Classic sale spells success

Country and Provincial Series set for action

Horses
The I Am Invincible filly, from Limbo Down, which topped the first day of the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, making $350,000 on Sunday.

The I Am Invincible filly, from Limbo Down, which topped the first day of the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, making $350,000 on Sunday.

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Day one was topped by a $350,000 filly by hot sire I Am Invincible, selling to Star Thoroughbreds.

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It may have been flooding rain outside, however, inside Inglis' dry state-of-the-art auditorium the dollars came cascading for the 193 youngsters that sold during the first day of the Classic Yearling Sale held at the Warwick Farm based operation on Sunday.

While a $91,880 average was achieved, the day one top was $350,000 for a filly by hot sire I Am Invincible which sold to Denise Martin's Star Thoroughbreds. The filly, which was produced from winning Fastnet Rock mare Limbo Down, sold from Mike O'Donnell's Fairhill Farm, Mulbring.

The Ian and Linda Duckworth managed Fairview Park, Grose Wold, sold a colt by Deep Field, from Exceed and Excel mare Fragrant Storm, fetching $320,000, while the Hawkesbury Valley located property was also responsible for a Capitalist colt, from I Am Gypsy, which sold for $190,000.

Eight horses sold for $200,000 or more on day one including two by deceased sires for $240,000 each.

One was for a colt by Sebring, from Canny Time, which sold via Yarraman Park, Scone, to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, Chris Rutten Bloodstock and Vantage Thoroughbreds. The other youngster was a Bell River Thoroughbreds colt by Hinchinbrook, from stakes placegetter Heat Of The Fire, selling to China Horse Club and Newgate Bloodstock.

Bobbing (Koby Jennings riding, right) win the $500,000 Provincial Championship Final at Randwick in April 2019. Photo by Virginia Harvey.

Bobbing (Koby Jennings riding, right) win the $500,000 Provincial Championship Final at Randwick in April 2019. Photo by Virginia Harvey.

News of the stud retirement of outstanding now 18-year-old stallion Not A Single Doubt, added interest to his stock, one of his fillies - produced from winning Nom du Jeu mare Forreel, sold for $210,000.

The filly sold via Arrowfield Stud, to Clarke Bloodstock Fillies and Bjorn Baker Racing.

First progeny of freshman sires were in demand, including Capitalist (by Written Tycoon), Star Turn (Star Witness), Extreme Choice (Not A Single Doubt), Sooboog (Snitzel), Stratum Star (Stratum), and the GB bred Invincible Spirit shuttler horse Shalaa, who were all represented with yearlings that sold for $100,000 or more.

Aquis Farm Operations' Shalaa - Boom Time Savings filly fetched $200,000, while Louis Mihalyka's Laurel Oak Bloodstock paid $135,000 for Byerley Stud's Stratum Star - Diamond Player filly.

Lucciola Belle (and Andrew Gibbons) after their second in last year's $500,000 Country Championship Final at Randwick. Photo by Virginia Harvey.

Lucciola Belle (and Andrew Gibbons) after their second in last year's $500,000 Country Championship Final at Randwick. Photo by Virginia Harvey.

Country and Provincial Champs begin

Coffs Harbour will host the initial 2020 $1.6 million Country Championship meet which kicks off on Saturday.

Launched in 2015, the series offers qualifying chances for gallopers to gain a start in the $500,000 Country Championship Final during the multi-million-dollar Sydney The Championships at Randwick on April 4.

The series gives country trainers a chance for their gallopers to win big prizemoney, with each of the qualifying races worth $150,000.

The Provincial Championships has also proved a huge success, and consists of five qualifying races at each of those regions, beginning at Newcastle on Saturday, February 29, followed by Hawkesbury, Gosford, Kembla Grange, and Wyong in March.

Randwick will host the $500,000 Provincial Championship Final on April 11.

Like Coffs Harbour, other tracks to host a Country Championship Qualifier for the first time are Nowra (Sunday, February 16), and Coonamble (Sunday, March 15).

Albury and Taree combine for the weekend of February 22 and 23 respectively.

The other country regions with qualifying races are Mudgee (March 1), Tamworth (March 8), while Muswellbrook (March 22), holds the last chance "Wild Card" entry.

Cups highlight Country racing

While the Country and Provincial Championship Series are set to begin, there is also a flurry of other country meets in the coming weeks.

These include the once-a-year races at Bedgerabong picnics (a hamlet about 40 kilometres west of Forbes) and Balranald, further south-west in the state this Saturday. Another this Saturday is the Tumut Cup races in the southern districts.

Friday, February 21 will see the time-honoured Quirindi Cup, with its hotly contested Lightning Handicap as its major support race.

NSW's most central town of Condobolin will host their picnics on Saturday 22, while the Yass picnics are on the following Saturday 29, along with the annual races at Carrathool.

Sunday, March 1 has the $61,000 Armidale Cup meeting scheduled.

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