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Group One Stars - The Season in Review
29th Jun 2012
Breednet - Tara Madgwick - Thursday, 28 June 2012
The final Group I event of the Australian racing season was run at Eagle Farm last Saturday with victory going to three year-old Dehere (USA) filly Pear Tart, who delivered a valuable result for her owner Patinack Farm, so we decided it was time to reflect and see just who dominated at the elite level in 2011/2012 and where our Group I stars were sourced.
A total of 68 Group I events were run in Australia and won by 50 individual horses, ten of which achieved multiple wins at the highest level led by Black Caviar with five Group I victories followed by Mosheen (4), Pierro (3), Manighar (Fr) (3), More Joyous (3), Atlantic Jewel (2), King Mufhasa (2), Sea Siren (2), Sepoy (2) and Streama (2).
Fastnet Rock (pictured) was the most successful sire with four Group I winners to his credit in Mosheen, Atlantic Jewel, Sea Siren and Foxwedge, while the only other sires to achieve more than one winner were More Than Ready (USA) with More Joyous and Samaready, High Chaparral (IRE) with Descarado and Shoot Out, Dehere (USA) with Invest and Pear Tart, Savabeel with Brambles and Sangster and Show a Heart with Woorim and Toorak Toff.
Zabeel was the leading sire of the dams of Group I winners, his daughters producing Atlantic Jewel, Southern Speed and Invest.
In terms of who sold what, Inglis was the most successful auction house in offering 17 Group I winners, although one of those in Luckgray was sold by them as a weanling and then again by Magic Millions as a yearling so counts for the Gold Coast based auction house as well giving them a total of 11 Group I winners.
Within the Inglis tally, their flaghip sale, the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale came out on top with eight Group I winning graduates, the star performer from that sale being Mosheen (pictured), who was snaffled from the draft of Bylong Park Thoroughbreds for $250,000.
NZB sold four Group I winners in Sangster, Brambles, Quintessential and King Mufhasa, while the NZ suffix was carried by nine Group I winners in total.
Some 19 Group I winners were either homebreds, bought privately or sourced from overseas, the latter group having a major impact on our staying races and featuring Manighar (Fr), Mawingo (Ger), December Draw (IRE), Glass Harmonium (IRE) and the foreign owned raider Dunaden (Fr), who won the Melbourne Cup.
The most expensive Group I winner was Redoute's Choice entire Master of Design, who fetched $2.1 million at the 2007 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale when offered by Arrowfield Stud and bought by John Ferguson Bloodstock for Darley.
He failed to live up to expectation early in his career and was on-sold for a fraction of his yearling price to a syndicate put together by Australian Bloodstock and was able to redeem himself with a Group I win in the ATC TJ Smith Stakes.
Master of Design will stand his debut season at Swettenham Stud this spring at a fee of $12,500.
Flying the flag for the battler as the cheapest Group I winner bought at public auction is Sincero, who was plucked from the Nerreman draft at the 2009 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale for just $8,000.
The four year-old son of Umatilla won the Group I BRC Stradbroke Handicap last season as a three year-old and added the Group I ATC George Main Stakes to his resume in 2011/2012.
A look at our 50 Group I winners in terms of sireline shows that Northern Dancer still reigns supreme with 26 of them tracing in direct sireline to Northern Dancer and of those, 14 were by sons or grand-sons of Danehill with Fastnet Rock stamping himself as the real force on the rise.
Redoute's Choice had one Group I winner in his own right in Master of Design, but his sire sons provided another four in Sizzling (Snitzel), Streama (Stratum), Luckygray (Bradbury's Luck) and Quintessential (Fast ‘n' Famous).
The Sadler's Wells branch of the Northern Dancer line produced four Group I winners and with High Chaparral (IRE) shuttling to Australia now, Artie Schiller (USA) set to receive greater opportunity at Emirates Park, So You Think retiring to Coolmore this spring and Galileo's shuttling sons Teofilo (IRE) and New Approach (IRE) showing great promise, there is every reason to think this line can flourish here in coming years.
The Mr Prospector line produced seven Group I winners, although they were a real mixed bag and none were by a current commercial sire standing in this country, while the Sir Ivor line showed it is still a serious force in this part of the world producing five Group I winners, whose sires – Zabeel, Savabeel, Lonhro and Reset are all still active.
The once powerful Star Kingdom (IRE) line is dwindling, but Show a Heart chimed in with two Group I winners this season in Woorim and Toorak Toff, who heads to stud this spring so there is a glimmer of a chance that it will continue.
More Than Ready (USA) flies the flag for the Halo line after posting a couple of Group I winners and with his best son Sebring set to have runners next season and a couple of other imported sire sons in Ready's Image (USA) and Pluck (USA) poised to chime in he may yet make a lasting contribution beyond what his own racing progeny can achieve.
Popular and affordable outcross sires Magic Albert, Mossman and Domesday chimed in with a Group I winner each in Albert the Fat, Ofcourseican and Doctor Doom, proving you can go a bit left of centre and achieve a Group I result.