New South Wales, the hotbed of the best of the best breeders and farms in the business attracts millions of buyers and breeders alike every year and throughout the year. Although the mother-nature is very generous to the breeders in NSW, it still does need the assistance of Southern Hemisphere’s most passionate breeders who live and operate from here.
Jo & Greg Griffin of the Lime Country are one such team of zealous breeders who not just live for the thoroughbred breeding but also consider themselves eternal students of this science and continue to grow their knowledge. This constant learning has made them grow steadily every year. In 2019, they made their mark at the Classic Yearling Sale by breeding one of the most expensive horses. Jo Griffin speaks to The Impact about their successes and their Classic yearling Sale draft
Q: You have a draft of 23 horses this year. Which are your highlight lots and why?
A: We have a strong draft of colts bred by some very astute breeders. Lot 340 theDUNDEEL colt out of Nassak is an exciting yearling for us. His dam was a speedy city winning Rip Van Winkle mare who is a half-sister to Gr.1 winner PRINCEKAAPSTAD. This is also the immediate family of young sires OCEAN PARK and GRUNT. The colt is very much in the shape of his sire, precocious, with a great topline and his father’s look at my presence.
Lot91 is scopey, athletic type of colt by first season sire SHALAA. He’s the 2ndfoal out of a stakes-placed Lonhro mare who won at distances up to 1400m. He travels very well as a good brain on him and has been popular on day one of parading.
Lot561 is a colt by Divine Prophet and his a horse with a lot of quality. He’s come along beautifully through the prep and is up there physically with the best types in our draft.
Lot271 is one of only three American Pharoah colts in the sale. He’s the first foal of an un-raced Encosta de Lago mare who in turn is out of the stakes placedGalileo mare Amory Lane. We think he’s an excellent first foal with plenty of bone and size to him, in addition like a lot of the American Pharoah’s he moves particularly well, with purpose and athleticism.
Q: Which was the most expensive& most successful horse you've sold at this sale?
A: We have only sold at Classic for two previous sales therefore the oldest stock is now only 3YOs. The most expensive yearling we have sold at the Classic Sale was the Spirit of Boom X Rhiannon’s Girl colt which we sold last year for A$250,000 to McEvoy Mitchell Racing. He furnished out into a gorgeous athletic individual after arriving at the farm from the May Gold Coast weanling sale. As a foal, he was running on a large cattle property in Queensland with his dam.
When Spirit of Boom kicked off so well, I understand the owners flew out in a helicopter looking for him to round up and bring in. He was weaned and at the weanling sale within a matter of weeks – only in Australia!
Q: Which was the last sale you participated in and how did that go for you? What was your most high-prized sale there? Please tell us a bit about the story.
A: Our last sale was the Magic Millions yearling sale. It was a hugely significant sale for our family and team at Lime Country with a third of our draft (5 horses) selling for between A$400,000 and A$900,000. We twice broke the farms’ top-priced yearling first with the American Pharoah X Derelique colt selling for A$850,000 to Coolmore followed the next day by the MoreThan Ready X La Fluorescent colt making A$900,000 to the bid of spendthrift Farm. Additionally, six individual owners were involved in our top six priced horses and gratifyingly, five of the six owners were new clients for the farm. Four of the five owners achieved their top-priced yearling sale ever, so tremendously satisfying for the brand.
Q: How do you decide which horses should be sent to the Classic Yearling sale?
A: We believe the Classic Sale is a type sale. It’s also perfectly positioned, the buying bench has already expressed its’ thoughts on the first season sires at Magic Millions and Karaka. Buyers know Melbourne will be strong and plenty of people weren’t able to buy what they wanted at Magic Millions due to a buoyant market. Classic is the sale where they are in with a chance to buy stock by sires they already want but possibly with a lesser pedigree than Magic’s or Melbourne at a price they feel is realistic.
Q: Which sale will you be attending next and what are the highlights of that draft?
A: After Classic we head to Easter. At this stage we only prepare for three yearling sales a year, consigning approximately 50 horses across Magic MillionsBook 1, Classic Book 1 and Easter. We have 11 headings to Easter including some of the cream of Tony Santic’s Makybe Stud yearlings crop. They will be offered along with some gorgeous stock bred here at Lime Country. Lot 471 the I AmInvincible X Gold Chant colt and Lot 330 the Snitzel X Arinosacolt are both very exciting prospects at this early stage of that preparation.