By Tim Rowe (ANZ Bloodstock News)
The fire brigade was called to Riverside Stables about an hour prior to the start of the the sale, but the real heat was felt soon after 11am when Lot 1, a son of Haunui Farm shuttler Belardo (Lope De Vega), immediately lit up the sales ring when he was purchased for $320,000 to the bid of relatively new investor Jason Stenning.
He would later add a colt by Fastnet Rock (Danehill) from the draft of Shaun Nolen’s JCS Thoroughbreds to his portfolio after he secured the youngster for $340,000.
The NSW Central Coast-based Stenning and his wife Melanie’s Trilogy Racing might not be well-known, but if their past few months’ activity is any guide, that won’t be the case for much longer with about 30 horses already on the books.
Caithness Breeding’s Sean Dingwall has been advising the Stennings.
“We bought about six weanlings up at the Magic Millions, so we started that way and since then we have picked up a few broodmares,” Stenning revealed.
“We started off thinking we’d buy a few horses and have a bit of fun and now we’re working on a business model.”
The Belardo colt, who breezed up on the Cambridge Synthetic track in 11.27 seconds, was purchased for NZ$140,000 from the NZB Karaka Yearling Sale by the partnership of Upper Bloodstock, Legends Bloodstock, Regal Farm and agent Phill Cataldo.
He is the first foal out of the unraced Keepabreak (Keeper), a half-sister to Hong Kong stakes winner More Bountiful (Van Nistelrooy).
“To get that first one of the day kind of gets that locked away – there’s nothing worse than going home empty handed, right?” Stenning said.
“We thought he’d make around $150,000 to $200,000. There was another one we really wanted but he just didn’t pass the vet screening, so we had a bit of a gap in what we wanted to get, so we were prepared to spend a bit more on the Belardo.”
Emerging young Wangaratta trainer Ben Brisbourne will prepare the Regal Farm-consigned colt for the Stennings.
“(Brisbourne) is very close to Sean and we wanted to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond,” the Trilogy Racing principal said.
Wyong-based Kristen Buchanan will train the Fastnet Rock colt, who breezed in 10.39 seconds at Seymour. Catalogued as Lot 119, he is the first living foal out of Annata Lady (High Chaparral), a half-sister to stakes-winning miler Religify (Choisir).
“This is the main one we came for and we got him, so I am really happy,” Stenning said.
“I have got some good people in my corner with good experience and multi-generational advice, so we are getting the right advice and we’re listening.
“We are trying to get the right balance. We need the quality but we also need the numbers there to work through as well. We will see what we can develop at the moment.”
Trilogy Racing also went to $160,000 late in the day for a Nolen Racing-consigned colt by Invader (Snitzel), who was prepared on behalf of Avesta Bloodstock’s Jimmy Unwala and partners, as well as taking home colts by Capitalist ($100,000) and More Than Ready (Southern Halo) ($65,000).
Following an outlay of $985,00 from five lots purchased, Trilogy Racing ended the session as the sale’s leading buyer, while Amanda Turner filled second position by that metric.
The most active buyer was the Macau Jockey Club with their nine purchases.