It may seem like we can keep ourselves away from John Chalmers and his bloodstock agency, as some of our readers might remember our interview with him from the previous issue. That would be a 100% correct assumption and we have no regrets. Established as one of the most prominent movers and shakers of the bloodstock business he has attained mastery over the minutest of details about the process and you never see him miss a beat.
Coming off of a great deal of experience of working at some of the best stables John’s venture with John Chalmers Bloodstock services is an unsurprising success. This year too is not different and you can see that from the purchases made at the MM Perth Yearling sale. We asked him a few questions about this year’s purchases and what’s next.
Q: This year you purchased 11 lots for a total of A$ 543,500. Please tell us more about your purchases. (Which was your highlight purchase? Did you inspect these horses earlier? What was special about them? Can you talk/ tell us more about the ultimate owners? Where will they be sent for training and where are they likely to race?)
A: Of the 11 lots I purchased from Book 1 the standouts were Lot 78 the Playing God – Oriel colt, a full brother to the highly promising 4yo Platoon by boom sire Playing God at $150,000 and Lot 64 the Maschino – Miss Razyana filly, the full sister to the outstanding sprinting mare Fabergino, an impressive Melbourne winner since the sale.
The Playing God colt was medium size with plenty of quality about him. He has a good length of the body, a strong quartered colt, correct and exhibited a great temperament and was beautifully prepared by Mungrup Stud.
The Maschino filly, an August foal had good size about her and hopefully will not grow to the size of her sister as big horses do concern me somewhat as more subject to soundness issues.
This filly also had good length and appeared to be very athletic and I was amazed at the price I was able to buy her for. She looks a runner.
At this stage, both will be heading to the stables to Grant and Alana William and unlikely to be pushed into two-year-old racing.
I purchased a chestnut colt by the first season Verglas sire Vert de Grece and a most impressive Group 1 winning two-year-old in France for only $40,000 after valuing him at virtually double his selling price.
He is a quality colt and a three-quarter brother to the outstanding Singapore/Malaysian SW Captain Obvious, a winner of no less than 16 races during an extended career.
This colt is closely related to Group 1 winner Umah, a high-class Perth two-year-old and winner of the Karrakatta Plate and to Champion 3yo Griffin HK, in SW and Group 1 second Entrapment plus Golden Slipper winner Estijaab.
He exhibits a lot of quality, a medium-sized colt, a great walker and strong through the shoulder and hindquarter and looks an early runner being an August foal.
Will be trained by Justine Erkelens and is currently being syndicated.
I suspect more than 50% of the catalogue on farms prior to the sales and the balance on arrival at the sales complex and second look those I am interested in.
Q: What were your highs and lows at the sales this year?
A: The high point of the sale this year was the increase in turnover from $9.39M in 2019 to $13.12M however last year was a poor sale. Considering the turnover in 2018 was $11.66M the increase this year, therefore, $1.465M or an increase of a modest 12% on two years ago.
There is no doubt the investment by Magic Millions owner Gerry Harvey and Katie Page-Harvey into a quality selling complex has been well received by both vendors and buyers and will serve the state well for many years to come.
Q: Which sale you will be going next?
A: Whilst most likely attending the Sydney Easter Sale with limited orders. My focus over the ensuing four months will be the breeding stock sales at the Gold Coast and in Sydney and Melbourne.
Q: Please tell us more about your organisation and your team?
A: John Chalmers Bloodstock was formed in 1989 and I am the sole proprietor and employ a secretary to handle all accounting and office procedures.
Q: What was the first leadership lesson when you went into racing? Under whom did you learn to make bloodstock purchases and what is your process from the time the catalogue is out to the day of the sale?
A: Having been bought up with pleasure horses through my father's interests and riding at the WA Hunt Club I progressed to riding in Hunt Club races for qualified horses and amateur riders.
I developed a love for the thoroughbred at an early age and raced many successful gallopers during my years as Stock and Station Agent and attended my first yearling sale in about 1961 from memory and made my first purchase at the 1963 Sale.
I have been fortunate to select and race many high-class horses for myself over the years including the top-class Sprinters Micron and Wool Zone in the 70’s followed by the outstanding Group 1 winner Mirror Magic (Perth Cup and WA Derby) and Oaks winner Leeuwin Concert through the ’90s and since the turn of the century the quality Group winner Bold Mirage and bred the SW filly Salisbury Street among others.
I receive great satisfaction from purchasing winners for clients, particularly those that are not overly expensive as feel my judgment is vindicated.
I make a close study of pedigrees in the catalogue prior to sale inspections and often forgiving on sires if the dam line really impresses.
Q: And finally, what or who inspires you to struggle continuously and raise the bar?
A: At 75 years of age I remain committed to the industry purely because of my love of the game and the people one comes in contact with on a worldwide basis and admire the advancement that the industry in Australia has made in the past 30 years through the advent of shuttle stallion and more recently mares from the Northern Hemisphere which has had a significant impact on the Australian breeding and racing.