I’m On The Top Of The World … Both Sides Now

Sebring, Widden Stud, 22/02/2010


It’s been a truly remarkable month for Australian ‘influence’ at prominent sales: on each side of the equator.

At the Keeneland November Sale, a War Front colt from the Australian-bred, Drifting Cube, grabbed all the headlines when knocked down to Coolmore Stud for a cool US$1.45 million – the most expensive weanling at the sale and the sixth highest price for a weanling in the sale’s history.

Last week it was New Zealand’s turn with records tumbling in terms of gross and averages at its Ready To Run auction, bolstered by 7 of the top 8 lots all bred in Australia … and with 6 of the 7 sourced originally from Australian yearling sales.

Then, right in the middle of all the Kiwi action, South Africa conducted its November Mixed Sale, with far from ‘mixed’ results given that Australian-breds again dominated with 5 of the top 7 lots having first gone through an Australian sale ring.

Widden based stallion, Sebring, featured at the top end of the Ready To Run with the colt from Bite The Bullet mare, Joleur, knocked down for NZ$650,000, while another flashy chestnut colt from the multiple stakes winning, Crafty Irna, attracted NZ$400,000 from Hong Kong.

Leading Hunter Valley preparation facility, Willow Park, raised the Sebring-Joleur and sold the colt as a yearling at the 2016 Gold Coast Magic Millions for $210,000.

“He (the Sebring colt) was a late foal, but a really lovely type,” Willow Park’s Glenn Burrows explains. “He’s a blood brother to Criterion and we’ve got quite a few of the family on farm.

“The owners have had a lot of success on the Gold Coast and decided to sell him up there despite being a bit immature, but I always knew he’d develop into a real athlete given enough time. Good luck to the Ready To Run vendors … that family has got so much appeal to buyers right across the spectrum and it’s no surprise he did so well.

“And well done to Sebring too … both Mica’s Pride (dam of Criterion) and Joleur are back in foal to him this spring.”

Meanwhile, it was fellow Hunter Valley farm, Vinery, that initially supplied the South African sale topper: a colt by More Than Ready stallion, Pluck, out of the Flying Spur mare, Sessantesimo, who is closely related to 3-time Group One winner, Defier.

Vinery sold this colt through the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale to Adrian Van Vuuren before he pinhooked the now 2YO for R500,000.

The fact that Pluck is the sire of recent Group Three Maribyrnong Plate winner, Aspect, would not have been lost on the canny South African buying bench.

“It is no surprise to see Pluck’s stock sell really well in South Africa,” Vinery’s Adam White points out.

“He has already had a winner there and if you dig into his female side you will find a big South African influence. His first three dams were all stakes winners there and his first dam Secret Heart is a daughter of former Champion South African sire Fort Wood.

“Also, More Than Ready has done a wonderful job in South Africa with several stakes winners including a couple of Group One winners in Entisaar and Gimmethegreenlight, the latter now at stud over there and a sire of a Group One winner in his own right.”

With so much emphasis on the Australian-bred horse, major sales companies – Magic Millions and Inglis – can look forward to quite a few visitors in 2017.

The Power of Passion