where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-04-04 17:23:26  
Via Africa Filly tops Inglis Sale, called 'something special' by legendary horseman

An extraordinary two days of trade at Riverside has seen the Easter Yearling Sale rise against pre-sale trepidation and an industry-wide market correction to again assert itself as the ‘Best of the Best’ yearling sale in the Southern Hemisphere.

On an incredible 48 hours of action:

*A total of 26 horses sold for $1m or more, the second highest amount of millionaires at a Southern Hemisphere yearling sale behind only the 2008 Easter extravaganza which saw 28 yearlings realise seven figures

*Of the millionaire yearlings, nine were by I Am Invincible, seven by Snitzel while The Autumn Sun (2) and Russian Revolution (1) both joined the millionaires club as a stallion for the first time

*The sale gross of $137,670,000 was the third highest turnover in the sale’s history, with only last year’s record-breaking auction and the 2008 phenomenon ahead of this year’s renewal

*Yulong flexed its muscle to be a clear leading buyer, purchasing 23 yearlings outright and a further two with partners for a total spend of $13,145,000

*Arrowfield ended as a clear leading vendor ahead of Widden and Coolmore, selling 54 yearlings for a combined $22,260,000 while the leading vendor by average (for three or more yearlings sold) was Silverdale Farm, who sold seven yearlings at an average of $664,286

*I Am Invincible was leading sire by both aggregate and average, with 31 of his progeny selling for $24,455,000 at an average of $788,871.

The Day 2 top lot was a The Autumn Sun x Via Africa filly of Silverdale, which sold to Arrowfield Stud – who stand the stallion - and Hermitage Thoroughbreds for a sale-topping $1.8m.

It was an extraordinary result for Silverdale, who had purchased the filly (pictured) for $600,000 as a weanling.

“What a result!’’ a stunned Rob Petith of Silverdale said.

“Everyone is over the moon. This is all the long days, late nights, early starts, this is what we do it for.

“When it all comes together it’s just fantastic and very satisfying. Easter is where you bring quality and in one word, that’s how you describe this filly. [Easter] was the obvious choice. We’ve been very fortunate, it’s all lined up, we’re all very proud.’’

Arrowfield’s John Messara described the Via Africa filly as “something special’’.

“She is by our stallion, we’re very proud of him and we are very hopeful about him and she was an absolute queen, a true athlete,’’ Messara said.

“I think she’s a particularly exciting prospect because of her physical characteristics - she had balance, she had scope, she had substance, she was a great mover, she had everything you look for.

“She’s a very valuable commodity, we paid a lot of money for her.’’

On being leading vendor for the sale, Messara added: “The market was very strong…and I am very impressed that the (Inglis team) has been able to gather those clients together to bid for the horses so it’s been very good.

“It all fits in with our predictions but I think the top end was certainly stronger than I thought it would be.’’

The Day 2 second-top lot was a Snitzel x Ultimate Fever colt of Lime Country Thoroughbreds – offered on behalf of breeder Paul Jelfs - which sold to Coolmore for $1.6m.

It was a stunning result for Jelfs, who purchased the mare for just $100,000 at the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale in 2020, in foal to Flying Artie.

He foaled the mare down and sent her to Snitzel, and today the resultant yearling sold for a price that Jelfs could only ever dream about.

“I wasn’t expecting that. I’m a bit overwhelmed, more than a bit overwhelmed. It really hasn’t sunk in, it’s thrilling,’’ Jelfs said.

“I knew he was a fantastic colt and she’s a fantastic mare…but that was well beyond what we thought. What we thought might hold her back was the fact it was late in the sale and she’s an older mare but the colt was so good he got us through.

“My horses have always gone through with Inglis, Inglis do a great job, Sebastian and the whole team do a fantastic job and I couldn’t be happier to support them because they support us too.’’

Coolmore’s Tom Magnier added: “We’ve always said it, [the Easter Yearling Sale has] great pedigrees, in fairness to Inglis they’ve had all the right people here and this is the sale that people all over the world are tuning into watch.

“What’s happening in Australia is very exciting, the market’s very strong, people all over the world are tuning into this sale at Inglis to see exactly where the magic is made and where the stars come from.’’

The Easter Sale concluded with an average of $391,108 and clearance rate of 83%, which will no doubt continue to climb over the next few days.

Inglis Bloodstock CEO Sebastian Hutch happily admitted he did not envisage the spending splurge that has unfolded at Riverside the past two days.

“It has been a very good sale, particularly in the context of the year so far,’’ Hutch said.

“It’s hard not to be pleased. To sell 26 horses for $1m or more is really quite surreal in the current market, it’s a credit to the vendors who have produced these yearlings in such outstanding fashion and a credit to the buyers who have again accepted that Easter is where they get the Best of the Best and where they’re happy to pay top dollar for top products.’’

To enquire on any passed in lot from the Easter Sale, please contact Harry Bailey on 0420 997 417.

Buyers’ attention now switches to Inglis Digital, with the April (Early) Sale now open for bidding.

A catalogue of 408 entries have been finalised for the sale.

Highlights include Stakes winning race filly She’s The Gift, Stakes placed mare Dreamtesta in foal to Proisir, Love Of Liberty (the dam of G1 Epsom Hcp winner Ellsberg), as well as reduction drafts for Bert Vieira and Jen Camplin and 39 yearlings offered as part of the ‘Hunter Valley Yearling Sale’.

The final countdown of bidding for the April (Early) Sale commences from midday tomorrow (Wednesday April 5).

To view the catalogue or participate in the auction CLICK HERE.

2023 EASTER YEARLING SALE STATISTICS – (2022 in brackets)

Lots sold: 352 (372)

Clearance rate: 83% (85%)

Average Price: $391,108 ($406,788)

Median Price: $280,000 ($300,000)

Top Price: $1,800,000 ($3,000,000)

Gross: $137,670,000 ($151,325,000) 

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