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$1.9 million Volpe Veloce tops off record National Broodmare Sale

18 min read
A record-breaking Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale has drawn to a close with a further five mares sold for over $1 million, including Group 1 winner Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) who went for $1.9 million.

Cover image courtesy of Magic Millions

At A Glance

The Sale average finished at $233,157, well up on the $139,217 across the Sale in 2020 and the $146,397 in 2019.

The overall gross was $142.4 million, massively up on total aggregate of $57.1 million in 2020, and eclipsing the mark of $104.2 million of 2019.

The median ended at a very healthy $120,000, a big jump on the $67,500 last year and $70,000 in 2019.

Demand was strong across the board with a clearance rate of 87 per cent, jumping from 76 per cent last year and 79 per cent in 2019.

Arcadia Queen's (Pierro) sale was completed two days after she was initially passed in, with Arrowfield Stud paying $3.2 million for the mare.

Volpe Veloce is headed to Victoria's Longwood Thoroughbred Farm after the Group 1 winner, in foal to I Am Invincible, sold for $1.9 million.

Newgate had an amazing day, selling three million-dollar mares, with Jedastar (I Am Invincible) heading to Torryburn Stud and Diddles (Snitzel) off to Daandine Stud.

Queen draws big play from Longwood

Group 1 winner Volpe Veloce will continue her breeding career at Victoria's Longwood Thoroughbred Farm after she secured the highest price on the third day of $1.9 million, in foal to I Am Invincible.

Two days after landing a major coup, buying Rimraam (NZ) (Commands) from the Shadwell Dispersal for $1.5 million, Longwood came together again with Sheamus Mills Bloodstock and Peter Morgan to land the prized daughter of Foxwedge.

"She was an absolute queen. We purchased Rimraam on Tuesday night and we dubbed her a princess, and this one is a queen," Longwood's Thoroughbred Farm's Michael Christian said.

"We purchased Rimraam on Tuesday night and we dubbed her a princess, and this one (Volpe Veloce) is a queen." - Michael Christian

"We are absolutely thrilled to be able to acquire two absolutely top-notch mares that will come home to Longwood Thoroughbred Farm and spend the rest of their lives there.

"Our plan is a long-term plan and over the next 10 or 12 years, we are looking forward to getting the foals out of both these mares and having a lot of fun with them, so it’s very exciting."

Just three years after Longwood was purchased by Christian, his brother Brad and their respective wives, Siobhan and Pauline, it is making a considerable impression as a breeder and vendor, and now as broodmare buyers, spending $1.6 million on three lots at last year's Inglis Chairman's Sale and now $3.4 million on two premium offerings on the Gold Coast this week.

"Pedigree is obviously very important but the most important thing from our perspective is to buy the best physical types. We believe the two mares that we have bought here, Rimraam for $1.5 million and Volpe Veloce for $1.9 million, are absolutely top-notch quality physical specimens," Christian said.

"That's what we are really focussed on, to buy quality and we have been able to achieve it. They are the two mares that we wanted and they are the two mares that we purchased."

A terrific return for Newgate

The result was an outstanding one for Volpe Veloce's vendor, Newgate, which paid $675,000 for her off the track at the 2020 Inglis Chairman's Sale. She was sent to I Am Invincible, and re-offered, with a $1.225 million return on that initial price.

“She’s freakishly good-looking, she was a really good racehorse, she’s in foal to Vinnie and she’s got a pedigree - she’s a star. I am really glad Michael bought her as I’ve admired him all my life. I used to strap a horse called Phoenix Park for him and I’m confident she’s going to be a great mare for him," Newgate Managing Director, Henry Field, said.

"She’s (Volpe Veloce) freakishly good-looking, she was a really good racehorse, she’s in foal to Vinnie and she’s got a pedigree - she’s a star." - Henry Field

Field said he hoped that Longwood had the same good fortune like others who had purchased out of the Newgate Consignment in recent years.

Henry Field | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

“The thing is, the people who have gone into her have bought these really special mares off us have nearly all done really well and that’s why there’s an appetite," he said.

"I remember a mare, Response, who we sold for a good price - $1.5 million - but in her belly she was carrying a $1.7 million yearling who won a Golden Slipper in Estijaab and she’s probably a $5 million mare now.

“We will be successful in selling these big-ticket mares as long as they keep doing the job for the people who buy them and in Volpe Veloce I couldn’t be more certain about a mare going on to do that for everyone."

Volpe Veloce was a 12-time winner on the track for trainer Graham Richardson, and claimed the G1 ARC Railway S. She is a half-sister to Listed winner Delago Bolt (Delago Brom) and is out of Group 3 winner Bardego (Barathea {USA}).

Mitchell Bloodstock doubles up late

Mitchell Bloodstock made a major play late on the final day, paying $1.6 million for the regally bred Taste Of Heaven (Encosta De Lago) and $1 million for the Group 2-winning mare Oregon's Day (Domesday).

Taste Of Heaven, the final foal of the legendary blue hen Shantha's Choice (Canny Lad) and half-sister to Champion stallion Redoute's Choice, was always expected to be keenly sought after having been returned from the United States, where she produced the Graded stakes winner Heavenly Curlin (USA) (Curlin {USA}).

Lot 1369 - Taste Of Heaven | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

She was initially sold as part of the Teeley Dispersal for $1.5 million in 2014, and went another notch higher when secured by Bill Mitchell on her return, this time carrying a pregnancy to I Am Invincible.

"It’s the best pedigree isn't it. It just keeps getting better and better," Mitchell said. "We bought her for a syndicate and that's in the process of being sorted out."

Taste Of Heaven was offered by Yarraman Park on behalf of her owners LNJ Foxwoods and Craig Bernick, and Mitchell, whose brothers run Yarraman Park, had kept a close eye on her since her arrival last year.

"We know the mare well and she's produced a stakes winner and she's from the best family. I know they are expensive, but everything is expensive, and it’s pretty fool proof that one," he said.

James and Bill Mitchell, Kevin Maloney and Peter O'Brien | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Bloodstock agent Will Johnson knows Taste Of Heaven well having worked closely with her owners to bring her back to Australia.

"LNJ Foxwoods, who are one of the leading owners in America, came into the mare with Craig. The plan was to get her in foal to I Am Invincible which we successfully did on an early cover," he said.

"With the market so buoyant after the Chairman's Sale, we thought it was a good opportunity to see how she fared on the open market. It was great to see fierce bidding on her and ultimately selling for $1.6 million."

Mitchell Bloodstock was a major player on the final evening, then going to $1 million for another supplementary lot in Oregon's Day, who was offered by Segenhoe Stud on behalf of her owners, in foal to Pierata.

She had initially been purchased for $1 million at this Sale by Tony Fung Investments two years ago off the track and her first foal by Fastnet Rock fetched $600,000 at last week's National Weanling Sale.

Lot 1375 - Oregon's Day | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

A remarkable finish

With five million-dollar lots on the final day, plus confirmation of the sale of Arcadia Queen (Pierro), who was passed in on the opening day of the Sale, for $3.2 million to Arrowfield Stud, it was a remarkable end to a remarkable week for Magic Millions.

"We knew we had an unbelievable catalogue and we were very confident with where the market was at, but to achieve the results we have was blowing our minds, to be honest. To have a gross of over $142 million, a record average of $233,000 considering we sold 611 lots at a clearance rate of 87 per cent is just way above our expectations," Magic Millions Managing Director, Barry Bowditch, said.

“We had mares making all numbers today, from big right through the moment. I thought we had a quality catalogue and we had buyers, whether they are from the regional areas or the big farms were here in droves and have taken plenty of mares away from the Sale which is our aim walking into it.

“To have 25 million-dollar mares and five of those today is better than we thought we’d go today."

Diddles sells for $1 million

It was another success story for the Newgate Consignment with for the Group 3 placegetter Diddles (Snitzel), who was purchased by Boomer Bloodstock for $1 million in conjunction with Daandine Stud.

Newgate had paid $300,000 for her off the track at the 2020 Inglis Chairman's Sale, and having put her in foal to Deep Field, got a seven-figure return sending her back through the ring.

Mark McCann, Diddles, Tom Quinn, Jan Clark, John and Craig Rounsefell | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

The daughter of multiple stakes winner Mimi LeBrock (Show A Heart), she only raced five times and was placed twice, including in a G3 Gimcrack S., behind Catch Me (I Am Invincible) on debut.

Bred by Segenhoe Thoroughbreds and Gerry Harvey, she was a $400,000 purchase from the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale to Victory Lodge before racing in the colours of Strawberry Hills.

A million-dollar milestone

It was a milestone moment for both Daandine Stud's Jan Clark and her trusted bloodstock agent, Craig Rounsefell of Boomer Bloodstock, as their first $1 million purchase.

"You see these horses every now and then and you never think you have a chance to buy, but fortunately I have got a successful and loyal client behind me in Daandine Stud’s Jan Clark and she fell in love with the mare," Rounsefell said.

"We were pretty determined to buy her. She’s the biggest mare Jan’s bought and she’s the first million-dollar horse I’ve been associated with."

"We were pretty determined to buy her (Diddles). She’s the biggest mare Jan’s (Clark) bought and she’s the first million-dollar horse I’ve been associated with." - Craig Rounsefell

Daandine Stud has already bred Golden Slipper S. winner Capitalist and his sire Written Tycoon, both of whom have gone on to be successful stallions, and Rounsefell said Diddles can be the source of another elite success for the Queensland-based farm.

"She’s the type of mare we truly believe that the farm can produce another Golden Slipper winner out of. It’s a real 2-year-old family, the mare had unbelievable speed and talent early," he said.

"She was a $400,000 yearling and showed incredible talent early before she got hurt. The farm’s had a lot of luck with Deep Field, who she is in foal to, they produced Isotope and she’s a mare who hopefully will produce another Golden Slipper winner."

Diddles leaving the ring | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Rounsefell said a mating for Diddles will be decided in the coming months and reflected on his million-dollar moment, as the mare became the 21st of the Sale to breach the seven-figure mark.

“Right now horses are making a lot of money, so when you do spend that, you want total confidence. Jan and the team had total confidence that she was the one to do it on," he said.

Torryburn's seven-figure star

A 'perfect pedigree' match between stakes-placed mare Jedastar (I Am Invincible) and Zoustar, who she is in foal with, drove Torryburn Stud to $1 million to secure her for its broodmare band.

Another quality mare consigned by Newgate, Jedastar was at the centre of a bidding war involving Torryburn's Brett Cornish and Widden Stud's Antony Thompson, with Cornish winning the day.

"She was a very fast and forward 2-year-old by one of our great sires, and she is in foal to one of our great sires. There's not much guesswork there. She was just an excellent type and we were just happy to get her," Cornish said.

"She (Jedastar) was a very fast and forward 2-year-old by one of our great sires, and she is in foal to one of our great sires. There's not much guesswork there." - Brett Cornish

"When the catalogue came out, we were hoping the physical would match up and it did. She was very short-coupled, fast, 2-year-old type.

"It was a great mating, Henry (Field) put a Zoustar in her and it’s just the perfect mating, to put some size and scope into the foal."

Cornish said Jedastar would likely return to Zoustar again in 2021.

It was Torryburn Stud's first and only purchase of the week.

"We've been trying, we have been underbidder on a couple and been on the hunt for a few, including the Shadwell mares, but we didn't quite make it," Cornish said.

"That was the last chance saloon, right at the end of the Sale."

Lot 1331 - Jedastar | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Newgate Consignment’s total sales for the final day exceeded the $5 million mark and it ended the Sale as the second biggest vendor on aggregate with $13.2 million and an average of $471,607 across 28 sales.

That was only eclipsed by the extraordinary Shadwell Dispersal, which raised $25.135 million across 37 sales on Tuesday.

The diversity of those buyers who got $1 million-plus results was particularly pleasing for Bowditch.

"The Cornishs are great supporters of Magic Millions. They’ve had great success buying out of this Sale, they have great success at our yearling sales, so it’s great to see them chip up and spend plenty on a mare and Daandine, one of the champion breeders of Queensland, they’ve had great luck buying mares here, taking them home and bringing back great horses, so to invest in quality bloodstock with their agent Craig Rounsefell is fantastic,” he said.

Tsaritsa headed to Widden

Group 2-winning mare Tsaritsa (Dane Shadow) is also headed to Zoustar for her next mating after being purchased by Widden Stud in foal to I Am Invincible for $950,000.

Offered by Attunga Stud, she is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Ninth Legion (Fastnet Rock) and has already produced the winner Patton (American Pharoah {USA}), while her foal filly by The Autumn Sun secured $300,000 to Bahen Bloodstock at last week's Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

Lot 1100 - Tsaritsa | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Widden Stud's Antony Thompson said she looked an ideal match for their headline stallion, Zoustar.

"She's a lovely mare and the quality is obvious to see. The fact is that she has already produced a couple of good types of foals. The American Pharoah (Patton) was one of the better American Pharoahs we saw that year and her foal at this foal sale had great quality as well," Thompson said.

"It gives you great confidence that not only is she a lovely type of mare, but she throws that as well."

"It gives you great confidence that not only is she (Tsaritsa) a lovely type of mare, but she throws that as well." - Antony Thompson

Widden has reaped some good financial reward out of this Sale in recent years, purchasing Bonny O'Reilly (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}) for $1.2 million here two years ago and selling the Snitzel colt she was carrying for $1.9 million at this year's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

It also purchased Shamardal (USA) mare Vezalay for $1 million in foal to I Am Invincible with the filly from that pregnancy securing $1.25 million at Easter.

"We have had a bit of luck with some mares out of this ring, with Bonny O'Reilly and Vezalay, mares of that ilk which have been bought in foal and we got good results with those foals. There have been some good returns and so hopefully we can do it again," Thompson said.

Antony Thompson | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Widden Stud purchased six mares for $2.25 million this week, with some to go to its established stars and some to its new stallions in New South Wales and Victoria.

"Some of our new stallions, Russian Camelot and Doubtland in Victoria, and Anders in the Hunter, we’ve been targeting some mares that will really suit them," Thompson said.

"All three stallions are getting really good support so far, but we want to find the mares that really put the cherry on top and really help launch their careers.

"There's a bit of that going on and with the rest of our stallions there, we have plenty of options. We are just looking for nice mares all the time and if there is something, we really like, we’ll got a bit further on."

Living on the Hedge

Suman Hedge has been the leading bloodstock agent in terms of spend throughout the Sale and ended his week with the $850,000 purchase of Listed winner Hell Or Highwater (Not A Single Doubt) from the draft of Woodside Park.

The mare, who is out of imported stakes winner Get Ready Bertie (USA) (More Than Ready {USA}), has produced two colts by Written Tycoon and is in foal with the now Yulong Stud-based stallion again.

"She's a mare that we obviously knew a lot about. We owned her in partnership with Woodside. She's by a champion in Not A Single Doubt and was a well-performed racehorse herself, she was a stakes winner," Hedge said.

"Her first yearling made $250,000 and her first foal sold particularly well last week as well and sold for $510,000. With that in mind, we were pretty bullish in getting something done with her."

Lot 1302 - Hell Or Highwater

She is another mare likely to head to Widden Stud's Zoustar later this year, with Hedge confident that she had been bought well in what has been a tough market.

"It's really hard to know what is value, but in two or three years' time we will know what are the astute purchases. For us, we had a lot of knowledge of this particular mare and what she is producing and that gave us the confidence to be strong," he said.

Working for several clients, Hedge ended up spending $7.195 million across 14 purchases this week, for an average of $513,929. It puts the Victorian agent behind only the Written Tycoon Syndicate and Rosemont Stud in terms of total spend.

Suman Hedge | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

"It’s been a really competitive Sale. We have had clients that really wanted to be active here, and we had the artillery to be involved. We had a clear edict to buy good physicals that we thought were elite and commercial and will mate those accordingly," he said.

"It’s been hard, but we certainly don't think we have got the upper hand anywhere but if you wanted to be involved you had to be brave and put yourself up there and buy."

The big spenders

The Written Tycoon Syndicate added another three mares on the final day to take their total to 39 and overall spend to $16.46 million. Rosemont Stud purchased six additional mares for its broodmare band, taking its total number to 22 and its overall spend to $12.735 million.

The sire whose daughters compiled the highest aggregate was Not A Single Doubt, who had $8.773 million worth of sales across 26 sales. Commands was second on that list on $6.65 million, including Melody Belle (NZ), while he also led the averages (more than three sales) on $604,545.

Written Tycoon ended the leading covering sire on aggregate, with $10.025 million in sales across 35 lots.

In an amazing milestone, mares in foal to I Am Invincible averaged $1.142 million across six sales, while those in foal to Dundeel (NZ) averaged $672,857.

While it has been a record-breaking week across the board, Bowditch believes it is a sustainable growth and is a reflection of the health of confidence of the broader thoroughbred industry.

“It mirrors what’s happening on the racetrack here. There’s a lot of confidence here, our model is so strong and so robust, our prizemoney’s fantastic and people want to get into the game at all levels, whether it be breeding, pinhooking or racing, so I’ve got a lot of confidence where we’re at I think we can continue to go from strength to strength," he said.

Top lots

723Arcadia Queen MNo-Pierro Arcadia Holbrook Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW (As Agent for Peters Investments Pty Ltd)Arrowfield StudNSW$3,200,000
510Melody Belle MNo-Commands Meleka Belle Blue Sky Premium Consignment, Canungra, Qld (As Agent for Fortuna Syndications)Written Tycoon SyndicateVIC$2,600,000
528Mizzy MNo-ZoustarMissy Cummings Newgate Consignment, Aberdeen, NSW (As Agent)Tom MagnierNSW$2,200,000
815Qafila MYesDundeel Not A Single DoubtZighy Bay Shadwell Stud Australasia Unreserved Dispersal (Prepared by Yarraman Park), Scone, NSWDean Hawthorne Bloodstock (BAFNZ)NEW ZEALAND$2,000,000
643Bella Vella FNo-Commands Forget The Weather Glenesk Thoroughbreds, Mount Vincent, NSW (As Agent)Rosemont StudVIC$1,900,000
1114Volpe Veloce MYesI Am Invincible Foxwedge Bardego Newgate Consignment, Aberdeen, NSW (As Agent)Sheamus Mills Bloodstock (FBAA)/Longwood Thoroughbred Farm/Peter MorganVIC$1,900,000
801Minhaaj FNo-Exceed And Excel Telaawa Shadwell Stud Australasia Unreserved Dispersal (Prepared by Yarraman Park), Scone, NSWRosemont StudVIC$1,800,000
824Telaawa MYesExceed And Excel LonhroMagic Harmony Shadwell Stud Australasia Unreserved Dispersal (Prepared by Yarraman Park), Scone, NSWGo Bloodstock/Coolmore StudNSW$1,700,000
831Ektifaa MYesI Am Invincible More Than Ready Stellar Vinia Shadwell Stud Australasia Unreserved Dispersal (Prepared by Yarraman Park), Scone, NSWKia Ora StudNSW$1,700,000
707Bonham FNo-Per Incanto Fortune's Choice Willow Park Stud, Scone, NSWSheamus Mills Bloodstock (FBAA)VIC$1,600,000

Top buyers

Written Tycoon Syndicate26$12,200,000$469,231$2,600,000
Rosemont Stud10$9,675,000$967,500$1,900,000
Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA)8$4,655,000$581,875$1,200,000
James Harron Bloodstock11$3,167,500$287,955$1,200,000
Tom Magnier1$2,200,000$2,200,000$2,200,000
Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock (BAFNZ)1$2,000,000$2,000,000$2,000,000
Newgate Bloodstock5$1,800,000$360,000$900,000
Spendthrift Australia Pty Ltd4$1,770,000$442,500$800,000
Freyer Bloodstock4$1,710,000$427,500$800,000
Go Bloodstock/Coolmore Stud1$1,700,000$1,700,000$1,700,000

Top vendors by aggregate

Shadwell Stud Australasia Unreserved Dispersal (Prepared by Yarraman Park), Scone, NSW37$25,135,000$679,324$2,000,000
Newgate Consignment, Aberdeen, NSW28$13,205,000$471,607$2,200,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone, NSW28$10,457,500$373,482$1,600,000
Widden Stud, Widden Valley, NSW33$8,548,000$259,030$1,500,000
Blue Sky Premium Consignment, Canungra, Qld40$8,331,000$208,275$2,600,000
Willow Park Stud, Scone, NSW38$6,787,500$178,618$1,600,000
Woodside Park Stud, Nagambie, Vic22$6,245,000$283,864$850,000
Godolphin, Hunter Valley, NSW40$6,092,500$152,313$550,000
Segenhoe Stud, Scone, NSW18$5,412,000$300,667$1,000,000
Glenesk Thoroughbreds, Mount Vincent, NSW11$4,460,000$405,455$1,900,000

Top vendors by average (3 or more sold)

Holbrook Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW2$1,607,000$3,214,000$3,200,000
Shadwell Stud Australasia Unreserved Dispersal (Prepared by Yarraman Park), Scone, NSW37$679,324$25,135,000$2,000,000
Telemon Thoroughbreds, Innisplain, Qld1$650,000$650,000$650,000
Newgate Consignment, Aberdeen, NSW28$471,607$13,205,000$2,200,000
Glenesk Thoroughbreds, Mount Vincent, NSW11$405,455$4,460,000$1,900,000
First Light Racing, Melbourne, Vic1$400,000$400,000$400,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone, NSW28$373,482$10,457,500$1,600,000
Attunga Stud, Scone, NSW14$308,214$4,315,000$950,000
Bell View Park Stud, Meroo Meadow, NSW6$300,833$1,805,000$470,000
Segenhoe Stud, Scone, NSW18$300,667$5,412,000$1,000,000

Top sires by aggregate

Not A Single Doubt26$8,773,000$337,423$2,000,000
Exceed And Excel26$6,646,000$255,615$1,800,000
Redoute's Choice20$6,230,000$311,500$1,250,000
I Am Invincible16$5,315,000$332,188$1,350,000
Fastnet Rock24$4,196,000$174,833$750,000

Top sires by average (3 or more sold)

Shamardal 3$786,667$2,360,000$1,350,000
Commands 11$604,545$6,650,000$2,600,000
Pierro 11$484,818$5,333,000$3,200,000
Stratum 6$482,917$2,897,500$1,500,000
Uncle Mo 3$453,333$1,360,000$750,000
Foxwedge 9$428,889$3,860,000$1,900,000
Dane Shadow 3$420,000$1,260,000$950,000
Encosta De Lago 6$400,750$2,404,500$1,600,000
Epaulette 8$391,563$3,132,500$1,350,000
Denman 6$344,167$2,065,000$1,000,000

Top covering sires by aggregate

Written Tycoon 35$10,025,000$286,429$850,000
I Am Invincible 8$9,140,000$1,142,500$1,900,000
Pierata 29$6,672,000$230,069$1,000,000
Deep Field 15$5,860,000$390,667$1,200,000
Exceed And Excel 9$5,295,000$588,333$1,700,000
Dundeel 7$4,710,000$672,857$2,000,000
Too Darn Hot7$3,830,000$547,143$1,350,000
So You Think10$2,705,000$270,500$650,000

Top covering sires by average (3 or more sold)

I Am Invincible8$1,142,500$9,140,000$1,900,000
Dundeel 7$672,857$4,710,000$2,000,000
Lonhro 3$620,000$1,860,000$1,250,000
Exceed And Excel 9$588,333$5,295,000$1,700,000
Too Darn Hot 7$547,143$3,830,000$1,350,000
Snitzel 3$476,667$1,430,000$550,000
Zoustar 7$412,857$2,890,000$1,000,000
Fastnet Rock3$411,667$1,235,000$800,000
Deep Field 15$390,667$5,860,000$1,200,000
Blue Point 8$328,125$2,625,000$750,000
Magic Millions
Volpe Veloce
National Broodmare Sale