Then when a client’s horse retires to stud, we continue the cycle with the knowledge and understanding of the horse’s specific needs.”
In 2015, Evergreen Stud presents a small draft of four yearlings, but each has huge credentials with plenty for buyers to get excited about. First cab off the rank is Lot 23 and this filly represents a cross that works as she is by Lonhro from the Danehill mare Legal Consent. There’s residual value here too as this yearling is a half-sister to West Australia Derby-Gr.1 and WA Oaks-Gr.3 winner Dreamaway (More than Ready) and stakes winner New Spice (Old Spice), a winner of nine races and almost $500,000, as well as two other winners. Second dam Fancy Miss (NZ) (Sir Tristram) was a Listed winner.
Who left dual Gr.1 winner Miss Margaret (Marscay) herself the dam of two stakes winners. “This filly is a forward type who throws to the Danehill mould with that typical Danehill swagger as she walks,” Russell said.
Much has been written about proven sire and triple Gr.1 winner Medaglia d’Oro (USA) (El Prado-Cappucino Bay by Bailjumper) and the consensus is that he appears to the eye to be bigger than he is, with a racing style that made the most of his long stride and high head carriage. Lot 73 is a colt Russell describes as “in the same mould as the sire, a classical type of yearling with great scope and good bone, very handsome.”
This colt is from Mysterious Light (Fantastic Light (USA)), a city-winning mare from the family of Champion Sire Fastnet Rock. Now Medaglia d’Oro’s first Australian runners are kicking goals, this colt, who certainly has a stallion’s pedigree, is well worth an inspection. The mare’s first foal, Mali Rose, also by the sire, had one start last season as a juvenile in the Maribyrnong Trial Stakes-LR for sixth, and now three, has recently trialled well for Gai Waterhouse.
The last two colts for Evergreen’s 2015 Easter draft, in ring order, are both by Champion Sire Fastnet Rock, who needs no introduction to readers, but let’s quickly re-cap. A dual Gr.1-winning three year-old sprinter, Fastnet Rock went to stud with much fanfare, and has definitely lived up to the hype. His first crop was in 2006, and he has 74 individual stakes winners, headed by 18 Gr.1 winners and a Champion Sire title in 2011-12. Fastnet Rock, who commands the highest fee of any sire in Australia, heads this season’s premiership with 13 individual stakes winners already on the board at the half-way point for 2014-15.
Lot 113 is a colt “by a champion out of a champion”. This combination isn’t seen very often, and this colt’s dam is four-time Gr.1 winner Princess Coup (Encosta de Lago), who was crowned NZ Champion Three Year-Old in 2006-07. Her first foal is Vanilla Princess, a city winner this season by Lonhro, and her second foal, by Redoute’s Choice, Thewizardofoz, has just been transferred to Hong Kong where he will join the stable of John Size. Princess Coup has a strong family too, with her first two dams, Stoneyfell Road and Arch Duchess, being stakes winners and stakes producers. “This colt is typical of the Fastnet Rock type, very athletic with a great attitude to life. A good moving sort of individual,” Russell said.
The other Fastnet Rock colt is equally well credentialed. Lot 310 is the son of Black Mamba (NZ) (Black Minnaloushe (USA)) who was exported to the US after running fifth to the aforementioned Princess Coup in the NZ Oaks-Gr.1 and excelled in American conditions winning another six races including the Del Mar John C. Mabee Handicap-Gr.1 as well as a Gr.2 and two Listed events. Her dam is the NZ Oaks-Gr.1 placed Sneech (Grosvenor) and it is a very strong family whose members include Gr.1 winners Roman Emperor (Montjeu), Glorious Days (Hussonet) and Tully Thunder (Thunder Gulch).
Black Mamba’s first foal is Ringhals, a three year-old Street Cry filly now owned by Darley, and her two year-old by Redoute’s Choice, Blackmarker, has trialled well recently for Gai Waterhouse. Russell says of this yearling colt, “He is a well grown, very athletic style of horse who will suit most buyers. He has good bone and is very easy on the eye.”
Although this is only a small draft of four yearlings, Russell is enthusiastically optimistic about the sale. “This is by far the best quality draft of yearlings we’ve ever taken to Easter. Three of the four have direct Gr.1 connections, and the other holds a stallion-making pedigree, so I’d say we have ticked all the boxes. It is very hard to stand out at Easter, but we definitely have lots of ammunition this year.”