Looking back at the 2013 edition of the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale provides valuable insight into the market. Starting with the highlights, Premier 1 achieved 80% clearance after private sales and an average of $76,302 which is up on last years $72,412. Premier 2 achieved a clearance of 75% well up on last years figure and an average of $28,000 on par with last year. The gross for the entire sale was $36.2m, up on $35m in 2012 which is pleasing noting we catalogued 15 fewer yearlings in
2013. It was great to see so many buyers in attendance, with 31 from South Africa and a good mix of trainers and owners from Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand. On the local front, we had excellent representation from Western Australia and from Victorian based trainers who
increased their expenditure from the prior year. All of the vendors I spoke to said their parade numbers were well up on 2012, and I know our caterer supplied twice as much food this year due to numbers on the grounds right throughout. The photo accompanying this post says it all.
The most significant highlight this year was the success of the Blue Riband session of 50 classic and staying type yearlings. This session finished with an 87% clearance and an average of $114,400 which demonstrates that buyers do want to invest in this type of yearling and not just sprinting types. Congratulations to my team in particular Simon Vivian for bringing this new initiative to fruition, delivering results better than I could have imagined for year one. I believe this session represents a turning point in the Australian breeding industry, with buyers embracing yearlings that with a little patience should be competitive in the classics and cups of the future. 18 races conducted in Australia are worth $1m in prize money, but it seems the secret is out that 15 of these
are run over 1600m or more in distance and that we have the right type of yearlings on hand to compete in due course. There will always be the demand for the quick fix European bred older stayer, but we hope to add some balance to the marketplace via the Blue Riband session and encourage Australian breeders to produce a more versatile thoroughbred in the future.
The clearance rate for Premier 1 through the ring was a little lower than last year, but has reached a respectable 80% which is better than you see in many sales around the world even in the good years. There is no question that it is still a buyers market, and they can afford to be selective. Good conformation has never been more important, and even a Super Vobis sticker on a yearlings hind quarters is not enough to encourage buyers to bid if there are better types on offer, regardless of where they have come from or whether they carry that sticker. The challenge for all of us is to lift the bar in terms of quality, as we certainly had a buying bench in attendance that had the firepower to take home every yearling if they measured up.
I congratulate our leading vendors Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm (by average with 3 or more sold), in particular Kevin and James O’Brien. They sold 7 high quality yearlings for an average price of $177,857 which is outstanding. They also won the best presented award for their draft. I also commend the second leading vendor by average (3 or more sold) Mike O’Donnell from Fairhill
Farm in NSW. Noting Esker Lodge from NZ was also amongst the leading vendors by average it goes to show that buyers zero in quality, whether it resides in the draft of a big name vendor or a lesser known vendor from out of town. The Premier Sale is a level playing field. I’d also like to acknowledge the efforts of the leading vendor by aggregate, Eliza Park. It is a wonderful achievement and a logistical challenge to sell 44 yearlings at any one sale, well done.
Thank you also to our many buyers who supported the sale. In particular to those who dug deep such as our leading buyer David Hayes from Lindsay Park Racing, and other top ten buyers in order Ricky Yiu (HK), Peter Moody, Brad Spicer, Mick Price, Triple Crown Syndications (NSW), Form Bloodstock (South Africa), John Chalmers (WA), McDonald Racing (Clinton McDonald) and Glenhuntly Lodge (Mark Riley). We appreciate your support.
Thanks also to everyone who helped deliver the Inglis TV coverage, in particular Rob Gild and his production team, our hosts Caroline Searcy, Jason Richardson and Tanita Vella, Executive Producer Bonnie Connellan and Tech Director Dean Jacobs. Well done guys, excellent continuous coverage of the sale and some excellent interviews, many available on Inglis TV for viewing now.