Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale

Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale 2023 follows the Inglis Chairman’s Sale. The Broodmare Sale has several interesting mares. A buyer must be aware that not only they will meet the initial outlay for a mare in foal but should budget for spending a minimum of $40-50 thousand to the time of her progeny’s first race. When I consider purchasing a mare in foal, I closely examine two factors.

  • The progeny resulting from the mating should be investigated as one would for a yearling at a Sale. Of course, examination of physical characteristics is not possible. One needs to rely on the previous history of the mare and siblings. A PRI calculation is a good start.
  • A close examination of the data in the catalogue. I have developed a system (MMI, Mare’s Mating Index). My system is open ended (like the earthquake Richter scale). Numbers go from zero to over 2000. The average is 415.

I have selected three mares in the Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale which warrant consideration.

Lot 263 b m Paper Plane (Fastnet Rock – Luminous Eyes) : Served by Wootton Bassett

  • The cross Wootton Bassett – Fastnet Rock has already produced one SW. Unanimous Consent was successful at L level in America over1710m. This cross has SW/r of 11.1%. The PRI score for the progeny is a healthy 87.5.

Wootton Bassett

  • The mare rates above average with MMI of 640. The 6GFI is a very impressive 18.8% The best horse down the female line is the dual G1 winner French horse Youmzain. Probably best known for coming second three times in the Arc.

Lot 300 b m Stars Are Out (Fastnet Rock – Moon is Up) : Served by Pride of Dubai

  • The cross Pride of Dubai – Fastnet Rock has produced two SW. Saif was successful at G3 level over 1409m. Queen if Dubai has won a L race over1409m. This cross has SW/r of 10%. The PRI score for the progeny is 87.9.

Pride of Dubai

  • The mare rates a MMI of 520. The 6GFI is a healthy 14.8%. It is even more impressive when you consider that Miesque the dam of Kingmambo is part of the female line. From 913 foals he produced 85 SW (9.3%). Who wouldn’t want him in your female family?
Lot 330 b m All That I Know (More Than Ready – Lucida): Served by So You Think
  • The cross So you Think – More Than Ready has produced a SW. Cognito was the winner of the G2 NZ Guineas over1409m. The PRI score of this progeny is a stellar 99.2.
  • The mare rates above average with MMI of 520. The 6GFI is 12.5%. The female side of the pedigree has Eight Carat and all her related superstars.

If you want to see some quality mares, Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale is the place to be.


Inglis HTBA Yearling Sale April 2023

The Inglis Yearling Sale April 2023 has 299 entrees. There are 62 sires represented; most are new with their progeny yet to make an impact on the race track. This makes it more difficult to evaluate the pedigrees of the yearlings. The analytical methods are the same. However, the outcomes are less precise but here are two I like.

Lot 33  br f  All Too Hard – Fortunately

The cross All Too Hard – More Than Ready has worked well and produced three SW. Two of these were success at G1 level three times. Wellington won in Hong Kong including the prestigious Hong Kong Silver Jubilee Cup over 1409m. Forbidden Love was successful in the George Ryder Stakes over1509m.Outrageous was successful at G3 level over1509m. The 6GFI of the dam’s line was an acceptable 5.14%. The female line is dominated by the exceptional broodmare Twiglet. Lot 33 has a PRI score of 96.3. On this basis it should be a good winner

Lot 248 b c Shalaa – Belle De Jeu

Shalaa wins at Deauville (2015)

The cross Shalaa – Not a Single Doubt has an outstanding SW/r  of 25%. Shaquero is the is one SW  produced to date. He was successful in the G3 Pago  Pago Stakes over over1208m.The female line has a 6GFI of 5.39%. Dominated by the Golder Slipper winner Belle De Jour. Lot 248 has a PRI score of 89.6. With luck it should be successful.

If you are attending the Inglis HTBA Yearling sale have a look at these two horses. I hope they physically match their looks with their pedigree.

Finding a Golden Slipper winner

The 2021 event may be over but how do we go about finding a Golden Slipper Winner? I am a firm believer that the way to the future is pointed by examining the past. The Golden Slipper was first run in 1957 and was won by a very good horse in Todman. Many of the earlier winners were also very good horses/champions who went forward to a successful racing career.  These horses could obviously sprint but their ability allowed them to extend their winning distances. Vain (14 Starts) won 12G1 including the Champagne Stakes (1600m) by 12 lengths. Sky High (55 Starts) won the VRC

There was a Sky High once. When comes such another?

Derby and AJC Epsom Handicap among his 26 rated G1 wins. Luskin Star (17 Starts) won the AJC Triple Crown and the Caulfield Guineas had 13 victories and 3 seconds. His only unplaced run was in the 1978 Cox Plate in which he was favourite to Family of Man. But times are changing. The winners of the Slipper over the last 10 Years have been specialist sprinters with short racing careers with a single exception. If you want to find a Golden Slipper winner it helps to look in the right direction.

Analysis of the field of fifteen runners in the 2011 Slipper

Do you need to buy an expensive yearling?

To answer that question, we need to go back to the year of the yearling sales of 2020. Seventeen yearlings sold at $1m or more at Australia’s two principal Australian Sales. Not one made the 2021 Slipper field. In fact, as of now, 14 have not yet started their racing careers and the three that have run have amassed $71,000 of stake money. This suggests they could not win the Slipper even if they had started. There is nothing wrong with these horses, their time may come. But not in the 2021 Slipper. Buying expensive horses may not be the answer. There is hope for those on a more modest budget

What type of Sire to look for?

Of the fifteen runners, five were by sires in the top 10 of the current general premiership lists. Eight were in the top ten of the 2yo sires with Not a Single Doubt the only sire to appear in both lists.  The big four, I am Invincible, Snitzel, Written Tycoon and Zoustar, are not in the top ten of the current year’s 2yo sires list. We are looking for a yearling that will be a successful early runner so pay more attention to the 2yo sires list. If you are looking for a Caulfield Guineas, Cox Plate, or Derby winner then these comments are not relevant to you.

What does the pedigree of Stay Inside (Extreme Choice – Nothin’ Leica Storm) tell us?

There isn’t much space to go into detail here but here are a few points

  • Extreme Choice has excellent credentials for a sire of fast horses. In 8 Starts 2 G1wins: Blue Diamond Stakes and Moir Stakes (1000m) and third in an Oakleigh Plate. Wonderful credentials for a sire of sprinters.
  • Nothin’ Leica was paced seven times in 13 starts and won over 1600m, She is backed by an array of strong staying blood: Cerreto G1 Italian Derby, Gay Mecene G1 winner in France over 2400m The rest of the male lines are virtually Household names.

Certainly, a great cross of speed over stamina.

Staying Inside was purchased for $200,000 and next year there will be a winner of the 2022 Golden Slipper. Remember at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales of 1978 a horse was passed in at $6,500 against a reserve of $8,000. The horse? Luskin Star. Hope for Everyone!


Clash of the Titans Citation and Shannon that Wasn’t

 The Race

The prospect of a clash between the champions Citation and Shannon was mouth watering. Shannon an Australian import and Citation the latest American Triple Crown winner and both were in town. The time was December 1948 and both Citation and Shannon  were to compete in the Tanforan Handicap over 9f.  Tanforan is just outside San Francisco and, at the time, best known for its race track. The track was the home to both Phar Lap and Seabiscuit at one time during their careers. The race itself was one of the most important and richest races around.

 Contender 1: Citation (Bull Lea-Hydroplane)


His breeding showed Carbine as a distant relative and the 3yo was sweeping all before him. He was the winner of the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby (10f), Preakness Stakes (9f) and the Belmont Stakes (11/2 miles)). Just to show what he could do; he won the Jockey Club Gold Cup over 2 miles beating the best of the older horses by 7 lengths.

He was going into the Tanforan with the record of his 3yo season to date as 18 starts with 17 wins; the last 12 in succession.  A rare walkover in the Pimlico Special (now a G3) did nothing to help  his preparation if he needed it. . For more riches and fame, he went west.

 Contender 2: Shannon (Midstream-Blandford)

Shannon was a top-class racehorse in Australia. He had his major wins in the Sire’s Produce Stakes, Hobartville, Epsom, Theo Marks, and George Main. In the George Main, carrying 9st 3lbs, he set an Australasian record for a mile at 1.341/2


American, Mr N S McCarthy, purchased Shannon and he did his future racing in  California. He got off to a slow start but at the time of the Tanforan he was in the best form of his life. His last 4 starts were 3 wins and 1 third (beaten by nk, h).  In the three wins he equaled the world record for 9f (1.473/5), and a week later equaled the world record for 10f (1.594/5). This was the first time any horse had broken 2 minutes in America. In his last start he set a track record in the 9f San Francisco Hcp of 1.504/5 at Tanforan. Even as a rising 8yo, he was certainly rearing to go.

So, What Happened?

Behind the scenes his owner was negotiating sale of the horse to Spendthrift Farms. The deal was finalized at $300,000 (about $7.5m today). There was, however a clause which said the McCarthy could withdraw Shannon if he felt the weights allotted to Citation and Shannon were unfair to his horse. The handicapper allotted Citation 8st 11lbs (3lb> wfa) and Shannon 9st 1 lb (1lb>wfa). McCarthy thought the difference not enough and scratched the horse. Disappointment was universal. Californians though it was another East Coast trick to prevent their horse form beating an East Coast upstart. Just like the obstacles put in the way Seabiscuit v War Admiral some years earlierThe race went ahead, Citation won  and Shannon went off to Spendthrift Farms to begin his new career.


Well, what could have happened? Firstly, Citation went on to record the most money won in America that year; Shannon was second. So in one sense evenly matched.  Most critics believe the young colt on the way up would beat the old champion presumably on the way down. However, those in the Shannon cheer squad would remind those critics of the result of the T J Smith Stakes (6f) in 2009. A champion, Takeover Target, then a 9yo blitzed a G1 field which contained 6 G1 winners by 23/4 L and broke the race record. Never under rate champions -even against other champions.

Victoria Derby: Can a pedigree analysis assist?


History and Update

Elimination of chances in the Victoria Derby by pedigree analysis will help point to a winner. The process can eliminate horses that will be not suited by the distance of the race. The Victoria Derby was first run in1855. Some of the greats of the Australian Turf have won it. Phar Lap, Comic Court, Tulloch, Sky High, Tobin Bronze, Dulcify, and Mahogany to name a few. In recent years the Race has lost some of its glamour as racing authorities continue to cut the length of races to the detriment of true stayers. I would contend that it is not the horses that have failed to live up to the challenge, but the racing authorities.

In the last 20 years Derby winners have won an additional 21G1 races, 11G2, 6G3 and 11L races. There is no doubt these horses would have done better if there were suitable races for them.  However, the racing authorities with their policy of pouring money into glorified quarter horse races have virtually shut the door on the racing career of most derby winners.

The Victoria Derby: A Winner’s Pedigree

Unless you are going to send a mare to the Northern Hemisphere for breeding, you are limited to Sothern Hemisphere stock. In the last 20 years what bloodlines have been successful? The table shows the list to start your looking.

There were a couple of surprises. The first is the presence of only one horse from the Mr Prospector line.

Sadler’s Wells: Super Racehorse and Super Sire


Danzig: The Power of Northern Dancer

Lion Tamer (Storming Home-Lioness) from the Machiavellian sireline. Considering the influence Mr Prospector has on the world breeding industry (Fapianno, Unbridled, Woodman, Empire Maker Gone West, Kingmambo etc.) It is surprising he doesn’t rate here. Perhaps when American Pharoah gets going  things will change.

Secondly, I judged More Than Ready, from the Halo line, from his Golden Slipper deeds but he is more versatile than that. Not only is he the sire of two Derby winners (Benicio 2002 and Prized Icon 2016) but has produced many classic G1 winners at 2400m or thereabouts. Some of his winners are Eagle Way, 2016 Queensland Derby, More Than Sacred 2013 NZ Oaks, Dreamaway 2011 WA Derby/Oaks double, and Say the Word 2020 Northern Dancer Stakes in Canada. So any horse from More Than Ready should not be dismissed as merely a sprinter.

So to cut  chances in the Derby field to a manageable level consider the pedigree lines presented in the table. To select a winner you have to consider other annoying things. The barrier, the jockey, the state of the track, and the form of the horse. You can then sit back and enjoy the race

War Front: Latest Danzig super sire

Future Prospects

Finally. if you see anything related to War Front, have a real good look. He is the grand sire of last years winner Warning and the hottest property in the world today. His stud fee for next year will probably exceed $400,000 (Aust) .



Is Danehill Inbreeding a Pedigree Mistake

Is Danehill Inbreeding a Pedigree Mistake?

Danehill inbreeding has produced mixed results but is Danehill inbreeding a mistake? For sometime there has been much discussion that Danehill x Danehill would not increase the chances of producing black type horses. The matter appeared to be settled until Guelph (Danehill 2mx3f) won at G1 level. However, may I remind the resurgent believers of the old saying that given a typewriter (computer with Word 2016?), a monkey will eventually produce the entire works of Shakespeare.  I think the excellent work of John Boyce proves that Danehill inbreeding produces less SW than outcrossing..


What does the Data Show?

In the total thoroughbred racehorse population, about 2% will be black type winners. John took the data from 12,640 runners from 26 stallions who had at least 25 or more runners inbred to Danehill.

The percentage of runners achieving black type wins in this overall group was 4.9%. However, among these runners was 1,815 who carried at least one duplication to Danehill. The percentage of SW dropped to 3.2%.  This sample is significant in statistical terms. Inbreeding to Danehill produces less SW than outcrossing.

Danehill yearlings at MM National Sale August 2020

Though inbreeding to Danehill may not be a great choice, it still produces more SW than the average. There are two factors of influence when looking for a yearling inbred to Danehill.

  • The 3 x 3 cross has been the most productive. 3f x 3m has produced 25 SW with (5xG1,2xG2,8xG3,6xL). The 3m x 3m cross has produced 21SW, and 3m x 3f fourteen and its downhill from there.
  • A handful of sires have produced more SW through inbreeding, than outcrossing. Of these only Choisir is represented at this sale.
Can Pedigree Racing Index (PRI) help make a selection?

There are eight yearlings in the Sale that are inbred 3 x 3 to Danehill:

Lot No                              Pedigree                      RI score

1274    b f           Smart Missile-Myanma                 91.7

1371   bf f           Choisir-Watabout                          90.0

1484   br c          Teofilo-Feline Flye                      74.2

1642   b or br c  Your Song -Stage Performer         66.3

1674   b c          Hallowed Crown – Ailish                 65.0

1407   b c         Epaulette – Bantry House                64.2

1419  b f          Your Song -Breezing Home             59.4

1439  b f          Hallowed Crown -Darby’s Bid          59.2

The PRI scores show the Lots 1274 and 1371 have a good chance of being city winners  perhaps even going higher. The others will probably be struggling. Choisir has a better chance than most Danehill stallions to take advantage of inbreeding to Danehill so he would be worth a look. He is probably the fastest of the eight according to my Dosage evaluation.

PRI is a way of evaluation the sires side of the pedigree. To complete your evaluation you need to look at the dam’s side. And don’t forget the physical evaluation.

Great Aboriginal Jockeys


Great Aboriginal Jockeys

In Rural Australia or the Great Outback as the locals call it, the horsemanship skills of the Aborigines are well known and respected. These skills have also been demonstrated on many racetracks throughout the country by some great Aboriginal jockeys. I have selected two outstanding individuals to comment on but there are plenty more.

Peter St Albans

Peter St Albans was born near Geelong in Victoria. He rapidly rose in status from stable boy to champion jockey. After a few rides he found himself in Sydney. His stable was attending the Autumn Carnival with a 2yo filly names Briesis and she was nominated for the 1876 Doncaster Handicap. At the time the best-and still the best- mile race in Australia. Briesis was weighted at 5 stone 7 lbs (77lbs=35kg).and the stable jockey could not make the weight. Enter young 12yo St Albans. Under his guidance, Briesis beat all her older rivals easily.

The Victorian Derby and the Cup

Champion Filly Briesis

Six months later, Briesis was now a 3yo filly and Peter was still a 12yo jockey. History repeats itself. On Saturday, the first day of the 1876 Melbourne Spring Carnival, Briesis wins the Victorian Derby in record time with stable jockey Tom Hales aboard. It was reported that Briesis time for the mile and a half was the second fastest anywhere in the world. Comes Cup day on Tuesday and the filly gets 6 stone 4lbs (88lbs=40kg). Again the stable jockey can’t make the weight and so Peter St Albans takes the ride. He had to leave his school room and get to Flemington to face a record field of 33 runners. Briesis and Peter win again in record time for the two miler.

Peter St Albans was the first aboriginal jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. These two victories alone show what an accomplished rider he was. Twelve years of age and at a body weight not much above 6 stone, it is incredible to believe that he could win two of Australia’s toughest races even if he was aboard an absolute champion. Peter went on to win other important races. In fact, he almost had back to back wins in the Melbourne Cup when Savanaka failed by half a head to win the 1877 race. Illness and injury forced retirement at the age of seventeen but not until he had notched up 10 wins in races which would probably now be classified as G1.

The remarkable achievements of Briesis have somewhat overshadowed those of Peter St Albans but his feats are no less remarkable.

Rae “ Togo” Johnstone

Rae was born in Newcastle NSW in 1905. His early dream was to play rugby League but at a weight of 4 stone 7 lb (29kg) this was not a dream merely a fantasy. A trip to the Canterbury race track with his father pointed the way forward. Apprenticed to a Sydney trainer he rode his first winner at the age of 15. It was evident to all that even at an early age Rae had tremendous talent as a horseman. Fractious flighty horse became soothed when he was in the saddle and he was an excellent judge of pace and renowned for his come from behind wins.

However, to balance this he was a flamboyant character with supreme confidence in his ability who was not averse to a gamble on his own rides. Such a mixture of personality traits usually comes with difficulties with authority. And so it was with Rae. The stewards handed out penalties with monotonous regularity. Gambling and questionable riding tactics were just some of the charges leveled against him and suspensions of some length were imposed. Nevertheless, when he was riding he had winner after winner. In the jockey’s premiership of 1931-32 he was second to Jim Pike of Phar Lap fame.

Riding in France and England

Feeling that continual brushes with authorities was something he could do without, Rae decided to try his luck overseas. Using his industry contacts, he tossed up between England and France. Paris life was more fitted to his lifestyle and he did not take long to get back to his winning ways on the racetrack. Two years after leaving Australia we won the 1933 French jockeys’ championship.

He continued the playboy high life and gambling habits but these were tempered somewhat when he met and married a beautiful Follies Bergère girl Marie Goube. Success on the track followed him to England where he won both the One Thousand and Two Thousand Guineas. The war interrupted his progress and he chose to remain in France rather than return to Australia. Arrested by the Gestapo he managed to escape while their prisoner en route to Germany. With help from the French Resistance he avoided capture until the end of the war.

The Arc and English Derby

Rae Johnstone in Queens “colours”

The next 10 or so years were Rae’s most productive in a racing sense. He rode a number of French trained horses to success in England. In 1948 he became the first Australian to win the English Derby on My Love. Two more Derby wins followed on Galcador and Lavendin. In all, Rae had 3ooo winners before he retired in 1957.  Added to his Derby successes were three English Oaks, and two Prix de l’Arc de Triomphes along with 28 other Classic races.

In his later years he dined only at the best restaurants and was a man of sophisticated tastes in wine and food. He wore the best suits and had his shoes handcrafted. He was reported to be the highest paid sportsman in Europe. Without a doubt he was the best international jockey Australia has ever produced. He also set the ground work for the celebrity sportsmen we see today-but he was better at it than most.

For those interested in the subject of Aboriginal Jockeys I strongly recommend the book by Professor John Maynard Aboriginal Stars of the Turf. It is an excellent read


Pretty Polly and Australia


Pretty Polly and Australia

I took an interest in the Pretty Polly Stakes while researching the Capricornia Sales. This race has some interesting association with Australian Racing. The association involves Pretty Polly herself, the jockeys, and the pedigree of some of the 2018 field.

Who was Pretty Polly?

    Pretty Polly: superstar

Pretty Polly (Gallinule- Admiration) was foaled in Ireland in 1901. As a 2yo she had nine starts and won them all. A 3yo, she won all the Fillies Classics and became only the fifth filly to complete the Fillies Triple Crown. This series commenced in 1814. Her racing career lasted 3 years and numbered 24 Starts, 22 wins and 2 seconds. She won 15 straight races.

Broodmare Status

At stud, Pretty Polly had seven registered foals. Although none of them achieved much on the racetrack, her four daughters were very successful broodmares and formed the now famous Pretty Polly family. Pretty Polly  is the fourth dam of the great sire Donatello ll and the fifth dam of Brigadier Gerard. This horse with a record of 17 wins and a second from 18 starts achieved a timeform rating of 144-equal third with the best in history. Derby winners haven’t escaped the family either. Pretty Polly is the sixth dam of the Epsom Derby winner St Paddy.  She has been named as the Matriarch of Family 14-C, the most successful female family in Thoroughbred racing history.

But where does the Aussie connection come in? In 1924, Pretty Polly had her final daughter Baby Polly (Spearmint –Pretty Polly) and Spearmint is a son of the mighty Carbine and he needs no introduction.

The Pretty Polly Stakes

Peeping Fawn: the iron filly

In honour of the great race mare and broodmare, the Pretty Polly Stakes commenced in Ireland in 1948. Originally it was a G2 3yo fillies race over 10f (2012m) but has now been given G1 status and is open to both fillies and mares. For me, 2007 had the most interesting winner, Peeping Fawn (DanehillMaryinsky). She won 4xG1 before her second in the Epsom Oaks and she is closely related to Rags to Riches (A P Indy-Better than Honour) who was the first filly to win the Belmont Stakes in 100 years. Both mares share the same grandmother, Blush with Pride whose dam is Best in Show. The fillies won their races in 2007.

The 2018 the race had only six runners. Fillies and mares from Australian sires  Foxwedge, Fastnet Rock and So You Think. comprised half the field. Urban Fox (Foxwedge-Lomapamar) won easily.

The Jockeys

Bill Williamson

Bill was a great Australian Jockey. He is best known in Australia by his win on Dalray in the 1952 Melbourne Cup and his partnership with the mighty New Zealand champion Rising Fast. He went to Europe in 1960 and had great success. Few people know that he won not one but two Arc de Triomphe and he still holds a record which is unlikely any Australian Jockey is going to match let alone beat. Bill is one of six jockeys that have each won three Pretty Polly Stakes and shares that record with Lester Piggott, Michael Kinane and three others.