Darby Racing added to their growing portfolio at the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale on Tuesday, purchasing three two-year-olds for a total spend of $470,000, with the trio headed by a colt by Exceed And Excel (Danehill) whom they snapped up for $250,000.
The colt - who breezed in a time of 10.52 seconds - was purchased by Moorillah Pastoral for $130,000 from the Rosemont Stud draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January and Scott Darby - whose purchases were signed for by William Johnson Bloodstock - told Racing & Sports Bloodstock he was over the moon with the purchase and thought he might have to dig deeper to secure the colt.
“We are absolutely rapt to get that colt for that price,” said Darby. “He is just a beautifully made horse and there was a lot of hype around him physically. He was really balanced in his breeze-up and has a pedigree that could see him stand at stud if he were to win the right races. He looks like a forward type with good balance and is very professional.
“I really thought the $250,000 given for him was really good buying. It was really interesting because the Mikki Isle made $500,000 and we had them sort of as our top two lots and we got him at $250,000 and when that went on to make half a million - we were rapt with that.”
Darby said the colt would now join the Richard and Michael Freedman stable.
“He is going to head into training with Michael and Richard Freedman,” said Darby. “We have linked back up with Michael since he’s come back from Singapore and he is going to go there and we are looking forward to strengthening the partnership there.”
Catalogued as Lot 165, the colt has been subject to a valuable pedigree update since the catalogue went to press, with his half-sister Chica Fuente (Hinchinbrook) having won the Ethereal Stakes (Gr 3, 2000m) at Caulfield on October 17 and she is one of two winners out of the unraced Rock Hard Ten (Kris S) mare Guapa.
Guapa herself is a daughter of US Grade 2 scorer Last Approach (Far Out East), making her a half-sister to stakes-placed trio Long Approach (Broad Brush), Final Approach (Kris S) and Rushton Vow (Broken Vow).
Last Approach herself is a half-sister to Grade 2 scorer First Approach (Northern Fling) - the dam of fellow Grade 2 scorer Alice Springs (Val De l’Orme), who in turn produced Grade 1 winner Spring Quality (Quality Road).
Meanwhile, Last Approach’s other half-sister Sommes Sound (Assert) produced dual Group 1 winners Assertive Lad (Zeditave) and Assertive Lass (Zeditave) - the dam of fellow dual Group 1 winner and sire Reset (Zabeel).
Darby and Johnson struck first for colt by a son of Exceed And Excel in Kuroshio, paying Robyn Wise $100,000 for the two-year-old, who clocked a time of 10.74 seconds in his breeze and has already won a jump-out in Melbourne.
Catalogued as Lot 72, the colt was purchased for just $8,000 by Yargi Racing and David Raphael at the Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale earlier this year and he is the ninth foal out of placed End Sweep (Forty Niner) mare Street Music, who has already produced four winners from as many foals to have raced.
Street Music herself out of Blue Diamond Preview (f) (Gr 3, 1000m) winner Northeast Shelia (Keltrice), making her a half-sister to Listed winner Jacqueline Rouge (Ne Coupez Pas), who in turn produced three winners headed by stakes-placed duo Special Diva (Snitzel) and Shelia’s Star (Snitzel).
Further back the colt hails from the same family as Listed-winning pair Kablammo (Marauding) and Dashing Granada (Keltrice) - the dam of Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed Generalife (Lonhro).
“We loved his breeze-up and his jump-out win as well,” said Darby. “He’s a nice style of horse and again, he’s a horse with plenty of scope and will continue to improve. I thought he was very, very athletic and was well-bought. Not only did he breeze-up really well, he has also won a jump-out in Melbourne very well.”
Later on in the afternoon, Darby and Johnson forked out $120,000 for a gelding by Newgate Farm’s Deep Field (Northern Meteor).
Catalogued as Lot 100 and offered by Network Bloodstock, the gelding clocked a time of 10.89 seconds for his breeze and he is the third living foal out of the unraced Anabaa (Danzig) mare Albany Crest.
Albany Crest herself is a half-sister to Listed winner Miss Kipling (Exceed And Excel) and the dam of Group 3 scorer Ana Royale (Anacheeva).
The gelding’s third dam is 1990 Edward Manifold Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m) winner Twiglet (Twig Moss) - the dam of Japanese Grade 1 winner Fairy King Prawn (Danehill), Group 1 winner Easy Rocking (Barathea) and Listed scorer Crevette (Danehill) - the dam of Cosmic Endeavour (Northern Meteor), who won the 2015 Canterbury Stakes (Gr 1, 1300m).
“He’s got a really top-notch pedigree, by great stallion that’s really rising through the ranks,” said Darby. “But we thought the horse had plenty of upside. He’s quite a scopey late foal that we thought would improve out of sight. He did his breeze-up very, very well and ran a decent time.
“The $120,000, he’s a really good buy considering the temperature of the Deep Field stock so we’re rapt to get a horse like him.
“Both the Kuroshio and the Deep Field were quite similar as in, they were nice scopey horses who had good improvement and look like they will still fill into their frame well with good pedigrees behind them. They are both horses that will grow in the next six-nine months.”
Darby said his strategy of buying at the sale was heavily dependent on the way the horses breezed, with the pedigrees coming in second to the gallop.
“We are very particular with breeze-ups and we have done very well in the past and have a great record,” said Darby. “It really is all about how they breeze-up, the physical is the second part of it obviously and a lot of them don’t make it on the action or the way they breeze up. The ones we’ve been on.”
On the market, Darby continued: “It’s strong on the right horses but there’s a lot of holes in there. The world is upside down at the moment. We’re very busy, we’ve had the biggest year we’ve ever had so it certainly hasn’t affected us. We’re actually looking for stock but there’s some good buying if you can find the right horses.”