A great insight into Victorian First Season sires written for G1X by Mick Sharkie.


Fiorente and Shamus lead new boys at Premier

If the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale catalogue is any indication of a fight back, the Australian bred stayer may not be dead yet.

The breed for speed mantra has become well established in Australian bloodstock circles but the recent retirement of a number of high class middle-distance and staying stallions to stud, particularly in Victoria, gave hope that strength is still valued by breeders and buyers alike.

So while the stock of the latest batch of first season sires will carry much interest this coming season, it is the progeny of a Melbourne Cup winner and an all the way Cox Plate hero that could provide the biggest surprise.

In fact Fiorente (standing at Sun Stud Victoria) heads the first season sires at Premier with a hefty representation of 29 yearlings – a strong show of confidence in an era when speed dominates the bloodstock landscape.

Victorian First Crop Sires represented at the 2017 Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale

29Fiorente (IRE)Sun Stud
19Fighting SunSun Stud
17ZoustarWoodside Park/Widden
13UnencumberedThree Bridges
7KuroshioDarley Northwood
3WarBlue Gum

Cox Plate winner Shamus Award has the second strongest draft of the new sires at Premier with 23 yearlings, further proof that there may be a tide of sorts building behind stamina and strength in Australia.

“The Fiorentes are certainly a different style of horse to what I suspected, I was surprised,” said Inglis Bloodstock Manager Simon Vivian.

“Being a European bred Melbourne Cup winner you would expect a raw, staying type but he has left a good forward style of horse that is far more complete at yearling stage than many buyers may expect.”

“Of course he is by Monsun and that bloodline is incredibly successful, I think he (Fiorente) is going to get every chance to do well in Australia and these yearlings are a great example of that.”

Carrying on from the demand for progeny of sons of the late German sire sensation Monsun in Europe and Japan, 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente has been well supported since retiring to Sun Stud in Victoria in 2014.

Fiorente had 126 live foals from his first season and nearly a quarter of those will be offered for sale at Melbourne Premier.

On the speed front, new boys on the block Sun Stud’s Fighting Sun (15 yearlings), Epaulette (15), Three Bridges’ Unencumbered (13), and Woodside Park/Widden sire Zoustar (17) have strong books with the latter two stallions looming as sought after first season sires.

“It’s always very interesting to watch how they sort themselves out. Two years ago it was Sepoy, Smart Missile, and So You Think, then last year All Too Hard and Pierro went head to head,” Vivian said.

“I think that Unencumbered will be very popular as a Magic Millions winning two year old. You’d expect a horse like him to leave early precocious types and that is exactly what he has done.”

“Zoustar, well it’s very clear from early inspections that he’s going to one of the most popular first season sires Australia wide. There is a lot of confidence in how the breed will present at the sales.”

The big names will be well found by buyers but Vivian points to English and Irish Derby winner Camelot as a possible smokey.

“Buyers always rally to stallions that they know and that have performed here but Camelot is a very interesting horse,” he said.

“He obviously fits very nicely into that Blue Riband session of the sale but I think buyers will be really pleased by some very nice athletic young horses.”

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