It has taken over 30 years for brothers Arthur and Harry Mitchell to become “overnight successes” in the breeding industry. When they took the decision to purchase a large stake in G1 placed I Am Invincible from the Gall family, they had the usual high hopes that accompany such ventures. To have their expectations met, then exceeded as the magnificent bay stallion gradually rose to become Australia’s highest fee sire is something else entirely.
Arthur Mitchell relates that “I Am Invincible was a brilliant performer, after his devastating first start win as a 2YO he was early favourite in Golden Slipper markets. Despite being troubled by hoof problems he was a G1 runnerup to the mighty Takeover Target, he was a G3 winner of five races, a G3 placed winning 2YO, so he was actually a terrific racehorse. He was by a stallion who has since turned out a decent sire of sires and out of a mare by crack broodmare sire Canny Lad from the Gall family’s wonderful “Pedrille” family. When we inspected him, we simply had to become involved, he is such a superb individual, and fortunately he has passed on his looks and his talent to his offspring. Harry and I have to pinch ourselves occasionally, but we reckon it was worth the years of hard work.
“Vinnie” started off at 10k and attracted nice mares commensurate with that fee, but it still amazes us that over the past few seasons he has been covering the nation’s best mares, including such household names as Alizee, Black Caviar, Bonny O’Reilly, Booker, Catchy, English, Essaouira, Kenedna, Lucia Valentina, Mossfun, Nayeli, Samantha Miss, Snitzerland, Tallow, Volpe Veloce, and Winx just to name a few. The yearlings out of his biggest and best books are now coming to market, so we are looking forward to offering his best bred crop at Magic Millions in January. The spectacular win of his son Home Affairs for his Coolmore led group of owners in the very G1 race they sponsor, the VRC Coolmore Stud S couldn’t have come at a better time. He was a beautiful yearling as his $875k yearling price indicates and I’m confident we have several stallion prospects in this draft.”
There are 14 yearlings by I Am invincible in the farm’s 34 strong draft, and another eight by his G1 winning sprinting son Hellbent.
It is a long established tradition in the thoroughbred business, and an extremely successful strategy, for a farm that strikes gold with a stallion to identify a suitable young son to carry on the line. The G1 winner and multiple G1 placed Hellbent, winner of almost a million dollars, has a better race record than his illustrious sire and offers buyers the opportunity to be part of the next stage of the incredible ride on which “Vinnie” has taken Yarraman Park, the Gall family and those that had faith in him.
Some of the highlights of the Yarraman Park 2022 draft include the following lots-
Lot 32, b c Hellbent – Falerina by Stratum. This is the first foal of a Sydney metro winner of four races, second dam is SW Jade Diva, family of Group winners Bliss Street and Jade Marauder and G1 placed G2 winner Thunder Fantasy.
Lot 119, b f Hellbent – Hoss Amor by General Nediym. This filly is a three quarter-sister SW Quantico (by I Am Invincible) so bred on a proven nick.
Lot 196, b c I Am Invincible – Lady Sharapova by Fastnet Rock. This colt has definite stallion potential being from the family of champion Alinghi and the brilliant sire Beneteau.
Lot 253, b c I Am Invincible – Meliora by Ad Valorem. This colt is a full brother to Blue Diamond Prelude G3 winner I Am Immortal who has already found a home on the roster at Swettenham Stud.
Lot 503, b f I Am Invincible – Set to Unleash by Reset. This filly is a full sister to MM 2YO Classic winner Houtzen, multiple Group winner of 7 races and $2.13 million. A star of the sale.
Lot 523, b c I Am Invincible – Silently by Anabaa. This colt is another with sire potential being from a stakes winning, stakes producing dam who is a half- sister to two G1 winners including champion Criterion, 4 G1 wins, $7.3 million.
Arthur Mitchell said “there are some cracking individuals in this draft, “Vinnie” continues to pass on his great looks, and Hellbent is following suit. We also have attractive individuals by Deep Field, Exceed And Excel, Extreme Choice, Invader, Not A Single Doubt, Trapeze Artist, Written Tycoon and Justify.”
Arthur Mitchell was happy to answer some questions for Bluebloods.
What puts the MAGIC into this race and sales series for you?
The Magic Millions sale and the associated races suit the precocious horses Yarraman Park is looking to breed. This sale has stood the test of time, the $10million plus raceday prizemoney is extraordinary, and we really like supporting the whole concept.
What is the most useless talent you have?
Can I take the fifth amendment? Probably golf. I love it, but is anyone good at it?
What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
The best is I Am Invincible, the worst was a townhouse in Sydney off the plan.
What is something everyone looks stupid doing?
Pilates, but it’s very good for you. I’m living proof.