But, as they showed again at Sunday’s opening session of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale, they remain two of the country’s most influential and sought-after stallions.
Newcomers make presence felt as old guard set the pace at Inglis Premier Sale
Fittingly, the Darley pair combined in one of the first big sales of the day, Lot 73, a colt by Lonhro from the Exceed And Excel mare Hangin’ Tough who made $460,000.
Hangin’ Tough, who is out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Ancelin, is a three-quarter sister to the outstanding racehorse and sire Helmet and the classy, but ill-fated Godolphin filly Pearls.
Offered by Merricks Station, the colt went to the bid of Hong Kong-based Bahen Bloodstock and local trainer Matt Laurie.
“He was a lovely individual, he stands over a lot of ground, he had great presence and his two-year-old half-brother Tuvalu (Kermadec) has just won his first two starts. It really spurred us on,” Laurie said.
Lonhro, who later this year begins his 18th season at stud, made another early mark on the sale with Lot 112, a colt from the winning Fusaichi Pegasus mare Kobe Queen, who made $250,000.
The colt, a half-brother to two winners, was offered by Willaroon Thoroughbreds and was purchased by leading Melbourne trainer Ciaron Maher.
With Lonhro’s top-priced colt being out of an Exceed And Excel mare, it was only fitting that the pair should combine again later in the day with Lot 196, a colt by Exceed And Excel from a Lonhro mare, who made exactly the same price - $460,000.
The colt from Mooinooi came to the sale on account of the Glentree Thoroughbreds and was purchased by the leading training combination of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
The day-one highlights weren’t restricted to the old-timers, with the second-crop stallions Frosted, Astern and first-season sire Impending attracting strong interest.
The racetrack performances of Frosted’s initial crop, led by his world-first Flemington stakes winner Ingratiating, ensured plenty of attention for his second crop, much of which was focussed on Lot 190, a filly from Miss Steele, a winner in Adelaide and Melbourne by Statue Of Liberty who made $420,000.
Offered by Springmount, she went to the same Bahen/Laurie combination that purchased Lot 73.
“The way the Frosted’s have been going has given us plenty of encouragement. This filly has plenty of quality,” Laurie said.
Impending’s best result on day one was Lot 135, a filly from Legcut who sold to Melbourne trainer John Sadler for $240,000.
“I’ve had a lot of enquiries about these Impending yearlings and this filly is one of the best I’ve seen,” Sadler said.
“She’s from a winning family, she looks the part, there’s so much to like about her.”
The filly is half-sister to three winners and is from the family of G1 winner The A Train.
Astern’s best of the session was Lot 5, a filly from El Daana who is a half-sister to the multiple Stakes winner Wawail who made $200,000.
Offered by Yarraman Park, the filly went to Dodmark Thoroughbreds.
The sale continues on Monday, March 1 - watch the InglisTV Sale Day coverage supported by Darley at inglis.com.au.