The number of horses to have grazed on the undulating paddocks of Mike O’Donnell’s Fairhill Farm at Mulbring before going on to racetrack success just continues to grow. Gr.1 winners Good Project, Choice Bro and Glorious Days all had a head start at Fairhill and buyers inspecting the farm’s select 2021 Classic draft at Riverside can be confident they’ve had the same opportunities.
Fairhill’s ff brand has been spotted regularly in the winners’ enclosure of late, bonny filly Fiesta a prime example. A $150,000 Inglis Classic offering, she has shown great resilience to race with distinction for four seasons returning over ten times her purchase price in prizemoney without counting her value as a broodmare having taken her Group race win tally to four in Melbourne this past Spring. And there is promise that Fairhill will also taste success at Sha Tin or Happy Valley soon as the very promising Master Fay, a son of Deep Field and sold as a weanling by Fairhill for $72,000, starts his much-anticipated career in Hong Kong with Caspar Fownes. That’s the sort of horse likely to be on show under the Fairhill banner in 2021 at Riverside.
And what a cracking colt to start off the draft. Offered on behalf of Reg Kemister’s President Bloodstock, Lot 109 is a son of the incomparable I Am Invincible out of the Fastnet Rock mare Limbo Down, a mare fast building a reputation as a blue hen. Her first foal of note was Limbo Soul, a full sister to this colt, the Tim Martin trained filly bringing off a good old-fashioned plunge when winning a Rosehill two-year-old maiden by three and a quarter lengths, throttled down. And it wasn’t an average maiden with four those in her wake going on to be Stakes performers. Limbo Down followed up with the five-time winner Howlowcanyougo by Lope De Vega and then, having returned to I Am Invincible, left the quality filly Joviality. The winner of three races so far, the three-year-old ran fifth in the Gr.1 Flight Stakes and then was only beaten by the barrier when a neck second in the Listed Reginald Allen Stakes at Randwick. Her time as a black-type winner will surely come in the Autumn. Joviality and her as yet unraced two-year-old full sister Affability, currently in work with Chris Waller, were offered through the Fairhill drafts of the past two years at Riverside fetching $330,000 and $350,000, respectively.
Also on behalf of President Bloodstock Fairhill will offer two colts by I Am Invincible’s son Hellbent whose first progeny make their yearling sale debut.
First to sell is Lot 267, a stunning colt and half-brother to Gr.1 Coolmore Classic winner Heavens Above out of Kemister’s tough as teak broodmare Reggie. A tremendous mare and winner of over $1 million in prizemoney, Heavens Above was versatile, her resolute finishing style carrying her to victory in both the 1200 metre Sheraco Stakes and the Aspiration Stakes over the Randwick mile, both at Gr.3 level. She was also twice placed in the Gr.1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes while her Testa Rossa half-sister Pindan Pearl was also a more than useful sort being Stakes placed in Brisbane and winning five races to 1900 metres. No doubt they inherited their resilience from Reggie, the daughter of Germano winning a dozen times in all from a mile to 2400 metres including a Gr.3 Premier’s Cup at Rosehill and the Listed Bagot Handicap at Flemington. There is plenty of solid New Zealand blood in the family with Reggie being out of the Star Way mare Crackastar, herself a daughter of the Gr.3 winner and Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks runner up Crackapon by Le Fripon.
While that colt comes with a blend of Hellbent’s pace and Reggie’s stamina, Lot 361, another son of the Gr.1 William Reid Stakes winner this time out of Tails Wins, looks all speed and a likely Inglis Millennium candidate. He is a three-quarter brother to the talented Gr.3 D C McKay Stakes and Listed Singapore Golden Horseshoe winner Super One (I Am Invincible), a horse who has also made a solid start as a stallion. Another of Tails Wins’ progeny is the flying Hinchinbrook filly Super Too who was three times Group placed and won a heat of the 55 Second Challenge at Moonee Valley, so pace will certainly not be an issue with this colt. Although Tails Wins was unraced her dam Multiple Wins (Sea Salute) was well named winning six times in all and was Stakes placed while in turn her dam Princess Sybil (Cormorant) won fourteen times over sprint trips including a trio of black-type events.
Lot 501 is a strapping son of Shooting To Win, a young sire gradually making a name for himself through the likes of recent Gr.1 placegetter Dom To Shoot, the exciting Tailleur and unbeaten Mystery Shot.. This colt’s dam Brightlands Star is a winning daughter of Starcraft and the dam of a pair of winners including the Listed Macau Guineas victor Hostwin Saturn (Stratum) who also had enough speed to score over 1100 metres on debut. This is a family that has been throwing up top class horses for decades now with Brightlands Star being a half-sister to the Gr.1 Goodwood Handicap winner Zip Zip Array and his Bellotto full sister, the Listed winner and Gr.1 Sangster Stakes runner up Zipanese. Those speedsters share the Bletchingly mare Dubai Lass as a common grandam with five-time Gr.1 winner Niconero (Danzero) and dual Gr.1 winning sprinter and successful sire Nicconi (Bianconi). Interestingly, Mike now owns Zipanese and has put her back to Nicconi, one to watch out for at the 2023 Classic Sale.
With his first crop just three-year-olds, Exosphere has already proven he can get a good filly like Gr.2 winner Thermosphere. As Lot 738 Mike offers Exosphere’s daughter out of the speedy Choisir mare Venus Amoris, twice a winner to 1000 metres and a half-sister to three-time Listed, and eleven times overall, winner Tactical Advantage (Bel Esprit). Their dam Above Perfection (Encosta De Lago) was runner up in the Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes and hails from the family of hardy galloper Desert War (Desert King) who racked up five Gr.1 wins, and his Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas winning half-brother Laser Hawk (Artie Schiller).
Rounding out the Fairhill draft for 2021 is a handsome son of boom sire Shalaa out of Chimerique by Choisir. Shalaa made an early statement when his son Shaquero won the Gr.3 Breeders’ Plate at Randwick on debut while Chimerique has proven to be an excellent broodmare producing five winners including Fanciful Dream (Zoustar) who was successful six times, one of which was in Sydney. Chimerique has also foaled Country Melody (Written Tycoon) who has found success
as a six-time winner in Hong Kong. Unraced, Chimerique has plenty of pedigree to back her up being a half-sister to Gr.1 VRC Oaks winner Bulla Borghese (Belong To Me), dam of Gr.2 Furious Stakes winner and Gr.1 Fight Stakes third Bound For Earth (Northern Meteor), grandam of Gr.2 Magic Night Stakes winner Calliope and third dam of the exciting filly Aquitaine (both Exceed And Excel). This is also the family of Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas runner up Lizard Island (Sebring).
Although only six in number, the Fairhill draft is again strong on quality and is backed with the farm’s reputation for consistently offering talented stock to the market.