Oaklands Junction was a hive of activity on Friday morning as vendors paraded their yearlings for prospective buyers prior to the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale that starts on Monday.
Local studmasters are approaching the sale with a positive attitude. The Gold Coast Magic Millions and the Karaka Premier suffered at the top end but their mid-range sales held up.
The Melbourne Premier fits into that middle-market category and vendors will bank on a similar or better outcome to the other majors. The averages were down marginally at the Gold Coast (3%) and New Zealand (4%) while the Inglis Classic was up 3%.
Swettenham Stud has catalogued 26 yearlings and its record at the Melbourne Premier takes some beating. Three years ago, the Adam Sangster owned nursery sold a Bel Esprit – Helsinge filly that was later named Black Caviar. Now rated the world’s best sprinter, she cost $210,000 and has earned $1.69 million after an imperious victory in the G1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
It completed a Lightning double for Swettenham. Last year’s winner Nicconi is a son of Swettenham stallion Bianconi.
Swettenham has catalogued 26 yearlings for this year’s Melbourne Premier including a half-dozen by its first-season sire Soldier’s Tale. Operations manager Alan Morton reports the fillies from Leica Smile (Lot 83) and USA bred mare Anna Dana (395) have been constantly on view since arriving at the sales complex.
Leica Smile has a spotless record with six to race for six winners and the dam herself was a G1 winner of the Australasian Oaks. The Soldier’s Tale – Anna Dana filly is the first foal of a Kentucky stakes performer and her second dam is a half-sister to Street Cry!
Two Soldier’s Tale yearlings averaged $75,000 at the Perth Magic Millions earlier this month and they were purchased by top judges Dan Morton and Damon Gabbedy.
Soldier’s Tale (Stravinsky) went head-to-head with Takeover Target in the G1 Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot in 2007. He beat the Aussie champ on his merits and that alone, quite apart from his pedigree, should be enough to sell his stock.
Host, a Chilean bred son of Hussonet, is the other Swettenham sire with first-crop yearlings at the Melbourne Premier. His home base has three lots and top of the totem pole on type is the colt from Rarely Caught (Lot 210). He also owns a top-class pedigree being a half-brother to Hard To Get (G1 SA Derby), Reputed Groom (G3 Qld Tatts Cup) and Fumble (G3 STC Research Stakes).
Swettenham’s Dash For Cash colt from Misura (Lot 133) is another head-turner boxed in Barn F at Oaklands Junction. He is a three – quarter brother to the Dash For Cash Group 3 winner Bank Robber (AJC Tramway Hcp).
Champion Swettenham stallion Bianconi has sired more winners than any other Victorian based sire in recent years and it came as something of a surprise when his filly from Ellexcell (Lot 715) didn’t make the cut for Session 1.
She will be one of the best on type to parade next Thursday and her pedigree holds up, too. Ellexcell (Octagonal) is a winning half-sister to Hong Kong G3 winner Dr Well (Danehill) and the family traces back to Grosvenor.