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Too Good Too Hard sets new broodmare benchmark at Great Southern Sale

18 min read
A record-breaking Broodmare Session, headed by the $560,000 paid for Too Good Too Hard (All Too Hard), and a robust conclusion to the Weanling session saw the Inglis Great Southern Sale end on a high at Oaklands Junction.

Cover image courtesy of Inglis

At A Glance

Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA) set a new record price for a broodmare for the Sale when going to $560,000 for stakes-placed Too Good Too Hard, who will now visit Written Tycoon.

The top weanling on the second day was a colt by So You Think (NZ) from Makybe, which was secured by Mitchell Bloodstock (FBAA) for $290,000.

Sheamus Mills (FBAA) continued his affinity for fillies by Written Tycoon, paying $225,000 for the highest-priced weanling filly of the Sale.

The Select Weanlings averaged $40,696, up from $32,275 across the select offering in 2019 (last year's Great Southern Sale was held through Inglis Digital, so not a like-for-like comparison).

The median for the Select Weanlings was $22,000, up from $18,000 in 2019, while the clearance rate for the weanlings finished at 77 per cent, slightly down 80 per cent in 2019.

The Broodmare session averaged $49,169 ($25,397), with a median of $24,000 ($8500) across 74 (206) lots sold (2020 results in brackets).

Ra Ra Epic (Drumbeats), the half-sister to boom galloper Incentivise (Shamus Award) was the second-highest priced broodmare, going to Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA) and Merricks Station for $200,000.

Hedge goes hard for quality prospect

Multiple stakes-placed mare Too Good Too Hard set a new record price for a broodmare at the Inglis Great Southern Sale when selling to Suman Hedge Bloodstock for $560,000.

Lot 575 - Too Good Too Hard | Image courtesy of Inglis

A winner of six of her 19 starts for Phillip Stokes, including her past two at Murray Bridge and placed in a trio of Melbourne stakes races last spring, Too Good Too Hard was offered as a racing and breeding proposition through Mill Park Stud's draft.

As well as race performance, she also offers a strong pedigree, being a half-sister to stakes-placed It's A Myth (Sepoy) out of The Good Wife (Redoute's Choice), a half-sister to multiple Group 1 winner Divine Madonna (Hurricane Sky) as well as Group 3 winner Blessum (Umatilla {NZ}).

“She was such a beautiful mare and I’ve known a bit about her for some time because one of my clients is in her and I’ve been following her progress all the way through," Hedge said.

“I hadn't seen her before the Sale but when I first laid eyes on her I saw a beautiful mare and she’s got so much quality. She gets out over a bit of ground, has beautiful angles and moves so well."

The mare is set to go to Yulong Stud's Written Tycoon.

“It’s for a private owner and she has been bought for breeding purposes. She just suited him so well and he has mixed particularly well with the Flying Spur-line and there were a lot of reasons we liked her," he said.

John O'Shea (white hat) and Suman Hedge (red hat)

“The fact she came off Mill Park was a big reason as I’ve been dying to get a horse off them for years and have never been able to do so and if they’re not the best farm they’re in the discussion among some of the best-producing farms."

It was another terrific result for Chris Watson and his team at Mill Park.

“We knew she was a lovely mare coming here and she had great credentials coming here, so we knew she’d sell pretty well, but that was well above expectations. She’s gone to a fantastic buyer in Suman Hedge, so we are thrilled," he said.

“These fillies off the track have been super popular this year and if they’ve got a bit of residual value with a big, deep black-type family they just sell exceptionally well.

“These fillies off the track have been super popular this year and if they’ve got a bit of residual value with a big, deep black-type family they just sell exceptionally well." - Chris Watson

“We’ve got two to three generations of this family. We would have loved to have kept her but we’ve got a lot of this family, so it’s going to be fantastic to see some of the family getting out to some other big studs and into the marketplace as well.”

The price was not a record overall for the Sale, which belongs to the stallion she is going to, Written Tycoon, who was sold for $625,000 as a stallion at the 2009 edition.

Champion combination lures Mitchells

A colt by dual Cox Plate winner So You Think from the family of triple G1 Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva (GB) (Desert King {Ire}) topped the second day of the Inglis Great Southern Sale weanling section, selling for $290,000.

Lot 321 - So You Think (NZ) x Collins (colt) | Image courtesy of Inglis

Mitchell Bloodstock was the winning bidder for Lot 321, who was offered by Makybe Diva's breeder and owner Tony Santic's Makybe operation.

He is the third foal out of Makybe Diva's sister Collins (Desert King {Ire}) and is the second most expensive So You Think weanling sold in Australia, behind the $475,000 colt out of Bobine (USA) (Giant's Causeway {USA}) purchased by Mick Flanagan at this year's Magic Millions National Weanling Sale.

The achievements of Lot 321's family extend beyond that of legendary Makybe Diva, who was a seven-time Group 1 winner, with his dam also a half-sister to Group 2 winner Musket (Redoute's Choice), Listed winner La Amistad (Redoute's Choice) and Group 3 winner Valkyrie Diva (Jade Robbery {USA}), herself a dam of three stakes winners.

It was also the So You Think factor that attracted James Mitchell to the colt.

“He’s a hugely underrated stallion, I believe. He’s been doing a good job for years now. He wins Derbies, he wins Group 1s regularly, he’s a very good stallion," Mitchell said.

“He’s (So You Think) a hugely underrated stallion, I believe. He’s been doing a good job for years now. He wins Derbies, he wins Group 1's regularly, he’s a very good stallion." - James Mitchell

“He’s a nice colt out of a full sister to one of the best mares you’ve ever seen. The client was obviously pretty bullish and we probably spent a little bit more than I was expecting but it’s the market we are in and he wanted him, so that is where we ended up."

So You Think had the highest aggregate of any sire at the Sale, with $1.2 million in sales across 11 weanlings.

It is more likely than not, that Lot 321 will be seen at a yearling sale in 2022.

“We will just monitor the horse but we will probably give him the opportunity to be sold again. We wouldn’t have any issue if he ended up being raced by the client, either," Mitchell said.

Mitchell Bloodstock, which includes James and his father Bill, ended up the biggest buyers of the weanling section, snaring seven foals for a total of $671,000.

Their other major purchases were Lot 552, a colt by Toronado (Ire) offered by Rosemont Stud for $160,000, and Lot 41, a filly by Impending for $105,000.

Lot 552 - Toronado (Ire) x Bella Denise (colt) | Image courtesy of Inglis

“I am pleased I came down. There’s some good-quality weanlings here. Inglis has done a great job and obviously, with the permit, I am on, I’ve been just going from the hotel to the Sale and back, but it’s certainly been worth it to come down," Mitchell said.

The $290,000 pricetag for the So You Think colt certainly pleased Makybe manager Joe Murray.

“We knew he was popular and obviously a bit of a marquee being out of a full sister to Makybe Diva and he looks like a So You Think with that forelock," he said.

“Most people that saw him came back a second time and we had a lot of x-ray hits and we knew he would be popular.

“We were going to protect him but we didn’t think we had to because the market was pretty strong straight away and it’s a really good result."

Collins has a 2-year-old Brazen Beau filly in work with Colin Little for Makybe, while the yearling colt by All Too Hard sold to John Moloney for $110,000 at this year's Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Inglis praises market's resilience in uncertain times

With all key metrics showing the continued health of the market, it was a very positive finish to what has been an excellent sales season for Inglis, with new marks set at almost every stop along the way since the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale in February.

Inglis' Victorian Bloodstock Manager, James Price, was very much pleased with how the two days of this Sale evolved, especially in the context of COVID-19 related border closures and lockdowns, which had initially forced the Sale to be pushed back three weeks.

"We thought going into Day 2 that we would see a rise in the average and we certainly saw that. There were some fantastic results right across the board and buyers have gone home with what they wanted and vendors particularly pleased despite all that has gone on," he said.

“If we completely ignored the delays and border restrictions it's been a fantastic Sale regardless of everything that has gone on in the wider community.

“In the lead up to the Sale, it was a tense and nervous time for the Victorian vendors as they saw this Sale go online last year which is never ideal, particularly for weanlings." - James Price

“In the lead up to the Sale, it was a tense and nervous time for the Victorian vendors as they saw this Sale go online last year which is never ideal, particularly for weanlings.

“So, to see the Sale have the strength and competitiveness it did is hugely satisfying for us at Inglis and all the vendors who have waited."

Silverdale and Suman in for Capitalist colt

The third crop of Newgate Farm's Capitalist has proven very popular at this year's weanling sales, averaging nearly $145,000 and it was renowned pinhook duo Suman Hedge Bloodstock and Silverdale Farm that secured Lot 543, a colt from Widden Stud, for $250,000.

Lot 543 - Capitalist x Sebrina (colt) | Image courtesy of Inglis

The chestnut colt is out of stakes-placed mare Sebrina (Sebring), a daughter of Group 3 winner Crown Princess (Beautiful Crown {USA}) and was bred by Jennifer Mackay, who paid $250,000 for Sebrina back in 2018.

That mare had already realised a $150,000 return from her Not A Single Doubt yearling colt last year and then $140,000 for an Exceed And Excel colt at this year's Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

"He’s a colt we haven’t had for very long. He’s only been on the farm a week and we knew he was a special colt as soon as he got off the truck," Widden's Phil Marshall said.

“A big thanks to Jennifer and Jock Mackay at Cangon Stud for trusting us with the horse, they brought him down in pretty good order and he hasn’t really had a prep so he’s going to improve from here.

“He's a lovely horse and has plenty of scope for a Capitalist which I think the buyers really liked, he also had such a great attitude and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t make it into a really good racehorse with that temperament.

“Suman (Hedge) has been terrific with what he has bought over the last couple of years, he’s got a tremendous eye for a horse and when he came back two or three times I was pretty delighted and it meant we were on the right path."

Hedge was full of praise for the colt's athleticism.

“He’s a lovely horse, extremely athletic, beautiful moving and very well put together and Widden did a great job presenting him," he said.

“He’s (Lot 543) a lovely horse, extremely athletic, beautiful moving and very well put together and Widden did a great job presenting him." - Suman Hedge

“He’s also by the sire of the moment Capitalist who is taking all before him and he’s got a pedigree with some depth, so we’re delighted to get him.

“He’s got the best parts of Capitalist, we’re big on movement and athleticism, he was well-balanced, not too heavy and looks like a straightforward horse with a good temperament."

The colt was the only weanling purchase of the Sale for Hedge, who found bidding competition quite tough.

“As a buyer, I’ve found it very hard, it’s been an extremely strong sale and Inglis should be commended for what they’ve done as they’ve presented a really strong catalogue in some really challenging times," he said.

Written filly suits Mills

Bloodstock agent Sheamus Mills is unashamed of his fondness for Written Tycoon, having secured Group 1 glory through Thousand Guineas winner Odeum in 2020, and it was no surprise to see him win out on the highest-priced filly of the Weanling Sale, Lot 312, for $225,000.

Lot 312 - Written Tycoon x Chakvetadze (filly) | Image courtesy of Inglis

Offered by Rushton Park, the filly is out of G3 Gold Coast Guineas winner Chakvetadze (Taimazov {Arg}), who has already produced four winners.

“It’s a stallion I’ve paid a lot of attention to in recent years and I think he’s such a good stallion with the best still in front of him," Mills said.

“Like all the good ones you stretch yourself 10 to 15 per cent and while I was happy for the price to start with a one I wasn’t surprised to see it start with a two.

“I really wanted the horse and I was a huge fan of her mum who was such a fast and tough horse, she’s also had four foals go to the races and win so that was the reason why I stretched."

It was another good result for Rushton Park, who sold Lot 112, a Deep Field colt, for $290,000 on Sunday. Kayley and David Johnson had purchased Chakvetadze for $45,000 back in 2018.

Lot 112 - Deep Field x Passarelle (colt) | Image courtesy of Inglis

“She is just a beautiful filly, she’s very feminine with a beautiful colour, a very sweet mover with a lovely nature. So she was just the full package really," Kayley Johnson said.

“I bought the mare at the Gold Coast a few years ago because we loved her All Too Hard weanling and we’ve had good results in the past buying mares that we have seen results of in the past.

"She was a beautiful filly and while we thought she would sell well she’s even surpassed our expectations so we’re very pleased."

Rushton Park ended the weanling session as clearly the top vendor, having sold 15 foals for a total of $1.242 million.

“It is very rewarding to come with a good draft because a lot of hard yards go on behind the scenes at the farm and it’s nice to be rewarded for it," she said.

“It is very rewarding to come with a good draft because a lot of hard yards go on behind the scenes at the farm and it’s nice to be rewarded for it." - Kayley Johnson

Marquee result for Esker Lodge

The other weanling to sell for over $200,000 on the second day was Lot 370, a colt by Toronado (Ire) offered by Esker Lodge and purchased by Binalong Bloodstock for $210,000.

Lot 370 - Toronado (Ire) x Foxlago (colt) | Image courtesy of Inglis

He is out of Foxlago (Foxwedge), who is a half-sister to stakes-placed High Lago (High Chaparral {Ire}) and Falago (Fastnet Rock) from the family of Group 2 winner and Group 1-producing stallion Rothesay.

It was the second-highest price for a foal by Swettenham Stud's Toronado in Australia and a good return for Esker Lodge, who paid $75,000 for the dam as a yearling.

“He’s a nice specimen, had a super walk, great head, great physical and natural muscle mass that a lot of foals don’t have at that age," Esker Lodge's Darren Dance said.

“He’s out of a good young mare out of a family that I have a lot of interest in.

“Toronados are typically 3-year-olds and the mare could run a bit, the family are very well performed I’ve got three or four mares out of that family and they’re all good types with body mass and strength.

“He looks to me like he’ll get over a bit of ground, he’s got a great walk on him. So, I expect him to make a great 3-year-old."

“He (Lot 370) looks to me like he’ll get over a bit of ground, he’s got a great walk on him. So, I expect him to make a great 3-year-old." - Darren Dance

Esker Lodge ended up the top vendor on average for the weanling session, selling three at an average of $138,333.

“It’s very satisfying, I raced all three of the dams we sold at this Sale and we selected those mares to breed for different reasons and mated them to stallions we thought would sell," Dance said.

“So it’s really good to get good progeny and get very good money. It’s rewarding and show’s we almost know what we are doing.

“It’s about genetics to us and we put a lot of work into it so it’s rewarding to get good judges to buy them and even the underbidders saying they were some of the nicest horses on the complex is a really good feeling."

Epic result for Incentivise's half-sister

Ra Ra Epic (Drumbeats), the half-sister to stakes winners Incentivise (Shamus Award), Ardrossan and Cheyenne Warrior (Not A Single Doubt) and sister to Listed winner Bergerac, was the second top-priced mare from the Great Southern Broodmare Sale, selling for $200,000 to Group 1 Bloodstock and Merricks Station after initially passing in.

Lot 448 - Ra Ra Epic | Image courtesy of Inglis

Purchased for $80,000 at last year's Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale, Ra Ra Epic was offered through the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft by Platinum Breeding and Racing's Roger Sousa.

She emerged as one of the most anticipated lots of the Sale thanks to Incentivise, who has raced his way into favouritism for the G1 Caulfield Cup after winning the recent G3 Tattersall's Cup by 12l.

Offered in foal to Coolmore's Yes Yes Yes. bidding initially fell short of the reserve on the mare, but soon after she left the ring, Mathew Becker of Group 1 Bloodstock and Ben Cooper from Merricks Station got the deal done, with Ozzie Kheir, who recently secured a share in Incentivise, also involved in the partnership.

“It’s an exciting and very active family so it’s good to get her to the farm and we’ve gone halves with Ozzie Kheir," Cooper said.

“Not only is she that close relation to Incentivise but she’s a quality mare with a lot of black type at the top end and is the sort of mare we’re looking for.

“Not only is she (Ra Ra Epic) that close relation to Incentivise but she’s a quality mare with a lot of black type at the top end and is the sort of mare we’re looking for." - Ben Cooper

“We’ll get her back to the farm, foal her down and hopefully see some really good progeny come through the sales over the next few years.

“I was just chatting to Matt Becker and said it’s added real interest to the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup. We’ll certainly be cheering Incentivise on like we’re an owner too."

It was a decent return for Sousa, whose thoroughbred interests are managed by bloodstock agent Dave Mee of Pinhook Bloodstock.

Ben Cooper

"With COVID, and not many people travelling, there were a lot of people bidding online and through agents, it was hard to gauge the level of interest," Mee said.

"We set a reserve we thought was fair and reasonable for both the client and the potential buyer. It was a satisfying result. We really wish Matt and Ben all the best."

Carey signs for Anitra

Fastnet Rock filly Anitra, a half-sister to two American stakes winners, was secured by Jim Carey for $180,000. She was offered by Noorilim Park, having had 10 starts for one win.

Lot 492 - Anitra as a yearling

“We thought she’d make around that $80,000 to $100,000 mark and she was very popular at the Sale, we had a lot of phone calls before she went into the ring," Noorilim Park's, Glen Carrick, said.

“Newgate has now got her and will send her to Capitalist which is a really good opportunity for her first time.

“She is a nice, roomy, big Fastnet Rock mare and while she didn’t quite do it on the track she’s had a few issues that held her back from reaching her best.

“We purchased her at Magic Millions and she was an all round neat mare who is a lovely type."

Also achieving a $180,000 pricetag was imported mare Lost Diamond (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), who was purchased by New Zealand farm, Beaufort Downs.

Lot 422 - Lost Diamond (GB) | Image courtesy of Inglis

Boasting an international pedigree as a half-sister to Group 2 winner Centennial (Ire) (Dalakhani {Ire}) and Listed winner Siren's Song (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}), and from the family of Group 1 winners Croco Rouge (Ire) (Rainbow Quest {USA}), Taipan (Ire) (Last Tycoon {Ire}), Ali-Royal (Ire) (Royal Academy {USA}) and Sleepytime (Ire) (Royal Academy {USA}), she was offered by Stonehouse Thoroughbreds in foal to Capitalist.

There were 12 mares sell for $100,000 or more.

Top lots

575Too Good Too HardAll Too HardThe Good WifeN/AMareMill Park Stud, Meningie, SASuman Hedge Bloodstock Pty Ltd (FBAA) VIC$560,000
448Ra Ra EpicDrumbeatsMiss ArgyleYes Yes YesMare(+)Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSWMerricks Station / Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA) VIC$200,000
422Lost DiamondDubawiLurinaCapitalistMare(+)Stonehouse Thoroughbreds, EddingtonBeaufort Downs Ltd NEW ZEALAND$180,000
492AnitraFastnet RockEl LaoobN/AFillyNoorilim Park, ArcadiaJ Carey NSW$180,000
565My Dinah LeeDiscreetly Mine Dinah Lee ZoustarMare(+)Rothwell Park, Blandford, NSWTrilogy Racing Pty Ltd NSW$160,000
576Toorak AffairToorak ToffSmooth ReturnN/AMareEstate K. Wadley, Kings Meadows, TasEdinburgh Park NSW$155,000
566NatanyaPierroShania DaneYes Yes YesMare(+)Twin Hills Stud, Cootamundra, NSWArlington Park Racing / Wattle Bloodstock (FBAA) NSW$135,000
578TrajectoryNorthern MeteorOpaqueExtreme ChoiceMare(+)Rothwell Park, Blandford, NSWWritten Tycoon Syndicate VIC$130,000
579What A DivaPentireFledgedTrapeze ArtistMare(+)Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSWTrilogy Racing Pty Ltd NSW$120,000
581Dazzling DamselNot A Single DoubtTingirana N/AMareStonehouse Thoroughbreds, EddingtonSpringmount VIC$110,000

Top buyers

Suman Hedge Bloodstock Pty Ltd (FBAA)VIC1$560,000$560,000$560,000
Trilogy Racing Pty LtdNSW2$280,000$140,000$160,000
Written Tycoon SyndicateVIC2$210,000$105,000$130,000
Merricks Station / Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA)VIC1$200,000$200,000$200,000
Beaufort Downs LtdNEW ZEALAND1$180,000$180,000$180,000
J CareyNSW1$180,000$180,000$180,000
Edinburgh ParkNSW1$155,000$155,000$155,000
Arlington Park Racing / Wattle Bloodstock (FBAA)NSW1$135,000$135,000$135,000
Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA) / Ridgeport FarmWA4$135,000$33,750$85,000
Crystal Ball BloodstockNSW2$125,000$62,500$85,000

Top vendors by aggregate

Mill Park Stud, Meningie, SA2$615,000$307,500$560,000
Stonehouse Thoroughbreds, Eddington7$561,500$80,214$180,000
Widden Stud, Riddells Creek7$361,000$51,571$105,000
Rothwell Park, Blandford, NSW3$350,000$116,667$160,000
Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW2$320,000$160,000$200,000
Noorilim Park, Arcadia1$180,000$180,000$180,000
Twin Hills Stud, Cootamundra, NSW2$175,000$87,500$135,000
Merricks Station, Merricks3$163,000$54,333$85,000
Estate K. Wadley, Kings Meadows, Tas1$155,000$155,000$155,000
Leneva Park, Longwood1$105,000$105,000$105,000

Top vendors by average (2 or more sold)

Mill Park Stud, Meningie, SA2$307,500$615,000$560,000
Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone, NSW2$160,000$320,000$200,000
Rothwell Park, Blandford, NSW3$116,667$350,000$160,000
Twin Hills Stud, Cootamundra, NSW2$87,500$175,000$135,000
Stonehouse Thoroughbreds, Eddington7$80,214$561,500$180,000
Merricks Station, Merricks3$54,333$163,000$85,000
Widden Stud, Riddells Creek7$51,571$361,000$105,000
Makybe, Gnarwarre2$23,250$46,500$38,000
Supreme Thoroughbreds, Romsey2$20,500$41,000$40,000
Griffiths Training, Cranbourne5$17,600$88,000$35,000

Top sires by aggregate

All Too Hard2$598,000$299,000$560,000
Fastnet Rock4$196,500$49,125$180,000
Dubawi 1$180,000$180,000$180,000
Discreetly Mine1$160,000$160,000$160,000
Toorak Toff1$155,000$155,000$155,000
Northern Meteor1$130,000$130,000$130,000

Top sires by average (2 or more sold)

All Too Hard2$299,000$598,000$560,000
Fastnet Rock4$49,125$196,500$180,000
Street Sense2$44,000$88,000$70,000

Top covering sires by aggregate

Yes Yes Yes2$335,000$167,500$200,000
Extreme Choice1$130,000$130,000$130,000
National Defense3$126,000$42,000$80,000
Trapeze Artist1$120,000$120,000$120,000
Pride Of Dubai2$107,000$53,500$85,000
Ocean Park1$95,000$95,000$95,000