ATTUNGA STUD’S 2018 MAGIC MILLIONS DRAFT REFLECTS A TURNING POINT FOR THE FARM OWNED AND OPERATED BY LEADING HORSEMAN BRIAN NUTT. EARLIER IN 2017, THE FARM WAS SOLD TO NEIGHBOURING YARRAMAN PARK STUD, AND THIS CROP WILL BE THE LAST ONE PREPARED FOR SALE OFF THIS PROPERTY. BRIAN NUTT SPOKE TO BLUEBLOODS ABOUT THIS DRAFT, AND ABOUT HIS FUTURE PLANS.
“I definitely won’t be retiring from breeding horses. It’s only a matter of deciding on the relocation – where do I go, and do I rent or buy a new place? This farm has been an excellent source of winners, and I want to ensure that my next step includes a property with similar qualities. There is much to take into account in a decision of this magnitude.”
Buyers who have purchased horses such as Gr.1 winners Sacred Star, War Artist and Fighting Warrior from Attunga in recent times will be able to follow Nutt and his Attunga brand into the future. Gr.1 winner Press Statement was also raised on this property in recent years. And the future for the Attunga brand looks particularly bright with the emergence of early two year-old Listed Debutant Stakes winner Qafila (Not a Single Doubt) from Attunga’s 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast draft.
Attunga Stud has also sold stakes winner Champ Elect (Choisir), stakes winner Ellicazoom (Testa Rossa), stakes winner and Gr.2 winner in New Zealand, Son of Maher (Al Maher), and this season’s three year-old Gr.2 placed Italia Bella (Fastnet Rock).
How would you sum up your 2018 draft?
We are very much looking forward to taking this draft to the Gold Coast. There are only nine yearlings, with mostly proven pedigrees. There are yearlings by champion sires such as Snitzel, Not a Single Doubt, More than Ready, Choisir, and Exceed and Excel, as well as up and coming stallions such as Pierro, Zoustar, and Deep Field.
Among the highlights is the half brother to 2017 two year-old stakes winner Qafila. This colt by Zoustar is out of a young Tapit mare from a family that has a few branches already successful in Australia. Gr.2 winner Adaline has a Pierro filly that should entice buyers, while the Snitzel colt is the first foal of an imported Gr.3 placed mare, Orion Love, who is herself a half sister to two stakes winners. Stakes winner Roulettes has a Zoustar colt, and for those buyers looking at up and coming form, her current two year-old, Spin, was recently fourth in the Listed ATC Breeders’ Plate. A half-sister to two year-old stakes winner Horizons might also appeal – this filly is by Deep Field from Ubiquity, a winning full sister to group winner Continuum.
Which horse in your draft looks the best chance to win the MM 2YO Classic or Golden Slipper?
The standout at this stage is the More than Ready colt from Pinova (Fastnet Rock). Pinova is a winning half sister to Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed Star Turn, and this colt is only her second foal.
What is your personal Magic Millions ambition?
We have had two placegetters in the Magic Millions Two Year-Old Classic in consecutive years, but have yet to crack the big one. I’d like to think this draft has the horse to do that for us. Having said that, last year’s graduate from this sale, Qafila (Not a Single Doubt – Zighy Bay, by Tapit) won a two year-old stakes race on debut, so maybe she is the one.
If you weren’t talking to me right now, you’d be….
Out on the farm with my horses, checking to see what are the likely candidates for the 2019 Magic Millions sale.
What do you wish more people would take notice of?
I would like more people to take less notice of x-ray reports. I’d love to see people take a punt on horses that are borderline on x-rays, rather than simply assuming the worst. A so-called ‘disaster’ from this farm was taken to a lesser sale last year, and is already a highly promising black type two year-old in a top stable.
What do you look for in a potential champion?
The combination of athleticism and attitude. It is elusive, and I’m yet to find perfection.