Sheamus Mills (centre) with Barry Bowditch (left) and Michael Christian (right) with Volpe Veloce. (Magic Millions)

Bloodstock agent Sheamus Mills (FBAA) is upping sticks to country Victoria this month, relocating his family life from Melbourne to a rural property in the Romsey district. Named ‘Kilcoole Park’, the property is a small holding for Mills, his wife Maelani and the couple’s 7-year-old son Lucas, but big enough to host a few of Mills’ favourite broodmares.

“We’ll have my own mares there, but I’ll still be outsourcing all the hard work like weaning and getting them in foal,” Mills said. “I’ll leave that to the experts. This was very much a lifestyle decision. It’s a beautiful property that has been very well-maintained, and we’ll fence some more of it up as we go along, but we’re not looking to develop it into a working farm at this point.”

Kilcoole Park is shadowed by both Spendthrift Farm and Widden Victoria, and will be an ideal country base for Mills. He has this week shifted his Melbourne bloodstock office from Williamstown to Port Melbourne.

“I think I’ll enjoy having the best of both worlds,” he said. “I’ll still have a business focus in Melbourne, and the vast majority of my clients are Melbourne-based, so I expect I’ll be spending a lot more time in the car.”

Kilcoole Park was named after the village of Kilcoole in County Wicklow which, as most Irish ex-pats will know, was home to the long-running television series ‘Glenroe’. Mills chose the name in memory of his late mother, who passed away only six weeks ago and was a native of Kilcoole.

The Romsey property will initially be home to a collection of Mills’ favourite mares, including Minetti (Star Witness), Could It Be Magic (Exceed And Excel) and Zarpoya (Sepoy).

Zarpoya was stakes-placed on debut in 2016, and is a daughter of an imported Rock Of Gibraltar (Ire) mare. She has a foal on the ground by Russian Revolution, and is due to foal to Capitalist this season.

Minetti, meanwhile, is a daughter of the useful New Zealand mare La Italia (NZ), who won the G2 Wakefield Challenge S. and Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Classique. Minetti was served by Toronado (Ire) last year, and had a filly by Winning Rupert in 2019.

“They’ll move in with us, but they’ll be moved around when they’re foaling,” Mills said. “Rushton Park and Willaroon (Thoroughbreds) do a great job looking after my horses, but these are young mares, and they’ll be with us to give my son a bit of exposure to it all, I’m trying to indoctrinate him as much as I can.”

The family is making the move to Romsey next week, ideal timing for Mills with the sales season almost wrapped up. The bloodstock agent has been prolific this year, paying top dollar – $1.95 million, to be exact – at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for a filly by I Am Invincible from the lovely race-mare Hips Don’t Lie (NZ) (Stravinsky {USA}).

Mills also splashed out at the Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale last month, paying $1.9 million (in partnership) for Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge), $1.6 million for Bonham (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}) and $1.5 million for Rimraam (NZ) (Commands).

Last weekend, his filly Odeum (Written Tycoon) was a market fancy for the G1 Tattersalls’s Tiara at Eagle Farm.

Odeum was second almost a fortnight ago in the G2 Dane Ripper S. behind Brooklyn Hustle.

“We’ve deliberately kept her pretty lightly raced, and mapped out what we want to do for the next 12 months,” Mills said. “We’ll have a couple of runs into The Everest, and then one run into the Magic Millions mares’ race, and then a couple of runs into the All-Star Mile. We are sort of banking on around eight runs as a 4-year-old, which means she would line up as a 5-year-old with 18 starts. We’re mindful of wanting to keep her lightly raced.”

Mills paid $420,000 for Odeum at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in 2018 from the draft of Newhaven Park. The filly was the third foal from the broodmare Movie (Red Ransom) and, as such, is a half-sister to the Listed winner Goodfella (Snitzel).

Movie has a filly on the ground by Zoustar, and is in foal to Capitalist.

Story courtesy of TDN AusNZ.