Despite the weather, the 2024 Capricornia Yearling Sale was a great success

Published 7 April 2024

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Sales receipts from Sunday’s (April 7) Capricornia Yearling Sale topped the million dollars mark when 87 yearlings sold grossing $1.080.500 ensuring that the Rockhampton Jockey Club event was rightly credited as a success.

While the gross figure was just marginally down by $3,500 from last year’s counterpart, the clearance rate at the Rockhampton Showgrounds Robert Schwarten Pavilion venue, rose from 63.56% to 79.82% in 2024.

This meant that 87 of the yearlings catalogued sold with just 22 passed in.

At last year’s CYS just 75 of the young thoroughbreds from the yearling catalogue were purchased while 43 were passed-in by vendors when not reaching their reserve. 

“The clearance figure for the yearlings in the catalogue out here today (Sunday) was certainly quite good,” RJC CEO David Aldred said.

Yearlings averaged $12,564 with the top price paid for Lot 100, a quality Invader -The Darling x Spirit of Boom colt offered by KBL Thoroughbreds, Beaudesert (as agents) making $80K.

In a spirited biding jewel, the auctioneer’s hammer fell in favour of Rockhampton’s Jeffrey Schwartz, Valda Beak and trainer Nick Walsh from who will train it at Callaghan Park.

Much earlier in the well attended sale, Schwartz and Walsh had also taken a liking to another KBL offering, so much so they paid $58K for Lot 26, a Spirit of Boom filly.

The leading buyer at Sunday’s sale was the syndicate of Victorian Queensland Project comprising popular Victorian race caller Ricky McIntosh, the name instantly associated with the Warrnambool Racing Club. 

Famed for his unique calling style and love of The Bool,’ Rick and “four of my mates got a bit carried away “and purchased six yearlings.

They outlaid $103,00 with prices ranging from just $3000 to $40,000 for Lot 81, a Lucky Vega (IRE) colt offered on account of Rockhampton’s Jess Kuhn Racing (as agent).

Speaking from Rockhampton airport late on Sunday afternoon, McIntosh said he had heard about the CYS on a previous visit to Rockhampton.

“They (yearlings) will head down south to be broken-in and then some will return to be trained by Liam Birchley”, McIntosh said.

Rockhampton trainer Clinton Taylor purchased five yearlings grossing $91K, with Lot 49, a Power (IRE) filly from Oaklands Stud, Toowoomba his most expensive. 

Retired Callaghan Park trainer Clinton Garland went to $65K for Lot 41 a Better Than Ready colt on account of B. Green, The Range, Rockhampton.

Beaudesert’s Peter and Peta Gray were the most active buyers, purchasing 11 yearlings from the bottom end of the market for $22K in total.

Buyers ranged from throughout Queensland as well as a sprinkling from New South Wales and Victoria. 

As an aside, Monday’s Callaghan Park Capricornia Yearlings Sale’s already transferred race day has been abandoned because of track unsuitability from rain.

The three feature races have been added to the scheduled Thursday, April 18 race date there with fresh nominations being taken for that trio of events. 

Happy Horses Tony McMahon.

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