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Lime Country to take charge of Makybe youngsters

4 min read

Greg and Jo Griffin’s bold decision in 2016 to move their thoroughbred operation to Australia has been further vindicated with the announcement of a new partnership. They initially established Lime Country Thoroughbreds in Hawke’s Bay before relocating their progressive operation across the Tasman to the Southern Highlands of New South Wales.

Greg and Jo Griffin

Next year, they will be presenting around 20 yearlings for Tony Santic’s Makybe Stud at major auctions. They will be offered at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January, the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in February and the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale in April.

Under the new arrangement, Makybe’s yearlings will be prepared under the watchful eye of Mikayla Jeffcoat. She has recently been appointed Lime Country’s yearling manager following three years at Newhaven Park.

"Tony consistently breeds top quality horses, including the likes of champion Makybe Diva, and Makybe's 2017 foal crop is no exception." - Jo Griffin.

“We are thrilled to be offering stock on behalf of Tony Santic at the major sales in Queensland and New South Wales,” Jo Griffin said. “Tony consistently breeds top quality horses, including the likes of champion Makybe Diva and Makybe’s 2017 foal crop is no exception.

“We can’t wait for them to arrive at Lime Country in the coming months and we look forward to presenting them to the market.”

Top stallions represented

They will include yearlings by leading commercial stallions Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible), Deep Field (Northern Meteor), Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock), I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit {IRE}), Not A Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice), Olympic Glory (Choisir), Pride Of Dubai (Street Cry {IRE}), Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock), Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice), Vancouver (Medaglia D’Or {USA}), Written Tycoon (Iglesia) and Zoustar (Northern Meteor)

“I guess it shows that the harder you work, the luckier you can get! We are obviously very, very pleased and we’ll be preparing some great stock.”

“Special thanks must also go to Milburn Creek’s Scott Holcombe as he introduced us to Tony and gave us his endorsement. It is an honour to be entrusted with such an elite offering,” Griffin said.

Special thanks must go to Milburn Creek's Scott Holcombe as he introduced us to Tony and gave us his endorsement. It is an honour to be entrusted with such an elite offering - Jo Griffin

Lime Country Thoroughbreds has enjoyed excellent results this year and at the Magic Millions, Classic and Easter Sales in their yearlings averaged well above the sale averages. Their top lost at Easter was a $660,000 Fastnet Rock (Danehill {USA}) colt out of Norzita (NZ) (Thorn Park) and were the fifth leading vendor in Book 1 by median.

Lime Country's top selling Easter colt, by Fastnet Rock out of Norzita

“We are delighted to have teamed up with Lime Country to sell our yearlings at the forthcoming sales in New South Wales and Queensland,” Santic said. “They have a well-earned reputation at the top end of the market and we count ourselves lucky to be able to partner up with them. We have invested heavily in our stock over the last couple of years and are very excited about the yearlings that will be going through the ring under their banner.”

Watching the action at the 2018 Inglis Easter Sale

Plans yet to be confirmed

Breeding plans for the Makybe broodmare band have yet to be confirmed, although the great Makybe Diva (GB) (Desert King {IRE}) is likely to go back to All Too Hard (Casino Prince). “She’s got a Written Tycoon inside and is due to foal in the next couple of days,” Makybe manager Joe Murray said. “She’ll probably go to All Too Hard, we’re hoping for another Divanation.”

The $300,000 yearling Divination, who has a win and a placing from two starts for Tony McEvoy’s stable, is one of four winners produced so far by Makybe Diva, a former Australian Horse of the Year and three-time G1 Melbourne Cup winner.

Divanation, winning at Werribee on debut for Tony McEvoy

“We haven’t locked in contracts for any of our mares yet, but we have taken nominations to Zoustar and we’ll send some of the better mares there,” Murray said. “Gold Anthem, the dam of Starspangledbanner, is one that’s pencilled in.”