Above: Lot 584 Toronado x Dom Perion sold for $460,000 at Melbourne Premier
A filly bred by Gilgai Farm’s Rick Jamieson and sold for $400,000 on the final day of the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale has been confidently placed in the same bracket as champion mares Black Caviar and Jameka.
Gilgai Farm’s stud manager Kelly Skillecorn rated the filly by Choisir, out of Group 1 New Zealand Thousand Guineas winner Costa Viva, in the top three of any filly they’ve offered at the sales.
“We’ve bought some good fillies here and I would rate her top three and I mean we’ve sold Black Caviar and Jameka here, so hopefully she lives up to them,” Skillecorn said.
After some spirited bidding by Rosemont Stud’s Anthony Mithen, the filly was finally knocked down to powerful Sydney-based trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
And Skillecorn said the Choisir filly was as good as the Gilgai Farm had offered at Melbourne Premier.
“The last good horse I bought here that I was bragging about was Masked Crusader (Toronado x She’s Got Gears). I was certain he was going to be a good horse. And I am certain she is going to be a good horse.”
Skillecorn said the filly had always been a queen.
“She has been the leader of the mob,” he said.
“She has never had a sick day, she has just thrived the whole time. Gai quizzed me about her, and I half suspected she was on her after asking all those questions.”
Skillecorn said there was no better judge than Waterhouse.
“I am just glad she has gone to a good home, that’s all I worry about,” Skillecorn said.
“She was a popular filly, and two very good judges were on her. Rosemont were having a good crack and Gai is obviously one of the best.
“The cross is 25 per cent stakes winners to runners and I wouldn’t imagine he (Choisir) hasn’t bred too many Group 1 winning mares by Encosta so it’s the first foal Rick has bred out of the mare.
“We bought her in foal carrying a Pride of Dubai and was bought to go to Choisir. He was a proper mating in Rick’s mind, and we’ve got a colt foal at foot out of her to follow by Choisir as well.
“She is not in foal this year and is going to Ole Kirk next season. He rested her. He breeds four foals in a row. If he gets four foals in a row, then he gives them a year off. She is going to Ole Kirk this year.
“She is a gorgeous filly.
Bott and Waterhouse’s sales and bloodstock manager Claudia Miller said they rated the daughter of Choisir as the standout filly of the sale.
She described Jamieson as an incredible breeder and said the Choisir and Encosta de Lago cross was exceptional.
“She was a no brainer for us,” Miller said.
“She was on our radar from day one.
“As I said the cross was exceptional and we were prepared to go strong for her.”
Miller said with the dam being a Thousand Guineas winner, the filly would probably take a bit of time.
And it wasn’t only the big breeders who had success at the sale.
Blue Gum Farm, which provided the sale topper with $1.1 million for a Written Tycoon colt out of Gybe, had the highest aggregate with $5.205 million at an average of $208,200. They sold 25 of their 29 yearlings.
Yulong continued its growth in the breeding industry by finishing the premier session with an aggregate of $3.360 million at an average of $210,000. They sold 16 of the 20 yearlings they offered.
With a top lot of $700,000, one of $520,000 and two of $300,000 – it’s also been a successful sale for Yulong.
“It was a great lead up and we are really pleased with the way the sale has gone,” Yulong’s chief operating officer Sam Fairgray said.
“We had a great result with the Shalaa colt ($700,000). Coming into the sale we knew he was a nice colt and as momentum built through the sale there were a lot of good judges on him.
“It’s great that he has gone to a good young trainer in Matt Laurie and then it was nice to follow it up with the Siyouni colt ($520,000) and once again he was very popular.
“Now with the way the global thoroughbred industry is, people recognise these champion stallions that are in the northern hemisphere as well and come down here.
“And this colt will get every chance.’’
And Fairgray said it was pleasing to see a colt by Lord Kanaloa, sold by Kulani Park at Goulburn Weir for Arrowfield Stud, go for $900,000 to Ciaron Maher and Coolmore Stud.
Kulani Park at Goulburn Weir sold all of their nine yearlings at an average of $208,333 and provided the second day sale topper with a Lord Kanaloa colt sold to Ciaron Maher and Coolmore Stud for $900,000.
Glentree Thoroughbreds at Modewarre sold all of their six yearlings and was the leading vendor on average at $330,000.
The Toronado colt that topped the final day of the sale is a half-brother to Group 1 Victoria Derby winner Extra Brut (Domesday x Dom Perion) whose full brother sold for $380,000 at last year’s sale and is in training with Danny O’Brien. Flemington trainer Mike Moroney paid $460,000 for the colt and it was the highest price paid for a yearling by the shuttle stallion. Offered by Ryan Arnel’s Stonehouse Thoroughbreds at Eddington, for breeder Andrew McDonald, the colt had plenty of admirers in the lead-up to the auction.
“When we bring horses down here, we are a Victorian farm and we bring our best to Melbourne Premier and the biggest market we want to try and support is the Victorian trainers. So we are always trying to present horses for Victorian trainers.
“For the horse to go to Ballymore to Mike Moroney and Paul Moroney Bloodstock is the perfect result for us. We couldn’t think of anywhere better for that horse to be.
“The result for the client and the farm couldn’t be better. We always knew it would be strong, you never know with those horses at what level.”
Arnel said the colt, which had a modest $200,000 reserve, was a beautiful type but slightly different to his two his brothers in that he had a lot of Toronado about him and was probably more of a Guineas horse.
“Whereas Extra Brut, was obviously a Derby horse, and his full brother is looking that way too,” he said.
“This horse looks more like a Guineas style of horse and more a miler and I’ve never had a horse on our farm that could walk like that. He is just a machine with his action and is temperament was A-plus and that’s a massive thing for us, horses with temperament.
“Eight days here and over 160 individual parades and he has just handled them like an absolute gentleman.”
The colt was born on his owner Andrew McDonald’s small farm at Congupna, near Shepparton, and prepped at Stonehouse.
“It’s a great result for him and he bought the mare in foal to Domesday originally a few years ago now, I think it was six grand, off the top of my head, for that.
“He foals him down and he comes over to us every year and we start his handling process and then we go through the preparation with him and doing the growing up process with him.”
Arnel said the demand had been high over the three days of the sale and it was just a case of letting the market dictate the prices.
Moroney, who trains a few Toronados, including the promising Shelby Cobra, said he just loved colt.
“A great walker and a real athletic sort of horse,” he said.
“Obviously a very good family.”
Moroney believes the colt might develop into a late two-year-old and said Toronado was also good at two and trained on at three.
“And that’s the sort of horse I think he is,” Moroney said.
Racing Victoria’s trainer wellbeing liaison officer Kirra Fitzgerald, a psychologist, and firefighter Amanda Miller bought a broodmare for $2700 on an online sale two years ago and sent her to Woodside Park stallion Rich Enuff.
They went into the sale with hopes of at least reaching their $30,000 reserve for a filly out of Jeopardy (Lonhro x Emergency) but walked away with significantly more when the chestnut was knocked down for $85,000.
Fitzgerald said they bought the mare from Queensland and were impressed with her breeding record of having four foals to races and all are winners.
“She had been to average stallions and had produced winners,” she said.
“We thought we’d bring her down and put her to something else and she’d be a chance and just see what we’d get.
“I was stoked to get her at that price and we were really happy to get her. Two of her horses had won over $100,000 each and one had been placed in a listed race and I knew she had a Rich Enuff colt on the ground. She came from Glenlogan Stud and they sent down a photo of her Rich Enuff colt weanling and he was a cracker.”
Fitzgerald has a background in horses, while Miller is quickly becoming a fan. The pair have a property near Rosemont Stud where the filly spent the last couple of weeks of her prep.
And Miller said it was exciting when the filly got past her reserve and then multiple bids came to shoot her past $50,000 before quickly climbing to her selling price.
“We just can’t thank Anthony Mithen and Rosemont enough, they’ve been super supportive and encouraging,” Miller said.
Jeopardy is in foal to Rosemont stallion Nostradamus.
Sun Stud was more than happy with the sale of the first yearling by resident stallion Thronum (Snitzel x Thorsborne).
The first season sire’s colt was sold for $200,000.
Sun Stud’s sales and nominations manager Philip Marshall said the three yearlings they sent through the ring on the second day of the sale all sold.
“We got a great result for the Thronum colt,” he said.
“We knew he was popular, but it exceeded our expectations for him to reach $200,000.
“It was huge for the stallion as you know he hasn’t got many numbers out there. But it goes to show that he throws a great type.
“The colt looks like an early two-year-old type.”
The colt will be trained at Mornington by Jerome Hunter.
Hong Kong buyers Justin Bahen and the William Street Syndicate paid $220,000 for a So You Think colt, out of Cybercyn, which was offered by Bittern breeders, Bombora Downs. They also sold a Toronado x Jolie Madeleine colt for $120,000.
There wasn’t a shortage of buyers as records continued to be smashed.
At the end of premier’s session, Inglis managing director Mark Webster said the gross had been a staggering $63 million and surpassed the previous record of $54 million set in 2017.
“Last year it was $48 million, so compared to last year it is up 30 per cent and it is up 20 per cent on the previous record in 2017 which is quite remarkable,” Webster said.
Webster said with a similar number of horses offered in both of the previous record years, there was quite clearly more demand and was at the top of the market.
“We’re selling double the number of horses over $300,000 compared to last year,” he said.
In a breakdown of horses sold to overseas markets, Webster said 16 went to Hong Kong, four to Singapore and eight to New Zealand – a dramatic drop that meant the domestic market had carried the sale.
Webster said traditionally the sale normally relied on 25 to 30 per cent of the yearlings being sold to overseas buyers, but this had dropped to about five per cent in the current sale.