Champion 2YO, Bushranger, was all the rage at last week’s Doncaster Yearling Sale in England with two of his first crop youngsters selling up to 90,000 pounds ($A138,000) and averaging over $A50,000 for 20 yearlings sold.
Taking out the juvenile title on both sides of the Channel with record breaking Group One performances, the writing was on the wall for Bushranger when his weanlings sold up to $112,000 in England and Ireland, garnering favourable reviews from agent and trainer alike.
However, the reception was nothing like last week with leading industry figures really opening up – both verbally and fiscally – for the Bushranger yearlings.
Here’s just some of the comments from the Doncaster devotees …
“He was a very attractive colt with a good walk” – Charlie Hills, who purchased a Bushranger colt for £90,000 on behalf of Shadwell Stud, which also drew the following remark from Shadwell’s Angus Gold (top right): “He just looked uncomplicated. He looks like – and his pedigree also suggests – that he should be a 2YO and he’s by a sire who is really stamping his stock.”
(The colt’s dam was purchased two years ago for just 15,000 guineas, prompting vendor Paul McCartan to comment: “We sent her to Bushranger because he was all speed”).
Shadwell also outbid BBA Ireland to secure another £90,000 Bushranger colt with trainer William Haggis doing the legwork: “I thought he looked very racy, as do all the Bushrangers – let’s hope he’s fast. He looks as though he’ll be fast though and hopefully he’ll be an early type”.
Melbourne Cup winning trainer Dermot Weld will also put the polish on another colt which was snapped up by agent Bobby O’Ryan for £65,000: “He looks a 2YO and I’m a BIG fan of Bushranger”.
Leading agent, Peter Doyle, has been watching the Bushranger progeny very closely and said after the Tattersalls December Sale that: “Bushranger is the only one that’s got my attention so far. The ones I’ve seen have been strong, good-walking sorts”.
He clearly wasn’t whistling Dixie when he stepped up and paid £77,000 for a Bushranger colt at Doncaster, while Charlie Hills finished up with another Bushranger, paying £50,000 for a colt on behalf of BBA Ireland.
Not bad for a stallion that stands for just 6,500 euro at Tally-Ho Stud in Ireland and is on offer for $8,800 at Eliza Park this spring!
Speaking of which, Aussie ‘punters’ got a good look at him last Friday at Eliza Park’s Open Day, generating a lot of positive feedback from the large crowd. One pundit, after watching Bushranger parade and hearing of the results from Doncaster, said: “there hasn’t been this much talk about a Bushranger since Ned Kelly stopped at Glenrowan for a drink”.