Acquisition of Ballydoyle 20 strengthen Yulong's racing hand

6 min read
Yulong's racing contingent in Australia has received a major boost with 20 arrivals from Ballydoyle, including several stakes-performed European 2-year-olds.

Yulong Investments has significantly bolstered its Australian racing stocks with 20 horses from Aidan O'Brien's famous Ballydoyle operation among 26 recent overseas arrivals for the emerging thoroughbred powerhouse.

Yulong has made a substantial splash in Australia over the past two years, buying three farms in Victoria, setting up a national racing operation, spending up big at the yearling sales, investing in stallions and building a broodmare band to over 100.

And Chinese billionaire Yuesheng Zhang shows no signs of letting up heading into 2019, where Yulong will be selling at the major yearling sales for the first time, while continuing to build its racing empire.

Yuesheng Zhang (left) with Kerrin McEvoy after Yulong's slot holder Redzel won The Everest

The acquisition of 20 regally-bred 3 and 4-year-olds (bred on Northern Hemisphere time) from O'Brien is set to make a major impact in Australia with Yulong's Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray indicating the purchase was a one-off initiative designed to give the local racing team a boost.

"It was just a one off but Mr Zhang is very keen to build his racing team." - Yulong Chief Operating Officer, Sam Fairgray

"It was just a one off but Mr Zhang is very keen to build his racing team. To be able to go and buy a group of horses like that, there is a large contingent of Galileos, there's a few Scat Daddys and so they are by fantastic stallions and they have already been through their preparations," Fairgray told TDN AusNZ.

Colts acquired by Yulong from Ballydoyle

Jewel's colt to race in Australia

Eleven of the 20 are unraced Northern Hemisphere 2-year-olds, while there is also one unraced 3-year-old called Empireofthedragon (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) with a pedigree very familiar to Australians.

He is the first foal from champion mare Atlantic Jewel (Fastnet Rock), who left Australia for Ireland in 2014 after a racing career where she won 10 from 11 starts, including four Group 1s.

Empireofthedragon is still spelling after his recent journey but will be prepared at Lindsay Park by David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.

Empireofthedragon is the first foal of champion mare, Atlantic Jewel

Land Force a possible stallion prospect

The headliner among the raced brigade from Ballydoyle is Land Force (Ire) (No Nay Never {USA}), the winner of the G2 Richmond S. at Goodwood in August.

He showed remarkable durability in his first campaign, winning three times in eight starts as a 2-year-old.

Land Force is a half to American Group 1 winner Photo Call (Ire) and Fairgray said Yulong holds particularly high hopes for him as a possible future stallion prospect.

Land Force winning the G2 Richmond S. at Goodwood

"He'll go to Peter (and Paul) Snowden, with the idea that he will further his stakes performance and down the track, he could be a stallion for us at Yulong," Fairgray said.

"Down the track, he could be a stallion for us at Yulong." - Sam Fairgray

Murillo (Scat Daddy {USA}) is also in training with the Snowdens and is another colt who has already shown his class, having been stakes-placed twice as a 2-year-old, including a third in the 2017 G2 Coventry S.

He is a half brother to Matera Sky (USA) (Speightstown {USA}), who was a Group 3 winner in Japan this year.

Cardini (USA) (Magician {Ire}), who is in training at Lindsay Park, also has excellent European 2-year-old credentials and was third in the G2 Champagne S. behind star juvenile Too Darn Hot (Dubawi {Ire}) in September.

An army of Galileos

While that trio are expected to make a reasonably quick transition to the racetrack, the purchase of 12 colts by Galileo, 10 of them unraced, shows significant long-term planning for Yulong, with Fairgray indicating a desire to make an impact in Australia's great staying races as well as the feature sprints.

"A lot of those horses are now at the stage where they are 2-year-olds rising 3-year-old Northern Hemisphere, so they are probably a year away from seeing the best of them down here," he said.


One of the 4-year-old (SH) Galileos is Victory Salute (Ire), a winner of one of five starts and a full brother to Bondi Beach (Ire), who contested two Melbourne Cups for owner Lloyd Williams in Australia.

There is also unraced 3-year-old, High Chief (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a full brother to 2017 G1 Metropolitan Hcp winner Foundry (Ire).

TS Elliot (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is another one of the recent arrivals to hail from a successful family as the full brother to Group 2 winner Wedding Vow (Ire) and Group 3 winners Beacon Rock (Ire) and Bye Bye Baby (Ire).

Lone Soldier (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is a full brother to Kingfisher (Ire), the runner-up in both the G1 Irish Derby and the G1 Ascot Gold Cup, while Memphis (Ire) is a full brother to the Williams-owned Steps (Ire), who beat Johannes Vermeer (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in a Group 3 race in Ireland last year.

Meanwhile, Eaton Place (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is from Australian stakes-winning mare Hillfa (Danehill {USA}), who has already produced Listed winner Walk With Attitude (Hussonet {USA}).

Scat speed arrives

Three of the four horses by Scat Daddy (USA) have already raced, including the earlier mentioned Murillo.

Mount Tabora (Scat Daddy {USA}) is a last start winner at Listowel, while Giottino's only start was a fifth in a maiden at the Curragh behind subsequent Group 1 winner Ten Sovereigns (No Nay Never {USA}).

Scat Daddy

Fairgray said the spread of different horses at different stages of development, placed in the care of different trainers across Australia will add real depth to the racing team.

"It's all going to be acclimatisation and education for them going forward and we can aim them for some of these big races," he said.

"It's all going to be acclimatisation and education for them going forward." - Sam Fairgray

"Hopefully, the Scat Daddys can go towards the sprint races and from the Galileos there will be hopefully a couple of Cups horses."

The remaining six recent imports outside the Ballydoyle purchases include Ancient Spirit (Ire) (Invincible Spirit (Ire), a Group 2 winner in Germany in August and Indigo Balance (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who is a Listed winner in Ireland who is a full sister to Woodside Park stallion Cable Bay (Ire) and a half to Australian stakes winner Mister Sea Wolf (Ire)} (Amadeus Wolf {GB}).