Caption: Lot 259, the $1.4m bay colt by I Am Invincible from Soorena by Encosta de Lago
I am Invincible continued his stunning rise to the top of the stallion tree in Australia when his yearling son from Soorena smashed the Premier Sale record to make $1.4m at Oaklands in late February. Offered by Gilgai Farm, this half-brother to five winners, including Gr.1 star The Quarterback, was purchased by Ciaron Maher Bloodstock.
The trainer staged a great bidding duel with fellow Victorian conditioner Robbie Griffiths to secure the most expensive yearling ever sold by Inglis in Melbourne and the most expensive youngster purchased anywhere in Australasia this year. The previous Melbourne record of $750,000 was set in 2008 and the previous top price for an I Am Invincible was $900,000.
Maher first spotted the colt, whose dam, a daughter of Encosta de Lago, has also produced Gr.2 winner and Australian Derby-Gr.1 runner-up Philippi (Vanilla in HK), when he visited Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm at Nagambie about six months ago. It was love at first sight and he was determined then to buy the youngster.
“I though he was a lovely yearling and obviously he’s got a stallion’s pedigree. He’s a cracking type and I’ve loved the way he’s developed in the past six months,” he said. “He’s a great mover, with a great temperament and I can’t wait to get him into the stable. Full credit to Gilgai (breeders of Black Caviar, All Too Hard and Jameka), the stud’s done a great job again.”
Session One of the Premier Sale saw 448 yearlings sold for a clearance of 88%, gross of $53,957,500 and an average of $120,441 (median $100,000). A further 152 yearlings sold in Session Two to gross $6,516,000 and average $42,868 (median $38,000). The clearance here was 84% and top price in this session was $175,00 paid for Lot 624, a bay grandson of Sydney Cup-Gr.1 winner Honor Babe offered by Daisy Hill Breeding and Investments and by Melbourne Cup winner Americain (USA) and from 2400m winner Reveal The Goddess (Zabeel (NZ)). This colt was sold to P. Loke, Singapore.
Yarraman Park Stud’s I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit (IRE)-Cannarelle by Canny Lad), whose first season fee was just $11,000 in 2010 (Leading First Crop Sire 2013-14) and who stood at $55,000 in 2016, conceived this crop of yearlings off a fee of $27,500 and had 19 of 20 sell in Melbourne for $4,275,000 to average $225,000. He was leader on aggregate and third by average (three or more sold) to Lonhro (four sold to average $300,000 on a $440,000 top) and Snitzel (11 sold to average $286,818 on a $625,000 top). Zoustar’s first crop was well received and his 14 yearlings to sell averaged $150,000 ($360,000 top). There were six horses who sold for $500,000 and above and 22 who made $300,000 or more.
Buying alone and in partnership, Ciaron Maher took home 14 yearlings in Session One, outlaying more than $3.1m. Darren Weir signed for 12 yearlings for $1.67m. Other busy buyers included Lindsay Park Racing (Vic), McEvoy Mitchell Racing, McDonald Racing and Yu Long Investments.
Sun Bloodstock bid $625,000 for the three-quarter brother to Gr.1 winner Snitzerland, Lot 425, a bay colt by Snitzel from Consistency (All Bar One) offered by Rosemont Stud (as agent for Ed McKeon’s Palya Bloodstock). Sun Bloodstock also outlaid $520,000 for Lot 205, a bay colt by Not a Single Doubt and from the eight-time winner Rhodamine (Success Express (USA)) offered by Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm, Corinella. “We got the two colts we came to the sale to buy, so we leave happy,” Sun Stud’s David O’Callaghan said.
Inglis Victoria’s bloodstock manager Simon Vivian was also a delighted man after the auction. “The end result is so pleasing on every front,” he said. “The vendors did a great job presenting the horses and were rewarded accordingly and the buyers bought well, with some extremely high quality yearlings in the catalogue. To eclipse last year’s gross with fewer horses offered is a testament to that.”
“Undeniably the highlight was selling Gilgai Farm’s I Am Invincible colt for $1.4m. Such theatre has not been seen in the Oaklands ring before and I am delighted for the vendor, excited for the purchaser and respectful of the underbidders.”
Published: April 2017