Nick and Jas Hodges are off to the Inglis Easter Sale in April confident theyíre taking their best ever group of yearlings to the Newmarket sales grounds. We recently caught up with Nick to discuss the Riversdale draft.
Inglis Easter is promoted as the “Best of the Best”. How do you rate your draft this year?
“Best of the Best” sums up our draft. This is our best ever draft and we’re very excited. We have a great bunch of yearlings by sires of the moment including Snitzel and I Am Invincible and we’re truly looking forward to Easter.
Tell us about your farm and your facilities
We recently purchased the Riversdale and Riversdale North farms from my parents. The acquisition of the Riversdale North property around two and half years ago has really given us the scope to expand and continue to improve the services we offer our clients, and most importantly the horses. The farms are based on a fertile pasture base, we have fantastic natural water supply and it’s naturally undulating country we’re based on – a proven recipe for raising a nice style of horse. Being based in the Hunter Valley we’re also fortunate in that we’re in close proximity to stallion farms, vets and other supporting services.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
The Big 4 at Tuncurry. It’s great for the kids and is always a relaxing getaway for us. It offers beach, fantastic fishing and mud crabs.
What sports do you like to watch?
Apart from horse racing I enjoy watching Rugby, Moto GP and Superbikes. I don’t get time to watch enough of either but I always enjoy watching the Phillip Island Moto GP and was lucky enough to ride the circuit as part of a Superbike school I did with my brother a few years ago.
Let’s take a look at the draft as individuals.
Lot 110: Bay or Brown colt I Am Invincible – Doagain.
This is a lovely style of colt. He has a strong shoulder and a loose walk and I’m sure he’ll attract plenty of attention. He’s out of a winning Falbrav mare from the family of five time Gr.1 winner Eremein.
Lot 133: Chestnut colt Snitzel – Femina Fashion.
This colt is out of the stakes winning Shamardal mare Femina Fashion. Femina Fashion won as a 2 year old and won from 1200 metres to 2020 metres and she’s now doing the job at stud. Her first foal is a three quarter brother to this colt and he recently won his first race in dominant fashion. This is a really neat, correct and strong colt who looks like he has the makings of an early running horse.
Lot 136: Brown colt Snitzel – Fiery Dee.
The second of our Snitzel colts, this yearling is out of a three times winning Fraar mare who has already produced the stakes-placed Looks Like The Cat (by Husson), winner of just under $300,000. Looks Like The Cat showed a tonne of promise for Queensland’s premier trainer Tony Gollan – placing no fewer than five times in Group races. With similar markings to his sire, this colt is one of the larger Snitzel yearlings. He has a lot of scope, a great walk and should be very popular.
Lot 165: Bay colt All Too Hard – Gosetgo.
This yearling is what I describe as a typical All Too Hard. He’s a nice horse with plenty of scope. He is out of the winning More Than Ready mare, Gosetgo, dam of the very promising Condor Heroes. Condor Heroes debuted with an impressive second behind Khan in the Breeders Plate-LR and was on the Golden Slipper trail until a recent setback. He recently won a Rosehill barrier trial by 8 lengths and we’re excited about what he’s going to do when he returns to the races. The family is a very current one – there’s plenty happening with Get That Jive (by Street Sense) on the cusp of a Group win having recently placed second in New Zealand at Gr.2 and Gr.3 level.
Lot 189: Brown colt Lonhro – Kapala.
This colt by Lonhro is out of a Danehill Dancer half-sister to Cox Plate heroine Pinker Pinker. The dam has had four to race for three winners including the stakes-placed Kapset (by Reset). The colt himself is a machine – he has everything you’d want in a colt. Dark brown and almost black, he has a huge girth, a great attitude and he ticks every box.
Lot 235: Chestnut colt Sebring – Miss Rendina.
A close relation to the Lonhro colt, this yearling is also out of a half-sister to Pinker Pinker. He’s equally as nice as Lot 189. He has good scope, walks great and oozes quality. We’re looking forward to taking him to the sales.
Lot 439: Bay filly Choisir – Milzeel (NZ).
The first of our fillies, this Choisir is out of a Zabeel mare who has had four to race, all winners. Her progeny include the talented stakes placed Claudia Jean (by Not A Single Doubt) and city performer Cheviot Beach (by Footstepsinthesand (GB)). The full brother to this filly is a five times winner in Victoria and Queensland and he’s also placed ten times. This filly has a strong presence and reminds me of Claudia Jean, arguably better again. The Choisir – Zabeel cross is also a strong one, having already produced stakes winners Sir Moments and Wowee.
Lot 468: Brown filly Epaulette – We Can Dance.
This daughter of Epaulette rounds out our draft. A three quarter relation to four times Gr.1 winner Appearance, she’s a very tough filly with plenty of sass. She has all the attributes you’d be looking for in a filly.