Teeley signs off with a Championship season
Most breeders would describe a season averaging more than a stakes win a month in ecstatic terms.
Teeley Assets Bloodstock Manager Iris O’Farrell has to think for a moment or two before replying matter-of-factly, “Yes, it is our best season.”
Her hesitation is not surprising, because the standards of Sri Lankan businessman Muzaffar Yaseen’s breeding and racing enterprise are rather high. Its history began on a note few breeders ever reach, with a glorious home-bred colt who won the Group 1 Blue Diamond at his second start and now has a third Australian stallion premiership in his sights.
That’s Redoute’s Choice, and 16 of his relatives, ten of them broodmares, are among the 89 lots catalogued for the Teeley Dispersal & Reduction at the Magic Millions National Sale, beginning with the Weanling Sale on Sunday.
Such a sale at any time would attract attention, but the Teeley Dispersal has been preceded by the kind of marketing campaign that not even the creative skills of auction house Magic Millions and selling agent Arrowfield can match.
A total of seven Teeley-bred horses have compiled 12 Group or Listed stakes wins and seven stakes placings this season, and the dams of all but two of them are for sale next week.
Teeley’s undoubted star in 2013/14 is Lankan Rupee (Redoute’s Choice-Estelle Collection by Stravinsky), whose rise to world champion status and sweep through Australia’s major Autumn sprints make him a leading candidate for Horse of the Year honours.
Last year’s Blue Diamond winner Miracles of Life (Not A Single Doubt-Dazzling Gazelle by More Than Ready) and 2YO filly Lucky Raquie (Encosta de Lago-Monsoon Wedding by Danehill) opened Teeley’s season with placings in the Champagne S. G3 at Moonee Valley and the Gimcrack S. LR at Randwick.
Lankan Rupee soon picked up the pace with Group 3 and Listed stakes victories at Flemington and Caulfield in November. His subsequent $2.4 million Group 1 treble (Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Handicap & T.J. Smith Stakes) has earned him a Timeform rating of 132 and an international ranking as the world’s best sprinter.
In January Finishing Card (by Platinum Scissors from the Quest For Fame mare Helen, sold several years ago) won the Barton S. LR at Caulfield. In March Lucky Raquie picked up the Canberra Black Opal S. LR and another 2YO filly, More Radiant (More Than Ready-Ravishing Choice by Redoute’s Choice) earned black type on debut in Melbourne for a group of owners including Neil Werrett and Steve McCann.
3YO filly Tango’s Daughter (Redoute’s Choice-Tango Fire by Anabaa) took Group 2 and Listed events in Adelaide during April, and Miracles of Life returned to winning form in the Euclase S. G2 in early May.
One of the year’s most talked-about talents, 3YO colt Rubick (by Encosta de Lago, his dam Sliding Cube who died in 2012) won the Blue Diamond Prelude G3 before a fourth-placed finish in Earthquake’s Blue Diamond.
Last weekend, 2YO filly Elitist (Stratum-Silvery Hill by Red Ransom) became the latest Teeley-bred stakes performer, when third in the BRC Lancaster S. LR for Kelso Wood and the Devine, Morgan, Galante & Matthews families.
Given this level of recent success, a few twinges of regret about selling the entire Teeley broodmare band, including Estelle Collection carrying a full sibling to Lankan Rupee, would be understandable, but Iris views the prospect with equanimity.
“It is the best time to sell, when things are going so well. We’ve really enjoyed breeding, but now it’s time for other people to have fun with our horses and we can enjoy following them.”
However, Mr Yaseen remains in the ownership of stallions Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain, Not A Single Doubt, Stratum & Echoes of Heaven, and his racing interests will keep those famous yellow, red, orange & lime silks visible for a few more years yet.
Home-bred fillies will be sold at the end of their racing careers, but Iris does not rule out future yearling purchases, although that presents a new test for Teeley Assets.
Iris explains, “Mr Yaseen loves the races, he loves his horses and he loves to bet. However, we’ve never bought a good horse, we’ve always bred them, so there’s a challenge for us!”
In the meantime, Team Teeley can look forward to the next racing season with Melbourne Spring campaigns planned for Lankan Rupee and Rubick.
Also of special interest to Teeley Assets will be the progress of Manhattan Rain, sire this season of debut 2YO Group winner Moonovermanhattan and stakes performers Chengdu and Light Up Manhattan from his first crop.
Thirteen of the Teeley Dispersal weanlings are by the Group 1-winning son of Encosta de Lago, and 22 of the broodmares are in foal to him. Notable among them are Charming Estelle (Lankan Rupee’s sister), Catshaan (dam of Australian Oaks G1 winner Absolutely), Liquid Desire, Modern Etiquette & Tango Fire (sisters and dam of Tango’s Daughter), Invisible Choice (sister to G1 Cheeky Choice), Group winner Fritz’s Princess and stakeswinners Beauty School, Whisper Bay & Zipanese.
It’s more than 15 years since Mr Yaseen’s first home-bred stakeswinner, and many top-class horses have joined him on the Teeley Assets honours board, but Iris has no hesitation when asked for her most memorable win.
“It’s Redoute’s Choice winning the Blue Diamond, from a wide barrier, against the odds, a week after his first start, and beating Testa Rossa. That was a big thrill!”