While Yulong is experiencing its best year on the track, it is in the sales ring where the development of the brand has been most noticeable. The success of Mr Zhang’s continued investment policy is evidenced by the farm’s 2021 Easter draft, hands down the best they have sent to market.
Speaking with Yulong’s Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray it is clear the plan for gradual improvement each season is on track. “Comparing year on year, our drafts continue to get stronger and that was reflected in our results at Magic Millions and then Melbourne where we had lots sell for $600,000 and $700,000 respectively,” he said. “The numbers are increasing and so is the quality and we feel we are at the point where the wheel is going to turn a couple of cogs, so to speak, and we are about to see some real action.”
Looking to Riverside Sam explained “We have focussed on providing the market with the best stock of proven stallions, and our Easter draft of thirteen youngsters are all by Champion Sires.” Snitzel has been Champion Australian Sire on four occasions with Yulong offering a choice of six high-quality individuals of his. They also have a three-quarter brother to Preferment who is by six-time Champion New Zealand Sire Savabeel, a colt by Lonhro who won the Australian Sire title, and lots by Pierro, Zoustar and Frankel all of which won their respective First Season Sire crowns. And the pages and type more than match the standard expected at the Easter Sale.
Asked for a standout Sam said “They are all genuinely nice horses, but my pick would be Lot 451, the Snitzel colt out of Next Meeting, and Lot 328, the Snitzel filly out
of Harlech, a half sister to Hungry Heart (Frankel). She has a massive hindquarter and looks a really fast type.” And by the time this filly walks into the ring the already Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 runner up Hungry Heart may well be a Gr.1 winner with the upcoming Vinery Stakes a potential target.
Fairgray also told us “We have a pair of nice Frankels out of Street Cry mares in the draft. That cross has only had three runners but has produced two Stakes performers including Frankely Awesome who was a Listed winner and placed second in the Gr.1 Vinery Stakes to Verry Elleegant.” Sam refers to Lot 358 which is the colt, first foal, out of Isleham from the family of the Grade 1 winners Hardest Core (Hard Spun) and Gilded Time (Timeless Moment). The other filly carrying the same cross is Lot 281, another first foal, this time out of the winning mare Draconic Treasure. And while Frankel’s filly that sells as Lot 44 isn’t bred on similar lines, any pedigree that carries the blood of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Detroit from the family of Zabeel has plenty going for it.
And when it comes to nicks that work Sam thinks Lot 203 has a head start on the pack. “She is a filly by Pierro out of a Redoute’s Choice mare and I think that cross is running at a tremendous 26% Stakes performers to runners.” The filly is out of the Irish bred Arizona Belle, a half-sister to the Melbourne Cup winner and sire Fiorente (Monsun) and to the dam of Tom Melbourne (Dylan Thomas), and comparisons can be drawn to Pierro’s Gr.1 VRC Oaks winner Pinot.
There are some cracking types in the remainder of the Yulong draft as a glance through the catalogue and a visit to Barn J at Riverside will show. ❖