Australian Mares – Time To Believe And Succeed

Bounding (pictured) was sold for $1.9 million at the 2016 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale (Magic Millions)


The attraction (and success) of Australian-bred mares on the international stage was clearly evident at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale last week.

Among a handful of yearlings with dams boasting the (AUS) suffix, a Medaglia D’Oro colt from Taste of Heaven – closely related to Redoute’s Choice – was knocked down for $US400,000 ($A583,000) while the Uncle Mo colt from Group One Thousand Guineas winner, Irish Lights (also the dam of Australian Group Two winner Omei Sword) brought $US650,000 ($A947,000).

However, it would be a Curlin colt – the first foal of Lonhro’s Champion Sprinter, Bounding – that captured global headlines when purchased at Keeneland by Godolphin for $US4.1 million ($A6 million).

Australian-bred gallopers have long been a major force in every racing region, but over the past decade, the progeny of our mares have rapidly gained currency (quite literally) far outside these shores.

Danehill mare, Hveger, for instance, is the dam of Highland Reel, a 7-time Group One winner on three continents; 3-time UK Group winner, Idaho; and last year’s stakes winning 2YO, Cape of Good Hope, while Aquatint was dispatched to South Africa where she subsequently produced last season’s Champion Sprinter, Kasimir.

As for Bounding, however, it’s been quite the journey … for Glenn Burrows too.

Establishing Willow Park Stud in the Hunter Valley in 2001, Burrows’ farm offers numerous services, but has really found something of a niche with broodmares.

In 2009, Willow Park broke the Magic Millions record when it sold Princess Coup for $3 million at the National Broodmare Sale, but the involvement with Bounding marks an achievement that was a long time in the making.

Burrows had been keeping an eye on Exceed And Excel mare, Believe’n’Succeed, who won a Group Three Blue Diamond Prelude at two but had gone off the boil and the Willow Park studmaster negotiated with connections to buy the filly privately.

Determining that Believe’n’Succeed would be an attractive (and commercial) match up with Lonhro, the subsequent filly – Bounding – was sold by Willow Park for $425,000 at the 2012 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, from which she would go on to become New Zealand’s Champion Sprinter.

Bounding’s owner, Gary Harding, would then ask Willow Park to put Bounding through the 2016 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale where she was snapped up by the USA’s Stonestreet Thoroughbreds for $1.9 million: a result which was turned into $US4.1 million last week.

Believe’n’Succeed, meanwhile, would be exported to Ireland in 2015 where her first foal in the northern hemisphere – Anthony Van Dyck – won this year’s Group One Epsom Derby.

Surely there’s never been a better time to invest in Australian mares!

The Power of Passion