Day At The Track

Future stars are in new hands

07:00 AM 14 Apr 2021 NZST
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Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale, Harness racing

Hearts are full with optimism and hope that future stars and potentially sires are in new hands and ready to embark on harness racing careers following the weekend’s first Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale.

More than $6.3 million passed hands across 203 lot sales at Oaklands Junction, of which 77 per cent were pacers and 23 per cent trotters, achieving a 75.46 per cent clearance rate and a $31,355 sales average.

It was a satisfying result for Nutrien Equine’s Mark Barton, who caught up with Gareth Hall and Adam Hamilton for a post sale analysis (video below).

“A lot of money changed hands, it’s a busy couple of days, but we’re really pleased with the way we’ve been received by the market and the industry as a whole,” Barton said. “Some really good highlights and a solid day.”

The headlines belonged to lot 107, which was offered by Benstud Standardbreds, Peter and Zillla O’Shea and John McGeechan, who earlier purchased Our Golden Goddess off Merv Butterworth at the end of a brilliant racing career that produced 17 wins from 29 starts and almost $450,000 in stakes.

Their investment quickly paid off, with her first colt – by Bettors Delight – fetching a sales topping $180,000, having been snapped up by renowned Melbourne owner Jean Feiss.

The colt will race for Hayden Cullen, now the trainer of what was previously Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen’s All Star Stables, who had long raced Feiss’ talented brood.

“When I got the book he was a lovely pedigree. Yesterday was the first time I had seen him and I liked him,” Feiss said.

She said a big draw was that the colt was also eligible for New Zealand’s sires stakes.

Leigh and Alison Miles produced the top priced filly, with their lot by Captain Treacherous out of You Ask Ally attracting a bid of $115,000.

You Ask Ally is an unraced Sportswriter mare whose dam was Amarillen, making her a half-sister to Villagem ($626,585), Miss Graceland ($244,658), Nostra Beach ($266,190) and the brilliant broodmare Pixel Perfect, who in turn has produced the likes Soho Tribeca ($1,103,854) and Carlas Pixel ($480,128).

While the pacing sales topper looks set to head across the Tasman, the trotting sales topper may well be enjoyed for generations to come in Victoria, with plans for not only a racing but sire career.

Alabar shelled out $170,000 for lot 177, who was a Father Patrick colt out of Une Belle Allure.

Raced and bred from by Pat Driscoll’s Yabby Dam Farms, Une Belle Allure amassed $176,810 across her 25-start career, including a dynamic three-year-old season that captured four Group 1s.

Alabar General Manager Brett Coffey said the colt cost “a lot of money, but we loved him”.

Coffey said he viewed the yearling with Andy Gath, who will train him, “and he was a standout to us”.

“Looked over him a couple of times since, a few times here, and (Alabar owner) Alan (Galloway) looked at him yesterday, and he’s just got a lot of presence about him. His looks match his page and that was important to us.

“Not many fillies win Derbies and (Une Belle Allure) won a Derby, she won numerous other races, (she's) by Angus Hall out of a French family – a lot of nice things there, a lot of boxes being ticked.

“All credit to Pat and his team. They’ve done a terrific job with their horses. This guy we thought was the best, so we went pretty hard on him and ended up getting him.

“Hopefully Andy can win some Group 1s with him and then he can retire to Alabar and stand at stud. That’s the plan anyway.”




Harness Racing Victoria

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