Above: Lot 211 Merchant Navy x Mytic Medusa colt

For those who know Sally Watkins of Willaroon Thoroughbreds, they know that for her, horses are her life.  

Sally has been involved with horses for many years prior to the establishment of Willaroon Thoroughbreds. 

Originally operating properties on the Peninsula, she decided to make a move to the North East, after falling in love with how peaceful and beautiful the landscape is there. 

Based in Lurg, in Victoria’s North East, she is set on 500 acres of undulating lush green pastures. 

The property also is the birthplace of Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes winner, Nonconformist.  

The 2021 Melbourne Premier sale marks her fourth draft for the sale and her eleventh year at her property. 

Prior to consigning her own drafts, Sally would sell through Millford Thoroughbreds and Rushton Park but initially this was when she had a few horses, this number slowly grew, and she realised she needed to put her own draft together for the sales. 

For the upcoming sale, Sally will bring ten yearlings to Oaklands for sale. The yearlings have all been bred on the farm, and most have spent their entire lives at Sally’s property.  

For Sally, it means that she knows every little thing about them and can inform buyers accordingly. 

“We know them all the way through and if anyone asks me a question, I can answer it and I know exactly how they have been all the way through. Temperaments, their dams and their siblings,” Sally said. 

“This by far is the nicest draft I have had, and they are a very even bunch of horses. I’ve got six lovely colts and four nice fillies,” Sally commented. 

“They are all good looking and well grown. They are also nicely bred and just a very attractive bunch of horses,” Sally commented.  

“You often look at your draft and it’s not always you can say you have such a consistent good-looking bunch of youngsters for sale,” Sally quipped. 

“They are by a mix of proven stallions and first season sires. I have yearlings by So You Think, Lonhro, Merchant Navy, American Pharoah, Al Maher, Territories, Headwater, Zoustar and Toronado,” Sally said. 

When asked to give insights into some of her yearlings, Sally gave insights into the following yearlings. 

“I really like both my Merchant Navy colts-these two are great types,” Sally said. 

The two Merchant Navy colts which Sally refers to are Lot 211 and Lot 451, out of Mystic Medusa and Zanteca respectively. 

Lot 211 is out of a Magic Albert mare, Mystic Medusa who is a five-time winner with three of those in succession and is from the family of stakes winner Most Important. 

The second Merchant Navy is Lot 451, out of a stakes winning Zabeel mare, Zanteca. 

“There is a little bit of Zabeel about him, but he is just a lovely, neat horse and the mare had a lot of ability,” Sally said. 

A colt which Sally gives us insight into, is lot 537, by So You Think out of Casino Card. 

The mare is a six-time winner with two of those at two and is the sister to Group 2 Crystal Mile winner, Hooked. 

“He is a lovely scopey colt and is very typical of his sire. He is leggy and has a beautiful head and front – he is very well grown,” Sally said. 

Another colt which Sally mentions is Lot 112, a Lonhro colt out of Kobe Queen. The colt according to Sally is the “image of his father.” 

“We have sold the progeny of this mare all the way through. Luke Oliver bought her first two foals by Reward For Effort, and her Toronado filly ended up in the stable of Chris Waller, but unfortunately had a fatal accident. Her Frosted colt was retained and is going to be trained by Luke Oliver,” Sally said. 

“He has handled his prep really well and is the image of his father,” Sally said. 

Willaroon Thoroughbreds will be parading at Oaklands Junction from Wednesday morning and you can find the entire draft.