After decades spent reading pedigrees, attending sales and watching races, Sheamus Mills has developed a nose for buying potential Group winning horses and helping his clients design and grow self-sustaining broodmare bands. With the onset of 2021, Sheamus is back at the Gold
Coast doing what he does best, inspecting at horses and bidding for potential stars. He’s purchased some expensive and well-bred horses with a goal in mind. Pallavi Shevade speaks to the bloodstock agent and consultant about why he buys the horses he buys and the long- term goals for this set of clientele.
The horses Mills has been involved with include Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare, Gr.1 Thousand Guineas winner Odeum, Persuader, You’re So Good, Night Raid, Exclusive Lass and Contessa Vanessa among others. Most of these journeys have started at auction, reading pedigrees and inspecting foals and have continued with Group-winning milestones.
“The ones that I bid on, especially at the top end, there are a lot of lovely horses to choose from. They have great pedigrees. They are always by leading sires and out of really well-bred dams. Also, they are very similar physically.”
“So I look for horses that have a really competitive nature and have a tad more x-factor about them.”
“Mental attitude is very important.”
“The sales process can be a very long and drawn-out process. Sometimes it takes days for the horse to go through the ring. The horses need to remain confident and present themselves well throughout. That’s the kind of strong mental attitude that I look for. It gives me a glimpse into what they will be like in their racing career.”
Coming from a non-racing family Mills learned about horses the old fashioned way, at the track. Born and raised, in Melbourne, Mills accompanied his father most weekends to the racecourse. The lessons learned at the betting window have stayed with him for a lifetime. A majority of the in-demand Victoria-based bloodstock agent’s customers are what he calls, ‘professional owners’
“They are setting up their broodmare bands which in the future can become self-sufficient.”
“With this in mind, we buy top-class fillies. The colts from these mares will go through the ring and the fillies we will continue to race, giving the owners second and third chances at winning.”
Sheamus association with leading Caulfied trainer Mick Price as his Racing Manager in the early days of his career has continued over the years.
“The horses purchased at the Gold Coast will be heading to Mick Price’s stable for training.”
“We have a good understanding with Mick and he has a substantial grasp of our racing goals.”
“He is well aware of what the difference in their results means, the need to protect and develop them, the need for accurate assessment of their levels of ability and much more.”
A visit to the Gold Coast sale is incomplete without celebration. And the success of Odeum is a big reason to celebrate. Mills purchased Odeum for A$420,000 from the draft of Newhaven Park at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The Written Tycoon filly has already surpassed all expectations with her meteoric rise and recent Gr.1 Thousand Guineas win at Caulfield. During the celebration dinner with the Magic Millions’ team, he was presented with a plaque to commemorate his journey with Odeum.
“I was extremely surprised and very happy really. I really appreciate it,” said Mills.