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Victoria’s Yulong welcomes the Ballydoyle Internationals

Yulong welcomes internationals

Strengthening Yulong’s racing hand, the Victorian operation has welcomed twenty arrivals from Aidan O’Brien’s famous Ballydoyle, including several stakes-performed European two-year-old’s amongst a group of twenty-six global purchases.

The emerging thoroughbred powerhouse, Yulong Investments has significantly bolstered its Australian racing stocks having already made a substantial splash in Australia over the past two years. They have bought three farms in Victoria for breeding and racing, set up a national racing operation, made significant purchases at the yearling sales, invested in stallions and can boast one of the best broodmare bands in the country. 

Chinese billionaire Yuesheng Zhang shows no signs of letting up heading into 2019, where Yulong will be selling at all the major yearling sales for the first time, while continuing to build its racing empire. 

The acquisition of 20 regally-bred three and four-year-old’s bred on Northern Hemisphere time, from O’Brien is set to make a major impact in Australia with Yulong’s Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray indicating the purchase designed to give the local racing team a boost. 

“It was just a one off, but Mr Zhang is very keen to build his racing team,” Yulong Chief Operating Officer, Sam Fairgray said.

“To be able to go and buy a group of horses like that, there is a large contingent of Galileo’s, there’s a few Scat Daddy’s and so they are by fantastic stallions and they have already been through their preparations.” 

Eleven of the 20 are unraced Northern Hemisphere two-year-old’s, while there is also one unraced three-year-old called Empireofthedragon (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), with a pedigree familiar to Australians, who will be prepared by Lindsay Park Racing.

“He is the first foal from champion mare Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock), who left Australia for Ireland in 2014 after a racing career where she won 10 from 11 starts, including four Group One’s,” Fairgray said.

While the headliner among the raced brigade from Ballydoyle is Land Force (Ire) (No Nay Never {USA}), the winner of the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood in August. 

“He showed remarkable durability in his first campaign, winning three times in eight starts as a two-year-old. Land Force is a half to American Group One winner Photo Call (Ire). He’ll go to Snowden Racing, with the idea that he will further his stakes performance and down the track, he could be a stallion for us at Yulong,” Fairgray said. 

Murillo (Scat Daddy {USA}) is also in training with the Snowden’s and is another colt who has already shown his class, having been stakes-placed twice as a two-year-old, including a third in the 2017 Group 2 Coventry Stakes. He is a half-brother to Matera Sky (USA) (Speightstown {USA}), who was a Group 3 winner in Japan this year. 

While that duo are expected to make a reasonably quick transition to the racetrack, the purchase of 12 colts by Galileo, 10 of them unraced, shows significant long-term planning for Yulong, with Fairgray indicating a desire to make an impact in Australia’s great staying races as well as the feature sprints. 

“A lot of those horses are now at the stage where they are two-year-old’s rising three-year-old Northern Hemisphere, so they are probably a year away from seeing the best of them down here,” he said. 

One of the 4-year-old (SH) Galileo’s is Victory Salute (Ire), a winner of one of five starts and a full brother to Bondi Beach (Ire), who contested two Melbourne Cups for owner Lloyd Williams in Australia. There is also unraced three-year-old, High Chief (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a full brother to 2017 Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap winner Foundry (Ire). 

Lone Soldier (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is a full brother to Kingfisher (Ire), the runner-up in both the Group 1 Irish Derby and the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup, while Memphis (Ire) is a full brother to the Williams-owned Steps (Ire), who beat Johannes Vermeer (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in a Group 3 race in Ireland last year. 

Three of the four horses by Scat Daddy (USA) have already raced, including the earlier mentioned Murillo. 

Mount Tabora (Scat Daddy {USA}) is a last start winner at Listowel, while Giottino’s only start was a fifth in a maiden at the Curragh behind subsequent Group 1 winner Ten Sovereigns (No Nay Never {USA}). 

Fairgray said the spread of different horses at different stages of development, placed in the care of different trainers across Australia will add real depth to the racing team. 

“It’s all going to be acclimatisation and education for them going forward and we can aim them for some of these big races,” Fairgray said. 

“Hopefully, the Scat Daddy’s can go towards the sprint races and from the Galileo’s there will be hopefully a couple of Cups horses.”  (TDN exerts)

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