MOUNT Isa trainer Dense Ballard has won first-up honours in the inaugural Outback Racing Showcase series courtesy of 7YO gelding Travel In Style winning the 1350m Showcase Handicap at Julia Creek on Saturday, April 14.
By champion racehorse and sire Lonhro from the unraced Danehill (USA) mare Klairessadane (Ire) – a half-sister to German and Italian Group 1 winner Morshdi and South African Group 3 winner Ilitshe – Travel In Style has now won his last two races in succession at Boulia and Julia Creek to extend his race record to 13 wins and 27 placings from 48 starts.
There’s also great depth to the pedigree as Travel In Style’s grandam Albaraari resulted from the mating of prepotent sire Sadler’s Wells and champion sprinting mare Habibti who won five Group 1 races in England, Ireland and France. Add the famous Eight Carat family and current dual Group 1 winner Humidor to the pedigree and it comes as no surprise that Travel In Style’s yearling half-brother by Magic Albert sold for $200,000 at this year’s Inglis Classic yearling sale.
The Outback Showcase series is part of an inaugural regional state-wide showcase of country for season 2017/18. The initial three series are:
- Roads to Roma;
- Outback Showcase;
- Race to the Reef
The first of the new series, Roads to Roma was held in July last year. The Outback Showcase began at Julia Creek last Saturday and Race to the Reef begins next month. Each series final carries $30,000 prizemoney.
Dates for other Showcase races are:
- April 21, Winton;
- May 5, Barcaldine and Gregory Downs;
- May 26, Mt Isa;
- June 16, Richmond (final).
The Race to the Reef series dates are:
- May 26, Innisfail
- June 11, Cairns
- June 23, Atherton
- June 30, Mackay
- July 7, Oak Park
- July 10, Townsville
- July 21, Townsville (final)
Easter yearling sale is second best in history
THE ‘colt of the year’ from ‘the best family in the southern hemisphere’ was the star of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale held in Sydney from April 9 to 11 which ended as the second-best Easter Sale ever.
The sale – held at Inglis’ new Riverside Stables adjacent to Warwick Farm racetrack – attracted a buying bench gathered from all corners of the globe. Sale highlights were:
• 22 yearlings sold for $1 million or more – up from 17 in 2017.
• Of those, they came from eight different stallions – Snitzel (7), I Am Invincible (5), Fastnet Rock (4), Deep Impact (2), Redoute’s Choice, Frankel, Pierro and Not A Single Doubt (1) – and 18 different individual buyers.
• 71 lots sold for $500,000 or more – up from 64 in 2017.
• Arrowfield Stud was again leading vendor ahead of Coolmore Stud while Yarraman Park, Kia Ora Stud, Highgrove Stud, Tyreel Stud and Fairview Park all enjoyed a 100 percent clearance rate and eclipsed the sale’s overall average.
• Book 1 grossed $116,057,500 – behind only the 2008 Easter Yearling Sale – to average $347,478 at a clearance rate of 84 percent and median of $250,000.
Top sale price was $2.3 million paid for a Fastnet Rock/The Broken Shore colt offered by Arrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW. The buyer was Melbourne trainer Anthony Freedman, who trains the colt’s two sisters in Group 1 winner Shoals and the unraced Tides. “He was the colt of the year. Knowing the family as well as I do I was very confident he was the right type. He gave me the confidence to go to the price,’’ Freedman said.
The colt’s dam The Broken Shore is a daughter of outstanding producer Shantha's Choice and a half-sister to multiple champion Australian sire Redoute's Choice. Apart from Redoute's Choice, The Broken Shore is also a half-sister to Group 1 winners Platinum Scissors and Manhattan Rain, Group 3 winner Sliding Cube and stakes winner Echoes of Heaven.
Leading vendor was Arrowfield by both aggregate ($18,265,000) and average ($589,194) while Arrowfield’s stallion Snitzel was leading sire by aggregate ($21,685,000). Coolmore Stud’s Fastnet Rock was leading sire by average ($554,167) in a close decision over I Am Invincible who averaged $553,030 and Snitzel who averaged $528,902. Shadwell was leading buyer spending $6,140,000, ahead of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Inglis managing director Mark Webster couldn’t have been happier with the Easter results. “To match last year’s average and increase the gross by more than $7 million, it’s a very healthy position to be in,’’ he said.
Queensland influence at Easter sale
INNISPLAIN-based horseman Steve Morley had a major influence at this year’s Australian Easter yearling sale – not as a vendor but as a buyer!
As stud manager of prominent Glenlogan Park Stud, Steve was responsible for managing the stallion careers of some of Australia’s top sires including Show A Heart and Falvelon and preparing yearling drafts for Magic Millions and Inglis yearling sales. However, last year Glenlogan Park took the momentous decision to quit standing stallions and concentrate on producing yearlings and racehorses.
Operating as Steve Morely Bloodstock, Steve led a syndicate including Glenlogan Park, Whitby Bloodstock and RIFA Mustang to pay $1.5 million for a Snitzel colt and first foal of Group 1 winning mare Go Indy Go offered by Kitchwin Hills. Steve also combined with Glenlogan Park to pay $625,000 for a Snitzel/Flamboyance filly offered by Darling Downs-based Highgrove Stud.
Brisbane-based John Foote Bloodstock also bought four yearlings for clients including $750,000 for an Exceed And Excel/Thump colt offered by Cressfield Stud, Scone, and $550,000 for a Japanese-bred colt by Lord Kanaloa from Bariloche bought in conjunction with leading Victorian trainer Darren Weir.
Peachester Lodge, operated by the Huddy family, paid $400,000 for an I Am Invincible/Elegant Fashion filly while Boomer Bloodstock also paid $400,000 for an Olympic Glory (Ire)/Let’s Make Adeal filly.
Top vendor by average was Highgrove Stud, Westbrook, which achieved a 100 per cent clearance rate with five lots averaging $435,000 including a Snitzel/Flamboyance filly which sold for $625,000.
Boonah-based Lucas Bloodstock sold seven yearlings to average $232,857 including two lots at $400,000 each while Aquis Farm, Wonglepong sold 12 yearlings to average $224,583 with a top price of $400,000 for a Pierro/Bellevue colt. Aquis Farm was also an active buyer with several partners paying up to $660,00 for a Fastnet Rock/Norzita (NZ) colt.
Eureka Stud, Cambooya, also sold a colt and a filly by Australia’s leading first season sire (winners) Spirit Of Boom for $150,000 and $100,000 respectively.
Other Queensland vendors were Canning Downs, Gainsborough Lodge, Glenlogan Park and Raheen.