The opening race at Canterbury tomorrow will pit some pricey and well bred yearlings purchased at some of the showcase auctions across Australia last year. Top of mind will be Jen Rules (Redoute's Choice - Fate Rules, by Encosta de Lago), a $500,000 Australian Easter graduate on debut from the draft of Highgrove Stud. The filly, from a half-sister to Gr2 Caulfield Sprint Handicap winner and sire Jet Spur, is sure to be another well tuned commodity from the Snowden Stable. Task and Purpose (Zoustar-Combat Kitty, by General Nediym), a $550,000 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling graduate will be second-up after running a nice third on debut a fortnight ago for trainer Chris Waller. Also representing the Waller stable will be the well-named Seles (I Am Invincible-Defy The Odds, by Galileo), a $170,000 Melbourne Premier yearling and half-sister to Gr1 Australian Derby winner Leicester on debut. Other notable entries include Churning (Lonhro-Emmalene, by Jet Spur), a $280,000 Magic Millions yearling from a Listed winner and the family of Gr2 winner Captiva; Mizzy (Jouster-Missy Cummings, by Magnus), a $200,000 Inglis Easter yearling from a Listed winning mare; Positive Peace (Stratum-Warpath, by Reset), a $260,000 Inglis Easter yearling from a Listed winning half-sister to Gr3 Blue Diamond Prelude winner Limestone. Of all the entries, 2017 Inglis Classic graduate ($60,000) Martha Heights maybe has the best family. By Epaulettes from Octagonal mare Demanding, she'll debut for the astute Gerald Ryan yard. And she's a three-quarter-sister to Gr2 winner Washington Heights and half-sister to stakes winners Supply and Demand, Spacecraft and brilliant WA galloper Phenomenons.
At Albury on Friday, South Australia's Willow Grove Stud-based stallion Mint Lane (Maria's Mon-Sister Girl, by Conquistador Cielo) sired his first stakes-winner when 4YO gelding Willi Willi (Mint Lane-Aseelah, by Falbrav) scored by 3.5-lengths for trainer Craig Widdison in the $180,000 Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m), defeating 5YO gelding Supply And Demand & 4YO mare Wheal Leisure. It was the biggest result for Widdison since moving to Wodonga across the border a year and a half ago. A handy fourth last time out behind exciting prospect Kings Will Dream at Flemington, Willi Willi improved his record to 5 wins and a runner-up from 12 starts for $340,350 earnings.
At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Coolmore's Gr1-winning son of Danehill and former champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when 7YO gelding More Energy (Fastnet Rock-Perfect Promise, by Caesour) got up in the last stride for trainer Jason Coyle to just tip out long-time leader Supply and Demand in the $125,000 Parramatta Cup (1900m). Coming from last at the 400m mark, Liapari flashed home but was still a head adrift when the line came. Initially sold as a yearling for $150,000 at the 2012 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale from the draft of Toolooganvale Farm, More Energy subsequently brought $240,000 at the Magic Millions 2YO Horses In Training Sale when offered by Think Big Stud. Placed in Brisbane's Gr3 Tattersalls Cup last Winter Carnival, More Energy now has 6 wins & 8 placings from 36 starts for $290,675 earnings.
The Tulloch Lodge stable of Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott believe they have the right horse in Supply And Demand to win tomorrow's $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot, reports the West Australian. The dual stakes winner is coming off a fast-finishing second behind Hellova Street in the Gr3 TCL TV Stakes (1400m) at Flemington and will carry just 54.5kg in the $1 million feature. However, the son of Sebring has drawn a horror gate in barrier 19 and will have to call upon his versatility if he is to have any chance of success. Bott said the 5YO had travelled to Perth well and was close to peak fitness for his third run back from a spell. "It's a little bit of a tricky draw, but outside of that, he's travelled over well and he's a very fit horse," Bott said. "The best thing in our favour to overcome the draw is the fact that the horse is so versatile. He has tactical speed to be on the pace or lead, but if we decide that's not the best option, he has a lovely turn of foot when coming from off the pace." Bott added: "In recent years we haven't had the right prospects to go over to Perth, but he showed a perfect profile for that carnival. He just lacked a bit of dash and got caught flat-footed last start. A strong mile with a good tempo will suit him." Supply And Demand is out of the good producer Demanding (Octagonal) who has also produced Gr2 winner Washington Heights, dual stakes winner Phenomenons, as well as stakes winner and multiple Group placegetter Spacecraft.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the 131st running of the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot racecourse in Perth this Saturday. Defending champion and local star Scales Of Justice is currently the $5.50 TAB favourite for the race, ahead of 5-time Gr1 winner Black Heart Bart at $6 and Gr1 performer Tom Melbourne at $7. The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Supply And Demand is the only other runner under double figure odds at $8. The final field is:
The final field has been declared for the 131st running of the $1 million Gr1 Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot racecourse in Perth this Saturday. The barrier draw will be conducted today commencing at 4:30pm (7:30pm AEDT) and will be telecast live on Sky Racing. The final field is:
At Flemington in Melbourne, deceased former Armidale Stud stallion Helike (Rahy-East of the Moon, by Private Account) added a Group race success when 7YO chestnut gelding Hellova Street (Helike-Butter Street, by Secret Savings) scored a typically brave front-running win in the $200,000 Gr3 TCL TV Stakes (1400m) for 3YO+, defeating Supply And Demand & Fox Hall. The Tasmanian-trained Hellova Street boosted his already impressive record to 14 wins (including the Listed Newmarket Handicap – twice, Listed VRC March Stakes, Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes & Listed Tattsbet.com Stakes) and 12 placings (including the Listed Tasmanian Stakes) from 32 starts for $729,375 in earnings.
At the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Widden Stud's former Australian champion 2YO colt Sebring (More Than Ready-Purespeed, by Flying Spur) added a black-type success when 4YO brown gelding Supply And Demand (Sebring-Demanding, by Octagonal) opened his stakes account when leading his rivals a merry dance in the $175,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) 3YO+, defeating My Diamantine & War Baby. Purchased for $170,000 by his trainer Gai Waterhouse, James Harron & Round Table Racing at the 2014 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale from the draft of Widden Stud, Supply And Demand improved his record to 6 wins and 6 placings from 16 starts for $422,735 in earnings.
For US commercial thoroughbred breeders, 2010 "marks a turning point as the last of the yearlings bred on pre-crash 2008 stud fees head through the auction ring" commented US Daily Racing Form. Vendors "who have survived the collapse of the thoroughbred market's bubble & the subsequent tightening of credit for equine business fervently hope better times lie ahead & they have at least 2 reasons for guarded hope. Stud fees in 2009 generally were lower (raising the possibility of better profit margins for the 2011 yearling crop) & earlier this year The US Jockey Club projected that foal crop (the supply half of the supply-and-demand seesaw) will shrink by about 4,000 horses to 30,000: the smallest crop since 1977." But the question for now "is whether this year's sale yearlings" (particularly those headed to the world's largest thoroughbred yearling auction beginning at Keeneland on Sunday) will sell well enough to keep their breeders in the game until next year. The portents, as seen in the summer yearling sales, are mixed." To read the full analysis, click on the link in The Great Debate panel on the right-hand-side of this page.
Today's opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Select Sale is expected to test the depth of the buying bench, according to bloodhorse.com: "The law of supply and demand will get a major test beginning Monday with the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling auction." Compared to last year's 495 yearlings, this year's record catalogue of 679 yearlings "represents a whopping 37.2% increase." It's not difficult to see why vendors have rallied behind the sale. In 2004, "gross revenue soared 36.9% from 2003 to its 2nd highest level ever of US$38,620,000." The average was up 22.8%, setting a new record of US$114,260.