Summer, sand, ocean, and quality horses, combined with the holiday atmosphere, have proved a winning formula for the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, its 2024 edition (of 1468 catalogued lots) due to sell over seven days from Tuesday, January 9 next month.
Selling horses previously with different farms, Silverdale Farm, Southern Highlands, is entering its fourth year of selling at the Gold Coast.
Manager of the magnificently appointed Silverdale Farm, Rob Petith, said they have seven yearlings for the sale.
"It is a nice draft, one is a Snitzel three-quarter-sister to (group one winner) Qafila, but all the horses are well-bred," he said.
According to Rob, stud owners Steve and Eliza Grant originally had a few breeding cattle on the farm.
"Then John Muir and Scott Holcombe at nearby Wildes Meadow (who is also selling at the Magic Millions under its banner Milburn Creek) got in Steve's ear and said, 'You have a beautiful farm. Why don't you set up your own stud?' so it went on from there."
That was about eight years ago, with Rob arriving at Silverdale Farm in 2020.
Rob's initial interest was sparked when attending school in Muswellbrook.
"By chance, I went on a stud tour to Woodlands, and I thought, look at this amazing industry, and look at all the job options," he said.
"I went back to Woodlands and did work experience until I was good enough to be paid; then I worked in each holiday until I finished school, did my exams, and lobbed there the next day, and away I went headlong into the industry."
Silverdale has also established an avenue for interested young people to learn about the industry.
"The process of the Silverdale Academy is to try to link up with kids who are not necessarily from a racing or agricultural background and give them a look at this amazing industry," Mr Petith said.
The Silverdale Academy Intern Program, which is conducted in conjunction with TAFE NSW, involves students gaining knowledge and experience which can lead to employment in the breeding and racing industry.
"For kids who have not grown up with it, they don't know the industry even exists," Mr Petith said. "So, this is a chance to bring them to Silverdale and show them what exactly is available for them in the future."
Dane Shadow broodmare Segenhoe Valley earned Broodmare Of The Year at the Australian Thoroughbred Breeders Club (ATBC) awards at its headquarters at the Hawkesbury Race Club last month.
Queensland owned by Laurelle Owen, Segenhoe Valley was represented with two runners last season, her best Shesallshenanigans.
By Irish-bred shuttler Toronado, Shesallshenanigans won the VRC Cap D'Antibes Stakes-LR and has earned $918,000.
Based on a points score system, close behind was John Steinmetz's broodmare Canley Cares, producer of winning full-brothers Writing Unexpected and Microna (by Choistar).
Steinmetz is a long-time conditioner, preparing a small team at Warwick Farm, and who also took the Category A division as an owner of one or two mares. Another galloper in Steinmetz's stable is Casino Prince gelding Dr Evil, who has finished with two Sydney placings at his previous two starts.
Wally and Anne Lanham of Scone took the Category B division as owners of three to six mares. The Lanhams have been experiencing success with the Scott Singleton, Scone, trained pair, Russley Crown and Dollar Magic (both by Shamus Award).
Category C - for owners of seven or more mares - went to longtime breeder and Thoroughbred enthusiast Jane Vincent from the Tarago region.
Vale Dash For Cash
Grey stallion Dash For Cash (by Seeking The Gold US-bred sire Secret Savings) died at age 25 in Western Australia last month.
Relocating to Scenic Lodge in 2014, Dash For Cash began his stud career in Victoria at Swettenham Stud.
Dash For Cash earned great respect on the racecourse when trained at Caulfield by Rick Hore-Lacy, racing 30 times for five wins (and 13 placings), including the VRC Australian Guineas-G1 and MRC Futurity Stakes-G1.
At stud, Dash For Cash was a prolific sire of winners and sired 10 Australian stakes winners.