Six Of The Best – Classic
Here, in order of appearance, is a look at six likely showstoppers at next week’s Inglis Classic yearling sale.
Ch colt, Zoustar – Scarlet Rain (Manhattan Rain)
Newgate Farm has been a dominant force at Inglis Classic in recent times, as its leading vendor for the past two years.
And they could have a sale-topper here – or at least a long-term clubhouse leader – in this impressive colt, who’ll go around in the first couple of hours.
He’s the second foal of former brilliant two-year-old Scarlet Rain, who won her first three starts, capped by Randwick’s Sweet Embrace Stakes (Gr 2, 1200m).
According to Newgate’s Henry Field, he’s exactly the type of Zoustar (Northern Meteor) you’d want if pursuing juvenile success.
“He’s a very attractive horse and is a very fast shape of a Zoustar – the kind of Zoustars that go early,” Field said. “He’s got a big, big, big action and looks a very precocious early goer. Plus, he’s out of a mare who was a very fast two-year-old herself.”
A striking, chunky chestnut with four white socks and a blaze to match, the colt is inbred 3m x 3m to Encosta de Lago (Fairy King) via Zoustar’s sire Northern Meteor and Scarlet Rain’s father Manhattan Rain.
“It’s a very important sale to us,” said Field, whose farm has sold Classic graduates including Group 1 winner Shadow Hero (Pierro), a $260,000 lot in 2018, and Inglis Millennium winner Profiteer (Capitalist), a $165,000 sale in 2020 who now stands at Newgate.
“We want to be leading vendor here again, so we’ve put some really good horses in. There’s a handful of really serious horses who could’ve gone to Magic Millions or Easter [sales], but we wanted to have a really strong draft here, and this colt is one of our best.”
B f, Magna Grecia – Slots (Casino Prince)
Coolmore’s dual Group 1-winning shuttler Magna Grecia (Invincible Spirit) goes on show with his first crop at this year’s sales and this filly from one of Classic’s best-performed vendors, Torryburn Stud, is sure to turn heads.
A son of Invincible Spirit (Green Desert) in a vastly more economical price range than his most famous son I Am Invincible, Magna Grecia has seven lots at the sale, and Torryburn’s Mel Copelin feels it’ll be hard to top this one.
“She’s a beautifully-bred horse and a beautiful animal,” Copelin said. “She’s extremely well-balanced, everything’s where you want it to be. She’s light on her feet and moves beautifully.”
The filly is out of the speedy Slots, who scored a Listed victory among seven wins and was thrice stakes-placed. And with her sire being a son of Flying Spur (Danehill) in Casino Prince, the mating echoes I Am Invincible’s second-best nick, with Flying Spur having brought him 26 winners from 33 runners, including the outstanding Home Affairs.
“Invincible Spirit has obviously been a great cross with a lot of Australian broodmares, so we thought Magna Grecia would work with Slots, and we’re certainly delighted with how it’s turned out,” Copelin said.
Such is Torryburn’s faith in the blend, Slots is currently in foal to Home Affairs. The over-achieving Hunter stud is also hoping to replicate some earlier headlining successes from Classic.
Torryburn was the sale’s third-leading vendor by averages last year (six or more lots), sold champion Hong Kong sprinter Hot King Prawn (Denman) at Classic in 2016 for just $90,000, and topped the sale in 2020 with the territory’s current emerging star Voyage Bubble (Deep Field), a $380,000 yearling.
“It’s a great sale that always turns out some great horses at some very competitive prices,” said Copelin, whose farm offers 11 lots this year.
B, colt Ardrossan – Vanilla Essence
Waikato Stud sets out to take coal to Newcastle through this imposing bay from the second crop of Ardrossan (Redoute’s Choice), the stallion shaping as a sprinting presence in a sea of New Zealand staying blood.
And Ardrossan, the Australian-bred whose best win came in Ellerslie’s Concorde Handicap (Gr 3, 1200m), is off to a flyer with his four runners including Codigo, who made it two from two, with a Listed win at Trentham last month.
Offered through Sledmere Stud’s draft, the colt may have crossed the Tasman, but is from a family well known to Australians. His unraced mother Vanilla Essence (Pins) is a full sister to Purely Spectacular, dam of dual Group 1 winner Stratum Star (Stratum) and Prague (Redoute’s Choice), winner at Group 3 of the Pago Pago (Gr 3, 1200m) and Canonbury (Gr 3, 1200m) stakes, and second in the Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m).
Vanilla Essence is also a full sister to Raid, winner of five races to 1200 metres including a Rotorua Listed sprint.
“He’s a lovely balanced colt, with a really nice action, a fantastic attitude, and he’s got a lot of presence about him,” said Sledmere’s Catriona Murphy. “He’s got a nice eye, a good hip, a lovely deep girth and plenty push behind. Throughout his preparation he’s furnished very nicely, and with his pedigree and overall physique we’re very hopeful he’ll do well.”
Sledmere was second-leading vendor here last year through 29 lots, including $190,000 buy Arkansaw Kid (Harry Angel), who won the MVRC Inglis Banner (RL, 1000m) at his only start so far and is a leading chance in this week’s Inglis Millennium (RL, 1100m). The farm presents the second-largest draft at this year’s sale, with 43 lots.
“They’re by a good range of stallions – all different types to suit different trainers and buyers,” Murphy adds. “We tend to aim just nice quality horses at this sale we think will get up early and run, and this Ardrossan colt is very forward and fits into this draft really well.”
Br colt, Cosmic Force – Bramble Rose (Shinko King)
First-season sire Cosmic Force (Deep Field) has 13 lots at Classic and this one from Kingstar Farm blends the blistering pace of the sire with some exquisite blue-blood stamina.
The dam, Bramble Rose (Shinko King), was New Zealand’s Champion 3YO Stayer in 2002-03 who won the NZ Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) and was twice placed at the top level, including a third in the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m).
She’s been a runaway success at stud. From eight runners, she’s had six winners, half of those at stakes level in G2 BRC Champagne Classic victor Tangled (Snitzel) – placed in both the Rosehill Guineas (Gr 1, 2000m) and Champion Classic (Gr 2, 1200m) – and his Listed-winning half-brothers Sebrose (Sebring) and Maules Creek (Redoute’s Choice).
Kingstar’s owner Matthew Sandblom has bred from the other stud in which he has a stake, Newgate Farm, to present two exceptional colts by siring sensation Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt) at this sale. That pair may present as more obvious types, but the cross of his barnmate Cosmic Force – a seven-length winner of the Pago Pago Stakes – with this proven New Zealand dam is sure to create great interest.
“He’s an extremely nice colt, a ready-made racehorse who’s very athletic and good looking, and by a first-season sire full of potential,” Kingstar’s Conor Phelan said.
“We think Cosmic Force will have injected some speed into the dam. With her presence you’d think the colt will train on and probably get a mile, but he does look like a good short-course horse, certainly capable of going at two.”
Opened in 2016, Kingstar has a 16-strong draft it hopes will continue its rise. It was leading vendor at last year’s Inglis HTBA May sale, had that auction’s sale-topper the year before – Petrograd (Russian Revolution x Lucinda’s Moon), who’s won one from five in Singapore – and rose to 28th among Classic vendors in 2022.
“We’re still a young farm earning our stripes,” Phelan said. “This is a great sale for us and this is our best Classic draft by far and the best group of horses we’ve had.”
B colt, All Too Hard – Lonyx (Lonhro)
Vinery Stud are one of this year’s top three vendors, with 35 lots, and believe this colt by their redoubtable sire All Too Hard (Casino Prince) is one out of the box.
For starters, he’s an All Too Hard who looks considerably more forward than most of the sire’s stock, who include stars such as Behemoth and Hong Kong sprinter Wellington, both Group 1 winners at six.
The colt is well-related, being from a half-sister to two stakes winners in Sexy Eyes (Written Tycoon) and Tina Melina (Jet Spur), and to the five-time winning mare Innishbeg (Lonhro), who’s thrown two stakes winners herself in Maribyrnong Plate (Gr 3, 1000m) victor Aspect (Pluck) and dual Listed winner Brown Ben, one of only three Australian stakes-winners by Kentucky Derby hero Big Brown (Boundary).
And with dual-winning dam Lonyx being by Lohnro, it brings one of All Too Hard’s most successful nicks, with eight winners from 12, including the sire’s first stakes-winner, in 2017, Curdled.
“He’s a lovely colt, a very attractive type who’s a good, average-sized horse with lots of quality, moves well and is very athletic,” said Vinery’s Adam White.
“He’s quite forward for an All Too Hard. He does have stakes-winning two-year-olds, but generally they’re not up and about that much at two; they tend to train on. But this one looks like he’ll go early. He’s from a good, active family that we’ve worked with previously, and we’re very happy with how he’s turned out.”
Vinery itself has been a star performer at Classic with sales including Frolic (Husson), a $100,000 lot from 2016 who ran second in the Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m), and Saltaire (Star Turn), a $140,000 purchase last year who took the Inglis Nursery (RL, 1000m) in December to be a $10 chance for this Saturday’s Inglis Millennium.
B colt, The Autumn Sun – Malfy (Dundeel)
Arrowfield Stud – Classic’s largest 2023 vendor – offers this intricately-bred son of their buzzing sire The Autumn Sun, who’s off the mark as a sire this week with a debut winner in New Zealand described as a Group 1 prospect.
The colt is inbred to The Autumn Sun’s all-conquering sire Redoute’s Choice (Danehill), gender-balanced in 2m x 3f through second dam Belle Giselle, an outstanding producer of five winners from seven runners. These include Messene (Lonhro), a triple black type winner including of the Ajax Stakes (Gr 2, 1500m), and Listed victor Cordero (Gio Ponti).
Dual-winning dam Malfy (Dundeel) is also a half-sister to Foujita San (Maurice), runner-up in last spring’s Bill Stutt Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m) before contesting the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) and Victorian Derby (Gr 1, 2500m).
This colt also presents in a very timely fashion. The Autumn Sun had his first winner on Monday when favourite Tulsi – Classic’s fourth-top lot last year at $550,000 – scored on debut at Tauherenikau, prompting connections to discuss a tilt at the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) at Awapuni.
And Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin), out of another Belle Giselle daughter in All About The Coin (Starcraft), won last month’s rich Karaka 2YO Million (1200m) to remain unbeaten in three starts.
“This colt is a quality animal, very attractive and athletic and typical of that Danehill line,” Arrowfield’s bloodstock manager Joe Freyer said. “He’s got great colour, a rich bay with black points and a little white marking, and he combines the best of Redoute’s and Dundeel in the pedigree.
“Dundeel with Redoute’s has been magic. And that inbreeding to Redoute’s has started to work particularly well. A number of the best Zoustars are out of either Redoute’s mares or Snitzel or Stratum mares, so there’s a double of Redoute’s there, and that’s working really well. And when you think of Tokyo Tycoon, Tulsi and Fujita San, there’s a lot happening in this pedigree.”