Darley Sires Battered in Sydney Weanling Sale

Some 175 weanlings sold for an average of $15,642 with gross receipts of $2,737,350.

By Ric Chapman

Spin is an interesting exercise. For example, some will look at the results of Sunday's Australian 2005 select weanling sale conducted at Newmarket in Sydney, and say it was a successful sale.

Others, who harbor no agendas, will perhaps disagree.

On paper, 175 weanlings sold for an average of $15,642 with gross receipts of $2,737,350. The clearance rate was extremely strong with 90% of the weanlings changing hands. These are, by and by, good weanling figures.

Fair enough, But if you owned a weanling by a Darley sire, you wouldn't be a happy camper.

For reasons best left to ponder, the Darley group of stallions suffered a terrible defeat. They alone made it look like the global buying bubble had burst.

For instance, quality looking weanlings by Darley sires – Carnegie, E Dubai, Fantastic Light, Lujain, Street Cry, Xaar, Noverre and Tobougg all exchanged hands. And yet only Fantastic Light managed to even come close to his service fee after averages were examined. The others, were embarrassingly south of their fees -- meaning vendors were crucified.

E Dubai stood for $16,500 when this batch of babies was conceived; his average at this sale was a paltry $5,300. Similarly poor was Xaar who was a $22,000 sire in 2003. His average was only $6,800 here from multiple weanlings offered. Darley would not even like to look at how bad the Carnegie, Noverre, and Street Cry averages compared to their fees of 2003 were here. Suffice to say a complete review of their fee and marketing structures would be advisable.

Last year Darley introduced a 'we'll pay your transport from anywhere in Australia' policy to broodmare owners and as such all their stallions were flooded with mares...many well below the standard of the dams responsible for the weanlings in this sale. If these figures are indicative of an Australian set against Darley sires, the next few years may be pretty lean for mare owners who took advantage of the Darley offer last year.

Still, as spin goes, the sale wasn't a complete loss. Coolmore, as it always seems to do, saw its stallions reap rewards for vendors.

Richard Johnston of Bylong Park (formerly Clearvale Stud) purchased the two top-priced weanlings of the sale. Both fillies were offered by Coolmore as agent and were by their exciting young stallions Rock of Gibraltar (by Danehill) and Giant's Causeway  (by Storm Cat). An attractive bay filly by Rock of Gibraltar from the imported mare Enlightenment, topped the sale at $220,000.

"I intend to race both fillies and all going to plan win some black type races and breed with them," commented Johnston.

As always, Reg Inglis the sale's managing director was very happy with the results across the board.

"Once again we are very pleased to see buyers from throughout Australia and in particular from New Zealand supporting this sale. There was very good interest in the top end of the market today, emphasizing the demand for quality weanlings and the fact that 90% of the weanlings sold reflects the interest across the board," commented Inglis.

He was right there. The well bred ones, and some of the better prepared ones, did fetch good money. But many vendors went home with wet hankies.

Incidentally, there were no Redoute's Choice or Fusaichi Pegasus  weanlings sold at this sale.

Monday may bring a brighter day for vendors as the Inglis Sydney complex returns to yearling sales with the sires' produce sale, always a popular sale among buyers, especially trainers, set to offer over 250 yearlings.

The Top Lots ($100,000 and above)
122/f. Rock of Gibraltar x Enlightenment (USA)/Coolmore Stud as agent/Bylong Park/$220,000
176/f. Giant's Causeway x Leopard Lady/Coolmore Stud as agent/Bylong Park/$180,000
117/c. Encosta de Lago x Egyptian Ibis (NZ)/Arrowfield Stud as agent/Kulani Park T'Breds/$165,000
208/f. Rock of Gibraltar x Nuance (Fr)/Coolmore Stud as agent/NZ Bloodstock/$150,000
181/c. Faltaat (USA) x Luna Tudor/Edinglassie Stud/Neville Begg/$110,000
79/c. Danehill Dancer x Boo Ticket/Goodwood Farm as agent/Tyreel Stud/$100,000

The sires produce yearling sale will commence at 10.30 a.m. Monday with over 200 yearlings on offer. All yearlings purchased are eligible to compete in the 2006 Scone Inglis Challenge.