First evening sale's good vibe

Good vibrations at first evening session

Sport
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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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QUEENSLAND vendors presented four of the five top lots that sold for $200,000 or more on Day One of the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale on Monday.

The inaugural evening session saw 65 lots grossing more than $4 million to average $62,685 and provide a clearance rate of 75 per cent.

"It's one of the best 'vibed' 2YO sales I've been to. We were unsure whether having the evening session was the right thing to do, but right from the first lot in the ring there was a real buzz," Magic Millions managing director Barry Bowditch said.

"It's a really healthy market, but there's plenty of value all levels for buyers doing their homework. I am pleased for the vendors who have brought quality horses to the sale - they've been rewarded very well tonight," he said.

Top sale price was $210,000 for a colt by Group 2 winner Deep Field from the winning Stratum mare Khamsa prepared by Cameron and Kellie Bond's Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema. New Macau trainer Nicholas Moore - son of former champion jockey and prominent Rosehill trainer Gary Moore - will train the colt for stable client Francis Yip.

Kellie and Cameron Bond, Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, with the top priced lot they sold for $210,000 on Day 1 of the Magic Millions 2YO sale a colt by Deep Field from Khamsa. Picture: Magic Millions

Kellie and Cameron Bond, Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, with the top priced lot they sold for $210,000 on Day 1 of the Magic Millions 2YO sale a colt by Deep Field from Khamsa. Picture: Magic Millions

Four other 2YOs sold for $200,000 during the positive opening session of selling. Aquis Farm Operations, Canungra, sold a Poet's Voice colt from Mairie to Conway Wong, NSW and will head to NSW-based trainer Kristen Buchanan. Hong Kong's Peter Chan also went to $200,000 to buy a Nicconi/Ms Marju colt offered by Victorian-based Baystone Farm.

Infantry's three quarter brother by Tavistock from Nightingale Island presented by Alexia Fraser Bloodstock, Warwick, was sold for the same amount to Gary Ling and the China Recreation Club Syndicate. Completing the quartet of $200,000 sellers was the second last lot in the ring - a Headwater colt from Prison Rules sold by Symphony Lodge, Oakey to China-based buyer Gu Tao.

Excellent strike rate

A COLT named Strike maintained his dam's perfect progeny strike rate when he won Brisbane's first 2YO race of the season at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

When the first yearling by Spirit Of Boom entered this year's Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast as Lot 3, prominent buyers China Horse Club and Newgate Bloodstock teamed together to pay $150,000 for the colt from the Tsuimai mare Passara.

The reason they bought the colt offered by Eureka Stud, Cambooya, was the excellent strike rates of both his sire and dam. A Group 1 winning son of Sequalo, Eureka-based Spirit Of Boom was national champion first season for winners and wins in the 2017/18 racing season and was also Queensland's champion sire last season. With his third crop now early 2YOs, latest sire statistics show Spirit Of Boom has sired 78 winners with total progeny earnings now passing the $6 million mark.

The pedigree page also showed Passara had an excellent strike rate as the dam of four to race for four winners while her dam Freebird (Bluebird) produced six winners from nine to race.

Eureka stud-master Scott McAlpine (right) with Queensland champion sire trophy won by Spirit Of Boom presented by Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association president Basil Nolan. Picture: Racing Queensland

Eureka stud-master Scott McAlpine (right) with Queensland champion sire trophy won by Spirit Of Boom presented by Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association president Basil Nolan. Picture: Racing Queensland

It was fortunate for China Horse Club/Newgate that Passara's colt was catalogued early in the sale. Later that week his full brother Boomsara won the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas having earlier won the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate for 3YOs at Doomben in late December preceded by the inaugural QTIS Jewel for 2YOs in March last year on the Gold Coast.

Now that colt - named Strike and trained by Peter and Paul Snowden in Sydney - has maintained his dam's perfect strike rate by his debut win. In addition to the $42,700 first prize money, Strike also collected a $24,500 QTIS bonus.

Mason's Chance seeking second title

MACKAY galloper Mason's Chance is seeking a second Queensland title after winning the 1470m Bowen Battlers Cup - a qualifying race for the second Country Cups Challenge final.

In fact, there were two Cups held at Bowen's Ben Bolt Park on Saturday. The other was the 1810m Bowen Cup won by Martial Gift - an 8YO gelding by Excellent Art (GB) from the Flying Spur mare Fly Me Home trained by Charters Towers-based Ben Williams.

In winning the inaugural Battle Of The Bush Final (1200m) at Doomben in June last year, Mason's Chance bettered a feat held jointly by the world's former best galloper Winx. Racing Queensland webnews reported the win was Mason's Chance's ninth of the season which surpassed Winx and former West Australian Trap For Fools who each had eight wins for season 2017-2018 before the Battle Of The Bush Final.

Back then Mason's Chance - trained by Olivia Cairns - had an excellent strike rate of nine wins and 15 placings from just 27 starts. It's now taken another 22 starts - peppered with five frustrating placings - over 14 months to record his tenth win, the Bowen Battlers Cup. Mason's Chance began his racing career with Chris Munce in Brisbane before being sent to John Manzelmann at Mackay who won a maiden from 11 starts.

Mason's Chance is from solo foal crop

BY Pressday from the winning Elusive Quality (USA) mare Sheer Opulence, Mason's Chance is one of 14 winners from the only foal crop sired by Group 1 winner Pressday before an untimely death.

Euthanised after succumbing to a tumour on his spleen in January 2013, Pressday was retired to Eliza Park's Queensland operation as a foundation sire in 2012 covering 52 mares after a career highlighted in 2010 by winning Brisbane's two-year-old triple crown - the Group 2 Champagne Classic, Group 2 Sires' Produce Stakes and the Group 1 The TJ Smith Classic. He subsequently won the Group 2 Sandown Guineas before being sent to the US which resulted in a placing at Listed level at Santa Anita before retiring to Eliza Park's Queensland operation.

Foaled in 2005, Sheer Opulence was sold to Mark Pilkington Bloodstock for $100,000 at the 2007 Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast. However, she could only fetch $11,500 two years later when re-offered by Lindsay Park Racing at the 2009 Inglis Great Southern Bloodstock sale at Melbourne after David Hayes trained her for a solitary win at Balaclava in SA plus four placings. She subsequently raced in NSW for one placing from five starts before finally ending up with Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner who coaxed a further placing with her from her final three starts.

Her record as a broodmare is also very sparse with just two foals to race - Mason's Chance and an older half-sibling Mervyndave who raced seven times for a win at Thangool and two placings.

Mt Isa trainer has choices

MT Isa trainer Damien Finter has choices. His 6YO gelding Deadly Choices has now won two qualifying races for this year's Country Cups Challenge and Finter must decide which venue he will represent.

The first qualifying race was the Mt Isa Spring Cup held at Mt Isa on October 5. Now, one week later, he has backed up to win the 1400m Cloncurry Cup to continue a run of four successive victories after a narrow second in the second Battle of the Bush final held at Eagle Farm on June 22 this year.

Waiting on Finter's decision are the connections of Loud Enough and Recalculate - runners-up in the Cloncurry Cup and Mt Isa Spring Cup respectively. Loud Enough (G7 Benicio/Fuji Cee Rocks) is trained by Mt Isa-based Steven Royes while Recalculate (G 8 Testa Rossa/Joffa Rose) is co-owned and trained Mt Isa based George Tipping.

Hunter Island set for second Country Cups final

BARCALINE galloper Hunter Island is Brisbane-bound again after victory in the 1850m Emerald 100 - a Country Cups Challenge qualifying race - held at Emerald on Saturday.

Last year, Hunter Island qualified for the final by winning the 1600m Longreach Cup. Barcaldine trainer Patrick O'Toole tried for a repeat win last month but had to settle for second behind Birdsville Cup winner French Hussler - prepared by fellow Barcaldine trainer Todd Austin - before qualifying two weeks later in the Emerald 100.

Patrick O'Toole is Hunter island's fifth trainer having begun his racing career with Melbourne-based John Sadler who prepared him for wins at Kyneton, Wangaratta and Geelong in Victoria.

Although foaled in New Zealand, Hunter Island was sold at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale in Sydney for $380,000 as the result of his impressive pedigree. He is by champion sire Zabeel from the unraced Rubiton mare Chalonne making him one of seven winners that include Group 2 VRC Sires' Produce Stakes winner Incumbent and dual South African Group 3 winner Royal Chalon. In addition, Chalonne is a three-quarter sister to Group 2 winner and twice Group 1 placed Innovation Girl - dam of Listed winner Chloe In Paris - while her dam Voodoo Gleam is a winning half-sister to Group 1 AJC Doncaster winner Soho Square.

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