Every so often in Australia, an exceptional group of gallopers comes along; gallopers that progress from their own age group into the weight-for-age arena.
There's evidence that the best juveniles of these crops invariably leave a big impression on the breed.
Crops that featured the likes of:
- Redoute's Choice, Testa Rossa and Commands (Class of '99)
- Stratum, Snitzel and Written Tycoon (Class of '05)
- Pierro and All Too Hard (Class of '12).
The '19 juvenile crop was a crop like one of those - possibly, even deeper - and Microphone was the best juvenile of the crop of 2019.
His peers included the likes of now-sires Bivouac, Exceedance, Yes Yes Yes and Castelvecchio; as well as fillies Probabeel and Loving Gaby - proven G1 weight-for-age performers against the colts.
Microphone was crowned the Champion Two-Year-Old of this crop.
Not just Champion in any year, but Champion in an elite year - here's how.
PERFORMANCE: Crowned Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.
- At two, in just 12 weeks he raced six times for four wins (including a G1) and two placings (Listed second and G1 Golden Slipper second)
- Trained on at three for a G2 win at Caulfield ande placed second in the G1 Randwick Guineas
- Raced 11 times and out of the money just once
- G1 Inglis Sires' Produce Stakes victory touted the best-run edition in 20 years defeating four G1 winners including proven G1 weight-for-age performing fillies against the colts
A frequent in the winner's circle, the son of Exceed And Excel’s strength and resilience shone through in trying conditions on Golden Slipper Day too.
Faced with a Heavy 8 track, the rail out three metres and 66 runners having already raced on the surface prior to the Golden Slipper race, jumping from barrier one and carrying two kilograms on the winning filly who was afforded barrier 14, Microphone gutsed it out in the trying conditions for second place.
His efforts that day were not lost on viewers.
"On a dry track, he wins the (G1 Golden) Slipper," said Andrew Ferguson of Bell River Thoroughbreds when asked which stallion on the Darley roster caught his attention.
"He was an exceptional two-year-old," enthused Ferguson.
Little needs to be said of Microphone's pedigree, from day one it was a true stallions' pedigree.
SIRE POWER: by Champion Exceed And Excel complemented by an elite female line.
Champion Sire, Exceed And Excel - a worldwide influence, a breed-shaper and the best sire of two-year-olds ever - Microphone is his best two-year-old son.
Complementing his breed-shaping sireline is his female family; Microphone is from the family of Written Tycoon.
Microphone's juvenile prowess complemented by stamping his stock has caught the eye of Australia's queen of racing.
PHYSIQUE: Gai's a fan of Microphone's yearling stock too.
Contesting six races in just 12 weeks for four wins and two Stakes placings is any owner or trainer's dream.
Microphone possessed both the physical and mental aptitude required to compete consistently as a juvenile.
Stepping out in a Flemington 1,000m dash to break his maiden in January of 2019, he concluded his juvenile season with a scintillating performance in early April of 2019 - the G1 Inglis Sires' Produce Stakes and wrapping up the contest for the Champion Two-Year-Old crown.
ON THE RECORD: Here's what all the best judges had to say.
Gai Waterhouse - “I really like Microphone,” she said. “They are a pretty uniform group of yearlings and I like that.” TDN AusNZ (read the full article here) following her 2023 yearling sale inspection tour.
Jayne Ivill - "He's a really well-put-together colt and he looks like he's built for speed."
James McDonald - "He's such a pleasure to ride. He jumps well, puts himself in a race, relaxes and (has) got a great turn of foot."
Darren Flindell - "Test one-two, off to the Slipper for you."
James Cummings - "His strength, his precocity, everything we threw at him he thrived on. He had good legs, he had a good style about him that when he quickened in a race he lowered his whole body and really attacked the line. He was a really, really gifted two-year-old and that's when his brilliance was able to shine."