Murrulla Stud charges into 2020 Classic with confidence

6 min read
Twelve months after selling the highest-priced yearling ever at the Inglis Classic Sale, it is no surprise Murrulla Stud is taking a degree of confidence into the 2020 edition, where it will present a draft of 23.

The Classic Sale runs for three days from this Sunday and the Wingen-based operation has pleasant memories of the Riverside Stables, where it achieved a Classic Sale record price of $550,000 for a colt by Brazen Beau purchased by Bruce Perry Bloodstock. It came six years after Murrulla sold Brazen Beau himself, a subsequent dual Group 1 winner and now Darley sire, at Classic.

The colt, named Midway, is now in work with Kris Lees and while he has had a couple of trials is yet to have his racetrack debut.

That moment last February was one of the most significant in Murrulla Stud's history but Tim Nolan said there was little time to think about past glories heading into this year's Sale.

Midway as a yearling

"It always gives you a bit of confidence, but you can't expect those results to come along every day," he told TDN AusNZ. "What we are confident of is that we've got some really nice horses here.

"You have to have a good type. They love buying on type. It’s probably a sale where the pedigrees aren't as strong as Easter or Magic Millions, but on a really nice type, they'll pay for them."

"It’s probably a sale where the pedigrees aren't as strong as Easter or Magic Millions, but on a really nice type, they'll pay for them." - Tim Nolan

Nolan does believe Murrulla's 2020 draft also has depth. When asked to name his best few, he reels off several colts which he thinks can make an impression.

There are two Written Tycoon colts who have two global superstars on their pages. Lot 78 is out of the Northern Meteor mare Cosmic Debris, who has the champion mare Zenyatta (USA) on his pedigree page, and Lot 110, out of Dwindle (Commands), is from the extended family of European star Fantastic Light (USA) (Rahy {USA}) as well as Australian Group 1 winner Your Song (Fastnet Rock).

There are also quality colts by two of Arrowfield's first season sires in Shalaa (Ire) (Lot 248) and Maurice (Jpn) (Lot 361) as well as one by Coolmore's young shuttler No Nay Never (USA) (Lot 267).

Nolan is also confident in the prospects of two fillies by leading stallions Pierro and Zoustar. Lot 120, by Zoustar, is from the extended family of G1 Golden Slipper S., winner She Will Reign (Manhattan Rain), while Lot 522, is by Pierro out of Tiersamo (Stratum), the three-quarter sister to multiple Group 1 winner Streama (Stratum).

However, the one filly he thinks will create most interest is Lot 307. She is by Criterion (NZ), whose crops have been limited by fertility issues which have put an end to his breeding career.

There were only three foals in the Newgate stallion's second crop, including this filly, out of Miracletto (Fuji Kiseki {Jpn}), who has already produced the winner Miracle To Me (Bel Esprit).

"She's a very rare commodity and there is bit of wrap on the Criterions at the moment. Talking to people around the sale about them, there are a few out there that can gallop and hopefully we can get a nice result with a nice filly," Nolan said.

Lot 307 - Criterion (NZ) x Miracletto (filly)

Quartet ready to Charge

Murrulla will also be offering four lots by Charge Forward, part of the first crop from when he assumed residency at the farm in 2017.

The one colt, Lot 802, is by Amarie, meaning both his sire and dam are by Red Ransom (USA), with the champion European 2-year-old Mujahid (USA) (Danzig {USA}) also featuring on the page.

"He's in the highway session. He is a lovely colt, a big strong horse. Hopefully, he sells well," Nolan said.

Lot 802 - Charge Forward x Amarie (colt)

Fillies by Charge Forward, especially from black-type pedigrees, are particularly sought after at the moment with two Golden Slipper winners, Estijaab (Snitzel) and She Will Reign as well as triple Group 1 winner Sunlight (Zoustar), out of mares by the stallion.

Lot 715 is a Charge Forward filly out of Irish stakes winner Miss Helga (Ire) (Alzao {USA}), making her a half-sister to Hong Kong Champion stayer Liberator (Encosta De Lago), as well as Pink Siris (Encosta De Lago), the dam of recent Magic Millions Quality winner Etana (Shamus Award).

Lot 725 also has a very strong page, being out of Pending Decision (Strada), the half-sister to Group 2 winner and Golden Slipper S. runner-up Decision Time (Foreplay) from the extended family of Streama.

Similarly, the first Charge Forward filly Murrulla Stud offers, Lot 22, is out of Born Lucky (Lucky Owners {NZ}), the three-quarter sister to G2 Todman S. winner Masquerader (Lucky Owners {NZ}).

Rain won't dampen optimism

The lead-up to this year's Classic Sale has been marked by wet weather in Sydney, but with much of New South Wales having suffered a two-year drought, you won't find Nolan complaining about having to parade his horses in the rain.

"We were lucky until this morning. We had a bit of rain yesterday morning and then had a full day of inspections yesterday afternoon," he said.

"It’s absolutely pouring here now and has been since 2am this morning. We are lucky, because we can parade down the alleyways under the barns and we'll just have to make do. We haven't had rain for three years, so we aren’t going to turn it away."

"We haven't had rain for three years, so we aren’t going to turn it away." - Tim Nolan

Overall in spite of the weather, Nolan is optimistic about what the three days will bring.

"I think the market should be good. Prizemoney is good and everything else is strong, so let's just hope they come and spend up," he said.