Above: An Inglis Premier triumph as Ole Kirk edges North Pacific in the Golden Rose (Steve Hart)
It might have been in so called enemy territory, but two Victorian bred colts stamped themselves as stallions in waiting when they finished first and second for Team Hawkes in the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
The winner Ole Kirk and runner-up North Pacific were the two sale toppers at last year’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Ole Kirk (Written Tycoon/Naturale) and North Pacific (Brazen Beau/Up In Lights) fought out the finish of the stallion-making Golden Rose, with Ole Kirk just a head in front of his stablemate.
The pair is set to again clash in the Group 1 $2 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
Ole Kirk is now worth an estimated $25 million-plus as a stallion prospect, with North Pacific certainly in the same price bracket.
And there are already offers from prominent studs wanting to secure a piece of the impeccably bred Ole Kirk whose dam Naturale is an unraced sister to the champion mare Black Caviar (Bel Esprit/Helsinge) and a half-sister to All Too Hard (Casino Prince).
Ole Kirk was purchased for $675,000 by Mark Player’s International Thoroughbred Solutions, on behalf of Neil Werrett, when he was offered by Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm which also bred the colt.
While Werrett is the majority owner of Ole Kirk, Jamieson remained in the ownership along with a group of others.
North Pacific was knocked down for $800,000 to Orbis Bloodstock at the 2019 Inglis Premier sale.
Flemington-based Wayne Hawkes said it doesn’t get any better for Inglis to have the two top priced yearlings sold at Melbourne Premier finishing first and second in the big race.
“It’s good for Victoria to have the quinella and it is good for consumer confidence when the top priced yearlings come good,” Hawkes said.
“It’s good when the top priced horses can fight out the biggest three-year-old race in Sydney.
“They were both expensive yearlings so it was good to get a return for the owners.”
Hawkes said both Ole Kirk and North Pacific had great pedigrees and were cracking athletes which was the reason they demanded big prices at the sale.
As far as types go, Hawkes said they were totally different.
“There is nothing the same about both of them and they are just chalk and cheese, those two,” Hawkes said.
“There is nothing remotely the same about both of them and they wouldn’t be in the same mould with anything, to be honest, and they are just so far away in the spectrum that it’s not funny.
“But it takes all types.”
Gilgai’s Kelly Skillecorn said Ole Kirk was always a nice horse.
“He is not a big strong horse or the obvious horse,” Skillecorn said.
“He is a nice enough horse and a good moving horse with a pretty head.”
Skillecorn said that without any Danehill in him, Ole Kirk would be highly sought after by studs and breeders.
“There are not many Danehill free sons of his quality and pedigree to go to stud, if there ever has been,” Skillecorn said.
“I know my boss (Rick Jamieson) isn’t in any hurry to retire him and realises that it’s a family that just gets better and better and you’d hope he’d go again next year.”
Skillecorn said there was no doubt Ole Kirk was the real deal with a great pedigree.
“He is not a big horse so he’ll suit all of those Fastnet Rock, big strong things,” he said.
“We are all looking forward to how he is going to go in the Guineas (1600m at Caulfield on October 10). It would be nice to have a couple of Group 1s on the resume before Christmas.”
Ole Kirk’s dam Naturale is back in foal to Written Tycoon which Skillecorn said was an even bigger result after the colt’s Golden Rose win.
Werrett, who was trackside at Rosehill on Saturday, obviously has an affiliation with the family after racing Black Caviar.
“As soon as I saw the page and I remembered Rick [Jamieson] had told me about this sister to Black Caviar way back, and how unfortunate it couldn’t race,’’ Werrett told Inglis.
“So when it was coming up in Melbourne, I asked the Hawkes’ if they had looked at it and they said it was on their list to buy. I said I want to buy it.
“I have put my sister, Colin Madden and Brett from work into him and Rick stayed in. That makes it more special.
“The breeding and the whole thing that has gone into this race, I can’t believe we have won it.’’
For winning co-trainer Michael Hawkes, finishing first and second
with the two colts was “as good as it gets’’.
“Dad and Wayne saw the colts at the sale, I wasn’t there. It’s a team
effort, I was home here with the horses and they did that particular sale,’’ Hawkes said.
“To go one two with the two highest-priced colts from the Inglis
Melbourne Sale, it means a lot because you know what, it backs your
judgement that when you’re buying these horses, you’re in the right
frame of mind to say this is what we need to do to get the best result. It’s phenomenal.”
Some bookies have installed Ole Kirk as the $5 favourite for the
Caulfield Guineas, while North Pacific has firmed into $9.