With the winding down of the breeding season, the emphasis here at the farm quickly turns to yearling prep and in particular, the preparation of our 2020 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale draft. We believe we have once again assembled an exciting group of yearlings for this sale and know that they are in the very best of hands, those of our wonderful and very talented Yearling Manager, Wendy Smith.
Wendy commenced work at Blue Gum Farm in January 2012 after long, loyal stints at the Hayes and Sangster families' Collingrove Stud, and then as manager of Goulburn Park Stud. Her experience and knowledge in all aspects of a young thoroughbred's life, from foaling and post foaling care, through to weaning and then growing out the yearling, is second to none and a huge part of our success in the sales ring and on the racetrack these past several years.
Examining that success more closely makes a very interesting study. In the last five years at Melbourne Premier Blue Gum Farm has been, by gross, the leading vendor twice, 2nd leading vendor twice and 3rd leading vendor once. Our drafts at these sales were not the largest by any means. Our aim is always to concentrate on quality rather than quantity, and the racetrack results of our graduates recently prove that they haven’t just been pretty sales yearlings.
In the four years 2015 – 2018 Blue Gum Farm offered 114 yearlings and sold 103 of them. Our ratio of winners (68) from lots offered is 60% and our ratio of winners from runners (93) sits at a very healthy 73%. And of course Ideas Man has provided the perfect start for our class of 2019 by already winning the $500,000 MVRC Inglis Banner!
At Premier 2020 we will offer 30 quality yearlings by the likes of All Too Hard, Astern, Brazen Beau, Cable Bay (IRE), Capitalist, Dundeel (NZ), Exceed and Excel, Flying Artie, Frosted (USA), Manhattan Rain, More Than Ready (USA), Nicconi, Pierro, Pride of Dubai, Savabeel, Sebring, Snitzel, So You Think (NZ), Star Witness, Tavistock (NZ), Turffontein and Written Tycoon. It is extremely satisfying to know they are in excellent hands with Wendy and her team.
Hot on the heels of recent Spring Group and Stakes wins by our graduates La Falaise, Sartorial Splendor, Gold Fields and exciting 2YO Ideas Man, we at Blue Gum Farm are thrilled to announce our draft for the 2020 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Once again we feel that we have a beautifully balanced draft of yearlings by proven stallions, up and coming stallions and exciting first season stallions. Consistent Group 1 producing stallions Dundeel, Exceed and Excel, Manhattan Rain (3), More Than Ready , Pierro (4), Savabeel, Sebring (2), Snitzel, So You Think, Tavistock and Written Tycoon are all represented as are the young, brilliantly credentialled newcomers Astern, Cable Bay, Capitalist, Flying Artie and Frosted.
“We are tremendously excited about our draft for the 2020 Premier Sale,” said Philip Campbell recently. “Not only do we have yearlings by a fantastic array of stallions but they are from remarkable females and female families too. They have been raised here at Blue Gum as well as the farms of some of the most respected breeders in the country and they have all undergone thorough physical inspections, x-raying and scoping. I believe we have again come up with another terrific group of yearlings to prepare for Oaklands.”
Star Witness (AUS) x Azwa (AUS) Filly
Turffontein (AUS) x Beautiful Pleasure (AUS) Colt
All Too Hard (AUS) x Charm's Honour (AUS) Colt
Manhattan Rain (AUS) x Crevasse (AUS) Colt
Brazen Beau (AUS) x Flokkati (AUS) Filly
More Than Ready (USA) x Flying Gigi (AUS) Filly
So You Think (NZ) x Indelible (NZ) Colt
Snitzel (AUS) x Jestajingle (AUS) Colt
Nicconi (AUS) x Lady Amanda (AUS) Filly
Pride of Dubai (AUS) x Mae Jinx (NZ) Filly
Flying Artie (AUS) x Magic Fingers (AUS) Colt
Pierro (AUS) x Magnagem (AUS) Filly
Cable Bay (IRE) x Magrosso (AUS) Filly
Tavistock (NZ) x Miralago (AUS) Colt
Written Tycoon (AUS) x Miss Promiscuity (AUS) Colt
All Too Hard (AUS) x Miss Rangoon (USA) Colt
Capitalist (AUS) x Missy Cummings (AUS) Colt
Sebring (AUS) x Not Only Florina (IRE) Colt
Pierro (AUS) x Our Golden Dream (USA) Filly
Pierro (AUS) x Pass the Parcel (AUS) Colt
Savabeel (AUS) x Pepiniere (IRE) Colt
Manhattan Rain (AUS) x Personal Ensign (AUS) Filly
Astern (AUS) x Rathlin Island (AUS) Filly
Dundeel (NZ) x Rime (AUS) Colt
Brazen Beau (AUS) x Rocket Commander (AUS) Filly
Sebring (AUS) x Shacarde (AUS) Filly
Frosted (USA) x Silken Song (AUS) Colt
Pierro (AUS) x Sticky Beak (AUS) Colt
Manhattan Rain (AUS) x Testa the Water (AUS) Colt
Exceed and Excel (AUS) x Truly Wicked (AUS) Colt
Last Saturday night at the William Inglis Oaklands Junction Sales Complex, Thoroughbred Breeders Victoria held their 2018/19 Industry Awards. It was at this gala function that our very own Horse Operations Manager, Chris Kent, was awarded the TBV Industry Rising Star award sponsored by Digital Media Creations. Winning the award was a shock for Chris, who was unaware that he had been nominated, but an easy decision for the TBV Board who were unanimous in their endorsement of him.
Chris graduated from the Marcus Oldham Agricultural College with Distinction honours in the Horse Business Management course. His results saw him awarded the Lanwades Stud Scholarship which enabled him to travel to the UK and work at the renowned Lanwades Stud. On returning from overseas, Chris took up the position of Racing Manager with then trainer Greg Bennett before he started work with Blue Gum Farm in 2013.
As Horse Operations Manager of our farm, Chris oversees all aspects of the day to day running of the Broodmare and Stallion divisions. Along with our Yearling Manager, Wendy Smith, they are responsible for our sales preparation routine. In the last five years Wendy and Chris’s combined efforts, along with the staff under them, have seen Blue Gum Farm leading vendor by aggregate twice, 2nd leading vendor twice and 3rd leading vendor once at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Chris is very well respected by both the staff he works with on a daily basis, as well as the many industry professionals he deals with in his role. We congratulate Chris on winning this award and thank him for his passion, dedication and hard work.
The 2019 Victorian Spring Carnival was certainly a lucrative period for the Logan McGill trained Gold Fields. During that time the Churchill Downs gelding, who was bred by our great friend the late Kevin Heffernan from his Encosta De Lago mare Gold Delta, won the Listed Sale Cup and the Group 3 Sandown Stakes in succession.
Born and raised at Blue Gum Farm, Gold Fields was prepared for sale and offered at the 2014 Inglis Melbourne VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale. It was here that astute judge Mark Riley took a shine to the colt and he was knocked down to Riley’s Glenhuntly Lodge for $42,000. “He was a very neat, tidy sort of yearling,” remembered Philip Campbell recently. “He wasn’t a big colt but he was correct, easy on the eye and he could walk too.”
Gold Fields was no stranger to the country cup circuit having previously won the 2017 Ballan Cup and the 2018 Wodonga Cup. However it has been his 2019 Spring campaign that has really seen his star rise. He took out the $200,000 Sale Cup the day after Blue Gum Farm’s extraordinary Cox Plate Day, taking the farm’s weekend tally of Stakes wins to four. He had to do a lot of work early from a wide draw, but after sitting just outside the leader for most of the trip, he still found another gear down the straight to win by almost a length from the quality Turffontein gelding Mandela Effect. Three weeks later Gold Fields stepped up to Group level giving popular jockey Stephen Baster a fairy tale ending to his long and successful career when the pair prevailed in a tight finish.
Gold Fields has now won 11 races and $633,265 in stakes representing a fantastic return on investment for his connections. Trainer Logan McGill has said that a trip to Dubai in January and February is now on the cards, after he was approached by Dubai racing officials to campaign the horse over there. Everyone at Blue Gum Farm will be wishing Logan and Gold Fields every success as he goes international. Kevin Heffernan would be exceptionally proud of his homebred!
What a day 2019 MVRC W S Cox Plate day was for Blue Gum Farm. Once the final race had been run and won, three Blue Gum sales graduates had won Stakes races on one of the biggest days of the racing calendar.
The success began early when the Des Pope bred Ideas Man (Brazen Beau x Innovation Girl by Rubiton) won the first race on the card, the $500,000 Inglis Banner (RL). It was the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace trained colt’s first start and he showed his class by chasing down the front runners in the final 200m and winning well. He was a member of our 2019 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft and was purchased by Ciaron Maher Bloodstock for $575,000. “He was a very special colt from day one this bloke,” remembers Blue Gum Farm’s Philip Campbell. “Always strong and forward looking, he prepped beautifully for this year’s sale and sold accordingly. He has started his career sensationally and I’m sure he will scale even greater heights in the future.”
Two races later and the Blue Gum homebred La Falaise (Canford Cliffs x Exceedingly French by Exceed and Excel) shared the spoils in the Group 2 $300,000 Fillies Classic, dead heating in a desperately close finish. The Henry Dwyer trained filly sat one off the fence for most of trip before pulling out in the home straight and attacking the line strongly to force the dead heat right on the line. La Falaise was a member of our 2018 Inglis Melbourne VOBIS Gold draft and was knocked down to Forest Lodge Racing for just $5,000. “This filly was a stretchy, athletic filly who moved well but her sire was out of favour at the time and she was back in the knee,” recalls Campbell. “Darren Weir took a fancy to the filly in the back parade ring at Oaklands, followed her in to the sale ring and purchased her. She has proven a very good investment for the Roll The Dice Syndicate and being well handled by Henry, there could be plenty more to come with her yet.”
The stakes treble was completed when another Blue Gum Farm home bred in Sartorial Splendor (Brazen Beau x Personal Ensign by Rubiton) easily won the Group 3 $200,000 Red Anchor Stakes. Jumping beautifully from the barriers, the John Sadler trained colt lead throughout and kicked away late to win the 1200 metre contest by a comfortable one and three-quarter lengths. A member of our 2018 Inglis Melbourne Premier draft, the colt was sold to John Sadler Training Services for $130,000. “He was another cracking good sort by Brazen Beau,” said Philip Campbell. “He was deemed to have some x-ray issues at the sale though and that affected his sale price. Credit to John Sadler who overlooked that and backed his judgement on the colt. My understanding is that the so called x-ray issues amounted to nothing and John is very much looking forward to further rewards with this colt.”
This was certainly a Saturday that family, friends and staff at Blue Gum Farm will remember for many years to come!