One of the toughest calls any vendor has to make is placing a realistic valuation on a horse about to enter the sale ring.
The gulf between expectations of seller and buyer can be rather substantial – to say the very least – and it’s fair to say that the former is not always a happy camper.
That didn’t apply to Gerard and Kathy Hammond though after selling their Not A Single Doubt colt at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale to Boomer Bloodstock’s Craig Rounsefell.
Millford Thoroughbreds’ Jarrod Byers, who prepared the colt for sale on the Hammonds’ behalf, explains: “We thought he’d make around $80,000 to $100,000 in the ring. He was a slow maturing horse, but had grown out really well at the farm and was always a nice type.
“Turns out though that both Craig (Rounsefell) and Robbie Laing were very interested in him and he eventually sold for $180,000.
“It was great for Gerard and Kathy … they breed from three or four mares every year and have been long-time clients.
“There’s a lot of swings and roundabouts in this industry. They sold a Written Tycoon colt for just $5,000 at the Magic Millions National Yearling Sale which was then pinhooked as a ready to run horse for $90,000 before going on to win over HK$5 million in Hong Kong as New Asia Sunrise.
“So, it’s great to see when they get a result like they did in Melbourne.”
Indeed, the ‘Melbourne colt’ was soon placed with Lindsey Smith in Perth and was subsequently named, somewhat fittingly, as Scales of Justice.
On Saturday, Scales of Justice, the now 4YO gelding won his first black type race by capturing the Group Three RJ Peters Stakes at Ascot and took his earnings to $317,350 with, hopefully, a lot more to come.
Scales of Justice has certainly been impressive in his 12 career starts to date. This might have been his first tilt at stakes level, but prior to the RJ Peters, Scales of Justice had won five from 11 with six placings.
Scales of Justice is now likely to take the next (big) step up to this Saturday’s Group One $1 million Railway Stakes and seek to become the second Victorian-bred horse in a row (following Good Project in 2015) to win the West Australian ‘major’.
Scales of Justice also became the 35th individual stakes winner for the Redoute’s Choice stalllion, Not A Single Doubt, who is currently working his way through a 12th book of mares from his Arrowfield Stud base.
Commencing his career at a fee of $13,750, the asking price was upped to $71,500 in 2016 on the back of recent stand outs such as Extreme Choice, Fell Swoop, Single Gaze and Don’t Doubt Mamma.
“Not A Single Doubt has enjoyed good success in Western Australia with Scales of Justice being his fifth stakes winner there after Good Project, Let It Slip, Cavallo Pazzo and Single Spice,” Arrowfield’s Bloodstock Manager, Jon Freyer, points out.
Scales of Justice is a half brother to four other winners including Listed Warrnambool Cup runner up, Cruyfforme, while close relations include King Charlemagne sprinter, King Hoaks, the winner of nine including the Group Three VRC Standish Handicap.
HOOFNOTE: Scales of Justice’s dam, Beymatilla, failed to meet her reserve of $400 when consigned to the 2014 Inglis Great Southern Bloodstock and Weanling Sale – mere months after Scales of Justice went through the Oaklands Junction ring.
The Hammonds then gave the mare to Millford Thoroughbreds which has had a resounding year by any measure, breeding and racing the Group One Robert Sangster winner, Precious Gem, plus foaling down and raising French Emotion (Group Two Blazer Stakes) and Moonee Valley Group winner, Kaniana, for Valda Klaric.
“We put Scales of Justice’s mum in foal to Magnus who has had a terrific couple of years, including the Darley Classic winner, Malaguerra, but sadly she passed away in foal about six months ago,” Byers adds.
Swings and roundabouts to be sure, but the scales of justice can often balance in your favour!