Arrowfield-sired mares make Millions

It may seem to a casual observer of the bloodstock business that juicy investment returns are reserved for colts.

Certainly, the multi-million-dollar deal-making buzz around prospective stallions is intoxicating and, when the deals are completed, very rewarding, even life-changing for their fortunate owners.

However, fillies can generate significant results too. The Select Session of this week’s Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale featured six mares sold for $1 million or more, and four of them, including the two most expensive mares, are by Arrowfield stallions. One of them was also bred & sold as a yearling by Arrowfield, and another is in foal to Snitzel.   

The top-priced mare was Group 1 winner Sweet Idea (Snitzel-Flidais), bred by Arrowfield & Katsumi Yoshida and bought as a yearling from Arrowfield’s 2012 Magic Millions draft by Gai Waterhouse & James Harron. They paid $240,000 on behalf of a group of owners who enjoyed three wonderful seasons of racing with Sweet Idea, winner of 8 races (five at Group 1 & 2 level) and $2.4 million.

On Wednesday she was offered by Widden Stud on behalf of her owners and one of them, Nick Vass, paid $1.6 million to own her outright. All-up, excluding training & racing costs, Sweet Idea has returned 16 times her original purchase price, and she still has a breeding career ahead of her.

The Sale’s second-highest price was the $1.5 million bid by Arrowfield’s Jon Freyer on behalf of Mr Yoshida for dual Group 1 winner Response (Charge Forward-Live It Up), bred by Andrew & Laska Bowcock and sold for $50,000 to Barry & Midge Griffiths at the 2008 Inglis Easter Sale.

Response earned more than $800,000 on the track, was sold for $840,000 after her retirement to SF Bloodstock  and her first foal, a Fastnet Rock filly, made $1,050,000 earlier this year. She has a weanling colt by Exceed and Excel and is due to foal to Snitzel this Spring.

Not A Single Doubt’s Group 2-winning daughter Villa Verde, knocked down for $1.1 million to James Bester & the Deep Field Syndicate, was originally sold in utero when her dam Young and Free was sold for $10,500 by Arrowfield as agent in 2010. 

The buyer, Melbourne breeder Todd Lichti, sold Villa Verde as a yearling for $95,000 to trainer Shaun Dwyer acting for his clients Mike Buys and Rob Willis. The brilliant grey mare earned them more than $650,000 prizemoney which, together with this week’s sale, means she has covered her original price 18 times over.  

Rounding out this quartet of million-dollar mamas was Varenna Miss (Redoute’s Choice-Mica’s Pride) whose status as a Group 2-winning daughter of a champion sire & leading broodmare sire was enhanced by the multiple Group One success of her younger half-brother Criterion.

Like Response, Varenna Miss was presented by Newgate Farm and, in foal to Pierro, was bought for $1 million by Emirates Park.

She was originally purchased for $80,000 as a 2YO by Glenn Fraser from her breeder Twin Palms Stud and won more than $360,000 in a career that featured a BRC QTC Cup G2 victory and a pair of Group 1 fourths.

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