New name on the scene as Orbis Bloodstock comes to town
Four yearlings snapped up for the operation by Justin Bahen
Orbis Bloodstock takes its name from the Latin word for 'whole world', a fitting moniker for an enterprise based in Hong Kong and buying in Doncaster through the Australian agent Justin Bahen. As such, its investment of £2674,000 for four lots was an apt measure of the increasingly international complexion of the market in a searing start to the Goffs UK Premier Sale on Tuesday.
"This is the first time I've been to Doncaster," said Bahen. "The results this sale has had on the track have been impossible to ignore, so I've just followed the trend by coming here. When you look at the likes of Barney Roy and Harry Angel, your ears prick. Lots of sales around the world get stakes horses, but they're proper Group 1 performers."
Though a new name on the European scene, Orbis has already laid foundations in Australia, with the Listed-winning Snitzel colt Ducimus among its burgeoning southern hemisphere stable. And while it is no secret that domestic prize-money levels trail behind those on offer in Australia, the resale value of horses with form in Britain and Ireland provides an ample draw for an operation that has selling as well as racing on its agenda.
"My client's vision is to build a global brand not only as a buyer, but as an owner that's happy to trade," said Bahen. "If you find a good horse in Europe there's a big exit strategy as you're well rewarded - not so much in prize-money, but if you're happy to sell you can keep the books looking pretty healthy. When it comes to racehorses you have to have an entry, an exit and a culling strategy, and we want to be recognised as traders as well as buyers."
Bahen's purchases were headed by a Dandy Man colt from Ballyhane Stud at £110,000; while he also secured colts by Battle Of Marengo consigned by Aughamore Stud for £65,000; Havana Gold, consigned by Trickledown Stud, for £50,000; and Harbour Watch, offered by Sherbourne Lodge, for £42,000.
"The Dandy Man will be trained by George Scott," he revealed. "The Havana Gold and the Harbour Watch will go to David Simcock. I was told when you come to Doncaster you'll find the athletes, and that suited me perfectly as that's very much how I approach every sale. Whether it's Doncaster or Magic Millions, I look at the horse first and the page second.
"The ones I've got very much fit the brief we have. The Dandy Man looks a really nice up-and-running early two-year-old type, while the other two are really nice, well-balanced horses that look like they'll be late-maturing two-year-old or three-year-olds. I'm really happy with all four of them."
Bahen added that his Premier Sale purchases were not the only new addition to the Orbis stable, as a member of its Australian-based broodmare band, Kiss Moon, had delivered a "cracking" Frankel colt at Yarraman Park in the Hunter Valley in the early hours of the morning.
"I've had a fantastic time in Doncaster," he added. "The catalogue is really strong, the hospitality here has been second to none, it's been a great experience."