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There is a certain level of expectation for success when buying out of a Segenhoe draft, but even given the farm’s well-earned reputation the results coming from its 2019 Gold Coast offerings have been quite exceptional. Still early three-year-olds, of the 21 lots offered a remarkable five are now Stakes performers with almost an assurance that figure will rise in the Autumn. And the class of 2020 has begun in a similar vein giving rise to greater belief in the 2021 yearlings.
Any farm that can deliver Stakes performers at a rate touching 25% has to be ahead of the pack, and we aren’t talking a few random Listed placings here. Buyers had the chance to secure dual Gr.1 winning two-year-old King’s Legacy (Redoute’s Choice) from the Gold Coast two Januarys ago. Also amongst the draft were Gr.3 Black Opal Stakes winner Barbaric and dual Sydney Gr.3 winner Holyfield (both by I Am Invincible) along with Gr.1 Flight Stakes placed Vangelic (Vancouver) and Ellsberg (Spill The Beans), recently Gr.3 placed at just his third start. And if the reports are right the names Zarastro (I Am Invincible), Pippa Charlotte (Not A Single Doubt), Kalashnikov (Capitalist), Sonora (So You Think) and Park Avenue (Fastnet Rock), all Gold Coast 2020 graduates, will be joining the list of Stakes winners shortly.
Segenhoe’s January draft is littered with pedigrees that attract more than just casual interest, so we spoke with the farm’s General Manager Peter O’Brien to get his thoughts on what buyers can expect to see when a youngster walks out of its box. When pressed O’Brien wouldn’t be drawn on singling out individual lots saying “This is as even a bunch of horses as we have ever taken to a sale. In my mind there is no tail to the draft and we go to the Gold Coast with a lot of confidence. Segenhoe endeavours to send to Magic Millions mature, two-year-old types and our 2021 draft is a strong reflection of that policy.”
As can be expected from a premium Gold Coast draft, Segenhoe’s list is comprised of stock by the leading stallions, both domestic and international. A prime example is Lot 322, with valued client John Camilleri of Fairway Thoroughbreds having sent his good mare Florentina to Kingman at Juddmonte Farm outside Newmarket, with the resulting colt, carrying an August 2nd foaling date, offered here. Peter explained “Kingman is setting the world alight and in Australia he has only had three runners and they are all winners. This colt is a big mature, beautiful moving real two-year-old from a terrific Australian family including Redoute’s Choice himself.” By Redoute’s Choice, Florentina won the Gr.3 Gold Coast Guineas and she is already the dam of two Stakes performers.
Zoustar is always a favourite with Gold Coast buyers and his colt out of the Gr.3 placed Husson mare Miss Husson returns to the ring having made $410,000 as the highest priced weanling at the 2020 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale. “He’s just an Adonis, a faultless colt. You would expect that, given his price tag as a weanling, but the great thing is he has just gone on and kept developing,” said O’Brien of Lot 550.
Shalaa has got off to a flying start in both Hemispheres and he is well represented here. “Shalaa is a stallion we were very fond of at Segenhoe and we have four of his colts to offer. The Stellar Vinia colt (Lot 836) is a lovely big scopey horse with an extraordinary action. The mare’s Vancouver three-year-old Bourbon Street is at Lindsay Park who have a huge opinion of her.” Stellar Vinia is another proven Redoute’s Choice mare, dam of South African Gr.2 winner Ektifaa (More Than Ready). Then there is Lot 917, a Shalaa colt out of the Fastnet Rock mare Unassailed who traces back to the excellent producer Park Special (Relkino). “He’s a very sharp, two-year-old type who is strong, has quality and will fly early. I’m 100% sure he will be a pre-Christmas two-year-old.”
Lot 765 has plenty going for him being by I Am Invincible out of the Gr.1 Flight Stakes runner up Sensibility (Redoute’s Choice). “Every foal the mare has had has been good looking, but this is probably the best she has had, and probably the most precocious as well. He is typical of the better I Am Invincibles, a rich bay in colour with a great action and a great mind, and he’s a horse that wants to please all the time.”
Peter believes prospective buyers will be pleasantly surprised when they inspect Lot 328, the So You Think colt out of Gr.1 Champagne Stakes winner Skilled’s (Commands) full sister Fragrance, “He has an extraordinary action along with a ton of quality. What sets him apart is his terrific strength and he looks fast and precocious which is unusual for a So You Think. I think most people will be taken with him once they get to see him.”
If anyone knows what a good Merchant Navy will look like it should be O’Brien. “Merchant Navy was born and bred with us and his colt out of That’s How I Roll (Lot 876) is so like his father it is uncanny. Being out of a Speightstown mare from a fast, American family he has speed both top and bottom in his pedigree and his looks match the page.”
Of course, it’s not all about the colts with the fillies that will head to Bundall of matching standard.
“We are spoilt for choice when it comes to I Am Invincible fillies. We have an absolutely stunning filly of his out of the dual Gr.3 winning sprinter Eloping which is near faultless as a type. We were fortunate enough to race the mother and we bred this horse in partnership with Michael and Siobhan Christian. She is in the mould of the better “Vinnie” fillies with great colour, a great head, and a terrific action. I will be surprised if she isn’t in the top 5% of fillies in the sale.” She sells as Lot 257. “There is also Lot 764, the filly out of Sempre Libera who is a daughter of the Golden Slipper winner Merlene. “She is bred for speed, all quality, has a huge hip, short back and looks a real two-year-old.” Then there is his filly out of Lonhro’s daughter Custard whose four winning foals to date are all Stakes performers headed by Gr.3 winner Serene Majesty (Fastnet Rock). “Even though she is a later foal she is a very mature filly. Everything out of Custard runs and I’d be surprised if this filly is an exception.” She goes through as Lot 200.
Lot 541 has Magic Millions form being by Snitzel, sire of 2019 winner Exhilarates out of Mimi Lebrock who won the 2yo Classic back in 2007. “Mimi Lebrock has already thrown the Gr.3 winner Barbaric and you won’t miss her, she looks like she has had a run-in with a bucket of paint, but that is the Show A Heart coming through in her markings. She is a stunning filly we own 50/50 with Gerry Harvey. She looks a jump and run two-year-old exactly what you would expect on pedigree and on looks. She is the type to set for the Magic Millions Classic and I think she will be extremely popular.”
Segenhoe will also offer as Lot 562 a Pride Of Dubai half-sister to the good sprinting three-year-old Muntaseera, who was reared at the farm, out of Moosirra by Redoute’s Choice. “She is owned and bred by Sheikh Khalifa who has most of his mares with us. This filly is another with an extraordinary action and has the same shape as Muntaseera with a short back. She looks fast and certainly an early comer.”
After a trying year for all in the industry we asked Peter why he will be looking forward to getting to Queensland in January. “The Gold Coast is an amazing venue; it is always a buoyant sale and as the first sale after a long breeding season it is the first opportunity for everyone to meet up. Given this year and COVID we are expecting everybody will be in good form when they get there with a lot of resulting sore heads!”