In the week since Christmas Day, Arrowfield’s yearling team have been busy putting the finishing touches on the Stud’s 28-lot draft for the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale which starts next Wednesday 8 January.
Arrowfield’s 12 colts and 16 fillies left for the Gold Coast late yesterday, accompanied by Operations Manager Sam Fairgray, Yearling Manager Denis Griffin and the dedicated crew that will begin parading horses for buyers on Friday morning.
Buyers need only look back at last year’s posts on the Arrowfield Blog to check how valuable the observations of the people who work most closely with yearlings can be.
Take, for example, Denis’ comments about the progress made by a Snitzel filly in last year’s Arrowfield consignment for the Magic Millions Sale:
“I never noticed this filly until after the first two weeks of yearling prep. She has thrived on the preparation so far and has a great attitude towards everything. She is a lovely mover, with a very active walk. She is a precocious type, quite like Snitzel himself (especially with her white markings), and if she continues in the direction she is headed, then I am sure she will be a very popular yearling at the sales.”
Denis was spot on: that was the Snitzel-Miss Kournikova filly, bought for $400,000 by Queensland trainer Dan Bougoure on behalf of Louise Gillard. The filly is now better known as Oakleigh Girl, winner of her first two starts including the VRC Ottawa S. G3, and a leading contender for the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on 11 January.
Other horses have something extra about them from the moment they’re born. An example was the standout colt offered under Arrowfield’s Bellerive Stud banner at last year’s Magic Millions Sale. He received a big rap from staff a month before he went through the ring:
“The All American-Illusionary colt has been an eye-catcher since he hit the ground. His natural muscle was evident at a very early age, and he has progressed and developed into a lovely athletic colt.”
Spot on again. Hawkes Racing went to $280,000 to secure the colt, cleverly named Invisible and such an impressive debut winner in Sydney last weekend that he is now second favourite for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic.
So which lots in Arrowfield’s 2014 Magic Millions draft have caught the eye of the horsemen and horsewomen who have seen them grow and develop over the past 15 months or so? Sam Fairgray’s early selections included the Not A Single Doubt-Covertly filly, the Snitzel-Modave filly and the Charge Forward-Roses Valentine colt. Now, a week out from the Sale, he adds a trio of yearlings whose recent progress is noteworthy.
“The Starcraft-Singles Bar colt has done very well, and he reads brilliantly as his sire Starcraft and half-brother Not A Single Doubt have both sired Blue Diamond winners.”
“Not Listenin’tome’s half-sister, the Redoute’s Choice-Flame of Sydney filly may not be big, but she’s a racy type and very strong.” Not Listenin’tome made a big impression in the spring when he stepped up from wins at Bendigo and Ballarat to run an outstanding second to Zoustar in the VRC Ascot Vale S. G1.
Sam also highlights the All American-Do Gooda colt. “I’m very pleased with him, he was rather tall and lanky early on, but he’s really started fill out now.”