January comes up quickly at the end of each calendar year, but particularly for Bhima Thoroughbreds in 2021.
The boutique operator, along the Moobi Road in Scone, will present its largest ever draft of youngsters to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. “We’ve got 31 heading there,” says Mike Fleming, “and that’s the largest I can remember ever sending up. It’s probably the largest we’ve ever had for any sale, actually.”
Fleming has operated Bhima with his wife Kate since 2015. In the past few years he has enjoyed enormous success. The farm’s last Magic Millions January results included $1.1 million for a Redoute’s Choice-Gresset colt, and the year before it was $1.6 million for Prague. “These types of results tend to make our job easier,” Fleming admits, “but so does a high-clearance rate, buyer transparency and sales platform. And we’ve worked very hard at those.”
Bhima’s bumper draft owes itself, in part, to 2020, something Fleming happily admits. “I think with COVID and all the travel restrictions, a lot of our client base has been keen to hit the market early while everyone is fully loaded,” he says. “Magic Millions is the first bite of the cherry each year and, if your horses are forward enough, it’s the sale you head to.”
B is for Buyer transparency
The 2021 Gold Coast Yearling Sale marks the third year that Bhima has used the Kick Sales Platform to sell its horses. Built to provide integrity in selling, the platform offers any prospective buyer the opportunity to see a Bhima yearling’s portfolio, including its complete history and ownership disclosure, and all veterinary evidence like x-rays, scopes, vaccinations and surgeries. Hand in hand, Bhima and the Platform are a guarantee of Buyer transparency.
“This year, more than any year, the Kick Sales Platform will be so important,” Fleming says. “I understand there are around 250 extra horses at the sale, and that’s a lot of extra leg work for trainers, buyers and agents. For them to know where our horses are vetting and scoping and x-raying, prior to them sending their vets in, is a huge advantage. Our buyers will know what they’re dealing with before ever getting to that stage at the sale.”
B is for Brilliant graduates
Bhima’s graduate record makes it one of the top independent yearling consignors in Australia. In 2019, Fleming and his team sold the
Redoute’s Choice-Purely Spectacular youngster for
$1.6 million, he was eventually named Prague.
The colt is now a two-time Gr3 winner and “it was hugely satisfying to see those results after the faith that was put in him in the sale ring,” Fleming says.
This season, brilliant colt North Pacific has joined the Bhima graduates board, while progressive Ain’tnodeeldun is shaping up for a strong autumn preparation. Emeralds (Gr3 winner) is another Group winner from a recent Bhima consignments with the quality mare looking likely to deliver future elite performances.
B is for Blueblood pedigrees
Bhima bousts a strong consignment from top to bottom for Magic Millions in 2021 and Fleming is especially excited by Lot 213, a colt by Exceed And Excel from De Groove. The youngster is a full brother to five-time Hong Kong winner Big Party. “We’re really interested to see what this one will do,” Fleming says. “We sold another full brother to him in last year’s draft for $900,000, so it’s obviously a family that has got a lot of strength around it.”
The Written Tycoon colt from Aqua Belle is from a strong international pedigree, while the Scandiva colt by the same sire is from the illustrious family of Black Caviar and Ole Kirk.
Fleming adds that he’s also excited about the five colts he has heading to Book Two. “It’s the first time in about six years we’ve had horses in Book Two,” he says. “That sale has traditionally produced some good horses, including the Mikki Isle colt that topped the 2YOs In Training Sale in November.
B is for Bright new opportunities
Opportunities lie at the feet of first-crop sires and, in 2021, it might be all about value with two stallions starting off a lower base like Not A Single Doubt and I Am Invincible before them. Arrowfield stallion Pariah has been pinned as a most likely son of Redoute’s Choice to succeed, and Yarraman’s stallion Hellbent shapes up as another star son for sire I Am Invincible. Bhima will present two Pariah colts and one Hellbent colt at Magic Millions, one of which is Lot 44 from Amerindia.
“This is a very good Pariah colt,” Fleming says. “He’s medium-sized, strong and a great walking horse, which is really typical of what we’ve seen of Pariah foals. For a horse that is entering the market at Pariah’s fee ($16,500), it’s going to be very interesting to see how the progeny go because we’ve been very impressed with the foals we’ve had on the ground so far.”
“We’ve got a nice Hellbent colt heading into Book Two (Lot 1273). He’s a strong, forward type from a first-season sire, and it’s exciting to see these types coming from first-season stallions that are standing at the lower end of service fees. I recall that I Am Invincible, Not A Single Doubt and Written Tycoon all started the same way, and look what they’ve achieved. Great opportunities await clever buyers.”
Four yearlings by French shuttler and fellow debut sire Almanzor are on offer by Bhima, as are colts by Merchant Navy and Divine Prophet.
While the new stallions present bright new opportunities, the Bhima draft of 31 shows off no less than 19 individual stallions from such proven names as Written Tycoon (2), Snitzel (4), So You Think, Not A Single Doubt, Pierro and Dundeel.