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Middlebrook colt Exceeds expectations to top Day 1 of Australian Weanling Sale

8th Jul 2020

An emotional Verna Metcalfe of Middlebrook Valley Lodge celebrated “an awesome result’’ as an Exceed And Excel colt she offered for long-time client Kate Gadsby topped Day 1 of the Australian Weanling Sale at Riverside.

On a day where overall trade again defied the global economic conditions to hold up remarkably well, it was the colts that stole the show, filling the top 10 purchases.

Lot 174 (Exceed And Excel x Count Your Money) ended the day on top, selling to Bruce Mackenzie for $260,000.

The colt was offered by Metcalfe (pictured) – on behalf of Gadsby – who was thrilled with the result.

“I thought he would make his $200k because the Exceed And Excels are hard to get but…actually I feel a bit emotional,’’ Metcalfe, whose Middlebrook Valley Lodge ended Day 1 as leading vendor by both aggregate and average, said.

“He’s a lovely colt, the first foal out of the mare. He was a good colt from the day he was born, just a good, straight forward, easy-to-rear colt.

“I’ve said all along, this is the sale to come to. It’s the first weanling sale, bring them here, the good colts sell well.

“This is an awesome result all round, and an awesome result for a long-time client in Kate Gadsby.

“Inglis has done a top job trying to get people here, you’ve got to take your hats off to them.’’

Mackenzie, who was unable to attend the auction in person, relayed instructions during the sale over the telephone to Inglis bloodstock agent Harry Bailey.

“This was the one. This colt is the pea,’’ Mackenzie said.

“I had multiple people look at the horses who I trust and they said he could be the nicest colt at the sale.

“With the bidding, I baulked at the barrier a couple of times but then I kept going. I wanted him, I wanted to take him home, full stop. I was going to buy him no matter what.’’

The day’s second-top lot was a So You Think x Feirin colt (lot 204), which Darby Racing Pinhook purchased online from Twin Hills Stud for $150,000.

It was one of 31 lots bought online today, or 24% of the overall sales.

The colt was the first weanling purchase for Darby’ new business arm, which is expanding to include pinhooking.

“2020 for Darby Racing is about expansion,’’ Scott Darby said.

“We’re expanding the business from syndication to also include pinhooking – yearlings into 2YOs and weanlings into yearlings. We’re looking for quality horses that we think will sell well at the major sales next year.

“We’re looking to use our knowledge and success we’ve had with yearlings that have turned into early-running 2YOs and using that same formula for the pinhooking side of things.

“This colt was one of the best looking, if not the best-looking horse at Riverside, and we saw most of the weanlings there. He’s well built, well made, the cross is phenomenal, we just thought he was the best moving colt of the entire sale for us.’’

Twin Hills’ Olly Tait couldn’t have been happier with the result.

“At the end of the day $150,000 is a lot of money,’’ Tait said.

“He was a lovely horse, he did everything right, he’s by a really good sire, he’s got a nice pedigree, his attitude and athleticism, he sold himself really. We didn’t have to do much.

“The challenges of a large portion of the buying bench not being able to be physically here at the sale, that was a concern leading in, but we’re four months into this scenario and everybody is getting used to buying horses online, inspecting horses online, the standard of information the vendors are giving prospective buyers is far superior to what it was 12 months ago and this is a very good example – a bidder online paying $150,000 for a horse, that shows the market has adapted and the industry has adapted to the circumstances we are facing.’’

The third-top lot was a Hellbent x Sister Madly colt, selling to Spyglass for $140,000, having been offered by Segenhoe Stud.

The colt was the first progeny of first season stallion Hellbent to be offered at public auction.

The purchase was made by Andrew Williams Bloodstock, on behalf of Spyglass.

“Spyglass is a mixed syndicate put together with a collection of Aussies and Kiwis, trying to buy a few quality horses in this market,’’ Williams said.

“We saw this colt on the farm at Segenhoe initially and he made the second list to go back and have a look at him at the complex and he really caught our eye. He’s a sharp looking horse, medium size, good action. I am really like these Hellbents, they are great-shaped horses and I’m really quite excited by him.’’

Segenhoe’s Brian Clarke added: “He’s really nice with a great shape, precocious, a real two-year-old sprinting type.

“We were really happy with the price we got and good luck to those who purchased him.

“He was very popular with parades so we were pretty confident he’d sell well but that was definitely above our expectations, so we’re delighted.”

At the conclusion of Day 1, the sale’s average of $33,748 was largely on par with last year’s overall average, despite the challenging circumstances buyers and vendors are trading in.

A total of 12 horses have sold for $100,000 or more, just shy of the 2019 overall tally of 14, with a further 185 weanlings catalogued for auction tomorrow.

To view all of today’s statistics, CLICK HERE.

To enquire about a passed in lot from today, contact Harry Bailey on 0420 997 417.

Day 2 action again begins from 10am tomorrow, with lots 251-385 being offered.

For those unable to attend Riverside, online bidding will again be available, and the sale will be streamed live on the Inglis website.

To view the Australian Weanling Sale catalogue, CLICK HERE.



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