Being two hours away from the hunter valley which is home to most of the large thoroughbred operations, Andrew Baddock has to think creatively about how to get his yearlings seen by prospective buyers.
Baddock has been stud manager at the historic and picturesque properties, Gooree Park Stud for over three decades. His years of experience came in handy when the sale turned digital and he needed to ensure that his small but valuable draft of high-quality thoroughbreds was inspected by the ‘right people’.
They sold one colt from their (Medaglia d'Oro X Comical Smile) Hong Kong Jockey Club for a top price of A$725,000. HKJC is recognized as one of the most important members of the international buying bench in the world.
“He looks like precocious. I don’t know whether he will stay here before going to Hong Kong or be sent there directly.”
Once Inglis announced that the sale was going digital, Baddock quickly realized they were further away from the rest of farms and could miss out on visitations. So in a quick-thinking move, Baddock secured a barn at the auction house premises to show their horses by appointment.
They were careful to leave the premises a day before the actual sale, as they didn’t want any crowding at the venue.
“We had at least 30 visitors including Boomer Bloodstock's Craig Rounsefell, the recently appointed buyer for the Hong Kong Jockey Club at all the major Australian, New Zealand and South African sales.”
“Those who couldn’t visit spoke to others who had visited and got their information from our earlier visitors.
“We are quite pleased with the prices our horses secured.”
Gooree presented a draft of six excellent horses, of which five were sold. Baddock plans to retain the six-horse in the draft, a Written Tycoon colt, to race themselves.
“He will go to the breakers next week.”
Baddock is very pleased with the work done by Inglis and the organization skills in such an unprecedented situation.
“Inglis did an amazing job getting buyers together under these conditions. They were taking a big risk (by holding a digital sale) and some vendors had large reserves on their horses. But Inglis pull it off very well.”
“The next sale we will be going to is the broodmare sale and the Chairman’s sale in May. We have a nice draft of 24 mares for the Broodmare sale and two stakes’ winners for the Chairman’s sale.”
Gooree Park Stud has implemented stringent lockdown measures like the other farms in NSW and is on the alert to ensure they avoid any COVID19 outbreaks.
“We haven't had any cases but have restricted movement.”
“We try to restrict office staff to just one or two people at any time.”
“We have staff staying on the farm itself and some that live nearby. Everyone is very careful and they only go for absolutely essential shopping trips.”
“The early 2YO sales should do alright because the COVID19 situation only came into effect at the end of the March, at the end of the sale season. If it had happened in January before the Classic sale the market wouldn't have been the same as this. A lot of people purchased horses at the Classic sale. Those horses have been broken in and are already into their training”, said Baddock.