When Shadwell announced they were going to disperse their stock at the Breeding Stock Sales last year, Rosemont’s Nigel Austin and Anthony Mithen saw this as an unmissable opportunity to invest in the some of the rare families that would have otherwise been impossible to gain access to.
“When Nigel and Anthony saw that Shadwell were dispersing their stock they saw it as a great opportunity to get involved with those families that were in the past a closed shop,” explained Rosemont’s General Manager Ryan McEvoy.
“Angus Gold did a great job of developing these families and it was certainly a topic of major discussions prior to the Sale to get involved in the families. Credit to Nigel and Anthony for jumping at the opportunity and it looks to be paying off so far.”
The family of Group 3 winner Bulbula was one the Victorian farm seemingly earmarked as the one for them and they went about collecting members of it to either race in the Rosemont or Victorian Alliance silks like Doull or join the burgeoning Rosemont Stud broodmare band.
Doull was the first member of the star family they snapped up, purchasing him for a whopping $1.2 million at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, before joining forces with Justin Bahen to secure his Zoustar half-brother - who is in training with Matt Laurie - for $700,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Weanling Sale.
Austin and Mithen then secured Bulbula herself at the Magic Millions National Broodmare for $1.350 million, going to the same figure for her Group 3-winning half-sister Khulaasa (Epaulette), before securing Bulbula’s Group 3-winning daughter Aryaaf (Epaulette) for $800,000.
“We certainly doubled down on the family which obviously added to the pressure on Doull’s performance today,” said McEvoy. “Bulbula was a sharp 2-year-old and I remember I was at Flemington that day when she won her Group 3 and I loved her profile. I was also there the day Aryaaf won there, so those sorts of things stick out in your mind. It is a fast precocious sort of family that appealed to us last year.”
The mares have all been covered by high-class stallions, with Aryaaf in foal to Widden Stud’s Zoustar, while Khulaasa has been covered by I Am Invincible, having produced a filly by Too Darn Hot (GB) last season and Bulbula herself is back in foal to Snitzel.
In terms of Doull, McEvoy said they had been given every indication that the colt was above average by his trainers Anthony and Sam Freedman.
“We had been waiting for this horse and every indication we got from the stable was that he was certainly above average,” said McEvoy. “We have had to be a bit patient with him. It takes a good colt to win down the straight at Flemington on debut, so it is very exciting.
“We have had to be a bit patient with him (Doull). It takes a good colt to win down the straight at Flemington on debut, so it is very exciting." - Ryan McEvoy
“The stable have a good handle on what is a good 2-year-old so when they tell you they think a lot of a horse it gives you a bit of confidence.
“Anthony suggested on Friday that he wouldn’t have been surprised if the horse did a couple of things wrong, but the way he presented in the yard and handled the barriers was great, given the race wasn’t run as we expected it to.
Commenting on the next steps for the colt, McEvoy said: “The idea is to keep an open mind for the short term but I would suggest he is more likely to have a freshen up at Rosemont, with a view to getting him on the right leg for the spring.”
The Victorian Alliance has enjoyed almost instant success with its first runners and Doull becomes its fourth winner from five to race, with the quartet headed by stakes-winning colts Millane (Zoustar) and Brereton (Zoustar).
McEvoy said they had been impressed with Doull during the on-farm inspections at Yarraman before the Easter Sale.
“When we saw this horse before the Sale in the Hunter Valley he was one we all earmarked, he was one we really stretched on and we’re glad we did.”