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I Am Invincible just that in 2023-24

Champion sire closing in on breaking Australian prize-money record

Australia’s twice reigning champion stallion I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) could break the all-time general sires’ prize-money record as soon as this weekend – with almost four months of the racing season still to go.

And if the record of $29,243,613, set in 2017-2018 by four-time champion and the still potent Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice), is to fall on Saturday, it would come on the eve of the highly anticipated Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale where some of I Am Invincible’s best-credentialled yearlings of his 12th crop will be offered. 

Following the weekend’s racing, in which I Am Invincible’s exciting three-year-old daughter Estriella made it three wins in succession this preparation with a victory in the Sunlight Classic (Listed, 1100m) at Flemington to push her earnings beyond $1 million, I Am Invincible is $2,130,632 behind Snitzel’s record.

He is about $10 million clear of his nearest rival for the 2023-2024 title, that being So You Think (High Chaparral) who also finished runner-up last season.

Zoustar (Northern Meteor), who is third on the sires’ premiership and will be another whose Easter yearlings will be highly sought after come next Sunday, sired six winners on Saturday including Emancipation Stakes (Gr 2, 1500m) winner Olentia and Oakbank’s Railway Stakes (Listed, 1100m) scorer Celsius Star.

I Am Invincible’s chances of reaching a new mark this coming weekend will be aided by Imperatriz, Te Akau’s brilliant mare who has banked more than $5.1 million this season alone in her six wins, five which have been at Group 1 level.

The Mark Walker-trained five-year-old is early favourite for the $3 million TJ Smith Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Radwick while the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained two-year-old I Am Invincible colt Anode, runner-up in the Pago Pago (Gr 3, 1200m) and Saturday’s Baillieu (Gr 3, 1400m) at Rosehill, could back up in the $1 million ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Yarraman Park’s Harry Mitchell, forever grateful that he and his family are among the benefactors of I Am Invincible’s arrival at the Scone stud, said it was the stallion’s offspring’s consistency which had led to his sheer dominance this season.

“You’ve got Imperatriz and Estriella, they’re probably our flagships at the moment depending on what they’re doing, with those second tier horses like Caballus, who might go to the Arrowfield, and there’s a few others around and others getting ready for Brisbane,” Mitchell told ANZ Bloodstock News.

“It’s great to get horses who can win numerous stakes races because that’s what sets him apart. When he gets a good one, they win a heap of races. 

“A lot of stallions get a stakes winner, and they all win one, but his good horses like Imperatriz and Brazen Beau, they win [a lot of big races] and the list goes on and on.

“And you know what else I like? His sons are doing well, even his ones at lesser fees. Overshare, Kobayashi and Hellbent, they’re doing a job, so it augurs well for Home Affairs.”

Hellbent is the current leading thirdseason sire by earnings, boosted by the deeds of two-year-old colt Fully Lit who landed the $2 million Inglis Millennium (RL, 1100m), while another son, Darley’s Brazen Beau, had Zapateo win The Galaxy (Gr 1, 1100m) and two-year-old filly Bold Bastille win twice at stakes level in Melbourne during March.

Overshare’s first crop four-year-old daughter Lady Laguna also won the Canterbury Stakes (Gr 1, 1300m) and finished runner-up in the George Ryder (Gr 1, 1500m) last month.

“Look, Hellbent is the leading thirdseason sire and he’s 12th on the [general sires] table and, if you look at it, there’s a lot of stallions behind him including Exceed And Excel, Deep Field, Toronado, Tavistock,” the studmaster said. 

“If you put the mares he covered and compare them to what they covered, I think he’s done a hell of a job.”

I Am Invincible has 40 yearlings set to go under the hammer over the two days of the Easter sale, while Snitzel has 39, Zoustar has 36 catalogued and Coolmore’s So You Think has 19 on offer.

Ten of Yarraman Park’s Easter draft of 14 are by their resident champion sire including a standout daughter of Notting Hill (Pierro) from the family of Redoute’s Choice (Danehill), a sister to Swettenham Stud’s young sire I Am Immortal, who is also a sister to Phelan Ready Stakes (Listed, 1000m) winner Godfather, and a colt out of the stakes-placed Overstep (Exceed And Excel), making him a brother to the talented Bews. 

“We always go into Easter slightly nervous that the money’s going to run out and, obviously, the signs are there that the bottom of the market is struggling, but that’s fair enough as you get rewarded for quality,” Mitchell said.

“Easter’s always a sale where you can get wonderful results or you can be a tad disappointed and I don’t think it’ll ever be any different.

“There’s a lot of people who want the really good ones, but there’s not so many who want the bottom 20 per cent, but that’s why Easter’s great buying.

“There’s some really nice horses there that won’t make silly money.”

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