Tell us about your farm, the facilities, and how you prepare your Easter draft.
Cressfield is a 3500 acre property just 10mins north of Scone. Although only about a third is developed for horse use, our relatively low numbers means we can enjoy all the benefits of low stocking rates utilising the mix of flat irrigated improved pastures and undulating native pasture paddocks. Low stock numbers also mean that each horse can be individually catered for and the handling of young stock is thorough. We then find the yearlings transition easily from the paddock into the intensive routine of a yearling preparation. Going into the preparation the yearlings have already learnt to lead and walk well, are well acquainted to being rugged and hosed off and have been on the horse walker a couple of times. This allows the focus of our sales preparation to be about putting on the ‘final polish’ as opposed to the introduction of new concepts. Exercise for the yearlings is a combination of using the horse walker and lunging early in the preparation. In the final 4 weeks they are hand walked every morning in place of the walker and those that require it are lunged in the afternoon. The hand walk is a 4km round trip that takes approximately 45mins. By the end of it, the yearlings are relaxed and looking forward to some free time in their turn out yards, the staff on the other hand are usually a bit sweaty and shin sore.
Inglis Easter is promoted as the “Best of the Best”. How do you rate your draft this year?
Certainly the horses in our draft are the best combination of type and pedigree from that particular foal crop. We don’t aim to take large numbers to Easter for the sake of having a big Easter draft. I think the strong performances of other sales on the calendar means great returns can be made by placing yearlings where they are best suited, but there is no doubt that the cream is reserved for Easter.
It is not just a sale but a showcase. A chance to show off the best of what you can produce. The draft this year are athletic types from proven producing families This is highlighted by the fact that three of the dams represented in our draft are already Grand dams of Stakes winners which just goes to show the dominance and durability of their heritable superior traits.
If there is one person you could invite for dinner, who would it be?
Joe Rogan. His podcasts are my morning muck out ritual. I finish every one feeling decidedly offended but enlightened at the same time. Political correctness, it would seem, is so passé.
How have the huge increases in prize money, particularly in NSW, affected racing in your area?
I’m hoping that it will result in more owners looking towards country trainers as being a more financially favourable option. The flow on effects therefore are obviously positive.
This will be the last Inglis sale at historic Newmarket. What is your favourite memory there?
It would be hard to go past 2013. We took 6 yearlings and went home averaging just shy of $1.2million for each of them. I still have a picture of the draft pinned to the wall in my office, while that sort of result may never happen again, it certainly sets a standard to aspire to every year.
Let’s take a look at the draft as individuals.
LOT 281 – More Than Ready x Personify
A mature well developed colt, strong with excellent musculature and a good nature. His dam was a stakes winning 2yr old and he is a half- brother to two stakes placed horses in Selectify and Laser Flash and a full brother to the recent winner Epitomise.
LOT 369 – Snitzel x Star Satire
A late foal that is developing into an exceptional colt. He is well proportioned with scope that leads to a real fluidity in his walk. Snitzel and Volksraad influence is easily seen in this colt whose Ω relatives include Group winning Zarzuela and Satin Shoes.
LOT 359 – Exceed and Excel x Snowdrift
A quality, racey looking colt. He has a good shoulder and the attractive head of his dam. He is energetic, intelligent and a pleasure to work with. His dam Snowdrift needs no introduction, a Blue Hen in every sense. 9 to race for 9 winners, including 3 stakes winners of 12 stakes wins.
LOT 304 – Snitzel x Regimental Gal
A strong filly with great depth to her hindquarter and shoulder, an intelligent filly with a pleasant head that looks an early running type. She is out of the Champion 3yo filly Regimental Gal, making her a half- sister to Group 3 winner Lilliburlero and Vimy, the listed placed dam of Group 2 winner Souchez.
LOT 253 – Exceed and Excel x Mysterious Light
An elegant, developing type of filly from the family of Fastnet Rock. She has a good hindquarter, is athletic and sassy.