Freshmen make their mark at Riverside

7 min read
It might not be the first-season frenzy we saw at the Inglis Classic Sale in 2018, but there is still plenty of confidence in the freshmen class of 2019.

The enthusiasm for first-season sires has been a feature of the current Inglis Classic Sale, with Vinery Stud pair Press Statement and Headwater, Darley's Exosphere and Kermedec (NZ) and Coolmore's No Nay Never (USA) particularly popular over the first three days at the Riverside Stables.

It is not quite the first-season frenzy of 12 months ago, when enthusiasm for the first crops of Brazen Beau, Deep Field and Dissident drove the first-season market to a whole new level, but support for this year's freshmen has been strong,

As a comparison, last year all three of the above averaged well beyond $100,000, while with one session remaining this year, only No Nay Never (USA) is in six figures.

It was always going to be a significant sale for Headwater, who was the most represented sire in the catalogue with 42 lots.

He heads into the final day of Book 1 with 20 yearlings sold for a total of $1.162m and at average of $58,100.

"For a $15,000 service fee horse he's averaging well. It's great to see John Hawkes purchase two today, especially given he trained the horse," said Vinery Nominations & Sales Manager Adam White.

"Mick Price, Michael Freedman, Kris Lees and Gerald Ryan have all purchased his progeny. And of course Darby Racing have purchased two and they can certainly pick a 2-year-old."

Headwater

He just leads Darley's Exosphere in the aggregate race and should round out Book 1 with that honour given he still has seven lots listed on the final day.

His top lot, a colt out of Manju (Henny Hughes {USA}) sold by Milburn Creek as Lot 489, went to Mick Price on Monday, while there have been three other lots sell for over $100,000.

Press Statement has had eight lots sell at an impressive average of $92,000, the second highest of all the first-season sires, with the highlight Lot 72 out of Calaluna (Mujahid {USA}), who went for $270,000 in the Gold Riband Session on Saturday. His second six-figure colt (Lot 561) went to Ciaron Maher Racing for $130,000.

Lot 561 Press Statement x Night War colt

"Press Statement is selling really well," said White. "He's building momentum from the two sales we've had already. After the first two days he was 5th in the sire averages, holding his own against the proven sires which is outstanding. It's very good to see the likes of Chris Waller and Ciaron Maher picking up progeny by him."

"After the first two days he (Press Statement) was 5th in the sire averages, holding his own against the proven sires which is outstanding." - Adam White

The momentum should continue through to Melbourne Premier Sale, with White highlighting the half-brother to exciting young Queensland sire Better Than Ready (More Than Ready) as a standout in their draft.

Darley duo holding strong

Exosphere continues to have a strong sale, with four of his 13 lots sold going for over $100,000.

After Lot 182 went for a record for the sire of $250,000 to Peter Karlsson on Sunday, Lot 393 caught the eye of Gall Bloodstock who went to $200,000 to secure her from Valiant Stud’s consignment on Monday.

Lot 393 Exosphere x Intendment filly

She is a daughter of the unraced Strategic mare Intendment, who is a half-sister to the four-time Group 1 winner Appearance (Commands) and her stakes winning brother Mascareri.

“I inspected her a few times with Brett (Gall) and really thought she was a lovely filly,” trainer Ron Quinton said.

“She’s big and strong with a massive gaskin and hind quarter. I really liked her pedigree, plenty of action there especially with the dam being a half-sister to Appearance."

“We thought we might be able to get her for $150,000 to $180,000, but had to push through that a bit to get her. I’m delighted to get an Exosphere to train. I liked him as a racehorse, he was very fast.”

"I’m delighted to get an Exosphere to train. I liked him as a racehorse, he was very fast.” - Ron Quinton

With 13 lots having gone under the hammer and one more to come on the final day, Exosphere's progeny have sold for an aggregate of $1.136m at an average price of $87,385.

"Exosphere has continued to sell well at the sale," Darley's Head of Sales Alastair Pulford said. "They are big strong horses that the trainers like and they display plenty of quality, size and substance."

"What really pleases my is that so many of them have sold."

"He’ll come out of the sales series really well. I, for one, am really looking forward to when they turn two and start hitting the race track."

Exosphere's fellow Darley resident Kermadec (NZ) has also had a very good sale, with eight sold to date for a total of $733,000, and an average of $91,625.

Triple Crown bought the highlight lot so far, No 457 for $280,000 offered by Two Bays Farm out of the Street Sense (USA) mare Loading Zone.

Lot 457 Kermadec x Loading Zone colt

That's the top price paid for any yearling by a first-season sire so far.

Triple Crown also went to $90,000 for a Kermedec filly out of Final Stretch (Canny Lad), one of three for the sire bought at that price.

Coolmore's No Nay Never topping averages

Topping the averages (of three or more sales) for the first-season sires through the first three days is Coolmore's No Nay Never (USA).

All four of his Book 1 yearlings sold with Paul Perry showing his liking for the breed by buying the top two lots. He paid $150,000 for Lot 443 out of the imported mare Laurelling (USA) (Highest Honor {USA}) and $130,000 for Lot 447, the half-brother to multiple Group winner Trusting (Tale Of The Cat {USA}).

No Nay Never

"The market has been extremely receptive to the first southern hemisphere crop of No Nay Never yearlings. He has made a great start to his career at stud in the northern hemisphere with 6 Stakes winning and 14 Stakes performed two-year-olds amongst 35 individual winners. Importantly, they look ideally suited to Australian conditions on type, and they have sold accordingly," Tom Moore of Coolmore's Marketing & Nominations said.

"The No Nay Never yearlings have averaged in excess of 10 times his service fee at each of the three major sales conducted in 2019 which is a huge endorsement for him, and a great reward for those breeders who supported him at $11,000."

Coolmore's Vancouver has sold four lots so far at an average of $91,250, while Pride of Dubai has sold five lots at $49,400 but does have six further lots up on the final day.

Freedman, Wallace support Super One

Newgate's Super One has had nine yearlings sell to date for an average of $77,778.

Chris Anderson paid the top price to date, with the colt out of Eyes For You (Catbird), Lot 305, selling for $105,000, while fellow Queenslander trainer Chris Munce went to $100,000 for Lot 498 out of Mercara (Commands).

The former Singapore star's trainer Michael Freedman went to $85,000 for Super One's colt out of Dakota Sue (USA) (Pollard's Vision {USA}) on the first night of the sale, while Michael Wallace, who partnered Freedman to buy Super One as a yearling, got his hands on one of the fillies from his first crop for $70,000, in Lot 293 by Ephoral (Lonhro).

Super One

"I'm really pleased with how the Super Ones have sold at this sale. They’ve gone to good stables which is important," Newgate Managing Director Henry Field said.

"It’s good to see both Michael Wallace and Michael Freedman each purchasing a yearling by him, given they are the pair that purchased and trained Super One himself."

Arrowfield's Real Impact (Jpn) has sold 12 lots to date at an average of $49,542, while Widden's Outreach has sold five so far at an average of $59,000.

The lone filly from the first crop of Criterion on offer at the sale, Lot 466, went for $130,000 on the third day, appropriately purchased by Go Bloodstock, who raced and stood Criterion before fertility issues put an end to his stud career at the end of last spring.