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Monday, 17 December, 2018

'People might think we're crazy' - Amer Abdulaziz on Phoenix's Orby spree

Investment fund dug deep to buy two Galileo fillies for a combined €5.2m

Amer Abdulaziz of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, which spent €3.2 million on the day's sale-topper
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The €3.2 million acquisition of the Galileo sister to Forever Together on Wednesday took Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Goffs Orby Sale spending spree to €5.99m for six lots bought over the two-day auction, having also signed for Alice Springs' sister at €2m on Tuesday.

These may seem punchy numbers for an operation that, as a registered investment fund, ultimately exists to turn a profit for its investors – but Phoenix founder Amer Abdulaziz is adamant that the big-spending approach will still lead to significant returns.

"People might think we're crazy but that's how we roll things over," he said when asked about Phoenix's spending habits. "It's a long-term thing, but people mustn't forget we're also selling some of our best horses, we're not just buying. Dream Tree is an example of that."

Dream Tree, an unbeaten Grade 1-winning daughter of Scat Daddy sourced for $750,000, is due to come under the hammer at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale, where she will be offered through Taylor Made Sales.

"We had a budget for her," Abdulaziz said of the €3.2m Galileo filly out of Green Room. "We stretched it a bit as we had €2.5m for her initially. But Coolmore were keen on getting her, and when you know they're interested in a filly like that you know she has to be top quality, so we decided to go for her."

Abdulaziz went on to explain when the plan was hatched to target the two daughters of Galileo, who cost a combined €5.2m, saying: "A week before the sale we decided we were interested in these two fillies, but that was only on their pages. Coming and looking at the horses, their conformation, the way they walk, the vetting, that's a different ball game.

"We had others on the list [on Wednesday] but we just thought we should forget about the others and focus on her. Horses like that might not come on the market for another ten or 15 years and Galileo is getting old, so yearlings quite like these might never come up for sale again.

"After racing they are going to be the foundation for the broodmare band. You can't go wrong with pedigrees like this – they're top quality."

Phoenix's Orby Sale expenditure follows hot on the heels of a $8.79m spend at the Keeneland September Sale, where the operation signed for 21 lots.

It is not only in the sales ring that the burgeoning outfit has made an impact with noteworthy racecourse results gained through the likes of Advertise – winner of the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes – and Signora Cabello, who landed the Prix Robert Papin and Queen Mary Stakes.


Catch up with all of the day's action with Nancy Sexton's blog here


 

You can't go wrong with pedigrees like this - they're top quality
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