The Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale again showed that buyers were prepared to meet the market and part with big money for top quality horses.
It was Phil Campbell’s Blue Gum Farm at Euroa that again produced another sales topper and record price paid for a weanling when a Zoustar colt, out of Group 3 winner Vergara (Snippetson), sold for $360,000 on the opening day,
Rushton Park was the top vendor, selling 15 weanlings for a total of $1.242 million.
“It is very gratifying to come with a good draft because a lot of hard yards go on behind the scenes at the farm, and it’s nice to be rewarded for it,” Rushton Park’s Kayley Johnston said.
Rushton Park produced the highest-priced filly of the sale. Bloodstock agent Sheamus Mills paid $225,000 for a filly by Written Tycoon out of Chakvetadze, a mare which Kayley and David Johnston bought for $45,000 in 2018.
The top-priced weanling on the second day of the sale was offered by Makybe at Gnarwarre and sold for $290,000. The colt, by So You Think, is out of the unraced Collins, a full sister to three-time Melbourne Cup winning mare Makybe Diva.
While Campbell is used to achieving record sales results for his many clients, this colt was closer to home as he bred it in partnership with T J S Bloodstock.
The colt is the third foal out of the Anthony Cummings-trained Group 3 Epona Stakes winner Vergara, which Heritage Bloodstock bought for Campbell and T J S Bloodstock for $460,000 at the 2016 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale.
Campbell, who was also the leading vendor and sales topper at this year’s Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, watched on as the opening bid of $250,000 was designed to KO the opposition, before the colt was knocked down to BBT Breeding and Racing who did their bidding over the phone through Inglis bloodstock consultant Harry Bailey.
The underbidder was Rothwell Park’s Scott Irwin who was at Oaklands Junction.
Campbell couldn’t hide his mixture of excitement and relief when the hammer fell.
“It’s a great result, and we’re really rapt for the people back at the farm, especially Wendy Smith, our yearling manager and her team, and also Stuart Murray who has done all the work with the colt down at the sale,” Campbell said.
“He has paraded so well, he has a ripping pedigree and is a ripping style of colt.
“The first emotion is relief because when you have a colt like that, who you think is worth a good quid, you’re always very mindful that you have to get him to the ring in one piece and every time he parades you hope he puts his best foot forward and doesn’t turn anyone off.”
Campbell said he was emotional about the colt because he was such a professional horse.
“I’m really excited to watch him race because he’s got a great brain and a great action,” he said.
“It’s all well and good to sell them for a lot of money, but the most important thing is that they have to go on and race well, and I’m looking forward to him doing that.
Campbell said they had targeted the sale for colt and had spent a lot of money on his mother off the track.
He said they had kept the first two foals out of the mare. Vergara’s first foal, by Tavistock, is an unraced three-year-old gelding named Focus on Fame and is with Ben and J D Hayes. The second foal out of the mare is an unraced two-year-old colt by Written Tycoon, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
The Zoustar colt surpassed the previous Great Southern record of $310,000 for a son of More Than Ready in 2017.
There was plenty of good news for two well-known Victorian breeding operations when Willaroon’s Sally Watkins had her good friends at Rushton Park, David and Kayley Watkins, sell her Deep Field colt for $290,000.
It was well over what Sally had expected for the half-brother of Shebringzit (Sebring x Passarelle) which has been in career-best form in her last three racings, finishing third in the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (2040m) at Morphettville and then finishing fourth in both the Group 1 SA Derby (2500m) and the Group 3 SA Classic (2500m).
“It’s absolutely incredible, I’m thrilled to bits,’’ Watkins said.
“There was a lot of interest in the horse, he had around 32 X-Ray hits, a lot of second and third and fourth lookers, all the big guys were on him, which was great.
“My reserve was $120,000 and with the opening bid being $150,000 – it just blew us all away, so we’re very, very happy.
“To get a result like this is incredible, we’re going to go out tonight and have a big celebration!
“We’re blown away, really, it’s been fabulous, a huge thanks to Inglis for getting the sale happening with everything that’s going on everywhere at the moment.’’
David Johnson agreed that it was a fabulous result.
“He’s a very special colt, he’s a great type vetted well and everyone on the complex loved him,” Johnson said.
“Inspections haven’t stopped since we got here, he had 30 hits on his x-rays which I’ve never had at a sale before.
“It’s for one of our very best friends in Sally Watkins, and she’ll be over the moon with this result.”
The good results continued on the second day of the sale for Rushton Park when bloodstock agent Sheamus Mills paid $225,000 for a bay filly by Written Tycoon, out of Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas winner Chakvetadze, already a producer of four foals and all are winners.
It was an emotional sale for Rangel Park’s Eric Buttler, who has been forced into retirement because of health issues which resulted in the long-time breeder being forced to sell his Euroa property and disperse his bloodstock.
A colt, by Maurice and out Seven Year Itch, offered by Buttler sold for $200,000.
It was Seven Year Itch’s ninth foal and makes the colt a half-brother to stakes winners Ritch Itch (Danerich) and Scratchy Lass (U S Ranger). Cranbourne trainer Shawn Mathrick paid $32,500 for Seven Year Itch through the Inglis Digital Sale in January.
Rangel Park Stud manager Tim Jackson said: “Seven Year Itch has been a really good mare to him, but the farm’s been sold up and Eric’s moving on to greener pastures, so it’s a big result for Eric and I am just happy for him.
“He’s been a good, loyal servant to the racing industry in Victoria, and it is very pleasant to see the result for him.”
Jackson saw Maurice as an upgrade, and the colt’s physical presence was also not lost on buyers.
“Good horses will always sell. Very rarely do you come to a sale, any sale, where (they are missed as) there are too many good judges around,” he said
“They go through the whole lot and anything that’s got any substance to it or a bit of pedigree, they usually spot them.
“If you pay attention, the good ones normally come back and that was the case with this fella.”
The colt is the fifth foal of the unraced Passarelle (Not A Single Doubt x Speedy Bell) which is half-sister to stakes winners Silverstream (Al Maher), Speedy Natalie (Al Maher) and Calanda (Snitzel.
A colt by Darley’s Group 1 winning Impending (Lonhro) stallion, and offered early on the first day by Esker Lodge at Beremboke, sold for $120,000 to New Zealand trader Dave Duley, and will be offered at next year’s New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale draft.
Esker Lodge’s good results continued on the second day when they sold a Toronado colt – Lot 370 – for $210,000. Another Toronado colt – Lot 552 – was sold by Rosemont Stud for $160,000.
Duley has been impressed with Impending’s second crop.
“Last year New Zealanders couldn’t get over from Karaka and see the Impending and this year I’ve managed to see a few of the foals by him, and I’ve been really impressed by his stock,” he said.
“I’ve been to all the weanling sales so far, and we haven’t managed to get anything. So, to get this horse is really good.
“He will certainly get better as he gets older, but he might go a bit earlier. However, we certainly don’t rush them in New Zealand.”
Duley said The Impending foals he’d seen have seen are all great movers and they look athletic, which is what he tries to find.
The So You Think x Collins colt of Makybe which sold to Mitchell Bloodstock could be sold as a yearling.
James Mitchell said a decision on whether to on-sell the colt as a yearling in 2022 or race him would be made in due course.
“He’s a beautiful colt and being by So You Think out of a full sister to Makybe Diva, his pedigree is impossible to fault as well,’’ Mitchell said.
“He’s got so much upside and while he was the one we wanted, we thought we might be able to get him a bit cheaper than that but this sale has again been so strong, like basically every other auction this year, that we had to stretch the budget to get him home.”
Makybe’s Joe Murray described the colt as “a marquee offering’’.
“We knew he was popular, he was always going to be, given he’s out of a full sister to Makybe Diva, and by So You Think, so most people who saw him once came back for a second look at least,’’ Murray said.
“The market was very strong for him straight away, we thought coming here $150,000 would be a good result, $200,000 would have been super, but to get to $290,000 was just fantastic. We honestly couldn’t have been happier with the result.”
The second-best-selling weanling on the final day of the sale was sold to Suman Hedge Bloodstock and Silverdale Farm, who paid $250,000 for a Capitalist x Sebrina colt offered by Widden as agent.
It was a great result for Widden, who were presenting their first Great Southern draft under the Widden Victoria banner since purchasing the Sun Stud property earlier this year.
“Being the first sale as the new brand in Victoria, we wanted to make sure we sold well and to have a horse make $250,000 at Great Southern is just awesome,’’ Widden Victoria’s Phil Marshall said.
In the broodmare section of the sale, Ra Ra Epic – a half-sister to track phenomenon Incentivise – sold to Merricks Station and Group 1 Bloodstock for $200,000.