A Peerless Yearling Sales Record

When the Redoute’s Choice colt from Helsinge left the ring at the Inglis Australian Easter Sale in Sydney on 9 April this year, a piece of history flashed on the board behind him.

BC3 Thoroughbreds paid an Australasian record price of $5 million for the colt, and $2.6 million for his sister at the same sale in 2012. Their world champion half-sister Black Caviar, and Group 1-winning half-brother All Too Hard certainly put them in the spotlight, but their value is firmly anchored by Redoute’s Choice as a champion sire, leading sire of sires and influential sire of broodmares.

It is impossible to miss the impact of Redoute’s Choice on the market-place in Australia over the past decade. His yearlings have generated 20% of the total business done at the Easter Sale since 2003 and his tally of 63 million-dollar yearlings is unsurpassed in Australian history.

Redoute’s Choice has headed the sire averages at the Easter Sale – Australia’s major yearling auction – for the past nine years. This year his 26 lots averaged $610,385; his Easter Sale average since 2003 is almost $550,000.

An important step in the establishment of the Redoute’s Choice dynasty was taken when his son Snitzel ended the 2013 Easter Sale with an average of $335,000, and his first $1 million yearling, the stunning Arrowfield-bred colt from La Bamba.

Given the remarkable yearling sale record of the Stud’s stallions since 1999, it was always a good bet that an Arrowfield-based son of Redoute’s Choice would emerge to join his sire in the million-dollar club.

Arrowfield stallions have been responsible for 94 (59%) of the 159 yearlings sold in Australia and New Zealand for $1 million or more since 1999. That includes yearlings bred thanks to the exclusive access to Japan’s champion sire Sunday Silence negotiated by Arrowfield between 1998 and 2001.

Add the progeny of Arrowfield-bred champion sire Zabeel and almost two-thirds of those market-toppers bear the Stud’s imprimatur.

That’s an astonishing degree of dominance, but as Inglis Director Jonathan D’Arcy explains, “Sales success is not just based on sire strength.”

“It is Arrowfield’s strong dedication to improving its broodmare band that has seen champion racetrack performers continue to come off its production line. Arrowfield has been able to attract some of the world’s greatest breeders such as the Aga Khan and the Yoshida family of Japan to join them in their quest to breed the best racehorses in the world.

“At Inglis we’ve been the beneficiary of this outstanding breeding programme, regularly seeing Arrowfield-bred and -raised yearlings topping our sales and leading to greater appreciation of the Australian-bred thoroughbred.”

In fact, no vendor in Australia or New Zealand has sold more seven-figure yearlings since 1999 than Arrowfield, with a total of 27. Coolmore has sold 21, while Cambridge Stud and Tyreel Stud have each sold 12 yearlings in that bracket.

Needless to say, that’s not why owners, agents and trainers buy yearlings from Arrowfield. They pay more attention to their own strike rate with Arrowfield horses, whether purchased for seven figures, like Group 1 winners Sunday Joy and Master of Design, or less than $250,000, like champions Fashions Afield, Mentality and Weekend Hussler, and this season’s Group winners Snitzerland, Sweet Idea and Flying Snitzel.

As John Messara says, “Today’s buyers demand athletes, and that is great news for us because that has always been Arrowfield’s obsession.

“The best athletes are the result of a constant effort to develop the right stallions, mate them to the right mares, and raise them in the best environment in the care of the best people. Provided we can tick all those boxes, the racetrack and sale-ring results will take care of themselves.”

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