Anticipation high ahead of Australian Easter Yearling Sale
Strong start expected to day one session at Riverside Stables
The Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, which starts on Monday, will see some of the best-bred horses by some of the world's leading stallions offered at Riverside Stables to a global buying bench who have assembled in Sydney in a bid to secure top-class colts and fillies.
Last year's leading vendor by aggregate, Arrowfield Stud, has some regally bred yearlings among the 51 lots the operation has catalogued, with John Messara believing the farm’s draft provides a range of options for buyers.
"We have got numbers and quality and we have some diversity within the draft with some Japanese-bred horses, some Snitzels, some Redoute's Choices and a very nice-looking Frankel as well," he said. "We have got something for everybody."
Early in the first session on Monday afternoon, Arrowfield Stud will offer two fillies by its reigning champion stallion Snitzel, who is assured of claiming a second general sires title this season with progeny earnings totaling almost A$25 million.
Snitzel sired last month's Golden Slipper winner Estijaab, who was a A$1.7m Easter Yearling Sale purchase last year from the Arrowfield Stud draft, and Messara believes the farm offers two high-quality fillies during Monday's session.
First up is Lot 25, a Snitzel half-sister to the juvenile-winning Tokyo Mile Cup winner Aerolithe.
The filly is the third foal out of the Japanese-bred mare Asterix, who is a half-sister to the dam of Japanese Grade 1 winner Mikki Isle, who shuttles to Arrowfield Stud.
Shortly after Arrowfield Stud will offer another Snitzel filly, Lot 32.
The filly is the third foal out of the unraced Galileo mare Azmiyna, who is a three-parts sister to the stakes-placed Galileo's Star and half-sister to the late Group 1-winning sire Azamour.
Messara marvelled at the remarkable rise of Snitzel and predicted this year's crop of yearlings were the best to be offered to the market.
"You think you reach the summit and you go further," he said. "He is an amazing stallion. I don't think we've seen the best of him yet because we know what is in the belly and on the ground. There is a lot to come."
Snitzel has 64 yearlings catalogued, with him and Yarraman Park Stud-based sire I Am Invincible, who has 41 yearlings catalogued, making up 20 per cent of the catalogue.
Snitzel's champion sire Redoute's Choice, who has been the backbone of Arrowfield Stud for more than a decade, is also well represented in the farm's draft. Selling tomorrow is a brother to South African Group 1 winners Rafeef and 2016-17 champion two-year-old colt in South Africa Mustaaqeem.
Catalogued as Lot 259, the colt is the sixth foal out of joint South African Horse of the Year National Colour (National Assembly).
Rafeef sold at the 2014 sale for A$800,000 to Shadwell Australasia, who also purchased Mustaaqeem two years later for A$1.75m.
"That mare has thrown two Group 1 winners in South Africa and this colt is good looking," Messara said. "Can it happen three times? Well, we are gambling it will. It is for the buyers to judge."
Messara also lauded Redoute’s Choice’s impact as a broodmare sire, with mares by the champion stallion producing Levendi and Ace High, who finished first and second in the Australian Derby at Randwick on Saturday.
Tangled, by Snitzel, ran third in the same race, while Redoute's Choice stallions also sired the trifecta in the TJ Smith Stakes.
"It is an amazing thing and Redoute's Choice has some lovely colts and fillies by him in the sale," he said. "He is getting of an age, so you can’t take him for granted."
Redoute's Choice has 23 yearlings catalogued, while Coolmore Stud-based Fastnet Rock has 39 lots on offer.
Also among the Arrowfield Stud draft is a Fastnet Rock brother to the Anthony Freedman-trained dual Group 1 winner Shoals.
The colt, who is bred in partnership with Jonathan Munz, will be offered as Lot 400.
He is the third foal out of the winning Hussonet mare The Broken Shore, a half-sister to Redoute's Choice and fellow Group 1 winners Platinum Scissors and Manhattan Rain, being out of Shantha's Choice.
The Broken Shore was purchased by Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock for A$1.9m at the 2014 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale from the Teeley Dispersal.
"He is certainly a stallion prospect and a much-admired colt," Messara said of the Fastnet Rock colt. "He does look very much his sister and she is a twice Group 1 winner, which doesn't show in the catalogue because it was printed before she won her second one.
"He is by Fastnet Rock and has everything going for him."
Inglis managing director Mark Webster said expectations were high for a strong sale, the second to be held at the new A$140m Riverside Stables. The first was the record-breaking Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in February.
"We are delighted with the turnout of buyers," said Webster. "There is a good mix locally, but also internationally from places like the US and Hong Kong, the UK and there are some South Africans here as well.
"I have just come back from around the grounds and the good judges tell me that they are delighted with the quality of yearlings.
"We select them but it is not our job to judge them in the end. They have a lot to choose from and there should be a good spread right across the sale."
Among the potential buyers are the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Shadwell's Angus Gold, both yet to buy yearlings in Australia this year, along with Yu Long Investments and prominent buyers from the US.
The first of three days of selling starts at 2pm on Monday.
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