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Hedge strikes late in Sale to claim prize lot

11 min read
The fireworks came late in the piece on the opening day of the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Yearling Sale when bloodstock agent Suman Hedge went to $500,000 for a striking chestnut colt, Lot 1619, by Snitzel.

Cover image courtesy of Magic Millions

At A Glance

Day 1 saw $7,091,500 traded at an average of $63,887, well up on the Day 1 average of $41,257 in 2020 and 2019.

The median of $45,000 is also well up on the $30,000 benchmark of the last two years.

Magic Millions will work overtime to improve a clearance rate of 56.63 per cent, down from 64.3 per cent on Day 1 last year and 62.4 per cent in 2019.

Suman Hedge secured the day’s top lot late in the session when he went to $500,000 for Milburn Creek’s chestnut colt by Snitzel.

Guy Mulcaster paid $320,000 for the I Am Invincible colt offered by Torryburn Stud and $220,000 for a son of Dundeel (NZ) from Kenmore Lodge.

Arrowfield Stud’s Snitzel is the leading sire by average for three or more lots sold with three of his yearlings selling for $560,000 at an average of $186,667.

Milburn Creek is the leading vendor by average with four lots sold for $685,500 at an average of $171,250.

Hedge had viewed the son of Snitzel several times during the year as he enjoys a close association with vendor Milburn Creek and believed the youngster offered the complete package.

He boasts an impressive pedigree and paraded in terrific order for the Sale. The colt had a number of potential buyers joining in after an initial opening bid of $200,000, but Hedge out-stayed them all.

“He was the pick of the Sale, there are a lot of attractions about him. He is by a Champion Sire out of a stakes-winning mare and his brother sold for $1.55 million,” he said.

"He (Lot 1619) was the pick of the Sale, there are a lot of attractions about him. He is by a Champion Sire out of a stakes-winning mare and his brother sold for $1.55 million." - Suman Hedge

The colt is out of the Listed Hybrid Plate winner Walk With Attitude (Hussonet {USA}) and her high-priced son Spend (Snitzel) is a dual winner and placed at Group 3 level.

The second and third dams – Hillfa (Danehill {USA}) and Fayfa (Ire) (Slip Anchor {GB}) – are also black-type winners with leading sire Invincible Spirit (Ire) also in the pedigree mix.

Hedge said the Snitzel colt, who was withdrawn from the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, was a major favourite of Milburn Creek’s Scott Holcombe.

"Scott is probably one of my closest allies in the industry and someone I respect immensely and he's always loved this colt. It’s a shame he couldn’t put him through a sale earlier in the year, he would have made a lot more.

“It was just minor issues and we had him vetted and the vet was happy. We have a pretty stringent criteria and the horse just presented so well.

“He was very active and had all the signs that we are looking for in a yearling.”

Hedge was unable to reveal the identity of the owner and a trainer for the colt has yet to be decided.

“We’ll get him broken in straight away and when he gets to a trainer we’ll see how he handles that. There is a lot in his pedigree to say that he’ll get up and running as a 2-year-old,” he said.

In familiar territory

Hedge also went to $220,000 for Bowness Stud’s Extreme Choice filly, who will be going to Caulfield trainer Mick Price.

“She is very reminiscent of the sire and Mick is going to train her. I asked him what he thought of her and he said she was all Extreme Choice,” Hedge said. “Mick has been a great supporter of mine.

“I bought her for a single owner who is in it for the long term and will hopefully breed from her later on.”

Lot 1553 - Extreme Choice x She Brings Hope (filly) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Price, who operates in partnership with Michael Kent Jnr, trained Extreme Choice to win twice at Group 1 level before his retirement to Newgate.

Hedge expected the filly to be an early runner and, like most, is a major fan of the sire: “he’s a stallion that is doing such a good job.”

The filly’s dam She Brings Hope (Sebring) was successful four times up to 1400 metres with the European Group 1 winners Shemaka (Ire) (Nishapour {Fr}) and Shakeel (Fr) (Dalakhani {Ire}) featuring on the page.

Work to be done

Magic Millions Managing Director Barry Bowditch and his team will be working overtime to match buyers with horses after a clearance rate of nearly 57 per cent and just over $7,090,500 was traded on 112 lots sold at an average price of $63,887. Book 1 selling concludes on Wednesday.

The Book 1 clearance rate 12 months ago, when it was a single session, was 75 per cent with an aggregate of $10,288,500 at an average of $53,866.

“It’s an extremely polarising market and the clearance rate is far from satisfactory and over the next 24 hours we will be working extremely hard to get that to a more satisfactory level,” Bowditch said.

"It’s an extremely polarising market and the clearance rate is far from satisfactory and over the next 24 hours we will be working extremely hard to get that to a more satisfactory level." - Barry Bowditch

“Buyers, agents, trainers and owners need to be paying attention to this Sale and doing research overnight leading into tomorrow because there are so many opportunities out there."

Bowditch urged vendors to take another look at their reserves to stimulate sales.

“On the other side of the coin, I think vendors need to set the reserves low and give the market the opportunity to gain some confidence and sell these horses,” he said.

Barry Bowditch

“This is the end of the line from a selling perspective for the yearling market and it would be good to see us sell a good percentage of these horses over the next couple of days.

“Buyers are being selective and they don’t need a lot of horses so they’re pinning their ears back on the ones they really like.

“The quality lots were sought-after and that was evident, whether that be Guy Mulcaster and Chris Waller or Suman Hedge, they have an eye for detail and they are finding those horses here and making sure they secure them.”

Vinnie colt a popular offering

A quality I Am Invincible colt, Lot 1547, was well known to buyers at the higher end of the market and he attracted widespread interest before Guy Mulcaster was able to land the final blow at $320,000.

The youngster was offered by Torryburn Stud and was to have been sold earlier in the year and attracted potential suitors at parades, but remained at home after suffering an injury.

Lot 1547 - I Am Invincible x Serena Miss (NZ) (colt) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

“I had seen him going into the Easter Sale and he couldn’t get there. I had spoken to Chris (Waller) a couple of times this week and he was a must have to get into the system,” Mulcaster said.

“I thought I might have had to pay a bit more for him. He’s a beautiful colt off a great farm so we’re very happy to have him.”

The colt is a son of Serena Miss (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}), who was a dual Group 2 winner and a G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas placegetter and was purchased by Torryburn at the 2016 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale for $700,000.

Serena Miss’ only foal to race is the recent winner and last season’s G3 Widden S. placegetter Centimental (Snitzel).

Lot 1547 - I Am Invincible x Serena Miss (NZ) (colt) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

Torryburn had expected the son of I Am Invincible to be popular at the Gold Coast, having rated him as one of the best three colts off the property this year.

“He’s a perfect mix of both parents, I see a lot of Iffraaj in him and he’s got all the good qualities of I Am Invincible,” Torryburn’s Melissa Copelin said.

“He’s very dark as well, he’s brown and bordering on black, he’s beautiful and very much like his mum.”

Patience rewarded

Kenmore Lodge’s decision to play a waiting game with a Dundeel (NZ) colt, Lot 1512, proved a smart decision when he sold for $220,000.

The Queensland farm decided to keep the youngster for this Sale and was rewarded with the successful purchaser Mulcaster.

“We thought he was a January-quality horse, but being a boutique farm we kept him back to be a stand-out horse here and it was a good result,” said Kellie Bond, who operates Kenmore Lodge with husband Cameron.

“He’s a really nice horse and up there with the better ones here so we weren’t surprised. It’s been a really selective market and quality recommends itself and is what the market is crying out for, and a good judge bought him.”

Lot 1512 - Dundeel (NZ) x Quizzed (GB) (colt) | Image courtesy of Magic Millions

The son of Dundeel is out of Quizzed (GB) (Oratorio {Ire}), who won in England and Australia and she is a half-sister to the two-time Listed winner Primevere (Ire) (Singspiel {Ire}).

The international theme runs deep in this pedigree with the third dam a three-quarter sister to the multiple Group 1 winner and sire Peintre Celebre (USA), whose half-brother Peinture Rare (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells {USA}) was a dual Group 2 winner.

The Group 1-winning sprinter Persian King (Ire) (Kingman {GB}) and the G1 Prix Ganay winner and sire Planteur (Ire) are also members of this family.

“The colt was owned by a client, who has been with us a long time. The mare has been quite a difficult breeder and she’s got a No Nay Never filly and has been served by Spirit Of Boom,” Bond said.

Vandyke joins the club

David Vandyke arrived on Sale morning with a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ attitude in his pursuit of a son of Capitalist, Lot 1437, offered by Alexia Fraser Bloodstock.

The Sunshine Coast trainer was pushed to the limit to land the youngster for $200,000 and is hoping the colt can make up for one of his biggest disappointments in racing.

“Capitalist just beat me in the G1 Golden Slipper S. when I had Yankee Rose so I’ve joined the team now,” Vandyke said.

“Capitalist just beat me in the G1 Golden Slipper S. when I had Yankee Rose so I’ve joined the team now." - David Vandyke

Yankee Rose (All American) finished runner-up to the now Newgate-based sire in the 2016 Golden Slipper and at her next appearance credited Vandyke with his first Group 1 winner when she triumphed in the ATC Sires’ Produce S. The following season she won the G1 Spring Champion S.

Vandyke’s Capitalist colt is a son of the multiple stakes winner Marquardt (Shamardal {USA}), dam of the multiple winning siblings Highfalutin Gal (All Too Hard) and All Stars.

The pedigree page also features Dandy Andy (NZ) (Three Legs {GB}), who famously upset Vo Rogue (Ivor Prince {USA}) and Bonecrusher (NZ) (Pag Asa) to win the G1 Australian Cup at long odds.

Vandyke was running on empty at the finish, but hung on to land his prize selection.

“That was my figure ($200,000) and I wasn’t going to go any more. It was a nice price for a nice colt,” he said.

“He’s a beautiful type and I loved the mare, she was very consistent at stakes level. I think he is one of the best colts in the Sale.”

Lot 1437 - Capitalist x Marquardt (NZ) (colt)

Vandyke believes the youngster will shine early in his career and expects him to train on.

“He looks like a jump-and-run horse and being out of a Shamardal mare, should go on with it. We’ll give him a chance as a 2-year-old and I’ll be excited to see him later on as well,” he said.

Vandyke also parted with $100,000 for Arrowfield Stud’s Maurice (Jpn) colt, Lot 1537, who is out of Royal Snippets (Royal Academy {USA}). She is a half-sister to Champion resident sire Snitzel and the ill-fated Hinchinbrook.

Royal Snippets was successful on two occasions and is the dam of a pair of winners including King’s Troop (Redoute’s Choice), who was runner-up in the G3 San Domenico S.

Top lots

1619SnitzelWalk With AttitudeCMilburn Creek, Wildes Meadow, NSW (As Agent)Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA)VIC$500,000
1547I Am Invincible Serena MissCTorryburn Stud, Torryburn, NSW (As Agent)Waller Racing/Mulcaster BloodstockNSW$320,000
1512DundeelQuizzedCKenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Qld (As Agent)Mulcaster BloodstockNEW ZEALAND$220,000
1553Extreme Choice She Brings Hope FBowness Stud, Young, NSWSuman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA)/Mick Price RacingVIC$220,000
1401Redoute's Choice La Fouine Tail CArrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW (As Agent)Waller Racing/Mulcaster BloodstockNSW$210,000
1437Capitalist Marquardt CAlexia Fraser Bloodstock, Warwick, Qld (As Agent)Vandyke RacingQLD$200,000
1611Deep Field Valuabelle CKenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Qld (As Agent)John Foote BloodstockHONG KONG$200,000
1404So You Think Lady Primrose CBaramul Stud, Widden Valley, NSWDavid Ellis/Andrew Williams Bloodstock Pty Ltd (FBAA)NEW ZEALAND$165,000
1459Zoustar Mumtaazah CWidden Stud, Widden Valley, NSW (As Agent)David Ellis/Andrew Williams Bloodstock Pty Ltd (FBAA)NEW ZEALAND$160,000
1559Iffraaj Showthemoff CBhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW (As Agent)John Foote BloodstockHONG KONG$160,000

Top buyers

Waller Racing/Mulcaster Bloodstock2$530,000$265,000$320,000
Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA)1$500,000$500,000$500,000
David Ellis/Andrew Williams Bloodstock Pty Ltd (FBAA)3$425,000$141,667$165,000
John Foote Bloodstock2$360,000$180,000$200,000
Vandyke Racing2$300,000$150,000$200,000
Mulcaster Bloodstock1$220,000$220,000$220,000
Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA)/Mick Price Racing1$220,000$220,000$220,000
Steven Cole Racing2$215,000$107,500$120,000
Michael Costa Racing2$195,000$97,500$110,000
Magic Bloodstock/Noel Greenhalgh2$190,000$95,000$140,000

Top vendors by aggregate

Milburn Creek, Wildes Meadow, NSW4$685,000$171,250$500,000
Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Qld7$612,000$87,429$220,000
Arrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW7$547,000$78,143$210,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone, NSW6$472,500$78,750$150,000
Westbury Stud Ltd, Karaka, NZ9$420,000$46,667$75,000
Torryburn Stud, Torryburn, NSW4$376,500$94,125$320,000
Bowness Stud, Young, NSW4$365,000$91,250$220,000
Fernrigg Farm, Denman, NSW5$324,000$64,800$110,000
Baramul Stud, Widden Valley, NSW5$301,000$60,200$165,000
Eureka Stud, Cambooya, Qld3$270,000$90,000$150,000

Top vendors by average (3 or more sold)

Milburn Creek, Wildes Meadow, NSW4$171,250$685,000$500,000
Torryburn Stud, Torryburn, NSW4$94,125$376,500$320,000
Bowness Stud, Young, NSW4$91,250$365,000$220,000
Eureka Stud, Cambooya, Qld3$90,000$270,000$150,000
Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, Qld7$87,429$612,000$220,000
Noralla Stud, Gladfield, Qld3$86,667$260,000$130,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone, NSW6$78,750$472,500$150,000
Arrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW7$78,143$547,000$210,000
Fernrigg Farm, Denman, NSW5$64,800$324,000$110,000
Attunga Stud, Scone, NSW3$64,333$193,000$80,000

Top sires by aggregate

Capitalist 3$405,000$135,000$200,000
Deep Field 4$395,000$98,750$200,000
Spirit Of Boom 5$370,000$74,000$150,000
Maurice 4$350,000$87,500$140,000
I Am Invincible1$320,000$320,000$320,000
Zoustar 4$297,500$74,375$160,000
So You Think4$260,000$65,000$165,000
Pierro 3$240,000$80,000$130,000

Top sires by average (3 or more sold)

Deep Field 4$98,750$395,000$200,000
Spirit Of Boom5$74,000$370,000$150,000
So You Think4$65,000$260,000$165,000
Magic Millions National Yearling Sale
Redoute's Choice
I Am Invincible
Suman Hedge
Guy Mulcaster