Lone Ifraaj a Scone Highlight

4th May 2011

Breednet - Tara Madgwick - Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Next week's inaugural 2-day 2011 Scone Race Carnival has more than racing up its sleeve; the HTBA Scone Yearling Sale also offering 2 days of horse sales for those on the lookout for the next Hot Danish.

Well known Upper Hunter Valley farm Middlebrook Valley Lodge (MVL)will offer agood sized draft at this year's sale. MVL is the name behind Military Rose ; more recently the farm has been the focus of media attention after the Casino Prince colt it foaled down in 2009 -the half brother to World Champion filly BLACK CAVIAR - became the first yearling by a first season stallion to sell for more than a million dollars. MVL also foaled down the half sister to the pair(by Redoute's Choice) in 2010.

A regular consignor at the annual yearling sale series, MVL manager Verna Metcalfe says this year's Scone Yearling Sale offers buyers an opportunity to tap into some solid pedigrees at good prices.

"The Scone Sale is always a good sale to pick up a well priced horse andwe are expecting a good turn out - particularly for the Select Sale - given the Race Club is hosting its inaugural2-day race carnival this year including the stand alone Saturday meeting. We already know from the local accommodation bookings just how many people plan to be in Scone across that week and that's good news for people wanting their yearlings to be seen."

"It's a fairly small sale on the annual calendar but when you sit down and do the maths the stats. for this sale are impressive. They become even more so when you consider that the graduatesdon't come from phone book sized catalogues. Despite this Scone has produced the recent Group 1 winners HOT DANISH and SMALL MINDS.Then you have graduates like YOUTHFUL JACK, WELKOM GOLD, STAR OF OCTAGONALetc. It's fair to say the sale punches well above its weight!"

The 2011 MVL draft includes yearlings byproven sires as well as young stallions; all hailingfrom a good mix of female families.

"We have some quality lots this year and a couple in particular that I am very excited to be selling," Verna says.

Much interest is expected in LOT 56 - the bay filly out of Gr 3 winner and Gr 1 placegetter CORNWALL QUEEN. A rarity in the market, sheisthe only yearling by Iffraaj to be sold in Australia this year.

Iffraaj (by Zafonic, and out ofa half sister to Cape Cross) was Timeform's highest rated speed horse of Europe in 2006, retiring with an International Rating of 128.

At stud Iffraaj has been a sensation: siring more juvenile winners than any European stallion in history (including Gr 1 winner WOOTTON BASSETT). His first crop yearlings were consigned at the NZ Majors this year andaveraged $101,500 for the 47 sold (top price $540,000) and were snared by such good judges asPeter Moody, Mark Kavanagh,John Foote, Michael Wallace, Paul Moroney, Paul Willetts, and Ric Connolly.

"This filly is a good type - looks very much like Iffraaj - and has prepped well. A lot of buyers also want some residual on the page and this filly can offer that."

European Horse of the Year, 6-time Gr 1 winner and first season sire Dylan Thomaswill berepresented by LOT 139 - a bay colt out of the Gr 3 placegetter Moonboat. Dylan Thomas was a popular choice at the recently concluded2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale with nine of his stock averaging $137,222.

"This coltis by a first seasonsire and he has the considerable upside of also being from thesame family as this season's Gr 1 Blue Diamond S. and Golden Slipper winner SEPOY," comments Verna.

LOT 127 - a colt by the same sire as Champion Galloper STARSPANGLEDBANNER(Choisir),out of the 8-time winner Lyn's Money has more than good breeding on his side. He is thehalf brother to last year's winner of the $101,600 Inglis Challenge - OKANE - a colt also consigned by MVL.

"Okane has been a great advertisement for the mare," says Verna. "He was her first foal to race, he is now the winner of 3 races and from 13 starts has picked up prizemoney on 11 occasions."

"This colt looks even better at the same stage. Choisir has done a great job at stud and this colt has done everything right since coming in for his prep."

Attitude is an integral part of future race success and in this light much is expected of LOT 169 - the flashy daughter of Not A Single Doubt.

"She is a model of her father and is one of the most professional fillies I have ever worked with. She is all class," says Verna.

The Arrowfield based son of Redoute's Choiceis responsible for this year's Magic Millions winner KARUTA QUEEN plus a slew of other black type horses and is well known for producing precocious youngsters.

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