Jonathan D'Arcy

published: 22 Aug 2014 in Q&A

The countdown to the Inglis yearling sales in 2015 has already begun.

On August 1 entries for the company’s Sydney Classic Summer Book, Melbourne Premier, Australian Easter, VOBIS Gold, Sydney Classic Autumn Book and Scone yearling sales closed.

Added to that entries for the $5 million Inglis Race Series closed a day earlier.

Significantly the auction house has also announced a deferment of the Summer Book to February 8 and 9 as well as offering free entry and an early 14-day vendor proceeds payout for the progeny of first season sires in both Classic sales.

Furthermore the Classic Autumn Book has gone to May 10 with the Australian Broodmare and Weanling sale on May 3, 4 and 5.

With all this in mind Stallions questioned Inglis bloodstock director Jonathan D’Arcy, in the first of a two-part piece, about the reason for the date change, expectations and the line-up of first year stallions.


Q.: What was behind the change in dates for the Classic yearling sale

A.: The Classic in January was being squeezed between the Gold Coast and Karaka. Given the great record of the Classic sale we felt it deserved to be a feature of the Australian sales calendar with time prior to the sale for vendors and buyers to make their final preparations before coming to Sydney. The sale was very successful when we held it in early February back in 2006, 2007 and 2009. During that period we sold Group 1 performers such as Whobegotyou, Triple Honour, Russeting, Tell A Tale, Sincero, Secret Admirer, Ilovethiscity, Pressday and I Am Invincible.


Q.: What is Inglis hoping this change will achieve

A.: Classic has always been a strong platform for tough, precocious sprinter-milers and we are looking to take it to the next level by moving into February. In 2014 50 per cent more lots sold over $100,000 and vendors who will be bringing a superior type to the sale in 2015 are going to be rewarded again. Furthermore next year’s enhancements will further highlight to our expanding buying bench the prime colonial product that buyers at the Classic sale desire.


Q.: The Classic Autumn Book on May 10 seems positively placed

A.: The new Autumn Classic Book will give breeders and vendors the option of selling broodmares, weanlings, yearlings and racing stock in All Aged Stakes week in Sydney in May. The move of the Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale to May was very well received in 2014 and with a new Classic Autumn Book added to the fray in 2015 we expect that week to grow into Australia’s biggest week of breeding and racing stock sales, being as it is ideally placed after the Sydney Autumn Carnival.


Q.: How has the response been to free entry for first year stallions in the Classic sale

A.: There is no doubt that the free entry for the progeny of first year sires and early 14 day pay-out have encouraged breeders to enter better yearlings by these stallions in the Classic sale. One of the most important decisions a breeder has to make is where to sell their yearlings and with the Classic sale we are confident that vendors will be well rewarded for supporting us.


Q. Would you name some of the first year stallions with progeny entered

A.: There is a great line-up of first year sires at next year’s sales. We are pleased that vendors have already entered Classic yearlings by the likes of Dream Ahead, Foxwedge, Gio Ponti, Helmet, Ilovethiscity, Jimmy Choux, Master Of Design, Pluck, Poet’s Voice, Pressday, Shrapnel, Skilled, Smart Missile, Uncle Moss and Zoffany. Classic will be THE place to offer yearlings by first year sires in 2015.

The 2013-14 Inglis Race Series proved to be a resoundingly successful promotion for the auction house.

Three winners of Inglis Race Series events – Mossfun, Peggy Jean and Cosmic Endeavour – went on to attain Glory 1 glory.

After winning the Inglis Nursery in December Mossfun scaled the heights to capture the Golden Slipper Stakes – at $3.5 million the world’s richest two-year-old race – in April.

Peggy Jean took out the Inglis Classic in January on her way to winning the ATC Sires Produce Stakes in April while Cosmic Endeavour followed up her Inglis Three-Year-Old Guineas win at Scone in May with a victory in the Tatt’s Tiara Stakes in June.

Entries for the 2015 Inglis Race Series, which is open to yearlings offered at this year’s sales, closed on July 31.

In the second of a two-part piece Stallions questioned Inglis bloodstock director Jonathan D’Arcy about the entries, his view of the 2014 yearling sales and the outlook for the 2015 sales series.



Q.: Is the company pleased with entries for the Inglis Race Series

A.: We are very pleased with entries for the $5 million Inglis Race Series, which is growing a formidable reputation as the “Road to Group 1 Glory”. We will be announcing some exciting changes to the Inglis Race Series in the coming weeks, which will see owners, trainers and breeders even more enamoured with the concept.


Q.: Three Group 1 winners coming last season must be a major booster for the series

A.: Indeed it is, but it is worth remembering that Mossfun, Peggy Jean and Cosmic Endeavour are hardly the first Group 1 winners from the series. Other racehorses in the short five years of the series to win Inglis Race Series events and then go onto Group 1 successes include Starspangledbanner (thus we renamed the “Inglis Juvenile” to the “Inglis Banner”) Snitzerland, Sincero and Fat Al.


Q.: How do you view the 2014 round of yearling sales

A.: Inglis had a great yearling sales series in 2014. We sold 1,900 yearlings at an overall clearance rate of 83 per cent, which was almost four per cent better than any rival. It was great to get the outstanding results at Easter, but also very pleasing that our clearance rates held up across the board. Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale increased its average for the fifth successive year and grew its average price by more than any other sale in this part of the world. The lower end of the market has been tough all over Australia and New Zealand but we will continue to work hard in markets like Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, China, Macau, Malaysia and Korea as well as around Australia to attract buyers to support all sections of our industry, just not the top end.


Q.: What do you feel were the most noteworthy points from the sales

A.: Consumer confidence can have a larger effect on the lower end of the market and that was felt around the time of the Federal Budget, but the spread of buyers across the spectrum was still very strong. Good athletic types were in high demand across all sales in Australia and New Zealand. From an Inglis viewpoint it was again pleasing to not just have regular buyers who attend all sales, but to have so many buyers unique to our sales only.


Q.: How is the lead up to the 2015 yearling sales looking

A.: Entries came in thick and fast. Our experienced and enthusiastic bloodstock team have already been out completing first inspections ahead of our pedigree rating week which is coming up. We will then clock-up many, many kilometres inspecting each and everyone of the 4,000-plus yearlings entered to ensure they are placed in the appropriate sale to maximize the returns for the breeder, who has invested a lot of time and effort into breeding and growing their young thoroughbreds.


Q.: Are innovations planned

A.: Changes to the Classic sale are a big boost for that sale and we are excited about the entries in the third running of the “Blue Riband” session at Melbourne Premier. The Easter sale kicks off the day after Easter Monday in its “historical timeslot”  of April 7, 8 and 9 and we will again see the world’s leading horse enthusiasts gathering in Sydney to compete with our local buying bench for the region’s best bloodstock. One of the most exciting aspects of next year’s sales is the crop of first season sire which, in our opinion, would be the strongest since the stellar line-up of 2008 which included Fastnet Rock, High Chaparral, Shamardal, Al Maher, Charge Forward, Dane Shadow and Not A Single Doubt.