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WJB Winter Update

The dreaded C****-19 word appears to have done wonders for the Australian thoroughbred industry as turnover at all public auctions has risen 22.4% on the prior highs posted in 2019. This has seen the combined gross reach a few ticks short of $775 million for the year to date, a clear advertisement for the current strength and depth of racing ‘Down Under’.  Why wouldn’t you want to invest in Australia with buoyant prizemoney and a captive population that is willing to participate at all levels?

Without international travel and winter ensuring an extra layer, it has been enjoyable tuning into Royal Ascot – albeit without a jug of Pimm’s next to the saddling enclosure! Whilst no Australians are competing this year, a pleasing result transpired on Wednesday when the well named and Australian owned Boonie (Brazen Beau) ran third in the Windsor Castle Stakes for Darren Thomas and Mark Balnaves. It was a pleasure to help secure his dam Dice Game (with Boonie in utero) at the 2018 Tattersalls December Sale with Mark Pilkington for 9,000gns. Good luck to connections as he heads towards black type races over the English summer. 

Boonie as a yearling and David Boon in action for Australia

From England to Japan, another event unfortunately scrapped from this year’s itinerary is the JRHA Yearling & Weanling Sale in Hokkaido. With 541 lots scheduled to sell 12-13 July, excitement will build around the sale of Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign’s first foal, a yearling colt by Heart’s Cry. A trailblazing two-year-old for Darby Racing, She Will Reign was secured privately by de Burgh Equine for clients of WJB at the end of her three-year-old season. She Will Reign also has a weanling filly by Satono Diamond. The JRHA Sale last year averaged ¥43,428,241 (AUD$514,000 / USD$392,000) reflecting how strong the industry is in Japan. Visiting Hokkaido in July for the sale is well worth putting on the bucket list.

Heart’s Cry ex She Will Reign

It was great to see Warning back in the winner’s enclosure at Doomben when taking out the Group Three JRA Chairman’s Trophy over 2000m in May. Following his run in the Q22 behind the impressive Zaaki, he now heads to the paddock for a spell in Queensland before another spring preparation. A special congratulations must be given to Annabel Neasham who has now trained two Group One winners in her first season of training. An amazing achievement and no doubt just the beginning of her upward trajectory. 

Warning takes out the Group Three JRA Chairman’s Trophy

With just one major sale left on the calendar in Australia for some time, it will be great to follow the best racing Europe and the USA has to offer through to the Spring Carnival.

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