THE Inglis Easter Yearling, Weanling and Broodmare Sales in April and May will be the last held at the historic Newmarket sales complex at Randwick as the company will move to its $140m Riverside Stables precinct at Warwick Farm early in 2018.
This year marks the company’s 150th anniversary and the final auctions at its long-time home will be a nostalgic time for buyers and vendors who have seen many great moments “under the fig tree”.
“Newmarket has been a wonderful home for our company and I have great respect for the role it has played in the lives of our customers over many generations,” Inglis managing director Mark Webster said. “After years of planning the time has come to relocate our Sydney business to its new home which is a truly world class sales and events facility. The Riverside Stables complex is a massive investment by Inglis and has been created to service the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry for the next 100 years.”
Hospitality features include a restaurant and gardens (The Newmarket), a ringside bar, lobby cafe micro-brewery and entertainment precinct. There will also be a rooftop bar and pool deck overlooking the racecourse and stables. This also has sweeping views of the Georges River and Chipping Norton Lake. The rooftop will also house a wellness centre, day spa and gym. There will also be conference facilities and private dining and meeting rooms.
A feature of the precinct will be a new luxury hotel named The William Inglis and with each of the 144 rooms, including large suites and family rooms, having a name and theme based on one of the many champions sold by the firm.
The Big Barn, for use during major sales and which will also double as a venue for weddings and other special events, is being built to honour the historic Newmarket Stable at Inglis Randwick. The hotel, which will be run by Accor Hotels, is next to an air conditioned sales arena built to accommodate 1000 guests including a ringside dining service for at least 600 customers. Eight corporate boxes, with access to a mezzanine bar, will overlook the sales arena. There will be additional tiered and casual seating for spectators downstairs.
More than 200 advanced trees have been planted including a 300m avenue of Cyprian Plane trees on either side of a central spine of the complex and this spine will provide separate walkways for horses and pedestrians to ensure safety for all.
Two large metallic fig tree sculptures will provide shelter and character to the pre-parade ring as well as honouring the company’s heritage, while two Moreton Bay Fig trees, grown from saplings of the famous fig tree at Newmarket, will be either side of the hotel. Existing hardwood from Newmarket will be a feature of the more than 800 stables and there will be extensive parade space for horses. There are also permanent, air-conditioned hospitality suites to enable vendors to entertain buyers in comfort.
The avenue of trees will host an Inglis walk of fame, while the parade areas will be sheltered by advanced Chinese Elms and bordered by clipped evergreen hedges with camellias and crepe myrtles providing colour in season. There will be extensive gardens adjoining The Newmarket restaurant and the Big Barn.
Inglis will maintain is good relationship with existing partner hotels in the CBD and at Coogee and all the hotels, city and Warwick Farm, will be well serviced by Inglis shuttle buses to assist vendors and buyers.
“Our final year at Newmarket also coincides with our 150th year of service to the industry and there will be a number of events in the coming months to celebrate all that is old and new,” Mark Webster said. “This will include a farewell party at Newmarket for our customers on the eve of the Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale and another party for existing and former employees of the company later in the year.”
Inglis is conducting monthly “hard hat” tours of the new facility and staff will be talking to customers to discuss the transition.