WITH the 2019 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale on the horizon I took a trip to the Southern Highlands to visit three of its vendors – Milburn Creek at Wildes Meadow, Rheinwood Pastoral, Mittagong, and Manx Park, Sutton Forest.
The trio have 22 catalogued youngsters in the massive 1013 lot, five-day, two book sale scheduled at Inglis’ Riverside Stables at Warwick Farm.
The sale will run from Saturday evening February 9, through to Thursday, February 14, culminating in the new 205 lot Highway Session.
Since the mid 1980s, Manx Park manager Peta Tilden, has regularly taken her place at the Inglis stable complex as a seller, which prior to the company’s move to Riverside Stables was held at Newmarket, Randwick.
“It’s a lot of hard work but I feel proud that I have had something to do with their up-bringing, and hope they go on to be good racehorses,“ Peta said. “I find horses are easy to deal with, people sometimes not so easy.”
From an early age, the Sydney born Peta has always had a love of horses.
Living in the Southern Highlands for more than 40 years, Peta has been involved with different equine facets including stock horse showing, campdrafting, horse handling and care, and exercise trackwork, and is married to well-known farrier Allan Tilden, so horses are always close by.
“When I was doing some trackwork (in earlier times at Bong Bong) I rode wonderful country cups galloper Tarwell (who was trained by Allan’s father Bill Tilden) and Noble Comment, who was placed twice in the Melbourne Cup (third to Gurner’s Lane and Kingston Town in 1982 and second to Kiwi in 1983),” she said.
Stud employment evolved next for Peta, initially at Mittagong property “Heathray”, before starting at Boscobel Stud at Sutton Forest in 1994, which was then owned by Richard Turnley, of Tierce fame.
By Boscobel’s Imperial Prince stallion Victory Prince, Tierce won Sydney’s prestigious juvenile triple crown (Golden Slipper, Sires Produce Stakes, and Champagne Stakes) in 1991.
At that time Mr Turnley also owned another close-by farm, which he named Manx Park (taking the name from the dam of Tierce), and which he later sold to current Sydney owner Peter O’Shea in 2006.
A racing star that was bred at Boscobel and reared and sold via Peta was Encosta de Lago gelding Racing To Win, which Sydney trainer John O’Shea paid $40,000 for at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
“It was the first year that the x-rays had come in (2004) and he (Racing To Win) had a minute fracture on his fetlock and everybody (prospective buyers) wiped him, and then he went on to win over $3 million!”
Trained by John O’Shea, Racing To Win won 13 races including 10 Group 2 and five Group 1s and $3.76 million.
Not long after, Mr Turnley withdrew from the thoroughbred industry, selling all of his mares, Racing To Win’s dam Surrealist (by Bletchingly’s Kenny’s Best Pal) among them.
“Surrealist, who also produced (group winner and sire) Purrealist, was sold at Inglis’ for $60,000, but later she went through the Magic Millions’ broodmare sale and made $2m.”
With the closure of Boscobel as a commercial operation, Peta began to work full-time at Manx Park for its new owner.
The 128 hectares Manx Park not only breeds and sells winners, but also spells horses, among these Australia’s “hottest” sire I Am Invincible, who rested there during his early racing days when prepared at Warwick Farm by Toby Edmonds.
“He was such an easy horse to deal with; from the beginning we supported him (at stud) and still do today,” Peta said.
While Peta has no I Am Invincible progeny at the Classic, Manx Park does offer four youngsters – colts by All Too Hard and Shooting To Win, and fillies by Wandjina and first crop sire Headwater.
Kirsty Willis is a contact for Rheinwood Pastoral, who have nine Classic yearlings listed, while Scott Holcombe is the person to see for Milburn Creek’s nine horses, which includes a More Than Ready filly from winning mare Flying Siren.
Immediately preceding the sale is the feature Inglis Race Day at Warwick Farm on Saturday, February 9. The meeting features the inaugural $2 million Millennium for two-year-olds, and the $1 million Inglis Sprint for three-year-olds, both races restricted to graduates of Inglis sales.