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Hussler puts mark on sales
18th Apr 2011
The Age - Andrew Eddy - Saturday, 16 April 2011
THE Inglis Melbourne Autumn Yearling sale might have been robbed of one of its highlight acts with the withdrawal of Cedarberg's sister, but as usual it provides a wide cross-section of sires and in particular this year there is a large representation by sons of Hussonet.
The sale, to be held at Inglis's Oaklands Junction complex tomorrow and Monday, boasts 22 first-season sires, and that group includes six sons of Hussonet. It's a surprising number that can be largely explained in two words - Weekend Hussler.
Advertisement: Story continues below With a saturation of Northern Dancer-Danzig blood in the Australian broodmare population, breeders are continually looking for outcross stallions. When Weekend Hussler, a first-crop son of former champion Chilean stallion Hussonet exploded onto the racing scene in late 2007 and early 2008, winning a succession of group 1 races, there was a rush to secure sons of the Mr Prospector horse for stud duties.
Such is the rise and fall in the popularity of stallions, that despite having a group 1 win with Eagle Falls in the Oakleigh Plate in February, it was announced this week that Hussonet would be moving on from Arrowfield Stud, his home since 2003. He will transfer to Lindsay Park in South Australia, where he will join his Blue Diamond-winning son Reaan, standing at a fee of $27,500 - a considerable drop on the $137,500 he commanded in 2008.
Hussonet has just one lot on offer this weekend off the back of that service fee, a colt from Illusional, a Redoute's Choice half-sister to group 2 Crystal Mile winner Sonic Quest.
Of the six Hussonet sons with progeny in the sale, Byblos, Husson, El Cumbres, Trotamondo and Host are group 1 winners, while Host's brother Decanter won three minor races.
For Narelle and Mark Bravington, who stand Decanter at Kedarona Stud at Catani, east of Melbourne, it's been tough taking on some of Hussonet's better-performed sons. But they believe buyers will be impressed by the seven progeny of Decanter on offer.
''It hasn't been easy attracting mares with so many other Hussonets, but we don't regret it [taking on Decanter] for one moment,'' Narelle said.
''All the good judges have been very impressed with the types he has got, so we are really looking forward to offering them at a yearling sale for the first time.''
One of the other first-season horses who has a low profile is Larneuk Stud's Bramshaw, who, while he did not make it to the racecourse, has a pedigree as good as any thoroughbred in the country.
The son of Encosta De Lago is from the great Eight Carat's daughter Cotehele House, making him a half-brother to leading sires Danewin and Commands. Although he served 109 mares in his first season, not many of his progeny have found their way to the sales, but four are on offer in the autumn catalogue.
One stallion who is sure to attract a good deal of attention is Australia's leading first-season sire Written Tycoon, who did not have a yearling offered in the Premier Sale but has five catalogued this weekend.
The best of those on pedigree looks to be lot 206, a chestnut filly who is a half-sister to Lords A Leaping, who was group 1-placed in the Queensland Derby and T. J. Smith Classic.
And then there is Umatilla, who is now retired from stud duties but is still having plenty of success in recent months through the deeds of group-winning two-year-old filly Shared Reflections. The sire of 30 individual stakes-winners has five lots catalogued.
The sale starts at 11am on Sunday and continues on Monday.