Coolmore’s Sales and Nominations Manager, Colm Santry has an inescapable presence. A fixture at Thoughbred sales, both as a buyer and seller with credits that include purchases of Group One winners like Fenway, Costa Viva, Sacred Choice and Vegas Showgirl, dam of the mighty Winx at the 2008 MM Broodmare Sale.
Having being born in a horse family, the Irishman has been in the industry for almost as long as he could walk and talk.
And while it wasn’t until much later that Santry was boxed into his current role at Coolmore where his role involves dealing with breeders and keeping the stallion books full at Coolmore Australia, he started far earlier at Coolmore in Ireland in 1987.
Here, Santry touches on Coolmore’s key picks from their draft for the upcoming Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, his choice of top sires and what we can expect from Coolmore over the next few months through the Southern Hemisphere’s premier yearling sales’ season.
Q: Your Gold Coast Yearling Sale draft consists of some amazing horses. Could you please share your pick of the top five headline horses and tell us more about why they are special?
A: Star of the draft would be lot 462, the Zoustar colt out of stakes-winning mare Lake Geneva, who was placed behind Vancouver and Pride Of Dubai in the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond Stakes of her – vintage – year. Lake Geneva is by leading broodmare sire Fastnet Rock and the Zoustar x Fastnet Rock cross is emerging as a very successful one.
On a par with the Lake Geneva is lot 268, an American Pharoah colt out of Lake Geneva’s full sister Ennis Hill, herself a Gr.3 winner at two of the Chairman’s Stakes en route to the Blue Diamond. This colt looks fast and ‘early’, in the tradition of the Hips Don’t Lie family that includes 2YOs and sprinters like Splintex, Invictus Salute, and Weatherly.
Sure to command attention is excitement machine Global Glamour’s first foal, a big, strong, easy-moving colt by Zoustar. He sells as lot 346 and looks ‘cut out of’ his dual Gr.1-winning dam.
Top-rating filly would be lot 109, a fast, ‘early’-looking Fastnet Rock filly out of Lonhro mare Blue Blue Sky, from the family of legendary sprinter Lankan Rupee. She is a sharp, quality filly of the Fastnet Rock type that buyers love and offers the residual value of a future broodmare by the multiple champion sire.
I Am Invincible fillies are a highlight in any draft and our lot 578, out of Mumbai Rock will be no exception. From a strong American ‘speed family’, she is sure to command plenty of attention.
Another Fastnet Rock filly with great residual value is Lot 805 from the great Lomar Park mare Smart Company. A lovely high quality full sister to Valentia who won the Gr.2 Skyline Stakes for Gai Waterhouse.
Q: Please tell us about your sale-toppers for this sale (in 2020) and your top-performing graduates from this sale historically?
A: Coolmore’s previous Magic Millions graduates include the incomparable Winx, whose resume requires no rehashing here. Another consigned by Coolmore was Golden Slipper winner Vancouver, now a leading young second-crop sire. Other recent graduates include G1 winners Winning Ways and Sherwood Forest.
Q: Which sires do you expect to see do well in the 2021 edition of the MM GC Yearling Sale?
A: Sires expected to lead the averages at the 2021 sales include the ‘usual suspects’ – proven sires like I Am Invincible, Snitzel, Not A Single Doubt, Exceed And Excel, Fastnet Rock, Zoustar, and champion sire-in-waiting Pierro, with Written Tycoon also likely to be popular on the back of his good Spring results.
Australia is in the fortunate position of having a truly exceptional group of stallions and young up-and-comers like American Pharoah who sold very well last year and look promising. First-crop sires are always popular and leaders of this year’s group include Group 1 stars like Caravaggio, Churchill, Hellbent, Invader, Merchant Navy, and Russian Revolution.
Q: Given the resilience showing by the industry in this very difficult year, could you tell us what buying trends you are expecting in 2021 and how that has shaped your draft?
A: The market has been strong for the better-class stock – indeed, very strong at the top – and we expect that trend to continue in 2021. Interest in pre-sale inspections appears strong and we’re optimistic that the 2021 Magic Millions sale will prove buoyant.
about the highlights of your 2021 combined drafts?
A: Inglis Classic, Melbourne Premier and Inglis Easter are the major sales we’ll be attending, both as vendor and as buyer - in the months after the Magic Millions. Normally New Zealand at the end of January would be on the radar but that looks far from likely at this point in time, given the current restrictions.
Our Easter draft will be particularly strong, highlighted by outstanding yearlings by Fastnet Rock, Pierro, Zoustar and American Pharoah, and American Pharoah, as well as a very valuable I Am Invincible filly from ‘blue hen’ Hips Don’t Lie. As always, we have targeted Classic and Premier sales with the yearlings best suited to each sale, so there will be horses there to suit buyers across all ranges.
Q: Please tell us about your top-performing graduates and what makes them special.
A: Obviously Winx stands out as our most successful graduate, for reasons of which the entire racing world, not just Australia, is well aware. Champion sires Fastnet Rock and Redoute’s Choice was foaled, raised, and grazed at, or consigned by, Coolmore Australia. Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond winners are hard to go past, so Vancouver, Pride Of Dubai, and Catchy all graduated with honors. Recently September Run won the Gr.1 Coolmore Stakes and Champion NZ filly Advantage. The Stakes Winners just go on and on, since 1996 there have been 61 Group One winners who have graduated from the farm alone but I think you get the picture. Suffice it to say that the farm, the pasture, the preparation, and management is more than proven at the highest of all levels!