Buyers and vendors anticipating Easter hunt

8 min read
After the release of the 2019 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale catalogue. TDN AusNZ spoke to several buyers and vendors from recent years to gauge their expectations for the sale.

Emirates Park returns with Golden spring in step

Given Emirates has sourced two G1 Golden Slipper S. winners from the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale in the past five years, it is little wonder they will go into this year's Sale with plenty of confidence.

The 2019 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale catalogue has been released and Emirates Park, the Australian racing and breeding operation of His Excellency Nasser Lootah, will be one of the many prospective buyers poring over it in the coming months.

Emirates Park has only bought nine yearlings at the Easter Sale in the past five years, spending just over $10 million.

"We’ve done quite well out of the sale." - Emirates Park general manager, Bryan Carlson

Illustrating the possibilities of shopping at both ends of the market, the cheapest of those nine purchases, the $85,000 paid for a Mossman filly back in 2013, yielded a terrific return when Mossfun won the 2014 Golden Slipper S.

In 2017, Emirates Park went to $1.7 million to secure a Snitzel filly, and 12 months later celebrated Estijaab's win in Australia's richest 2-year-old race.


"Over the last five years, we’ve produced Mossfun out of the Easter sale for $85,000 and Estijaab for $1.7m. we’ve done quite well out of the sale," Emirates Park General Manager Bryan Carlson said.

"It’s a very good quality sale. The type and the pedigrees match. It's where you come to find the top-grade pedigrees and top-grade physical. It's a great sale."

Carlson said the focus on quality and the depth of the buying bench made Easter a very competitive sale, but there were always good opportunities for buyers.

"There's something for everyone at Easter, even at the top end, there are enough horses there for everyone. If there's something that really stands out, you can find it a bit strong. We found that with Estijaab, we had to go out of our budget to buy her, but thankfully that worked out," he said.

Bryan Carlson (left)

As a breeding as well as racing operation, Emirates Park has been particularly focussed on finding quality fillies out of Easter in recent years with its past five purchases all made with future broodmare prospects in mind.

"To go buy stakes-winning broodmares, it’s very hard. So to go buy them as yearling fillies and race them, and get the excitement from that and then produce a good broodmare, it makes it a lot easier to do," Carlson said.

Carlson said Emirates Park will be active at the 2019 sale, having bought three fillies in Sydney last year. One of them has made the track, Espaniyaah (I Am Invincible), who won the Inglis 2YO Banner at Moonee Valley on debut. She also won a recent barrier trial and is nominated to resume this Saturday at Randwick.

Emirates Park purchased Estijaab as a yearling

Another one, Balaabel (Not A Single Doubt), recently stepped out in a jumpout at Flemington for trainer Tony McEvoy, finishing second, while the third, Enjaaz (I Am Invincible) is with Team Hawkes, who Emirates Park celebrated both of its Golden Slipper successes with.

"Last year we bought three very nice fillies and at this stage, all three of them are showing potential. You've already seen Espaniyaah and hopefully we can find that quality again this year," Carlson said.

"Last year we bought three very nice fillies and at this stage, all three of them are showing potential." - Bryan Carlson

"It looks like a very strong catalogue this year and we are looking forward to it."

Meanwhile, Carlson revealed that Estijaab, who hasn’t raced since her Golden Slipper win, was on track for an autumn return.

"She's probably two weeks from trialling, she's going well, so fingers crossed," he said.

"The time off has done her the world of good, she looks really well. We are looking forward to getting her back to the races."

An Arrowfield Easter hunt for five straight

Arrowfield is shooting for its fifth straight title as leading vendor, and with a massive draft of 55 at the sale, is well positioned to do just that.

The breeding powerhouse has used the sale to launch some major careers, including the current rising star of Australian racing The Autumn Sun (Redoute's Choice), who was sold for $750,000 two years ago and has since gone on to win three Group 1s.

Such an ambassador was The Autumn Sun among its graduates, Arrowfield bought into him ahead of his G1 Caulfield Guineas win and chairman John Messara is now planning his stud career.

The Autumn Sun going through the ring as a yearling

“Seeing Arrowfield Easter graduates Estijaab win the Golden Slipper and The Autumn Sun win three Group Ones in 2018 was very satisfying," Messara said.

“Seventeen of Arrowfield’s last 26 Group 1-winning sale graduates have come out of our Inglis Easter consignments.”

“Seventeen of Arrowfield’s last 26 Group 1-winning sale graduates have come out of our Inglis Easter consignments.” - John Messara

Arrowfield had a remarkable eight yearlings sell for over a $1 million at last year's Easter Sale.

Four of those eight have siblings in the 2019 sale, including the half-brother to The Autumn Sun and the half-brother to last year's sale topper out of The Broken Shore (Hussonet {Ire}).

Last year's sale topper, Fastnet Rock x The Broken Shore

The legendary Redoute's Choice is represented by 12 yearlings from Arrowfield, while his champion son Snitzel has 37 yearlings in total, 10 of which are offered by Arrowfield, who also present 11 by Not A Single Doubt.

There are also 11 by their young stallion Dundeel (NZ) and three by Japanese super stallion Deep Impact (Jpn).

“Our 2019 Inglis Easter draft is built around the stallion power of the Redoute’s Choice dynasty, our rising star Dundeel and Japan’s super sire Deep Impact,” Messara said.

“We very much look forward to welcoming new and returning Inglis clients to the Big Barn at Riverside in April."

Coolmore in on both sides of the market

Coolmore, which sold 28 yearlings for a total of nearly $11 million in 2018, will take a typically strong draft of 43 to Easter, with 11 of those either out of, or siblings to, Group 1 winners.

"Just like last year we offer an extremely high-class draft of yearlings with cosmopolitan pedigrees and the looks to match. We are represented by a broad cross-section of leading proven sires and the best up-and-coming sire prospects in the country," Stud Manager Jim Carey said.

"Just like last year we offer an extremely high-class draft of yearlings with cosmopolitan pedigrees and the looks to match." - Coolmore Stud manager, Jim Carey

The 2018 sale saw Coolmore sell three $1 million-plus yearlings, including two by its star stallion Fastnet Rock, who had a bumper sale overall, with 30 yearlings sold at a sale-leading average of $554,000.

Carey expects demand to be strong for Fastnet Rock at the Easter Sale

Carey said he expects the demand for Fastnet Rock to stay strong at the 2019 sale, with 31 yearlings catalogued.

"Fastnet Rock is sure to be popular once again, given that he continues to be the most potent source of G1 winners in Australasia," he said.

"Fastnet Rock is sure to be popular once again, given that he continues to be the most potent source of G1 winners in Australasia." - Jim Carey

"He is one of the greatest sires of the modern era and has enjoyed another stellar run on the track through the deeds of Merchant Navy, Shoals, Unforgotten, Comin’ Through, Avantage and Catchy."

"We offer ten incredibly well-credentialed yearlings by him at Easter including the progeny of, or siblings to the likes of Lankan Rupee, Pear Tart, Age Of Fire, Rezoned, Sacred Eye and Delta Girl."

But while Coolmore's draft features a strong representation from established top-end stallions such as Fastnet Rock, Pierro and So You Think (NZ), 2019 will be the first Easter sale for its three freshman stallions and expectations are high.

"We offer some outstanding first crop yearlings by Vancouver, Pride Of Dubai and No Nay Never (USA), all of whom are sires with great credentials that have already been well sought after at the sales this year," Carey said.

Yearlings from the first crop of No Nay Never will be offered for sale

"Easter is traditionally the place where breeders showcase the best of the best, and it is no different for us this year when it comes to the six Pride Of Dubais, four Vancouvers and three No Nay Nevers that we have on offer."

And Coolmore won’t just be active as a vendor, with indications that it will be active player on the buying side of the market as well.

"With such high-quality yearlings on offer it goes without saying that we will look to buy at Easter, just as we always have" Carey said.

"Last year we were involved in the purchase of the highly exciting filly Vinicunca (I Am Invincible). She won a Group 3 on debut for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, and we look forward to further supplementing our racing team with more quality stock in 2019."