Not content with Beauty Generation, Libby and Sam Bleakley’s Highden Park continues to produce more elite performers. Beauty Generation (sold for $60,000) added to his stellar record with another win this spring, taking his record to 18 wins from 33 starts including ten wins in succession.
Crowned Hong Kong Horse Of The Year for 2017/18 and 2018/19, can Beauty Generation make it a three peat this season? Highden Park also has a connection with 2015/16 Hong Kong Horse Of The Year Werther, with his dam Bagalollies being a resident at the property.
Highden Park’s current three year-olds include Gr.2 placed winner Vegas Knight (sold for $180,000), and impressive Hong Kong winner Sky Darci ($160,000). Highden Park’s Hong Kong Derby winner Ping Hai Star has just returned home to Highden to retire. “He’s going to be a nanny for our young stock, and it’s so great to have him home. The condition of his sale to Hong Kong was that he’d return here when he retired,” said Bleakley. Just to throw in a few more, and remember these results are from drafts of less than a dozen horses each year, Highden Park also counts Gr.3 winners Monster Kaka, Matchbreaker, and She’s Poppy, Listed winner Orbity, Gr.1 placed Harlow Gold, Gr.1 placed Milseain, Gr.2 placed Glorious Beijing, and stakes placed Showboy among their graduates.
Libby Bleakley said, “It’s been an amazing twelve months. We’ve now got a new stakes performer off the farm in Vegas Knight. He was the first weanling we ever pinhooked ourselves, we made a good profit, and now he’s performing. He’s just gone out for a spell and is being aimed at the Derby. Our strike rate as far as Karaka graduates is brilliant and the number of good horses off this farm is almost scarily good. We aren’t a big farm, with only fifteen broodmares, and we only have space to pinhook a few weanlings each year, and with a relatively small budget. The statistics show that we select our limited draft numbers carefully. We only have ten yearlings each year and go by the philosophy that
if it’s not a horse we would buy ourselves, why would we prepare it for someone else? We do a lot of research before we select our draft each year, and our results show that all the elements are coming together well. Our first three pinhooks were Vegas Knight, a Shooting to Win filly that has won a trial, and Kinane who was onsold successfully as a Ready To Run horse and recently ran second in his first start. You should watch the race, it’s a phenomenal effort for a horse on debut. From our 2019 draft, one of our pinhooks was a Deep Field colt who has already won two trials and been onsold to Hong Kong.”
Highden Park will offer three yearlings in book one at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.
Triple Crown winner American Pharoah began his stud career in perfect fashion leaving Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Four Wheel Drive recently, and his oldest southern hemisphere crop are yearlings, so this is the first chance local buyers have had to get one in their stables. With results like that, and his race record, his stock are bound
to be popular. Lot 448 is a colt who is the second foal of Australian city winning mare Azeema (Fastnet Rock), from the family of Alinghi.
Champion Sire in Hong Kong Tavistock’s yearling filly, Lot 608, is the first foal of superbly well bred winning mare Freelinks, who is a daughter of Gr.3 winner Freequent, making Freelinks a half-sister to the dam of Gr.1 winner I Do, and stakes winner Iggy Pop.
Caulfield Guineas winner Press Statement’s first crop are two year-olds. His yearling colt, Lot 227, is a half-brother to group winner Valpolicella (dam of three stakes winners; Vavasour, Vilanova, Celebrity Dream), and his dam Our Riesling won four races.
Highden Park have a further seven yearlings on offer in book two, making their full draft of ten yearlings at the capacity for their farm. Bleakley said, “Our book two horses are a real opportunity for people to buy on type, a sterling chance to buy a real racehorse. We have been the leading vendors for the last two years for book two, and this year we have the only Free Eagle in the sale. She’s a beautiful filly, as well as a Brazen Beau. People will be spoilt for choice when inspecting these horses. We are incredibly lucky with these horses and this draft will strengthen and bolster our reputation. It is all well and good to be a leading vendor in the ring but if you can’t back it up on the racetrack it doesn’t matter. We are getting results where it matters and we are really proud of that achievement.”
Brazen Beau has begun his stud career with a bang, and his yearling filly Lot 944, is out of Australian stakes winning mare Veuvelicious, whose first foal, Muiron, is a full brother to this yearling and is already a winner in Australia.
European classic winners do well at stud, and Power is another doing the job with eleven stakes winners in only a few crops. He is represented here by Lot 1103, a colt, who is the first foal of Gr.3 winner Exquisite Jewel, herself a half-sister to group winner Dark Princess and stakes placed winner Nordic Duke. Further back, this is the quality family of Eight Carat.
Lot 916 is a colt by proven sire Per Incanto, sire of Thorndon Mile winner Shadows Cast, and this colt is the first foal of unraced O’Reilly mare The Beeliner, who is a daughter of stakes winner The Beekeeper.
Gr.1 Newmarket winner Shamexpress has begun his stud career well with four stakes winners in a short time, and his colt, Lot 1029, is the second foal of winning mare Caradonna, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Jamieson Valley, and to the dam of Gr.1 winner Santa Monica.
Among the unproven stallions, Real Impact is a horse to watch for, being a typical tough Deep Impact style of racehorse, and now his first Southern Hemisphere crop are two year-olds.
From his second crop, Lot 710 is a yearling filly out of Hussonet mare Lavenham, who is a winning half-sister to Gr.3 winning sprinter Supido. It’s no secret that Japan has become an international breeding powerhouse, some ratings experts consider Japanese horses the best in the world. Strong evidence for this has been provided by the recent wins of Lys Gracieux and Mer de Glace in the most recent Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, while the Japanese raiders Win Bright, Admire Mars and Glory Vase cut a swathe through the 2019 Hong Kong International meeting winning the three big prizes, HK Cup, HK Mile and HK Vase respectively.
Another young sire whose yearlings represent his second Southern Hemisphere crop is Gr.1 winner Free Eagle, and his filly, Lot 896, is out of Black Heart Bart’s half-sister Star in the East. West Australian stakes winners Rebel King and Rebelson are also closely related to this filly, as is champion sire Savabeel.
First season sire and French Gr.1 winner Vadamos is represented by a filly, Lot 1090, out of stakes placed winner Elusive Tracy. This filly is the second foal for her dam who showed incredible toughness as a racemare, winning nine races, and placing in the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas. This is a strong winning family with many multiple city winners. ✦