Cornerstone Stud’s well-bred mare Queen of the World (Sea TheSea X Palitana) in foal to Siyouni was sold for a record-breaking price of A$360,000to Three Bridges Thoroughbreds and Paul Willetts at the recent Great Southern Sale. The Impact speaks to Cornerstones’ Sam Pritchard Gordan about the sale and much more:
Q: Could you please tell us more about how Cornerstone purchased Queen of the World and your journey with her until the Great Southern Sale?
A: Queen of the World was purchased by Sam Hayes and his close friend Johnny McKeever at the Tattersalls July Sales last year. The was no doubting now that it was an astute purchase for 37,000 guineas as she was a beautiful individual. However, it was also a fortuitous one with SICILIA (by Kingman) appearing soon after the purchase and duly started picking up some Black Type to help “fill-in” the pedigree. Needless to say, the mating to SIYOUNI made a rare kaleidoscope of two of the most successful breeding operations in Europe through Moyglare Stud’s maternal blood and the Aga Khan’s prepotent champion stallion.
Q: Were you surprised by the final purchase price or was this something you expected all along? Did you have a lot of interested buyers? Could you please share the journey?
A: It was an enjoyable experience knowing that our client was going to be on the receiving end of a notable profit. Walking the mare into the ring, it required a bid of $220,000 for the venture to start making money. In terms of the final bid of $360,000, the market very much determined her value and we are delighted for our long-time friends in the Liston's to be heading home with her. Could she have made more in another sale? I somehow doubt it. Simon Vivian and the Inglis Team did an outstanding job in promoting the mare to the wider audience. There wouldn’t have been an interesting farm in the Southern Hemisphere that wouldn’t have received some exceptional video footage and conformational shots from the sales company if they weren’t in attendance. Furthermore, being a young mare on an early maiden with a recent pedigree update it was entirely evident our modus operandi was to turn a profit. A transparent sale such as this was easy to sell; “we are here to make money and that’s it. ”
Q: At Cornerstone, do you have a firm plan around the pedigrees of your broodmares and past commercial successes where you would like to send your broodmares to? How do you plan those crosses and what changes every year?
A: The mating for our mares fall into a number of categories, but with a sole mindset at the forefront of the final decision; “Avoid a
bad mating!” Given we have to try and turn a profit for our clients we are constantly trying to read the crystal ball of stallions fortunes. We use a number of numerical ways of formulating an opinion and we consider Bill Oppenheim and Dr Emily Plant’s “Stallion Spectator Rating” as a good backbone to these discussions.
However, we constantly trying to manage clients financial exposure and given the unhealthy trend of escalating Hunter Valley Services fees, we are working even harder to source the value-stallion. With the above thoughts in mind, our “cross-hairs” do keep zoning back in towards our SIR PRANCEALOT; He is throwing an outstanding type with his weanlings being incredibly well received, he is an outcross stallion and going to him in his 3rd season will have you selling yearlings off the back of 1st crop racetrack successes. At $14,300 you could be on the receiving end of some notable competition for his stock in 2021 and beyond.
Q: How did you get involved with the thoroughbred industry? Any regrets?
A: My father was involved with the development of Juddmonte Farms from the later ’70s, so my childhood followed the pink & green silks of Prince Khalid with a view of getting an edge with a school teacher by providing a winner on the weekend! Exposure to elite racing and the elite bloodlines in world racing at such a young age changes your DNA and it was only natural for me wanting to follow in my father's footsteps. Any regrets? I wish I had tipped more winners to my teachers so that they would have been compelled to turn the “C” Grades into “A’s” and I could have gone on to be a vet and earn some proper money!
Q: Could you tell us about the horse who has stayed closest to
your heart and why?
A: Growing up it was certainly DANCING BRAVE. I remember vividly watching the race with my father from the Guineas winning post at Newmarket and his grip on my wrist tighten as the commentator commented: “And Dancing Brave quickens up in the style of a very good horse”. Although he was beaten in the Derby, even I as an 8yo knew that this was as close to perfection as you get.
Q: What is on your personal bucket list and your bucket list for the farm?
A: In the short term, I have real belief in SIR PRANCEALOT and I want to get enough exposure for him in his 3rd season at stud to ensure he has the numbers to carry him through and make himself a stalwart for Cornerstone’s Future; Wouldn’t it be wonderful if he was the next WITHOUT FEAR for the Hayes family. Having such an affinity for DANEHILL blood and with his progeny thriving on the tight-turning, firm tracks of the US Turf scene, it really is a unique opportunity for Cornerstone to capitalise on a very shrewd purchase from Tally Ho in 2017.
Q: What sales do you usually present? Where are you off to next? And what is the biggest sale of the year?
A: We pitch our most valuable yearlings towards the William Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale. With South Australia conveniently located and the continual rise of Victorian Racing, we can piggy-back of their dollar and sell into a market that is continually climbing. Obviously we will always be the main consignor at Magic Millions Adelaide and we will continue to offer subsequent stars to our main clientele in South Australia, however, the South Australian State Government is frustratingly oblivious to the effect of their “Point of Consumption Tax on the punting dollar” that at 15% is 5% higher than any other State. Stagnant prizemoney will continue to damage our Statewide Industry and we as a farm will have to be inventive in order to survive.
Q: And finally which good book have you read recently and are likely to recommend to others?
A: I thought the 2019 Magic Millions Broodmare catalogue was an excellent read!
Published In The Impact 13 Issue, 2 Vol
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