Nine mares knocked down for seven-figures, She's Extreme on top at $3.4 million

14 min read
“The top end is looking very strong indeed,” proclaimed Inglis auctioneer Jonathan D’Arcy as he opened the 2024 Chairman’s Sale and his words proved prophetic with nine mares knocked down for seven-figure sums; the demand for quality fillies and mares off the track especially strong.

Cover image courtesy of Inglis

At A Glance

It was a smaller catalogue than last year which saw 81 of 109 sell - this time around 56 of 88 lots finding new owners.

The aggregate was $34,885,000 compared to last year’s $44,905,000.

The sale topper at $3.4 million was the dual Group 1 winner She’s Extreme (Extreme Choice) sold by Newgate to Coolmore’s Tom Magnier - whilst last year’s was the $3.6 million Nimalee (So You Think {NZ}).

The average was up to $622,946 off last year’s $554,383 whilst the median rose from $375,000 to $410,000.

Highest in demand were fillies and mares either still racing or just off the track - all but one of the nine seven figure mares fitting that criteria.

Spending $6.7 million, Tom Magnier was the biggest buyer whilst Newgate had the highest gross as vendors - $9.13 million.

Nine mares sold for seven figures - the same as in 2023.

An extreme sale

Bidding opened at $800,000 and quickly escalated for the G1 VRC Oaks and G1 Champagne S. winner She’s Extreme (Extreme Choice) who gave the impression that she knew she was a star of the show as she strutted around the ring.

It was the quietest the auditorium had been all night as bidding progressed to and beyond $3 million, Coolmore Stud putting in the winning bid of $3.4 million.

Lot 32 - She's Extreme sold from the Newgate Consignment to Tom Magnier for $3.4 million | Image courtesy of Newgate Farm

A $275,000 Easter yearling who retired as the winner of over $1.6 million in stakes, the sale topper is, said the stud’s Tom Moore, the perfect fit for Coolmore.

“As a Group 1 winner at two and three she put herself in elite company and she is a rare offering.”

Tom Moore and Tom Magnier | Image courtesy of Inglis

“She is everything we look for and we are delighted to have her,” he said, adding that she was purchased for an international Coolmore partnership with the view of “supporting one of our young up-and-coming stallions.”

“Horses like Home Affairs and Wootton Bassett are in the mix for her, we will sit down over the next few years and decide.”

“She is everything we look for and we are delighted to have her... Horses like Home Affairs and Wootton Bassett are in the mix for her, we will sit down over the next few years and decide.” - Tom Moore

A big night for Coolmore

Coolmore’s big night did not end with She’s Extreme, Tom Magnier also putting his hand up for the G2 Silver Shadow S. and G3 Black Opal S. winner Autumn Ballet (The Autumn Sun) and the G1 Coolmore Stud S. runner C’est Magique (Zoustar).

The former will head to stud whilst the latter - a half-sister to Widden Stud’s G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Written By - will continue her racing career under the care of Chris Waller.

Lot 61 - Autumn Ballet sold from the Newgate Consignment to Tom Magnier for $1.6 million | Image courtesy of Newgate Farm

It took $1.6 million to secure Autumn Ballet from the Newgate draft with Coolmore’s Brian McGuire noting that “we like to breed the best to the best to get the best and she fits that criteria well.”

“She is a fantastic type and we are very fortunate to have got her.”

The stud’s Colm Santry said much the same about C’est Magique - “she is a fabulous looking mare with size, scope and quality.”

“She was in our top three picks so we are delighted to have got here. We did have to go a bit higher than we thought but there are a lot of people playing at the top end of the market here which puts probably 30 per cent onto their value.”

Lot 67 - C'est Magique sold from Widden Stud to Tom Magnier for $1.7 million | Image courtesy of Inglis

Santry noted a certain attachment to the mare who ran second in the race the stud proudly gives it name to, noting that “it takes a very good filly to perform well against the males in that race.”

“And we have bought her from a fantastic breeder - Neville Begg has been doing this for a long time and knows more about this game than most!”

Coolmore have enjoyed plenty of luck at the Chairman’s Sale - in 2020 securing for $1.8 million the dual Group 1 winner Samaready (More Than Ready {USA}) in foal with the G1 Golden Slipper S. winner Shinzo as well as the G1 Oakleigh Plate winner Booker (Written Tycoon) whose first two foals (both by I Am Invincible) between them have sold for $5.5 million.

Resolute Racing making their mark

John Stewart has certainly been making racing waves in recent time and it was that American’s Resolute Racing who took home the night’s second highest seller - Tutta La Vita (The Autumn Sun) closing of the sale with a bang fetching $3.2 million.

The three-time Group 1 placed 3-year-old - a $300,000 Classic graduate - is a three-quarter sister to the G1 Robert Sangster S. winner Secret Agenda (Not A Single Doubt) out of a daughter of the G1 Champagne S. winner Euphoria (Marauding {NZ}), granddaughter of the wonderful mare Denise’s Joy (Seventh Hussar {Fr}).

Venturing into the local market when spending $5.44 million on six yearlings at Inglis Easter, Stewart will race Tutta La Vita on, keeping her in the Chris Waller stable as she heads towards the G1 Queensland Oaks.

Lot 87 - Tutta La Vita sold from Chris Waller Racing to Resolute Racing for $3.2 million | Image courtesy of Inglis

“We met Chris when we were in Australia for the G1 Golden Slipper,” Stewart told TTR AusNZ, “and knowing that he trained her and how he feels about her was one of the reasons we decided to buy her.”

Admitting to be “very competitive” by nature, Stewart said “I had one horse in September and now I have over a hundred in America.”

“We are constantly evaluating the top fillies and mares globally, it is something we are really dedicated to understanding and there were a lot of impressive mares in this sale and we really thought that Tutta La Vita with her pedigree and accomplishments fits into our program long term.

“We are constantly evaluating the top fillies and mares globally, it is something we are really dedicated to understanding and there were a lot of impressive mares in this sale...” - John Stewart

Stewart discovered after the sale that he was bidding against Tom Magnier which increased his confidence in his purchase.

“We have a good relationship with Coolmore and Tom texted me after we bought her and that's how I found out that they were actually on her as well,” Stewart said. “That makes me even more confident in the purchase because I view them as a very good judge of horses, especially of this caliber and on the breeding side.”

Australia may see Stewart here soon - “I have to organise getting my colours down there and I look forward to seeing her race in Queensland,’ he said, adding that he is “looking to make a long term investment in Australian racing and I hope that Australians will join us in cheering her on when she races next.”

Of long-term plans for the filly, Stewart said, “We haven't really talked about breeding yet. Everything is on the table. We have breeding operations in America, of course. We are a breed-to-race operation and we are looking to make a long-term investment in Australia. It's very possible she could end up staying in Australia as well. We are just really excited about this purchase and excited to make more of an investment in Australian racing. We hope the Australian racing fans will join us in cheering her on when she races next.”

Kimochi lights up the ring

Bidding opened at $500,000 for Lot 4, the G2 Light Fingers S. winning 3-year-old Kimochi (Brave Smash {Jpn}) who was sold as a racing and breeding prospect - her record of two wins and nine placings from 13 starts suggesting that she still has plenty to offer.

The hammer went down on the daughter of the I Am Invincible mare Summer Fun for $2.2 million with Islay Vale landing the winning blow for the Panthalassa Syndicate.

Keeping a close eye nearby was Kimochi’s trainer Gary Portelli who was keen to let the filly’s new owners know that he would gladly welcome her back into his stable.

Lot 4 - Kimochi sold from Twin Hills Stud to Ilsay Vale for $2.2 million | Image courtesy of Inglis

“I’ve put my hat in the ring,” he said, adding that he has trained a couple for Yulong - “so they have my number!” he joked.

Buying a few more of the Brave Smash breed on the back of the ability Kimochi has always displayed, Portelli talked about her early career - noting that she was not always easy.

“She was a bit hot and could get upset over little things,” he recalled, “but she had a good track rider who had her handling things better.”

“It still took a few runs for her to start to relax,” he said, thanking his staff for the great job they had done with her - “if she does go to another stable everyone will be sad to see her go,” he said.

“If she (Lot 4) does go to another stable everyone will be sad to see her go.” - Gary Portelli

Enjoying his first Chairman’s Sale - “I live across the road and would you believe I have never been to a broodmare sale here!” - Portelli said he’d had Kimochi’s owner Leo To on the phone, saying that “he was quite emotional.”

“He is still pretty new to racing but he knows getting a horse like Kimochi is a big thing,” Portelli said, noting that the winner of over $1 million in stakes cost just $21,000 at the 2021 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale.

“With the G1 1000 Guineas now run in November it meant that she hardly had a break between her Melbourne and Sydney campaigns,” Portelli said - “and I think that with the benefit of a spell she is going to come back all the better for her new owners.”

The Panthalassa Syndicate also purchased for $1.6 million the G1 ATC Oaks and G1 New Zealand Oaks heroine Pennyweka (NZ) (Santono Aladdin {Jpn}).

It is understood that both Kimochi and Pennyweka will continue their racing careers with trainers yet to be decided.

Also purchased by the Panthalassa Syndicate was Lot 44, the dual Group winner Steinem (GB) (Frankel {GB}) for $800,000 and Lot 52, the Listed winner Vespertine (Epaulette) for $275,000.

Gallery: Some of the high priced purchases made by the Panthalassa Syndicate at the Inglis Chairman's Sale

New home for Pinocchio

The third seven-figure mare for the evening was Lot 22, the high-achieving grey Pinocchio (Encosta De Lago) - the Tyreel Stud mare who has done such a great job producing the dual Group 2 winner Classique Legend (Not A Single Doubt) as her second foal and the Group 2 sprinter Aethero (Sebring) as her third.

$1.15 million (the highest price for a proven broodmare) secured the 14-year-old who is in foal to Champion Sire I Am Invincible - Bromfield Park the winning bidders.

The sale provided Tyreel’s Linda Monds with mixed emotions - “to be honest it is a bit surreal as she was one of the very first mares we bought so she has always been part of the farm; it was not a decision made lightly.”

Lot 22 - Pinocchio sold from Tyreel Stud to Bromfield Park and Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA) for $1.15 million | Image courtesy of Inglis

“If I could I’d keep every horse I buy and breed but unfortunately in business you have to make these decisions and a farm like ours needs to keep things young - and we do have two lovely fillies out of her at home and we will race both of those.”

The first is the Candlewick (Pierro), a 2-year-old who has just gone back into work with John O’Shea, the second an I Am Invincible foaled last August.

Monds was full of praise for Pinocchio’s latest foal - describing her as a filly “with all the attributes you look for in early running sprinting-type.”

A star to Widden

The G1 Tattersall’s Tiara winner Startantes (Star Turn) joins her sire at Widden Stud who went to $1.15 million to take home the tough six-time winner who was bred by her trainer Robert Heathcote.

“We stood Star Witness and bred Star Turn so obviously we know all about the sire line,” Widden’s Antony Thompson said, “and everything else is there on the page.”

“She was a gun 2-year-old who was able to beat the older mares at three and she is from a family whose members don’t just win one race - you look down the page and they have won eight, 10, 12 races.”

“She (Lot 43) was a gun 2-year-old who was able to beat the older mares at three and she is from a family whose members don’t just win one race - you look down the page and they have won eight, 10, 12 races.” - Antony Thompson

“Robert Heathcote has done a great job building this family up over the years and we hope we do as well as he has.”

Thompson has already chosen a mate for Startantes - “we can’t wait to see the Zoustar-Startantes foal,” he said, saying that “she will really suit him.”

“Not all of our stallions are ideal for her being on the small side but he puts leg and scope into them and he has done a good job with similar mares.”

Lot 43 - Startantes sold from Newgate Consignment to Widden Stud for $1.15 million | Image courtesy of Newgate Farm

Noting that he has won “70-odd” races with the family, Heathcote said that whilst he’d hoped for a little more he “has to be delighted.”

“She won nearly a million on the track and now she has earned us another million. I’ve still got so many members of the family at home,” he said, showing a video on his phone he received just today of Startantes’ full brother being broken in.

In foal to Jacquinot after foaling a Pierata filly last spring, Startantes’ dam Funtantes (Easy Rocking) won the G2 Champagne Classic and two Listed events with Heathcote also training her city-winning dam Cantantes (Just Awesome).

“I have Startantes’ half-sister Ekaterina (Russian Revolution) in a Listed race on Saturday,” Heathcote said, “and hopefully I will be back here in a few year’s time with her!”

Hutch sums up

“A celebration of mares” is how Sebastian Hutch described the Chairman’s Sale, one which he said the Inglis team work hard on not just in the immediate lead-up, but all year round.

“Two months ago we started to talk to people about mares for the 2025 sale,” he said, happy to see such a great group of “high end mares” together in one place for sale.

Sebastian Hutch | Image courtesy of Inglis

Aside from the obvious commercial success of this sales concept, Hutch enjoyed the atmosphere that a special occasion evening sale provides whilst also deriving great satisfaction from seeing how much pleasure participants and spectators took from it.

“You saw spontaneous outbursts of applause for the good mares,” he said, noting that “these are mares who performed well on the track and people realise that this is the last time they are going to see them in the public domain.”

“You saw spontaneous outbursts of applause for the good mares... these are mares who performed well on the track and people realise that this is the last time they are going to see them in the public domain.” - Sebastian Hutch

Excitement akin to winning a race was also on display with some connections - such as the owners of the Listed winner Extremist (Extreme Choice), the $35,000 yearling who was sold by the Robert Heathcote stable to Silverdale Farm and Andrew Williams Bloodstock for $625,000.

“It was very satisfying to see people like that enjoy the moment,” Hutch said - “and we had quite a few moments like that.”

Hutch admitted that the sale is not yet perfect; an early run of pass-ins a disappointing aspect to the sale - but he is confident that there it has been getting better each year with further improvements to come.

“One of the challenging aspects is balancing the expectations of the vendors and the buyers but I think overall we did a good job - a lot of people went home happy.”

Including, he said “one particularly tough judge who said we’d done a good job - I took that as the ultimate compliment!”

Top lots

32She's ExtremeExtreme ChoiceKeysbrookMareNewgate ConsignmentT Magnier, NSW$3,400,000
87Tutta la VitaThe Autumn SunNegotiateFillyChris Waller Racing, SydneyResolute Racing, USA$3,200,000
4KimochiBrave SmashSummer FunFillyTwin Hills StudIlsay Vale , VIC$2,200,000
67C'Est MagiqueZoustarYau ChinMareWidden StudT Magnier, NSW$1,700,000
20PennywekaSatono AladdinThreepenceMareSledmere StudPanthalassa Syndicate, VIC$1,600,000
61Autumn BalletThe Autumn SunGrisiFillyNewgate ConsignmentT Magnier, NSW$1,600,000
22PinocchioEncosta De LagoSurrealistMare(+)Tyreel StudBromfield Park / Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA), VIC$1,150,000
43StartantesStar TurnFuntantesMareNewgate ConsignmentWidden Stud Australia Pty Ltd, NSW$1,150,000
62Banana QueenSo You ThinkTropicana LadyMareBell River Thoroughbreds, Glen WilliamHilldene Farm, VIC$1,000,000
44SteinemFrankelThai NoonMareGlenesk Thoroughbreds, Mount VincentPanthalassa Syndicate, VIC$800,000

Top buyers

T MagnierNSW3$6,700,000$2,233,333$3,400,000$1,700,000
Resolute RacingUSA1$3,200,000$3,200,000$3,200,000$3,200,000
Panthalassa SyndicateVIC3$2,675,000$891,667$1,600,000$800,000
Ilsay ValeVIC1$2,200,000$2,200,000$2,200,000$2,200,000
Silverdale Farm / Andrew Williams Bloodstock (FBAA)NSW3$2,000,000$666,667$725,000$650,000
Bromfield Park / Group 1 Bloodstock (FBAA)VIC1$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000
Widden Stud Australia Pty LtdNSW1$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000
Astute Bloodstock (FBAA)NSW2$1,000,000$500,000$650,000$500,000
Hilldene FarmVIC1$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000
Arrowfield Pastoral Pty LimitedNSW2$980,000$490,000$750,000$490,000

Vendors by aggregate

Newgate Consignment, Aberdeen13$9,130,000$702,308$3,400,000$300,000
Chris Waller Racing, Sydney1$3,200,000$3,200,000$3,200,000$3,200,000
Glenesk Thoroughbreds, Mount Vincent5$3,025,000$605,000$800,000$650,000
Twin Hills Stud, Cootamundra3$2,805,000$935,000$2,200,000$475,000
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone7$2,380,000$340,000$500,000$350,000
Widden Stud, Widden Valley3$2,280,000$760,000$1,700,000$350,000
Sledmere Stud, Scone2$2,175,000$1,087,500$1,600,000$1,087,500
Arrowfield Stud, Scone3$1,425,000$475,000$600,000$525,000
Bell River Thoroughbreds, Glen William2$1,200,000$600,000$1,000,000$600,000
Tyreel Stud, Agnes Banks1$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000

Vendors by average (2 or more sold)

Sledmere Stud, Scone2$2,175,000$1,087,500$1,600,000$1,087,500
Twin Hills Stud, Cootamundra3$2,805,000$935,000$2,200,000$475,000
Widden Stud, Widden Valley3$2,280,000$760,000$1,700,000$350,000
Newgate Consignment, Aberdeen13$9,130,000$702,308$3,400,000$300,000
Glenesk Thoroughbreds, Mount Vincent5$3,025,000$605,000$800,000$650,000
Bell River Thoroughbreds, Glen William2$1,200,000$600,000$1,000,000$600,000
Arrowfield Stud, Scone3$1,425,000$475,000$600,000$525,000
Segenhoe Stud Australia Pty Ltd, Scone2$735,000$367,500$475,000$367,500
Yarraman Park Stud, Scone7$2,380,000$340,000$500,000$350,000
B2B Thoroughbreds, Mittagong3$740,000$246,667$400,000$180,000

Sires by aggregate

The Autumn Sun2$4,800,000$2,400,000$3,200,000$2,400,000
Extreme Choice2$4,025,000$2,012,500$3,400,000$2,012,500
Brave Smash1$2,200,000$2,200,000$2,200,000$2,200,000
Satono Aladdin1$1,600,000$1,600,000$1,600,000$1,600,000
So You Think3$1,330,000$443,333$1,000,000$180,000
Encosta de Lago1$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000
Star Turn1$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000$1,150,000
Fastnet Rock2$975,000$487,500$525,000$487,500

Sires by average (2 or more sold)

The Autumn Sun2$4,800,000$2,400,000$3,200,000$2,400,000
Extreme Choice2$4,025,000$2,012,500$3,400,000$2,012,500
Fastnet Rock2$975,000$487,500$525,000$487,500
Deep Field2$950,000$475,000$650,000$475,000
So You Think3$1,330,000$443,333$1,000,000$180,000
I Am Invincible2$750,000$375,000$550,000$375,000
Inglis Chairman's Sale
She's Extreme
Tutta la Vita