Australian-Breds Spring Into Action

Flemington (pic.


As Malaguerra crossed the line in the Darley Classic to close out another highly successful Flemington carnival, it again illustrated the dominance of Australian-bred gallopers at racing’s most elite level.

Since the start of the 2016/17 season, a total of 27 Group One races have been run and won, with locally sourced talent capturing 22 of those ‘majors’ … over 81%.

And while some choose to lament at the lack of representation in the Melbourne Cup, the Caulfield Cup (Jameka), Cox Plate (Winx), Victoria Derby (Prized Icon), Crown Oaks (Lasqueti Spirit), Emirates (Awesome Rock) and Spring Champion (Yankee Rose) – all 2000m or over – were taken by horses bred within these shores.

It’s much the same story for the 17 Group Ones staged from 1000m to 1800m, with 15 of those winners foaled in Australia.

Importantly, of the 18 individual Group One winning ‘locals’ (Winx, Black Heart Bart and Global Glamour have all won multiples), 12 were offered up at auction as yearlings: a timely reminder given that the 2017 round of Australian sales are (relatively) just around the corner.

The most ‘expensive’ of the Group One winners was the $575,000 paid for Awesome Rock at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions, a figure which pales into comparison against the millions he is now worth as a stallion prospect, while the cheapest of the crew was Yankee Rose, whose $10,000 price at last year’s Inglis Sydney Classic has subsequently blossomed out to $2,142,700 from only nine outings.

While all, fittingly, took their turn in the limelight, the undoubted star of spring ’16 has been the incredible Winx, who made it 13 straight when she went to back-to-back in the Cox Plate after leading in with the George Main Stakes and Caulfield Stakes.

Her asking price of $230,000 at the 2013 Gold Coast Magic Millions has subsequently been dwarfed by the $9,348,175 she has put in the bank.

It certainly augurs well for the major auction houses – Magic Millions and Inglis – with the former kicking off proceedings in 2017 via its Gold Coast sale from January 11.

“We’re really proud of how the Magic Millions graduates performed over the spring carnival,” Magic Millions Managing Director, Vin Cox points out. “What more can you say about a horse like Winx? She would be the best horse sold by Magic Millions … she’s a champion. I thought her Cox Plate performance in 2015 was outstanding but her run this year was simply breathtaking.

“And how about Global Glamour – what a great advertisement she is for racing … all female ownership with 40 owners from seven countries.

“The win of Lasqueti Spirit in the Oaks was pretty memorable too and it was nice to see Awesome Rock finish off at Flemington with a deserved Group One success.

“It’s great that so many owners from all walks of life are competing in the major races.

“The spring results do a lot to showcase our industry in the best light and with the catalogue for the Gold Coast out soon, I’m sure even more overseas buyers will be encouraged to attend Australian sales in 2017.”

Inglis Managing Director, Mark Webster, similarly believes ‘accessibility’ to Group One stars remains the best clarion call to global investors: “Obviously I’m delighted with the results of the Australian bred and sold horses over the spring carnival,” Webster enthused. “When you note the enormous amount of money that has been spent on buying group performing horses from Europe, it is satisfying to see so many yearling graduates dominating at Group One level and beating the imported horses.

“The Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and our premier sprint races were all won by yearling sale graduates, and it serves to remind everyone that these horses are very much in our own backyard.

“With the right training they can perform at the highest level and it was particularly satisfying to see the blue riband races also being won by sale offerings: Prized Icon’s performance in the Victoria Derby was a standout, while Flying Artie has gone from an impressive 2YO to marking himself as one of the best 3YOs in the country.

“Both Prized Icon and Flying Artie were in the same Inglis Easter catalogue, as will be many like them next April.”

HOOFNOTE: Despite the occasional patch of inclement weather – where would a Melbourne ‘Spring’ be without it! – crowds flocked to Flemington throughout the 4-day carnival … all 318,854 of them. Stakes Day continues to grow with 70,351 coming through the turnstiles for the final program.

That overall attendance was up on last year’s figure and they cheered on as Flemington spread the wealth with 511 horses competing in 37 races for a share of $18 million in prizemoney. Aside from the $6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup, there were five other $1 million plus events: the $2m Emirates Stakes, $1.5m AAMI Victoria Derby, $1m Crown Oaks, $1m Darley Classic and $1m Cantala Stakes.

Ultimately the races were divided between 21 individual trainers and 22 jockeys and many, many, very happy owners.

Broadcasting reached new heights as well with Channel 7’s coverage capturing a new audience via its live stream of the Melbourne Cup on Twitter, with #MelbourneCup trending #1 world wide. Furthermore, Seven’s live coverage reached 2.955 million viewers around Australia.

Has there ever been a better time to be involved in Australian racing?

The Power of Passion