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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.” And they did

with Arrowfield reducing Redoute’s Choice by a wopping 40 per cent to $198k. The Englishman said it was a great thrill to be at Rosehill on April 4 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 racingbreeding operation. Ferguson was the leading buyer, taking home 15 yearlings for a total spend of $7.2 million, but he had plenty of opposition from Nathan Tinkler, who signed for 17 yearlings for $5.9 million. The Inglis Easter Yearling Sale average was $241,355. down 36 per cent on 2008.

It was only a few hours after the imported mare D ese r t Darling went through the Newmarket sales ring at the Inglis Broodmare Sale in Sydney that her son Elkedra finally broke through for his second win in a lowly 0-73 class (1600m) at Kalgoorlie. Desert Darling sold to the bid of New York-based South African Renata Coleman for $35,000 – a price one-tenth of her value when she retired as a racehorse in 1999. Desert Darling is from thoroughbred royalty, being by the champion sire Green Desert (by Danzig) from the champion racemare Habibti (by Habitat). Habibti was the “Sunline” of her generation in Europe, winning three times at Group 1 level – the July Cup, Prix de l’Abbaye and the King’s Stand Stakes. But in the breeding barn, she was a failure, leaving only two winners from 11 foals. What a contradiction she is to her halfsister Eight Carat (by Pieces Of Eight), who retired a maiden after five starts, only to be sold to Cambridge Stud in New Zealand where she left five Group 1 winners, including the great Octagonal, and an equal number of champion grandsons and granddaughters. Desert Darling was sold in foal to Show A Heart (by Brave Warrior). She had visited Zabeel seven times to produce three moderate winners, so to go a Star Kingdom-line stallion was an interesting new direction for the mare, and a reverse on the outstandingly successful DanzigStar Kingdom cross.


‘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 Redoute’s Choice) from the Stakes-winning mare Red Labelle (by Blevic). 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) Woodman’s Girl (USA), by Woodman (USA)).

Pinhook results Recently 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

Lee Freedman rates this $425,000 Stratum colt as good as Encosta De Lago.

reserve and five sold for a profit on their weanling price – the top price paid for a pinhook weanling was $500,000 for the Encosta De Lago-Charmview 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.

Makybe mate 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 week at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. Is Santic tossing out the bait for some more free publicity for Purrealist?

Pentire – next Zamazaan Pentire’s stocks as an important and versatile sire took another step upwards when his son Markus Maximus won last Saturday’s Group 1 WATC Derby (2400m) at Ascot. Two days later, another two sons won the feature jump double at Oakbank – Pentacolo (Great Eastern Steeplechase) and Pentiffic (Yalumba Classic Hurdle). These successes come on the back of Pentire’s brilliant son (King) Mufhasa’s Group 1 autumn sprint double in New Zealand – the Telegraph Stakes (1200m) and the Waikato Sprint (1400m). When Pentire (br h 1992, Be My Guest (USA)-Gull Nook (GB), by Mill Reef (USA)) first began making an impact as a sire, Cranbourne trainer

Robbie Laing, who was one of the first to cotton on to the merits of the New Zealandbased stallion, declared the horse “the next Zamazaan”. Laing trained two of Pentire’s early southern hemisphere Stakes-winners – Group 1 SA Derby and Group 1 Adelaide Cup winner Pantani and the Listed VRC St Leger winner Sir Pentire. Laing has since added Listed Ballarat Cup winner Sentire to his “Pentire List” of successes. Like Zamazaan, Pentire is a small stallion – he is quoted by Rich Hill Stud as standing 15.3 hands at the shoulder . The French-bred Zamazaan (Ch h 1965, Exbury-Toyama, by Tulyar) was a wonderful sire. He produced 58 Stakeswinners (14 at Group 1 level) between 1973 and 1993. He died in 1990 after standing at Carlyle Stud, East Tamaki, near Auckland. His best progeny was Bart Cummings’s great colt Beau Zam who won five Group 1 races, including the 1988 AJC Derby. Interestingly, Laing believes Pentire crosses best with the more precocious mares from Australian sires or families than the dour Kiwi matrons. On Easter Sunday, Laing trained Lakonian (by Pentire from a Centaine mare – same cross as the brilliant Mufhasa) to win at Mornington. In Laing’s case Pantani (exMarscay mare), Sentire (exCentaine mare) and Sir Pentire (from the family of Golden Slipper winner Fairy Walk) proved the point. But also, Pentire’s brilliant Group 1 NZ Derby winning son Xcellent is from a Centro (by Century) mare, the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes winning mare Penny Gem (dam by Marscay’s son Maizcay), the multiple Group winner Pentastic (from a Bellotto mare) and Markus Maxiumus (from a Last Tycoon mare) add to Laing’s theory.

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