Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Thursday February 7

Back in the 1960’s and 70’s a form reversal or bad ride was often greeted with a torrent of abuse by punters venting their frustrations, but a ruckus was a little less common among the gentry at the sales ring.

Back in January 1969, the ‘Filipino Fireball’ Felipe Ysmael’s was sitting ringside when 52 of his prize thoroughbreds went up for auction at Wright-Stephenson’s Melbourne Saleyards after he had copped a two-year ban for not letting a horse run on its merits.

The who’s who of Australian racing packed into the arena where the star lot was the Pipe Of Peace colt Always There who had won the Victoria Derby and Sandown Guineas a few months earlier.

But by the time he went through the ring, there were already rumblings of discontent as Ysmael passed in one lot after another. That rose to a chorus of jeering when Always There was led out ring unsold when the final bid of $250,000 fell well short of the $400,000 reserve.

Buyers voted with their feet and with a near-empty auditorium only three of the 27 lots after Always There found new homes.

In total 11 of the 52 lots sold for an aggregate of just under $100,000 but ironically Ysmael would accept the top price of $35,000 for what turned out to be the best of the bunch, the 2yo Alcimedes colt Divide and Rule who would go on and win an AJC Derby, Stradbroke Handicap and Doomben Cup.

Coles Brother made an offer of $300,000 for Always There but Ysmael stood his ground and the son of Pipe Of Peace eventually went to America where added one win three seconds and three thirds from 15 starts.

Sent back to Australia three years later, Always There went back through the sale ring with Ysmael making the final bid at just $20,000 and Always There took up stud duties at Malabar Park Stud.

Always There was a son of the smart racemare April Wonder (Newtown Wonder) who was trained by a young Les Bridge to win the 1961 AJC Widden Stakes and 1962 AJC Keith Mackay Handicap.

Now it would have made a hell of a better story had Les Bridge found a client willing to go one better than the $300,000 paid by Star Thoroughbreds / Waller Racing for the Brazen Beau x Ready As Elle colt out of the Widden Stud draft at the 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale.


That’s because April Wonder is the sixth dam of the Chris Waller-trained Accession who has been made the second favourite the inaugural running of Saturday’s $2 million Inglis Millennium (1200m) at Warwick Farm (photo Steve Hart ) .

The winner of two of his three starts including the $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick, Accession along with Inglis Banner winner Espaaniyah (I Am Invincible) are still alive for the Inglis Triple Crown, where connections will win a $3m bonus if one wins both the Millennium and the Group 1 ATC Inglis Sires.

Accession was co-bred by Widden and Dany McMillan's Jacob Park Thoroughbreds and both retained a share in the handsome near-black colt. (pictured as a yearling )

He is the second foal and first winner for the talented More Than Ready (USA) mare Ready As Elle, a dual winner at Moonee Valley, who was herself a $250,000 Easter yearling purchase for Spicer Thoroughbreds.

Widden will be offering a Zoustar colt out of Ready As Elle at this year's Easter Yearling Sale.

A half-sister to the Champion Sprinter in Singapore, Emperor Max (Holy Roman Emperor), Ready As Elle is out of the stakes-placed Strategic mare Maxerelle who won four and was runner-up in the Group III VRC Matron Stakes and Group III MRC Mannerism Stakes.

Darley Stud’s Brazen Beau has made an exciting start to his stud career and he looks to have an excellent chance of making himself an unbackable favourite for first season sire honours.

He will not be relying solely on Accession in the Millennium as he has the very talented, Tony McEvoy-trained filly, Pretty Brazen as an able back-up.