Nagambie based breeder Yulong has made a Group 1 addition to its broodmare band as well as a signed on a couple of star new employees as it works toward opening a stallion operation in 2019.
Late last week, it was announced that Star Thoroughbreds had sold Group 1 winning mare Foxplay (Foxwedge) to the fast-growing Yulong.
Yulong has also recruited the highly experienced Brian Gorman as its stud manager while Jamee Ryder, formerly of Musk Creek Farm, will manage yearling operations.
Yulong Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray said the international racing and breeding operation was thrilled with the acquisition of Foxplay to join what is becoming one of Australia’s premier broodmare bands.
“We are continuing to build the quality of Yulong’s broodmare band. Foxplay being a Group 1 winner and high-class race filly, is a wonderful addition. It’s those stakes winning mares that tend to produce the high-quality racehorses we all aspire to breed,” Fairgray said.
Foxplay took all before her as a three-year-old, winning the Group 2 Furious Stakes and Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes in the spring then the Group 2 Phar Lap Stakes, and the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes against the older mares in the autumn.
Returning to racing in the spring of 2017, Foxplay almost achieved ‘the impossible’ by nearly holding out the great Winx in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes at Randwick.
The acquisition matches recent comments by Yulong owner Mr Zhang Yuesheng, “I would like to build a nice band of commercial mares that can be bred to some of the leading stallions in Australia and in turn, to offer their top-quality progeny to the market.”
In addition to Foxplay, other Yulong mares include:
- Group 2 winner Gypsy Diamond
- Extremely, the dam of Blue Diamond winner Extreme Choice
- Dual Group winning mare Gregers
- Veruschka (in foal to Frankel)
- NZ Group 1 winner Soriano.
- Dual Group winner Neena Rock
- Group winner Mamwaazel
Yulong has a broad target of growing its broodmare band to 120 and, as part of this growth, recently purchased Nagambie’s Hillside property. The 210 acre farm will help accommodate the expanded bloodstock operations and complement the 450-acre Limerick Lane property as well as the 170 acre farm at Bayles primarily used for spelling of racehorses.
Hillside will also be host to Yulong’s future stallion operations.
“We are currently in the process of designing a stallion complex and we will be looking at standing a couple of stallions in 2019. Through top quality mares like Foxplay, our broodmare band will support these stallions from the start,” Fairgray said.
Although Fairgray is remaining quiet about the stallions they have in mind, there is no doubt that the resources behind Yulong give it the ability to mix it with the established stallion farms.
It is part of Mr Zhang’s desire to keep top Victorian-based mares in Victoria.
“A large number of mares are sent by Victorian breeders to the Hunter Valley each year to be bred, however, I would like to work towards offering Victorian broodmare owners the opportunity to send their mares to commercial stallions in their home state,” Mr Zhang said recently.
Sam Fairgray said the Nagambie farms were moving ahead full steam as the new breeding season approaches.
“We have been working on our properties, improving the pastures and we now have a strong structure in place,” he said.
“Brian Gorman (formerly with Bellerive and Swettenham) will come on board as our Stud Manager, and Jamee Ryder will take over the management of our yearlings.
“Jamee is a young talent in the industry, having spent time at Musk Creek and gaining further recent experience abroad.”