Magic goals for Snowzone

4 min read

By Bren O'Brien

A focus on buying more precocious talent at last season's yearling sales could lead to Australian Bloodstock having their first runner in next month's Magic Millions 2YO Classic.

Having built a business on the back of buying proven horses from overseas, celebrating Group 1 success with the likes of Protectionist (Ger) (Monsun {Ger}) Tosen Stardom (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn) and Brave Smash (Jpn) (Tosen Phantom {Jpn}), Australian Bloodstock was much more active in the 2018 sales season, buying 31 yearlings.

"Probably the last lot of sales was the first year that we thought that is the way the market is going and that's what they want," Australian Bloodstock's Luke Murrell told TDN AusNZ.

"They want the proven stayers or they want the 2-year-old types." - Luke Murrell

"The market doesn't seem to want the stuff in the middle. They want the proven stayers or they want the 2-year-old types."

Luke Murrell with Hugh Bowman and Brave Smash

Included among the 19 they bought at the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale was the colt Snowzone (Snitzel) and the filly Vinrose (I Am Invincible), who both debuted recently at Newcastle for Kris Lees in the Max Lees Classic.

Neither were a match for the highly-rated winner of the race, Strasbourg (I Am Invincible), but Snowzone finished second and Vinrose fourth.

Snowzone reappears in a 2YO race at Scone on Friday, looking to break his maiden, while Vinrose contests the Listed Boomer Bloodstock Calaway Gal S. at Doomben on Saturday.

Gold Coast aims

Murrell said Snowzone was the most progressive of the two and should he win on Friday, then he would head to the Gold Coast for the 2-year-old race on the week before the 2YO Classic in a bid to become the first of their horses to run in the feature race.

Snowzone as a yearling

"It’s the one race we haven’t had one in. It’s a little bit exciting and everyone loves 2-year-olds," Murrell said.

"It’s the one race we haven’t had one in." - Luke Murrell

"We’ve had opportunities in the past and we’re probably a bit different in that we’ve got big shares ourselves in a lot of those horses and we won’t run them if we think they have no hope."

"You want to go there and know you are a top four or five chance. You don’t want to burn them and have nothing left later on."

"He's probably one of the best 2-year-olds going around pedigree wise." - Luke Murrell on Snowzone

"He's probably one of the best 2-year-olds going around pedigree wise. But it's a long way to go. He hasn’t even won a race yet. He's our ticket in the lottery."

Snowzone cost $220,000, out of Snowdrift (Fr) (Polish Precedent), who has already produced Group 1 winner Snowland (Snippets), Group 2 winner Portillo (Red Ransom {USA}) as well as successful stallion Snippetson.

"I’d much rather buy from those type of families. I think the worst foal the mother has ever produced is a city-class horse. If you could buy into those families, you can’t go wrong," Murrell said.

Snowzone is by Arrowfield stallion Snitzel

"Kris really likes the horse but Kris is not one who usually smashes his 2-year-olds. That pays off for him later down the track."

"He's medium size and everything he does he wants to do it, he is enjoying it and so far it's been really good."

Vinrose was a $110,000 buy and is a half-sister to stakes-placed Craftiness (Starcraft {NZ}).

Big sales season planned

Murrell said more and more of Australian Bloodstock's clients are interested in playing at the yearling sales and he predicted the upcoming sales season would be its biggest yet, with a particular focus on Magic Millions.

"We’ve got clients who are keen to get more involved." - Luke Murrell

"We've probably got plans to spend double what we usually have dollars wise. We’ve got clients who are keen to get more involved," he said.

Australian Bloodstock owners

"Magic Millions seems to have a strong representation of farms that are producing stakes horses. We've got a database and it gives us the amount of horses that they've sold, when it comes to stakes horses and there's some staggering results."

"Everybody's got their guns full at that stage, as far as money, both clients and trainers. It is the first sale of the year and people want to be buying there."