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The first horse through the Riverside Stables sales ring tonight could hardly be more appropriate


Steve Moran | 10.02.2018

It was not and could not have been orchestrated but it is entirely appropriate that Lot 1 at the 2018 Classic Yearling Sale will be offered by John Cornish’s Torryburn Stud.

However, Inglis managing director Mark Webster does admit to the tiniest hint of intervention that will see Torryburn’s bay colt by Shooting To Win be the first to go under the hammer on Saturday night.

“I did ring John some time ago to make him aware that his colt could possibly be the first lot pending other entries,” Webster said. Lest he finish up at some other sale.

It was pre-ordained, of course, that the first lot would be from a mare beginning with the letter R. Second letter A would always be a plus. And this lot is out of Raheights and got the nod, by a proverbial one letter short half head, from Chevaux Bloodstock’s So You Think colt out of Rainier’s Love.

It’s appropriate as Cornish, then vice-chairman of the then Australian Jockey Club, played a key role in negotiations with Inglis which precipitated the move from Newmarket to Warwick Farm.

“John and I worked together on this project. Firstly in getting the deal done to secure the land and later in liaising with the Liverpool City Council and in securing road upgrades. It was much, much more than one or two meetings. It means a lot to me and I am sure it does to him also.

“John was chairman of the AJC property committee at the time and chairman of the club by the time we finished establishing the project,” Webster said.

It’s a sentiment endorsed by Cornish’s son Brett who oversees Torryburn’s 14-strong draft to be presented at Classic. “Dad had a lot to do with Inglis moving to Warwick Farm so it’s certainly significant for the farm,” he said.

But will it be propitious? You’d reckon so with a likely packed auditorium given the historic occasion. I’m sure the vendors would be happy to match Lots 1 on the Gold Coast and at Karaka this year, which each sold for $170,000.

“Well, he looks the part,” Brett Cornish said. “He is a nice type who has continued to progress and we’d be hoping he could make $100,000 plus but we’re going to be good sports and he’s going there unreserved.”

The colt will be presented by Torryburn’s yearling manager Vanessa Benson. “She preps all the yearlings and I don’t think there was ever going to be any real debate as to who would lead this horse,” he said.

Webster thinks the September foal will attract plenty of interest. “He’s nice colt and a half to two stakes performers and we certainly hope he gets a good result,” he said.

Torryburn own and raced the city winning dam Raheights and have raced her two stakes performers – Brettan and Diddums, who won the P J Bell Stakes at Randwick last April. She then won first-up at Rosehill last September but a hoof abscess has delayed her return to racing in 2018.

Cornish looks forward to presenting each of his yearlings over the four days of Classic.  

“We have a good draft. Our Deep Field colt out of Lustful (Lot 115) is a beauty. He’s compact and stylish. His two-year-old half brother, by I Am Invincible, ran the fastest ever breeze-up time at an Inglis Ready To Run Sale last year and Bye See, on his dam side, has won two Saturday races in Sydney since the catalogue came out.

“We’ve also got a lovely Snitzel filly (Lot 70) in the Gold Riband session. She’s a typical Snitzel. They do come in all shapes and sizes but they can all run no matter what. She’s a half to London Master who’s won twice in Hong Kong this season, he said.

Torryburn has eight yearlings catalogued for Sydney Easter. They include the Your Song (Fastnet Rock) half brother to Hot King Prawn (Denman) who’s unbeaten in five starts in Hong Kong; the Smart Missile (Fastnet Rock) three-quarter brother to the talented Deploy (Fastnet Rock) and – for client Linda Huddy – an I Am Invincible  (Invincible Spirit) half-brother to last season’s South Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Volatile Mix (Pentire).


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