Aquis staves off opposition to secure top colt

11 min read
Aquis Farm won a spirited bidding battle for an exceptional son of Exceed And Excel during Inglis’ Sydney Easter Yearling Sale with the gavel falling in its favour at $1.7 million. Presented by Tyreel Stud, the colt was the headline act on the closing day of the highly successful auction.

At A Glance: Inglis Easter Day 2

>> Arrowfield Stud ended up clearly the leading vendor, selling 46 lots at an aggregate of $21.47 million.

>> Deep Impact (Jpn) the leading sire with four lots sold at an average of $850,000 ahead of Lonhro with three sold at an average of $603,333.

>> Tony McEvoy to train highest-price filly purchased for $1.4 million by Sheikh Khalifa from Newhaven Park’s draft.

>> Aquis fends off stern opposition to land Tyreel Stud's Exceed And Excel colt for $1.7 million. They finish the sale as leading buyer, purchasing 13 yearlings for $8.4 million.

>> Coolmore and Hermitage Bloodstock go to $1.4 million for Segenhoe Stud’s I Am Invincible colt.

>> Carmel Size is one of Not A Single Doubt’s biggest fans and went to $1.05 million for Arrowfield Stud’s colt.

>> Orbis Bloodstock completes second successful day of purchasing and outlays $1.3 million to land a Redoute’s Choice colt from Arrowfield Stud.

Aquis wins the day

Lot 337 was also hotly pursued by the powerful Coolmore operation and Rosehill conditioner Tim Martin, who trained Exceed And Excel to win seven races including the G1 Newmarket H. and the G1 Dubai Racing Cup for Sheikh Mohammed, before Aquis won out.

“Tim said he was the closest to Exceed And Excel that he’s seen, he’s a cracking horse” Aquis Chief Executive Officer Shane McGrath said. “Coolmore are no mugs either, so hopefully we can get one over on the old team.”

“Tim said he was the closest horse to Exceed And Excel that he’s seen.” – Shane McGrath.

Aquis has been a free-spender at the sale and on day one went to $2,300,000 to claim a brother to the dual Group 1 winner Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock).

“We were fortunate to get him and this one, who is from a great breeder in Tyreel,” McGrath said.

“It’s tricky when you love two, you can’t leave one behind. We’re fortunate we’ve got partners behind us. We’ve got a number who may come in with us on this horse, he’s a fabulous colt.”

The youngster is out of Written Dash (Written Tycoon), who was successful on three occasions and is a three-quarter sister to the multiple Group placegetter Masthead. It’s also the family of the G1 TJ Smith S. winner Sizzling (Snitzel).

The colt will be placed into the Aquis programme with a trainer to be determined at a later date and the same scenario applies to the $900,000 Not A Single Doubt colt, a three-quarter brother to the star colt and five-time Group 1 winner The Autumn Sun (Redoute’s Choice).

“He’s coming off a great nursery and he’s got a pedigree to be anything.” – Shane McGrath.

Lot 369 was offered by Arrowfield and McGrath said exciting times lay ahead with him.

“He’s coming off a great nursery and he’s got a pedigree to be anything. It’s up to him, but he’s got a great head, a great mover and physically he does it all for us.

“He’ll go into a colt’s partnership and we’ll work out the trainer later. He’s a gem.”

His dam Azmiyna (Fr) (Galileo {Ire}) is an unraced half-sister to the four-time Group 1 winner Azamour (Ire) (Night Shift {USA}).

Aquis ended up the leading buyer, with 13 yearlings purchased for $8.375m at an average price of $644,231.

Aquis' Justin Fung

Always room for improvement

Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster was over the moon with the results from the sale, but he’s already looking to the future and further building on the success.

“We’ve delivered unbelievable results over the last two days,” he said. “It’s been a really healthy sale, very satisfying.

“We’ve delivered unbelievable results over the last two days." - Inglis Managing Director, Mark Webster

“We will continue to improve the quality and I believe there is the scope to add 50 more top end yearlings and good buying at all levels. My focus is improving quality across the board.

“We sold 20 yearlings over $1 million and one thing at a sale like this is that buyers need to have a longer A list.

“I am delighted with my team and the effort they put in to get the horses and the buyers here.”

Mark Webster

Sheikh secures top filly

There was no denying Sheikh Khalifa an elegant daughter of Lonhro and she was duly purchased for $1.4 million out of Newhaven Park’s draft.

The highest priced filly of the sale will be prepared by Tony McEvoy, who said they were determined to secure her at all costs.

“I thought she would be hard to buy and the competition was stronger than I expected,” he said.

“Sheikh Khalifa only buys the best and she was the best. We waited all day and we were going to get her.

“Sheikh Khalifa only buys the best and she was the best.” – Tony McEvoy.

“She’s a queen this filly. We all agreed she was the best mover on the complex and she’s got class and the temperament to handle it all. This a very powerful filly and she’ll run early.”

“It’s been an incredible sale and I don’t know where it’s going to end, the prices we’re paying, but the prize-money is so good.”

The filly is out of the unraced Dancing Heather (Danzero), who is a half-sister to the G1 Stradbroke H. winner Linton (Galileo {Ire}, who has already produced the G2 Rubiton S. winner Heatherly (Lonhro).

Colts hugely popular

Two sons of I Am Invincible were both hotly contested with Lot 396 going to Coolmore for $1.4 million after Lot 395 went to Damion Flower’s Jadeskye Racing for $1.2 million.

Coolmore partnered with Hermitage Bloodstock to head off rivals for the youngster, Lot 396, from the draft of Segenhoe Stud.

“We’ve had horses together before and hopefully we’ll have a bit more success,” Coolmore’s Tom Magnier said. “He’ll be going to Chris Waller.

“There’s been some lovely colts here this week and a lot of competition. You’re always trying to find the next big colt and you come to a premier sale like this to get one.”

“You’re always trying to find the next big colt and you come to a premier sale like this to get one.” – Tom Magnier.

The colt is a brother to the G3 Blue Diamond Preview S. winner Catch Me from the family of the G1 Vinery Stud S. winner Hiyaam (High Chaparral {Ire}).

Meanwhile, Flower was delighted to get his I Am Invincible colt, who was sold by Yarraman Park Stud.

“He looks like a real runner,” he said. “The stallion’s had special 2-year-olds so let’s hope this one is too.

“He’s got a really good temperament and I like the way he moves, really impressed. That was my last so I’m lucky to get him.”

Gone but far from forgotten

Redoute’s Choice may be gone, but he was firmly on the minds of buyers at the Riverside Stables where he held centre stage again with two quick-fire yearlings both making seven figures.

Orbis Bloodstock has been busy at the sale and Team Hawkes went to $1.3 million on its behalf for Lot 315, who was offered by Arrowfield Stud, home to the great stallion for so many years until his tragic and recent passing.

"He's a cracking colt and we loved him,” said Paul King, who has been working for Orbis for the last 18 months.

“I spoke to John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes and they said he was a must-buy out of the sale. I thought I'd let them do the nodding and Orbis has secured a really nice colt.

“I spoke to John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes and they said he was a must-buy out of the sale.” – Paul King.

"If he lives up to what we hope he can, he can make a stallion prospect and help the breed to live on. Obviously, it’s now up to the horse to perform under the Orbis brand.

Arrowfield's John Messara congratulating Team Hawkes and Paul King on the purchase of Lot 315

"Everyone knows that the Hawkes' love a nice colt and can make a stallion from them.

“He’ll go to the right stable and get every opportunity to show what he's got and hopefully in a couple of years, we’ll have really nice colt on our hands."

The colt is closely related to the G1 TJ Smith S. winner Master Of Design (Redoute’s Choice) and is out of the unraced Traceability (Charge Forward).

"Everyone knows that the Hawkes' love a nice colt and can make a stallion from them.” – Paul King.

She is also a half-sister to the South African Group 1 winner Suntagonal (Octagonal {NZ}) and the family of the top-class mare Typhoon Tracy (Red Ransom {USA}).

Two lots earlier, Redoute’s Choice’s son, also from Arrowfield, was knocked down to Hermitage Bloodstock and Chris Waller Racing when the partnership went to $1 million.

“They are both lovely colts and Redoute’s isn’t around to make any more of them, so people recognise the scarcity factor now because sons of Redoute’s are a chance of being a stallion,” Arrowfield principal John Messara said.

“I thought they were capable of getting around the million, although our reserve was a little below that.” – John Messara.

“I thought they were capable of getting around the million, although our reserve was a little below that. I am very happy. It has proved to be a pretty good sale for us.”

Lot 313 is out of Top Cuban (Anabaa {USA}), who has also produced the G3 BTC Classic winner Havana (Starcraft {NZ}) and the Listed Brian Crowley S. winner Diplomatico (Snitzel).

“The mare has done a really good job and we’re very happy to have got him,” said Guy Mulcaster, an integral part of Waller’s buying team. "All the foals are pretty good shapes so we’re hoping history repeats.”

There is also a strong North American influence on the pedigree page with the presence of the two-time Group 1 winner and producer Slew City Slew (USA) (Seattle Slew {USA}).

Arrowfield top seller

Arrowfield Stud ended the two-day Inglis Easter Sale as the leading vendor, selling 46 lots at an aggregate of $21.47m and an average of $466,739. It led Coolmore ($13.14m) and Segenhoe ($8.67m).

“It was a great sale. It’s great to be leading vendor again, we really are thrilled,” farm principal John Messara said. “They are excellent facilities here and we are really able to showcase our horses here so we’re very pleased.

John Messara at the Easter Sale

“The buying bench has absolutely been as good as in years previous. Everyone seemed to be here. With a smaller number of stock, there was some real pressure from the buyers. It went very well.

“The smaller catalogue worked well. There was a sense of urgency, knowing there weren’t as many horses and knowing that if you wanted one you better buy it because you mightn’t get a chance to buy another one.

“The smaller catalogue worked well. There was a sense of urgency." - John Messara

“It was also less arduous for customers having to cover that amount of horses. The whole complex is so easy to manage.

“The staff get a great kick out of this and I get a thrill myself, but I owe a lot to the staff. At the end of the day they’ve done the work to get these horses here in one piece. I’m very grateful."

Size has no doubts

Agent Carmel Size has a great affinity with the progeny of Not A Single Doubt and she went to $1,050,000 for a chestnut colt, Lot 346, from Arrowfield Stud.

"He's a lovely horse. He's very well balanced, he's strong, but he's not overly big,” she said. “He's built like an athlete, so I was always going to get him.

"I've had so much luck with Not A Single Doubts and I’ve decided we won’t go away with what we do so well."

He was will go to the stable of Les Bridge and will be raced by Boniface Ho, who owns the Group 1 Hong Kong placegetter Southern Legend (Not A Single Doubt).

Southern Legend has won four races for Bridge before relocating while he currently has Classique Legend (Not A Single Doubt), winner of two of his three starts. Size purchased both horses for Ho.


Top Lots Overall

49SnitzelIchiharaC$2,800,000 James Harron Bloodstock Pty Ltd Corumbene Stud, Dunedoo
88Fastnet RockLegally BayC$2,300,000 Aquis Farm Pty LtdSegenhoe Stud, Scone
38Deep Impact (Jpn)GritoC$1,700,000 Spendthrift/ Kennewell Racing/ Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA)Arrowfield Stud, Scone
337Exceed And ExcelWritten DashC$1,700,000 Aquis Farm Pty LtdTyreel Stud, Agnes Banks
396I Am InvincibleCaptivating Claire (NZ)C$1,400,000 T Magnier / Hermitage BloodstockSegenhoe Stud, Scone
416LonhroDancing HeatherF$1,400,000 Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al MaktoumNewhaven Park, Boorowa
315Redoute's ChoiceTraceabilityC$1,300,000 Orbis Bloodstock Pty LtdArrowfield Stud, Scone
137Exceed And ExcelMore Than Real (USA)F$1,200,000 Hermitage Thoroughbreds Pty LtdKia Ora Stud, Scone
141I Am InvincibleMrs BoxallC$1,200,000 James Harron Bloodstock Pty LtdTorryburn Stud, Torryburn
395I Am InvincibleCamporellaC$1,200,000 Jadeskye Racing / B WiddupYarraman Park Stud, Scone

Top vendors by average

Mill Park, Meningie6600$3,485,000 $580,833 $1,150,000
Corumbene Stud, Dunedoo10622$3,385,000 $564,167 $$2,800,00
Kia Ora Stud, Scone6600$3,280,000 $546,667 $1,200,000
Newhaven Park, Booroowa7511$2,725,000 $545,000 $1,400,000
Cressfield, Scone10721$3,745,000 $535,000 $725,000
Torryburn Stud, Scone7502$2,590,000 $518,000 $1,200,000
Segenhoe Stud, Scone221741$8,670,000 $510,000 $2,300,000
Arrowfield Stud, Scone554654$21,470,000 $466,739 $1,700,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone151302$5,100,000 $392,308 $1,200,000
Highgrove Stud, Darling Downs5311$1,150,000 $383,333 $500,000

Top vendors by aggregate

Arrowfield Stud, Scone554654$21,470,000 $466,739 $1,700,000
Coolmore Stud, Jerry's Plains433562$13,142,500 $375,500 $1,100,000
Segenhoe Stud, Scone221741$8,670,000 $510,000 $2,300,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone151302$5,100,000 $392,308 $1,200,000
Sledmere Stud171322$4,860,000 $373,846 $1,100,000
Widden Stud221444$4,750,000 $339,286 $900,000
Newgate Farm, Aberdeen181521$4,580,000 $305,333 $600,000
Kitchwin Hills, Scone231355$4,350,000 $334,615 $900,000
Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone131219$4,038,000 $336,500 $950,000
Cressfield, Scone10721$3,745,000 $535,000 $725,000

Top buyers

Aquis Farm Pty Ltd13$8,375,000 $644,231 $2,300,000
Orbis Bloodstock Pty Ltd8$7,400,000 $925,000 $1,300,000
James Harron Bloodstock Pty Ltd4$5,275,000 $1,318,750 $2,800,000
Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock9$4,805,000 $533,889 $1,000,000
Hermitage Thoroughbreds Pty Ltd8$3,810,000 $476,250 $1,200,000
Gai Waterhouse Racing/ Adrian Bott10$2,820,000 $282,000 $400,000
Hawkes Racing7$2,760,000 $394,286 $650,000
Godolphin4$2,430,000 $607,500 $950,000
China Horse Club/ Newgate Bloodstock/ WinStar5$2,255,000 $451,000 $525,000
China Horse Club/ Newgate Bloodstock4$2,175,000 $543,750.00 $675,000

Top sires by average (3 or more sold)

Deep Impact (Jpn)4$3,400,000 $850,000 $1,700,000
Lonhro3$1,810,000 $603,333 $1,400,000
Snitzel24$12,895,000 $537,292 $2,800,000
Not A Single Doubt15$7,925,000 $528,333 $1,100,000
Exceed And Excel12$6,295,000 $524,583 $1,700,000
I Am Invincible25$12,340,000 $493,600 $1,400,000
Rubick3$1,450,000 $463,981 $900,000
Fastnet Rock27$12,527,500 $463,981 $2,300,000
Redoute's Choice16$6,890,000 $430,625 $1,300,000
Brazen Beau4$1,570,000 $392,500 $1,150,000

Top sires by aggregate

Snitzel24$12,895,000 $537,292 $2,800,000
Fastnet Rock27$12,527,500 $463,981 $2,300,000
I Am Invincible25$12,340,000 $493,600 $1,400,000
Not A Single Doubt15$7,925,000 $528,333 $1,100,000
Redoute's Choice16$6,890,000 $430,625 $1,300,000
Sebring25$6,495,000 $259,800 $650,000
Exceed And Excel12$6,295,000 $524,583 $1,700,000
Written Tycoon16$5,230,000 $326,875 $900,000
Medaglia d'Oro18$5,063,000 $281,278 $750,000
Zoustar13$4,520,000 $347,692 $1,000,000