It is somewhat fitting that Saturday’s Group Three IPG Connect George Moore Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm was won by Most Important, a horse bred and raised at Yarraman Park.
Way back in the 1960s, Yarraman Park was owned by George Moore, before the legendary jockey and soon-to-be Champion Hong Kong Trainer sold the property to Major Mitchell.
They’ve come a long way since then! By any standards, it’s been one helluva year for Yarraman Park and Major Mitchell’s sons Arthur and Harry.
Not only did Most Important salute for the Hunter Valley farm in the George Moore, another of its home-breds in Silverstream spanned the continent by capturing the Listed Jungle Dawn Classic (1400m) at Ascot a little over an hour later.
Most Important is by Yarraman’s resident stallion, I Am Invincible, while Silverstream is a daughter of the Emirates Park based, Al Maher.
“It turned out to be a pretty good day actually,” Yarraman Park’s Harry Mitchell explained. “Apart from Most Important and Silverstream, I Am Invincible was successful with Invincible Al at Pakenham, Unconquered in New Zealand, Lexgetreddy at Morphettville and Kiss The Condor in Darwin, while Hinchinbrook’s Brooklyn Storm won at Eagle Farm. The 2YO, I Am Venus, also put in a very good run for second in Brisbane.
“I Am Invincible is having a terrific run at the moment with 31 winners in November and seven winners in the last seven days. I thought he might go a bit quiet by this stage because he had fairly mixed books of mares in the early years, but they just keep coming out and winning.
“2016 has been massive for him with I Am A Star winning the (Group One) Myer Classic and Illustrious Lad (Group Two VRC Tab.com.au Stakes) making it a stakes double at Flemington on Derby Day, while Voodoo Lad, Invincible Star, The Justice League, Look To The Stars, Divine Centuri, Super One and Viddora have all won black type races in the last 12 months.
“And while the expectation is that a lot of them will just jump and run, you have horses like Most Important (a 4YO) that just keep getting better as they get older.
“We’re really looking forward to next year and beyond as his current crop of yearlings hail from the first year we put his fee up to $27,500.
(I Am Invincible stood at a fee of $11,000 in his first four seasons – covering 602 mares – was upped to $27,500 in 2014 [211 mares] and doubled to $55,000 in 2015 [198 mares]).
“Our other stallion, Hinchinbrook, is popular too and with his oldest runners just 4YOs they include 2016 stakes winners Press Statement, Whispering Brook, Samara Dancer, Spright, Flying Jess and Manaya.
“You can have some quiet years in the thoroughbred industry but it’s going pretty good at the moment that’s for sure.”
Yarraman Park has a yearling half sister, by Hinchinbrook, to Most Important which Mitchell says might be retained, while a half brother to Silverstream is one of 14 I Am Invincibles heading to the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, with another 47 of his progeny to be offered at the Gold Coast Magic Millions in January.
Meanwhile, the Yarraman bred and sold, Silverstream, was purchased by Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock at the 2013 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and, at $320,000, remains the most expensive Al Maher yearling ever sold.
Gabbedy, who is currently doing his best to dodge the cold of a French winter, said there was a very good reason he paid so much for the filly: “she is simply an outstanding type. I saw her at Yarraman before the sale and then a few weeks later at the sales complex and she just really caught the eye.
“I put her on my short list for (leading Perth owner) Bob Peters and he liked her a lot too. There’s definitely a fair amount of upside now that she has won that all-important black type.”
An I Am Invincible colt – the last foal of Silverstream’s dam, Speedy Bell – will be offered by Yarraman Park at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.