Hindsight, as they say, is 20-20. Only time will tell if the $1.4 million that Ciaron Maher paid for an I Am Invincible colt at last month’s Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale was worth blowing the previous sale topping record out of the water.
Maher and fellow trainer, Robbie Griffiths, went hammer and tong chasing the Gilgai Farm consigned colt and you don’t need a degree in quantum physics to work out why.
Griffiths trains the $1.4 million colt’s half brother, The Quarterback, who provided the Cranbourne based horseman with his initial Group One success last year by capturing the Newmarket Handicap, while Maher saddles up another Gilgai homebred in Jameka who, last Saturday, added the $1.5 million The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens to her dowry.
It was the third Group One success for Jameka and the 4YO is clearly the best staying mare in Australia with a Caulfield Cup and a VRC Oaks to keep the BMW trophy company.
Proving yet again that God has a sense of humour, Jameka’s sire, Myboycharlie, won his Group One over 1200m, his four other stakes winners in Australia are all sprinters, and Jameka’s dam, Mine Game, won her only race over 1400m.
Gilgai Farm’s Rick Jamieson, who will also go down in history as the breeder of Black Caviar, isn’t about to give up his secrets any time soon, but with four Group One winners from three mares, by four different sires, he clearly has something up his sleeve.
Asked if he was confident about Jameka’s chances in the BMW even after a number of pundits tried to jump off, Jamieson said: “I always think she’s a good chance of winning. Just look at some of the awkward draws she’s had and rarely puts in a bad run”.
He’s got a point … in 10 runs as a 4YO, Jameka has had eight top 4 finishes – all at black type level – and the BMW has taken her earnings to $4.8 million.
Not bad when you consider she cost just $130,000 as a yearling at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Jamieson has always eschewed a sire’s ‘commerciality’ and even though he has doubled his broodmare band to around 40 over the last couple of years, he won’t spend over $50,000 on a service fee.
For instance, I Am Invincible – the sire of his record priced youngster – now stands at $55,000, but the boom stallion was advertised at $27,500 in the season this current yearling was conceived.
“You don’t have to pay big money to breed a good horse. Myboycharlie stood for $8,800 when I first sent Mine Game to him and Bel Esprit was standing for $20,000 when (Black Caviar’s dam) Helsinge went there,” Jamieson points out.
“I think the Myboycharlie, Mine Game is a terrific mating. The mare has a Shamus Award (yearling) filly that I’ve retained and will race with Ciaron Maher, while I sent her back to Myboycharlie last year and am strongly considering sending her back to him again in 2017.”
Back to Jameka, it will be interesting to see where she goes from here. A tilt at the $4 million Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on 8 April – and a possible showdown with Winx – has been mooted, but so too has a trip to Royal Ascot via Hong Kong.
Either way, this is one gal with a whole lot of game.