Several years ago Mike and Debbie O’Donnell of Fairhill Farm at Mount Vincent recognised the potential in the Inglis Classic Sale and started planning matings specifically targeting this sale. It’s
a decision that has paid dividends as Fairhill’s ff brand has adorned the shoulder of a string of early comers and become a symbol of sure-fire precocity.
Bonny filly Fiesta (I Am Invincible) is a prime example. The perfect Fairhill blend of an enterprising mating leading to a foal raised on gently undulating pasture supplemented by a no expense spared, balanced, feeding regime before excelling on the track. Fiesta is the winner of over $1.25 million, was a Stakes winner as a two-year-old, has won up to Gr.2 level, was beaten a nose in the Gr.1 Flight Stakes and won the rich sale-linked Inglis Sprint at Warwick Farm.
It is three years now since Mike and Debbie took the daughter of I Am Invincible from the Danehill Dancer mare Now Now to the last Classic Sale and this year the O’Donnell’s will be wishing the purchasers of Lot 76 similar good fortune. Their colt by Snitzel’s first season son Odyssey Moon is the first foal of Fiesta’s winning half-sister Consolari. This is a family that gets black type performers with almost metronomic regularity since the days of the good sprinter Charm Scene Land (Brocco) and twice Gr.1 Epsom Handicap runner up Kingsgate (Danzero).
And in hoping to repeat the success of Fiesta, Mike will take another I Am Invincible filly to market, this one on behalf of successful breeder Reg Kemister, the man who bred Gr.1 winner Heavens Above (Street Cry) who, coincidentally visited I Am Invincible this year. This Classic filly, which sells as Lot 256, is out the Fastnet Rock mare Limbo Down, a winner over 1000 metres and the dam of two winners to date. One of those is this filly’s full sister Limbo Soul who landed a massive plunge at Rosehill as a two-year-old propelling her into calculations for that year’s Golden Slipper. It wasn’t to be, but she showed ability far enough above the average to prompt the audacious gamble, suggesting that the mating works very well. There’s precocity further down the page as well, Limbo Down’s dam being a half-sister to the Gr.3
Black Opal Stakes winner and sire Handsome Ransom (Red Ransom). When Pride Of Dubai went to stud Mike made the decision to support the stallion heavily and it’s a move that looks certain to pay dividends given the explosive start the son of Street Cry has made as a stallion.
A Stakes winner and two Stakes performers from a handful of runners promises much, and the Fairhill consignment has a smart daughter by him ready to go through the Classic as Lot 600.
A second foal, her dam Antarctic Dream (Southern Image) won seven times all told including a brace as a juvenile. Out of the Gr.3 Lowland Stakes winner and Gr.1 New Zealand One Thousand Guineas third in Groundless Threats (Clay Hero), the filly comes from a family stacked with Stakes winners including the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner Zepherin (Zephyr Bay), her Australian Gr.2 winning daughter Glenview (Sir Tristram) and her Gr.1 South African Derby winning son Timber Trader (Woodman). This family is anything but one dimensional as the Melbourne Cup placed Zazzman (Distinctly North) also appears on the page.
Leading off the Fairhill consignment for 2020 as Lot 33 is a second crop daughter of the top sprinter Super One (I Am Invincible) out of the unraced Bulladini (Bernardini), a daughter of the Gr.1 VRC Oaks winner Bulla Borghese (Belong To Me). Putting some speed back into this family has worked successfully before, for amongst Bulla Borghese’s six winning foals is the Gr.2 Furious Stakes victress and winner at two in Bound For Earth, the result of a mating to Northern Meteor. And it has also worked successfully in the second generation with the exceptionally talented Gr.2 Magic Night Stakes winner Calliope being a daughter of Exceed And Excel.
Buyers are always looking for a family that can get tough, consistent performers and in Lot 511 they can get the opportunity to purchase a filly whose dam won nine times up to Gr.3 level at a strike rate of 33%, and whose grandam won on twelve occasions. It stands to reason this lovely Hinchinbrook filly will be carrying those same traits of speed and soundness, her dam Teasing being a daughter of More Than Ready and the winner of the Missile Stakes at Rosehill. Sadly, this is one of the last opportunities for buyers to secure a yearling by the ultra-consistent Hinchinbrook.
When it comes to the international breeding landscape two stallions led the way in the reverse shuttle market, Choisir the ground breaker and then Fastnet Rock the most recent to exert his influence in Europe. Buyers looking to tap into both lines at once have an opportunity with Lot 80, a son of Choisir out of Crazyonyou (Encosta De Lago) a granddaughter of Fastnet Rock’s dam Piccadilly Circus (Royal Academy).
Crazyonyou was precocious enough to finish runner up on debut at Rosehill in the November of her two-year-old season and is out of Sarasota (Danehill), herself a winner at two in Sydney. Sarasota is a full sister to the dual Gr.1 winner and Champion sire Fastnet Rock so there is plenty of speed to work with here.
A man always armed with the latest statistics Mike explained that the Choisir – Encosta De Lago cross has a strike rate of over 18% stakes winners to runners.
If buyers want to test the water with a young sire then Fairhill’s stunning black filly by the Gr.1 Golden Rose winner Exosphere out of Falkirk’s daughter La Valeta is one to put on the inspection list. A four-time winner at New Zealand’s better tracks, La Valeta is a half-sister to the Listed placed Beyond Desire (Danzero) out of the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes winner For Love (Omnicorp). She sells as Lot 237.
A stallion quietly going about his business at the moment is the Caulfield Guineas winner Shooting To Win, and his son out of the Flying Spur mare Satirical Lass is bound to make an impression when he goes through as Lot 432. He is the second foal of his dam who was a multiple Metropolitan winner in Brisbane. Out of the winning Giant’s Causeway mare Satirical Lady, she is a half-sister to the Group placed Smart As You Think (So You Think).
Fairhill will also support the Highway session with five youngsters that wouldn’t have been out of place in the main sale. Another daughter of Super One will lead off as Lot 689, this one the second foal of the tough as teak Danewin mare Kontiki Dane, the winner of three races at a mile and beyond, all on Sydney metropolitan tracks. This is the family of the dual Auckland Cup winner Prize Lady (Prized) and her three-time Grade 1 winner in the US, Pen Bal Lady (Mummy’s Pet).
The O’Donnell’s also has a daughter of Shooting To Win that will go through as Lot 787 and warrants an inspection given the strength of her pedigree. Her young dam Venus Amoris (Choisir) won twice and is out of the Gr.3 placed Above Perfection (Encosta De Lago) making her a half-sister to the multiple Listed winner Tactical Advantage (Bel Esprit) runner up in the recent inaugural The Hunter. And it’s a family that gets tough campaigners like dual Gr.1 Epsom Handicap winner Desert War (Desert King) and his Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas winning half brother Laser Hawk (Artie Schiller). It is also a happening family, for by the time the sale comes around the lightly raced mare Aim For Perfection (Smart Missile) could well have added a Stakes win to her two raceday successes so far.
One lot with a very interesting pedigree is Lot 716, a Foxwedge filly out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Mofajah who has had eight winning foals to date. They include Hasta La War (Declaration Of War) the very promising stayer in South Australia that has five wins from nine starts to his credit and is by the same sire as Vow And Declare. “I think we could be looking at an Oaks filly with this lass and I think it’s interesting to note that Foxwedge’s two Southern Hemisphere Gr.1 winners in Foxplay and Volpe Veloce are both out of mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells in El Prado and Barathea respectively. Here’s a chance to get even closer to the source as we’ve put a Sadler’s Wells mare to him. The result is a lovely filly with bags of potential and residual value for when her racing days are over,” said Mike.
Mike adopted a similar strategy when purchasing Lazuli (Snippetson), a winner over 1000 metres and the dam of Lot 694, in foal to a first season cover by Flying Artie, winner of the Gr.1 Coolmore Stud Stakes. “I bought Lazuli specifically carrying to Flying Artie as the resulting colt is inbred 5X5 to El Prado’s grandam Cap And Bells (Tom Fool). There is also a duplication in Flying Artie’s pedigree with his dam Flying Ruby being 3X3 to Better Boy,” Mike offered.
And yet another mating taking a similar tack is Lot 735, a daughter of sire of the moment Rubick out of Ram’s Choice. The highly influential mare Shantha’s Choice (Canny Lad) appears as the grandam of Rubick and as the mother of Ram’s Choice’s damsire Redoute’s Choice. And here is a family that is kicking goals as we go to press with recent Gr.3 Breeders Plate winner Global Quest (More Than Ready) and Gr.2
Lee Steere Stakes winner Star Exhibit (Statue Of Liberty) both flying the family flag under the third dam, the great producer and dual Gr.1 winning stayer Bravery (Zephyr Zip).So, you can see that once again the Fairhill draft offers potential buyers a broad selection of quality yearlings all bred with one thing in mind, running fast. f