Inglis Classic Yearling Sale: six things we learnt on Day 2

11 min read
With selling completed on Day 2, a surge of bidding at the upper end of the market saw a number of highly anticipated fillies command large prices, while vendors new and old achieved dream results.

Cover image courtesy of Inglis

At A Glance

At the close of trade after Day 2 the sale company reported that 397 (83 per cent) sold for an aggregate of $38,626,000, a dip from the corresponding junction 12 months ago, which rested at an aggregate of $45,632,000 (454 sold). The clearance rate has risen slightly on last year, where it sat at 82 per cent.

The average at the end of Day 2 stood at $97,295, a drop of just over $10,000 from this day in 2023, where it rested at $107,369.

The median on Day 2 settled at $80,000, an identical number to the figure on this day in the last two installments of this sale.

Domeland Racing continued their concerted effort to buy into Day 2, taking their total spend to $1,220,000 across a total of 11 individual lots so far.

Too Darn Hot is the lamplighter for stallions by gross, accumulating a gross of $1,490,000 from his seven lots to sell. It’s an alumnus of this sale, Extreme Choice, who has the highest average for stallions to have three or more lots sell, with a $273,750 average of his four yearlings to sell.

Sledmere Stud have been motivated across the two days of trade, 20 yearlings for a total of $2,700,000. On average (with three or more sold), The Chase have made a strong start to their classic account, going at $223,333 for their three to sell.

#1. Debuting North take fillies' crown with landmark result

When The Thoroughbred Report spoke to Mick Malone, studmaster of North, in the weeks before the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, there was a quiet confidence that the draft they were bringing would turn the heads of buyers at Riverside.

That was actualised on Day 2, when Lot 325, a filly by the in-form Too Darn Hot (GB) was subject to a winning bid of $600,000 from YLP Racing, eclipsing the record set for a son of The Autumn Sun, which commanded a price of $550,000 in his first season of yearling sales.

Lot 325 - Too Darn Hot (GB) x Hell It's Hot (filly) | Image courtesy of Inglis

Even more impressively, the final purchase price is the highest transaction ever made for a filly at this sale.

Malone, who was also active on the buyers' side, going to $75,000 to secure Lot 432, a colt by Exceedance, and Lot 441, a filly by Russian Revolution (in conjunction with Chris Anderson), spoke of his delight at the vote of confidence from the market for his new operation.

“It's humbling, you know it's not going to happen every year. You get a lovely filly like that (Lot 325), and you can only really thank the clients that support you and give you that opportunity.

“It's humbling, you know it's not going to happen every year. You get a lovely filly like that (Lot 325), and you can only really thank the clients that support you and give you that opportunity.” - Mick Malone

“I really thank Fred Moses and Peter Brown, they have really got behind the new brand since we started. And then you just gotta have the filly that has the looks and the attitude.

“At home, she's one of those horses you could take her best mate away from her, she’d never whinny out.

“So I just think she sold herself and (she) obviously has a beautiful pedigree, and 2-year-old trialing well last week. All those things just pointed towards a really good sale, and she was in the right sale too.

Mick Malone | Image courtesy of Inglis

“I can't wait to get home and party and have a few drinks with everybody and celebrate with them!”

YLP Racing General Manager Vin Cox, who has an association with Too Darn Hot from his previous role as managing director of Godolphin Australia, spoke of the delight he had in securing a filly who has strong family ties to his new operation’s racing and breeding stock.

“We own the full sister, which is well known,” said Vin Cox, general manager of YLP. “She won her trial very impressively the other day for Kris Lees. We obviously own In Her Time, which is a mare that we’ve invested very heavily in.

“We’re well vested in the family and, in some respects, we liked this filly better than the full sister, so she was an obvious play. We probably had to dig a little deeper than we anticipated, but congratulations to the breeders.”

“We’re well vested in the family and, in some respects, we liked this filly (Lot 325) better than the full sister, (In Her Time) so she was an obvious play.” - Vin Cox

While North grabbed the headlines with their banner result on Monday, they weren’t the only vendors previously unsighted at this sale to enjoy a strong run of form.

Mullaglass Stud were another first-time vendor to enjoy a particularly strong day, their filly by Justify (USA) (Lot 366), which was tipped to readers of The Thoroughbred Report as a highlight lot when Dr Richard McClenahan spoke to this reporter prior to the sale, sold for $420,000 to Bryce Heys and Ellerslie Lodge.

To date, they have sold seven of their draft, collecting $1,040,000 at an average of $148,571. Another operation previously unseen at Riverside at this time of year, The Chase, have also churned along nicely through the first two days of selling, achieving three sales at an average of $223,333, comfortably doubling the sale average.

Dr Richard and Kim McClenahan with Lot 366 | Image courtesy of Inglis

#2. Shuttle stallions all the rage across the sale

One aspect of the successful sires that caught the eye after two days of selling is the consistent level of interest in shuttle stallions, with a number comfortably out-performing the sale average at the conclusion of Monday’s session.

With the aforementioned Lot 325 marking her territory as the top lot across the first two days, Too Darn Hot has been a consistent force, with the Darley shuttler achieving seven transactions at a total of $1,490,000, with his average of $212,857 more than double that of the sale average at this junction.

His barnmate, Harry Angel (Ire), has also enjoyed above-average results at Riverside, with an average of $112,727 rounding out a total gross at this point of the sale of $1,240,000.

Too Darn Hot (GB) | Standing at Darley

This section is almost incompletable without the deeds of Justify, the lone shuttler from Kentucky to the Hunter Valley last season, who continues to demand attention from buyers based in all corners of the globe. His six to sell so far have grossed $1,140,000, averaging $190,000, right in the realms of doubling the overall average himself.

Another stallion that has been the talk of the town in recent weeks is Wootton Bassett (GB), who like Justify, divides his time around Coolmore’s global empire of world-class stallions. At the conclusion of Day 2, five of his first Southern Hemisphere crop have traded (with none being passed it), grossing $860,000 at an average of $172,000.

Arrowfield Stud’s Maurice (Jpn) has been an active presence throughout, with 12 lots finding buyers, grossing $1,320,000 at an average of $110,000.

#3. High-end fillies cause raucous demand

Throughout Day 2, those inclined to open their cheque books and secure the coveted lots gravitated towards the girls, with the fillies ruling the top end of the market on Monday.

Six of the top 10 lots transacted on Day 2, and four of the top five, were female. The success of Lot 325 has been well-documented in this piece, but the success of the girls didn’t stop with her or Lot 366. Securing the only filly in the sale by Alabama Express required $310,000, good enough to be the fifth-highest lot across the session, while the third biggest splurge on Monday was directed towards a daughter of Written Tycoon, which commanded $360,000.

Across the entire three days of selling in this sale at Riverside last year, only two fillies managed to crack the top 10 lots by purchase price.

While the fillies stole the show at the top end of the sale, clearance rates indicate equal demand for both sexes at the sale so far. Colts have sold at a clearance rate of 82.7 per cent, while fillies are right on their heels at 82.6 per cent.

The colts also hold the upper hand on averages, going at $102,837, some $12,000 more than the fillies.

#4. Breeze-up buyers step in to be involved

One of the staple genres of a yearling sale, breeze-up buyers, were busy on Day 2, including circling back to one of the highlight lots of Day 1 that initially failed to find a home.

Lot 129, a colt by a favourite son of this sale, Extreme Choice, was picked up by Matt Vella Bloodstock paying $275,000 from the draft of Kingstar Farm.

Lot 129 - Extreme Choice x Boomstress (colt) | Image courtesy of Inglis

The day of trade itself also produced a number of buys for those looking to emerge a horse as a breeze-up sale type, with Ohukia Lodge particularly active throughout Monday.

With the conclusion of selling on Day 2, they had signed for six in their own right, with an additional lot in collaboration with Rathosheen.

In total, they have purchased $1,150,000 worth of stock at the sale to date, with ample opportunity for savvy returns on investment in the coming months.

#5. Inglis’ industry positioning grants unique market insight

Inglis as a company are present amongst almost all factors in the industry, from auctions, to bloodstock consulting and providing the media table with enough chocolate cake to require this reporter to run back home to Perth to burn off all the calories he has consumed.

Speaking to the media following a day of trade that exceeded the expectations of some, Inglis Bloodstock Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Hutch pointed to the resilience of the industry as a major factor to the continued positive results of key metrics.

Sebastian Hutch | Image courtesy of Inglis

“The fact of the matter is that, in the first sales of the year, although they’ve generated good results, they’ve been more challenging than they have been in previous years.

“We’re involved, probably more so than any other sales company in the world, with a regularity that no other sales company is through the digital platform. We get constantly engaged in the market, we’re constantly involved in the business that people are doing.

“As a consequence, you get very familiar with people’s businesses, how they do business and the challenges they face. We recognise that there are challenges in the market, that’s why it’s so satisfying for the sale to give the impression of it being as healthy as it has been.

“You like to see a variety of people involved, I would say that this junction of the sale is on track to be ahead of expectations. That’s not mine, but the impression that I get from talking to people is that the sale is ahead of most people’s expectations.

“... I would say that this junction of the sale is on track to be ahead of expectations.” - Sebastian Hutch

“It’s a resilient industry, there are a lot of resilient people involved, ultimately the reality of the situation is that lots of people involved in the industry have to trade.

“In the same way that the broader economy has settled down to some extent, we’re not having to endure monthly lead ups to prospective interest rate hikes and things like that.

“Around the world the chatter is that interest rates will be decreasing before the end of the year. Whether that happens in Australia or not I don’t know, but certainly the sentiment seems a bit more optimistic, a bit more positive.”

#6. Glenbeigh dream result

The sole Alabama Express filly - Lot 489 - in the sale was knocked down to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott for $310,000, in conjunction with Bruce Slade’s Kestrel Thoroughbreds.

On paper, it’s clear the result is a positive one for the Scone-based operation Glenbeigh Farm, but as there so often is in this industry, there is more to the story.

Denis Griffin | Image courtesy of Inglis

Glenbeigh purchased the mare, Modda Miss (Canny Lad), who finished her racing career without a win to her name, for $14,000 at the 2022 Inglis May (Late) Online Sale. She was in foal to a sire that had yet to have any of his progeny hit the track, Alabama Express - a young sire Glenbeigh owners Denis Griffin and Kerry Stephens were involved with when he was a youngster, being bred at Arrowfield Stud.

The rest, as they say, is history, with the son of Redoute’s Choice getting off to a scintillating start with his first 2-year-olds scorching the turf around Australasia, and a limited quantity on offer at Classic.

Lot 489 - Alabama Express x Modda Miss (filly) | Image courtesy of Inglis

Now the filly finds her way into the stables of some of the best 2-year-old preparers in the country, rewarding the couple’s foresight, a wonderful Classic story indeed!

Top buyers

Domeland Pty Ltd11$1,220,000$110,909$200,000
Ohukia Lodge6$1,010,000$168,333$300,000
YLP Racing2$920,000$460,000$600,000
Lees Racing / Bahen Bloodstock5$825,000$165,000$220,000
Matt Vella Bloodstock6$780,000$130,000$275,000
John Foote Bloodstock (FBAA)5$710,000$142,000$200,000
Annabel Neasham Racing / William Johnson Bloodstock (FBAA)4$580,000$145,000$230,000
McEvoy Mitchell Racing / Belmont Bloodstock Agency (FBAA)5$530,000$106,000$160,000
MG Price Racing & Breeding4$520,000$130,000$200,000
Cliff Brown Racing Pty Ltd3$490,000$163,333$300,000

Vendors by aggregate

Sledmere Stud, Scone20$2,700,000$135,000$360,000
Arrowfield Stud, Scone25$2,400,000$96,000$280,000
Lime Country Thoroughbreds, Blandford13$1,585,000$121,923$300,000
Widden Stud, Widden Valley21$1,572,500$74,881$200,000
Vinery Stud, Scone16$1,570,000$98,125$240,000
North, Scone8$1,390,000$173,750$600,000
Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone9$1,225,000$136,111$375,000
Riversdale, Scone13$1,130,000$86,923$210,000
Mullaglass Stud, Scone7$1,040,000$148,571$420,000
Kingstar Farm, Denman11$1,021,000$92,818$275,000

Vendors by average (3 or more sold)

The Chase, Sutton Forest3$670,000$223,333$320,000
North, Scone8$1,390,000$173,750$600,000
Mullaglass Stud, Scone7$1,040,000$148,571$420,000
Riverstone Lodge, Blandford3$430,000$143,333$180,000
Barador Stud, Martindale3$410,000$136,667$180,000
Little Avondale Stud, Masterton, NZ3$410,000$136,667$150,000
Bhima Thoroughbreds, Scone9$1,225,000$136,111$375,000
Sledmere Stud, Scone20$2,700,000$135,000$360,000
Robyn Wise, Darling Downs, Qld3$395,000$131,667$320,000
Lustre Lodge, Alison5$650,000$130,000$240,000

Sires by aggregate

Too Darn Hot7$1,490,000$212,857$600,000
So You Think 11$1,335,000$121,364$240,000
Harry Angel 11$1,240,000$112,727$300,000
Justify 6$1,140,000$190,000$420,000
Extreme Choice4$1,095,000$273,750$320,000
Ole Kirk10$1,090,000$109,000$190,000
Written Tycoon9$1,020,000$113,333$360,000
North Pacific11$968,500$88,045$180,000

Sires by average (3 or more sold)

Extreme Choice4$1,095,000$273,750$320,000
Too Darn Hot 7$1,490,000$212,857$600,000
Justify 6$1,140,000$190,000$420,000
Wootton Bassett 5$860,000$172,000$240,000
Toronado 6$940,000$156,667$300,000
Per Incanto 5$690,000$138,000$160,000
Cosmic Force6$780,000$130,000$220,000
The Autumn Sun6$760,000$126,667$280,000
Inglis Classic Yearling Sale
Mick Malone
YLP Racing
Vin Cox
Sebastian Hutch
Glenbeigh Farm
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott
Too Darn Hot (GB)
Harry Angel (Ire)
Extreme Choice
Alabama Express