Global Weekly Review: Godolphin five-timer marks historic weekend for Australian bloodstock

J A McGrath

James Cummings sent out five Godolphin winners across Australia on the same day as sales company William Inglis opened a lavish hotel/auditorium that will serve a new generation of vendors and buyers.

Godolphin flagship Hartnell served up an emphatic reminder that he is still a major force when he charged home to win the G1 CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield, and recorded a first G1 win of 2018 for Team Godolphin. 

There is now a very strong chance that Hartnell, a three-time G1 winner in Australia, will line up against Winx for the eighth time, in the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes. Hartnell has never beaten the Champion mare, but he has never been in better form, as he so convincingly showed.

In Sydney, situated at Warwick Farm, over an hour’s drive from the Central Business District, the new William Inglis Sales complex, Riverside Stables, combines the best features of the world’s top selling arenas housed beneath a five-star boutique hotel with a rooftop swimming pool.

Racing folk are notorious for resisting change, but such were the positive factors of this new complex, regulars quickly established favourite meeting and working areas, while horsemen were ready in their praise of the spacious boxes and parading areas.

Considering the commitment of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin and Darley to Australian racing and bloodstock, it was perhaps appropriate that the top selling lot at the historic first session of the Classic Yearling Sale was by a Darley stallion.

Lot 76, a black or brown colt by Brazen Beau, a proven brilliant sprinter in both hemispheres, was knocked down for A$480,000 to Orbis Bloodstock. This set the scene for a memorable first night at the new venue.

A total of 120 yearlings went through the ring at the first session, selling at an average of A$163,571 at a clearance rate of 95% for an impressive start to a new era for Inglis and Sydney racing.

As a prelude to the first session, racing took place on Warwick Farm racecourse, less than 100 metres from the hotel and sales area, and it was here that Godolphin scored a most significant win, with the Cummings-trained Kementari proving a dominant winner of the G3 Eskimo Prince Stakes.