A two year old race in the middle of winter is far from the madding crowd of Melbourne’s spring, but smart colt, Yu Long Sheng Hui, has taken a sizeable stride toward black type glory with his victory at Caulfield on Saturday.
Trainer Mick Price wasn’t about to throw caution to the wind however, despite the Sebring colt maintaining his unbeaten status on the back of a six length winning debut at Wodonga in June.
“He’s a nice horse and got some ability,” Price points out. “We’ll tip him out for a few weeks and bring him back for the spring. He’s still very new though. With racing and time, he’s got black type written on him … definitely a Guineas contender.”
One thing is for sure, if Yu Long Sheng Hui makes his mark on Melbourne’s spring, he will have definitely made it by travelling the ‘long’ way: bred by Mogumber Park in Western Australia, the son of Widden-based, Sebring, was initially sold for $70,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale, re-offered and sold for $130,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and, most recently, re-offered and knocked down for $140,000 at last year’s Magic Millions Horses in Training Sale.
Scott Williamson, who manages the racing and breeding interests for Yu Long Sheng Hui’s owner, Mr Zhang, wasn’t getting lost in the occasion of Saturday’s win either, but believes the colt is heading in the right direction.
“It is Mr Zhang’s goal to purchase well bred colts that will hopefully do well on the track and ultimately stand at his (175 acre) farm in Bayles, Victoria,” Williamson claims. “There are around 30 in work or spelling and quite a few more when you take into account the broodmares and yearlings.
“It’s an ever growing number!
“We are busy developing the property – we only took up residence late last year but the aim is to provide a whole range of services and that will eventually include standing stallions.”
Zhang’s Yu Long Investments has definitely made its presence felt in the last couple of years, buying up big at both the yearling sales and broodmare auctions.
“Yu Long Investments purchased the dam of 2016 Blue Diamond winner, Extreme Choice, for $735,000 at the Easter Broodmare Sale, while Mr Zhang has also purchased yearlings at the Magic Millions in January and Easter,” Williamson adds.
“Yu Long was the leading buyer at the Sydney Classic too, purchasing 11 yearlings … nine of them by I Am Invincible.
“There is a nice mix of colts and fillies – we’re buying the colts obviously with stud careers in mind, while we select the fillies based on pedigree and athleticism so that they’ll eventually join our broodmare band.
“Mr Zhang really likes the an I Am Invincible colt he has with Darren Weir – Yulong Yongxing – that won his maiden in June and is due to run again in the next week or two.
“I Am Invincible is definitely one of the boss’s favourite stallions.
“There’s quite a bit of interest around Yu Long Sheng Hui and Yulong Yongxing with a number of other horses waiting in the wings. At the moment, Yu Long is basically buying but we’ll eventually be replenishing the broodmares and selling yearlings ourselves.
“Mr Zhang really takes an international approach to his thoroughbred interests. He had two runners at Royal Ascot and races a few horses in England and Ireland, while among his tried horses in Australia, he’s won a Pakenham Cup with Our Voodoo Prince, while Killarney Kid won the Stawell and Edenhope Cups.
“I’m very excited about the future. Mr Zhang is involved in a number of businesses in China, including natural resources, and he has a real passion for the thoroughbred industry … both here in Australia and in China.
“He owns a racetrack in China and is doing his best to improve the quality of horses over there. The boss is actually staging a race meeting at his racecourse on 3 September and Inglis is sponsoring one of the races. Actually, it’s worth around $A250,000 and I believe it’s the richest prizemoney offered in mainland China.”