Delayed Melbourne Gold Sale an Advantage for Stockwell

Media Release - Tuesday July 7

It’s not all doom and gloom - Stockwell Thoroughbreds’ Mike Becker can see plenty of advantages coming out of the delayed Melbourne Gold Yearling Sale.

Originally scheduled for mid-April, it is now set for auction via Inglis’ online digital platform.

The delay, caused by the COVID-19 crisis, has allowed plenty of yearlings to mature and take the next step in their development, according to Becker.

Art Major as a yearling

“It’s interesting and to the point where I would like to say to Inglis that maybe we should be having this sale at this same time every year,” Becker said.

“And that’s for a couple of reasons. These horses are ready to go to the breakers and are twice the horses they were back in April. And a lot of the punters who bought yearlings at the earlier sales are ready to come back into the market.

“They have had a bit more time to try to syndicate some of those horses and to sell shares and can reload and re-evaluate whether they can come back into the market.”

Becker said the yearlings would obviously be a bit woollier but are now different horses.

“A couple of these colts we’ve got you wouldn’t know they were the same horses that would have been hard to sell in April but will now be very saleable,’’ he said.

“They just have developed and thickened and grown because the Victorian horses as a rule don’t grow much before March. You go to the Gold Coast and you see whopping big yearlings and you come home and you think what have I done wrong, but by March you are starting to catch up.

“But by now they have certainly caught up.”

Becker said there was a good mixture of yearlings in their draft of 14.

He said a big Rich Enuff filly, out of Honey Pie, would have been difficult to sell in April when the sire was yet to record a winner.

The fortunes of young sire Rich Enuff have risen in recent months.


“She was tall and narrow and has since developed and now Rich Enuff has had six or seven winners, so it gives some perspective as it has helped the pedigree,” Becker said.

“I think out nicest colt is the Super One colt and he has kicked on and the sire has since had six or seven winners too. And the mare (Arazi Belle) has a colt (Art Major) by Artie Schiller come out and has been placed in three of his first four starts and looks to be a pretty promising and she needed that bit of upgrade.

“And this colt has got a nostril on him like no young horse I’ve seen. He won’t lack for air this boy.”

Becker says some good things can happen with time as he has seen with his Rubick colt.

“The Rubick colt was going to be too small and would have been dodged back in April but he has thickened up and he has grown into a lovely little colt,” he said.

Becker said it was still going to be a buyer’s market and everyone had to meet that market.

“You can’t be looking at them doubling their service fee or reserve,” he said.

“But you look at our Puissance de Lune colt. He went to Adelaide (was passed in) and was very immature but he came out of the paddock. He is still a time job but is taller and he has got a bum on him.

“He is still going to need time but that’s what his pedigree page says he is going to do any way.”

Becker said that with stock market crash, half the people got on a plane and left Adelaide, although he said the market at the top end held up all right.

He said the sale got very picky, but they knew the colt would continue to improve but still needs another 12 or 18 months.

“It’s been a tough time for everyone and we had a dozen foals to go but we pulled those and we just have to sell these yearlings to make room for our foals,” he said.

“The difference in these colts has been, as I said, amazing and this extra time has given them the chance to have pedigree updates and improve physically and have more development.

“Hopefully some of these trainers who have bought yearlings earlier have had a bit of a chance to pass those on and now restock.

“It will be a buyer’s market, I’m sure. There will be great value.”

Becker said they had three or four yearlings to sell and the balance were their clients.

“A number of our clients have yearlings and are going to be hit with service fees, for live foal service fees from last year, in the next couple of months and they need to get some money back and just need to meet the market to continue to trade,” Becker said.

And Becker said they had a bit of luck with a Casino Prince filly, out of Scarletta, which won on debut at Albury last week.

Although he said he knows Casino Princes aren’t the flavour of the month, they had kept a share in a two year-old filly which is trained by Mitch Beer at Albury.

The filly, Sunrise Ruby, ran against the older horses and Becker said she bolted in.

And with her full brother part of the Stockwell draft, Beer didn’t want to risk the colt going to the Gold Sale and rang the next day after the filly’s win to buy him.

“He was probably going to try to come down and buy him anyway because he has an opinion of the filly, but he said he just had to grab the colt to syndicate,” Becker said.

“It helped the lady out who had the colt because she is up for several service fees.”

Becker said from what they breed, they could not afford to race the colts but with the fillies they will try to lease them if they like the family and hopefully get them back as a broodmare.

He said the Rubick colt, out of Indy Rock, wasn’t big, but big enough and still had growing to do.

Becker said his Bobby’s Kitten colt out of Soft Dollar, was another one that had gone to the Adelaide Yearling Sale (also passed in) but was tiny but has benefited with an extra few months to develop and lengthen.

“And Bobby’s Kitten (served 42 mares in his one Australian season in 2017) never came back because he couldn’t get the mares,” he said.

“He has come up with a couple of pretty promising two year-olds in England this year from his first crop. He was a Breeders’ Cup winner of some note and was no slouch. And the Kitten’s Joy line just keeps nailing them.”

It might be a bit of cliché but with horses by several top stallions, Becker believes Stockwell Thoroughbreds at Diggers Rest has something for everyone.

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