I pay tribute to Inglis, particularly its staff in Victoria, for putting together a great catalogue and hosting an event for our industry to be increasingly proud of,” James said.