Phoenix Broodmare Farm owner and operator Damian Gleeson described it as an excellent result when a filly he breed and sold won The Highway Plate at Randwick on Saturday.
Now with three wins and two seconds and three thirds, London Gal was sold as a weanling when Gleeson and his partner Deb Gifford decided to head in a different direction with the horses they were breeding and selling.
“We sold her as a weanling after changing direction a few years ago and she was in the second crop that we sold,” Gleeson said.
“We started selling them as foals and we got to the age where doing yearlings was a bit difficult and with staff and everything.
“It just suits us, it suits our lifestyle, our business and the model we are now working on and that’s the way we have decided to go.
“It’s like everything, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose – it’s part of the game.”
Gleeson said they average around eight weanlings a year and had sent quite a few of their broodmares to Victorian stallions this year.
London Gal (Sizzling) is out of Gleeson’s broodmare Single In London (Not A Single Doubt x Lady London) which is in foal to Yulong stallion Lucky Vega.
“She hasn’t got a foal on her as we didn’t breed from her last year, but hopefully she does the job going forward with being in foal to Lucky Vega,” Gleeson said.
Her most recent foal, a colt by Widden Stud stallion Written By, was sold to Western Australian trainer Luke Fernie for $40,000 at this year’s Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.
The mare’s first foal by Rubick, which now stands at Swettenham Stud, was sold by Phoenix Broodmare Farm for $85,000 at the 2017 Great Southern Sale and pinhooked by Ampulla Lodge which then sold him for $130,000 to Singapore at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Gleeson said they have eight broodmares on their farm and will again be sending a bunch of weanlings to the Gold Coast.
“It will be quite a nice draft when we get them all together,” he said.
“We don’t spend a lot on mares and it’s hard to buy good mares these days and we just poke along in the middle of the market and find our space in the industry.”
Gleeson revealed they are in the process of relocating to a smaller farm.
“We have bought a smaller farm up north because we are on over 500 acres here and have sold it and we are scaling back down to about 140 acres and just going to do more of our own stuff and have limited clients.
“It’s a bit of a lifestyle change.”
Gleeson has been on the current farm for 23 years and although originally from the Hunter Valley, he has been in Victoria for more than 35 years.
He said with the real estate prices good at the moment, they decided to make the move.
Gleeson said the breeding industry was a challenging business and they had been a big Victorian walk-in farm for a long time.
He said they’ve had years where they have walked in 160 mares and foaled down more than 100 mares.
“It’s time to let the younger generation have a crack here and move on to other things,” he said.