Issue 5, April 2009
A yearling goes under the hammer at the Easter sale.
Australia in good shape John Ferguson, the bloodstock and racing supremo for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s‚ Godolphin and Darley, made some telling points about the shape of Australian racing while here for the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Ferguson, speaking to Bruce Clark on TVN, said he expected the Australian racing and breeding industry to come out of the financial recession before the rest of the world. “This sale (Inglis Easter) has held up slightly better than the other major sales around the world,” he said. “That’s because the infrastructure behind racing in Australia is the best in the world. There is a better racing program, and there are more reasons to buy a racehorse in Australia than in Europe. The racing here is great and the prizemoney across the board
is better than anywhere.” That is a strong endorsement for the way racing is run in Australia, and a strong endorsement of our breeding industry that now attracts the world’s best racehorses immediately they are retired to stud. Importantly, what Ferguson is alluding to is the fact that anyone can buy or breed and race a horse in Australia, whereas in Europe and North America, racing is for the elite. If the big spenders of the northern hemisphere are suffering in the recession, there is no strong base to hold up the racing industry as there is in Australia. Ferguson said he expected stud fees to drop in the wake of the 2009 yearling sale results. “Stud fees have to follow the market, because the industry has to have a healthy market.” The Englishman said it was a great thrill to be at Rosehill
last Saturday to lead in two Group 1 winners for Darley – Neroli in the Queen Of The Turf and Purple in the Storm Queen Stakes. “We’d been hitting the cross-bar for a while, so it was great to get those Group 1 wins. I texted Sheikh Mohammed straight after the races, and he rang me about a quarter of an hour later. He was very thrilled.” Ferguson said he expected Sheikh Mohammed to be in Australia sooner than later to check out the Darley operation. Ferguson was the leading buyer, taking home 15 yearlings for a total spend of $7.185 million, but he had plenty of opposition from Nathan Tinkler, whose Patinack Farm signed for 17 yearlings for $5.915 million. The Inglis Easter Yearling Sale average was $241,355, down 36 per cent on 2008. DANNY POWER
The Group 1 successes of the Darley-owned Purple (Storm Queen Stakes) and Neroli (Queen Of The Turf Stakes) at Rosehill last Saturday only help to emphasise the wonderful contribution the Ingham brothers – Bob and the late Jack – have made to the Australian racing and breeding scene, and also the value of the asset that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum acquired when he paid the reported $500 million (maybe more) for the Ingham’s Woodland Stud operation early last year. Both Purple (b f 2005, Commands-Lady Viola, by Zabeel (NZ)) and Neroli (b m 2003, Viscount-Dalquarren, by Canny Lad) are Woodlands bred – Neroli’s granddam Ivy Cottage (ch m 1988, Star Way (GB)Country Charm (IRE), by Northfields (USA)) was bought by the Inghams as a yearling. Both the close relations Commands (by Danehill (USA)) and Viscount (by Quest For Fame (GB)) – out of the famous Eight Carat family – were raced and stood at Woodlands. Neroli provided Viscount with his first Group 1 winner. The stallion wasn’t able to hold his place on the Darley roster and was sold to stand at Neville Duncan’s Oakland Park, near Busselton, WA, where he covered 37 mares in 2008. Duncan, who bred the great Northerly, may have hit the jackpot again, as Viscount’s outstanding son Rocket Man (b g 2005, from Macrosa (NZ), by Mr. McGinty (NZ)) is a sprint sensation in Singapore, where he is unbeaten in six starts.
Broodmare sale The William Inglis & Son Easter Broodmare Sale – the black book – will begin at the Newmarket saleyards on Tuesday. The catalogue (including supplementary entries) has 682 fillies and mares for sale, and all the talk is of bargain prices.
WORDS BY DANNY POWER
‘Freedy’ excited Lee Freedman knows a good yearling when he sees one – his training career was launched by a horse he specked as a yearling, the great Super Impose, who cost the young Freedman $40,000 at the 1986 Trentham Yearling Sales. Freedman was so taken by one yearling at the Inglis Easter Sale, that he refused to tell his closest friends the lot number. He put together a syndicate of owners before the horse went through the ring, and without telling the prospective owners what yearling he was chasing. All was revealed when Freedman bid $425,000 to secure lot 187, a magnificent bay colt by first season sire Stratum (by Redoutes’s Choice) from the Blevic Stakes-winning mare Red Labelle. Freedman was so taken by the powerful, athletic colt, that he said the youngster was the best yearling he had bought since he paid $140,000 for Encosta De Lago (b h 1993, Fairy King (USA)-Shoal Creek, by Star Way (GB)) at the same sale in 1995. Freedman was stiff not to get the youngster cheaper. Only two days earlier, Blevic (by Scenic) stamped his future as a broodmare sire when his daughter Nancy Eleanor produced the Group 1 Golden Slipper winner Phelan Ready (by More Than Ready)
‘Ready’ rising Most of the yearling sale talk was of stallions’ fees “heading south” for 2009 in the wake of the economic crisis and falling yearling sale. But one stallion “heading north” with his fee is More Than Ready (b or br h 1997, Southern Halo (USA)Woodman’s Girl (USA), by
Lee Freedman rates this $425,000 Stratum colt as good as Encosta De Lago.
Woodman (USA)). More Than Ready, who stood in 2008 at Vinery Stud for a fee of $110,000 (inc. GST), has sired the Magic Millions and Golden Slipper double in the past two years, making him the hottest sire in the country. While Vinery could easily double the fee, it is more likely they will hike him to $165,000 (inc. GST), and limit his book.
Tough decision Kitchwin Hills, a young breeding nursery near Scone that is on the rise, had a big weekend. There was much celebration in the camp when Phelan Ready – bred, raised and sold as a yearling by Kitchwin – won the Group 1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill. Kitchwin Hills’ stud manager Mick Malone said he made the “ballsiest” decision of his life when Kitchwin presented lot 133, a filly by Tale Of The Cat (USA) from November Song (by Zabeel (NZ)) on the second day of the Inglis sale. “She was a magnificent filly who deserved to bring $300,000, and I told Grahame (Mapp, the owner) that he should be firm on his reserve, and to take her home if she doesn’t bring the money,”
Malone said. Indeed it was a tough decision, because the sale was down 39 per cent on average the previous day. But Malone was right on the mark, and the Pendant Equine Syndicate, from Victoria, bought the filly at the reserve price.
Pinhook results Last week in The Breed, I named the 14 yearlings to go through the Inglis sale that had been “pinhooked” – bought for resale – at the 2008 weanling sales. Of the 14, five were passed in without reaching their reserve and five sold for a profit on their weanling price – the top priced paid for a pinhook weanling was $500,000 for the Encosta De LagoCharmview colt offered by Yarraman Park. The chestnut sold for $600,000 to the Hong Kong-based Surefire Limited. Yarraman produced the best result by converting $175,000 to $360,000 for a filly by Encosta De Lago from Orderly, bought by David Fuller of NSW. The biggest “knock” came for the owners of the Fastnet Rock-Blue Music colt, offered by Reavill Farm. The youngster cost $285,000 as a weanling and was bought by William Inglis, as agent, for $170,000.
Tony Santic again has flagged his intention to mate his famous mare Makybe Diva to his young Makybe-based stallion Purrealist (ch h 2004, Tale Of The Cat (USA)Surrealist, by Kenny’s Best Pal). Santic made the comment last year when Purrealist stood his first season, but he was on the promotional trail and nobody took the tuna fisherman seriously. Certainly, attention was drawn to Purrealist who finished up covering 118 mares at a fee of $8800. Makybe Diva eventually was covered by Encosta De Lago and she is safely in foal. Her first foal, a cracking colt by Galileo, sold for $1.5 million last Sunday at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
Lonhro’s treble Kerrin McEvoy can’t remember how many times he has ridden a treble, but Wednesday’s success in the first three races at Canterbury held special significance. Not only are the winners (Trim, Mortal and Beaded) owned by Darley and trained by Peter Snowden, they also are progeny of Lonhro (Br h 1998, Octagonal (NZ)-Shadea, by Straight Strike (USA)), who has sired 43 individual winners. Lonhro, a winner of 11 Group 1 races, stood at Darley last season for $55,000 (inc. GST) and he was popular in covering 154 mares. His fee will drop this season at a time when his stocks are on the rise.