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Biggest and Best Classic Concludes

It’s official – the 2021 Classic Yearling Sale is the biggest and best on record.

Following an extraordinary three days of trade at Riverside, the action ended this evening with a record overall gross ($58,136,000), record Book 1 average ($102,421), record Book 1 medium ($80,000) and a spectacular 91% clearance rate.


$450,000 Zoustar filly from Empress Zakynthos.

$450,000 Zoustar filly from Empress Zakynthos.


The gross, average and median records all eclipse the previous standards set at the 2018 Classic, which doubled as the much-hyped opening sale at Riverside.

On what can only be described as a stunning auction:

*Newgate Farm ended Book 1 as leading vendor by gross, selling 29 of their 30 offerings for $4,140,000, ahead of Arrowfield Stud (sold 30/30) and Yarraman Park Stud (sold 28/28), while Woodside Park led the vendors by average (for three or more sold), selling 4/4 at an average of $220,000. With further success in the Highway Session, Arrowfield ended as overall leading vendor grossing $4,425,000

*Newgate’s spectacular sale continued on the sires list with Capitalist and Deep Field finishing the quinella for most popular stallion, grossing $3,520,000 (sold 17/17) and $3,272,500 (sold 30/32) respectively

*George Moore/Team Moore ($1,440,000) nosed out Kavanagh Racing (1,430,000) as leading buyer, although Mark Kavanagh bought most Book 1 lots overall with 13 purchases

*The middle market saw extraordinary growth with 224 yearlings selling for $100,000 or more – up from 169 last year – while 51 sold for $200,000 or more, a 55% increase on the 33 yearlings from 2020 to do so

*The Highway Session also enjoyed extraordinary growth, with its average of $48,736 and gross of $6,823,000 both 30% year-on-year increases

*Inglis’s Sale Day Live broadcast was again a huge success, with more than 100,000 views between the Inglis website and Inglis Facebook page alone, with Sky Channel viewership figures unavailable at time of print.

The top lot on Day 3 was $450,000 for a Zoustar x Empress Zakynthos filly (pictured) of Clarke & Croft Bloodstock, purchased by Bruce MacKenzie.

She became the most expensive filly ever sold at a Classic Sale.

MacKenzie said he didn’t care what he had to pay for her to bring her home.

“I’ve been here for days and every night I’d go down to her barn and pat her for 10 minutes and scratch her head and I’d look her in the eye and tell here I’d be taking her home. Nobody was stopping me,’’ an ecstatic MacKenzie said.

“Everyone and their uncle were looking at her, I knew she wouldn’t be cheap but I was going to take her home, full stop. I told her in the middle of the night, every night for the past week.’’

Bidding on the filly was going up in lots of $10,000 as she approached $400,000 before MacKenzie launched into a $50,000 bid to her final price of $450,000.

“I used to follow boxing, you soon learn a quick punch knocks them down and it knocked them all down, didn’t it,’’ MacKenzie said.

The filly was the sole offering for the Clarke & Croft team at the sale, but the result was worth the wait.

“We are so happy, I really thought she deserved a fair bit of money, but that is fantastic,’’ Sam Croft said.

“Our previous best result was $150,000 so this is by far the best result I have ever had.

“We have been selling here for somewhere between 16 and 18 years, we like to come here to Classic so we can stand out. We feel that small vendors are given a bit better of a chance here at Classic.’’

It’s been a sensational sale for the team at Newgate Farm, not only ending as leading Book 1 vendor for the first time but also their two resident stallions Capitalist and Deep Field proved so popular to the buyers.

“It’s been an incredible sale, it’s been seriously well executed by the Inglis team, they put together a fantastic catalogue and they worked bloody hard to get so many buyers there to reward the vendors and seriously, you can’t ask for more than that as a vendor,’’ Field said.

“A fortnight ago there were closed borders and quarantine restrictions that Inglis had to navigate their way through but as is the case in our industry, dedication to the purpose at hand leads to deserving rewards and I think the hard work done by Inglis the past two-to-three weeks especially has rewarded all of us.

“It’s also been a phenomenal job by the Newgate team, headed by Jim Carey who has worked tirelessly to raise these horses and get them to the sale in such fantastic order.

“In the past three years we’ve intentionally targeted the Classic Sale as one of the major sales in the calendar year for Newgate and while it’s great to be leading vendor and have a big sale, more importantly for us is to be providing the marketplace with horses like Shadow Hero and Profiteer in our Classic drafts as we have the past couple of years.

“I also love the fact this sale has provided so many massive results for industry people who work so damn hard like Verna Metcalfe, Richard McClenahan, the Fernrigg staff pinhook, those results are what it’s all about and again, the Inglis team showcased those stories so passionately the past three days.’’

Today’s Highway Session was also a resounding a success, clearing 88% at an average of $48,736 with 14 lots selling for $100,000 or more.


$220,000 Maurice filly from Flashing Speed topped the Highway session.

$220,000 Maurice filly from Flashing Speed topped the Highway session.


The top lot of the Highway Session was lot 802 – the second-last lot of the entire sale – a Maurice x Flashing Speed filly of Toolooganvale Farm, selling to Anthony Cummings for $220,000.

Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster was thrilled for all the clients at Riverside the past three days.

“This is a huge victory for the vendors and breeders who backed this sale and have been handsomely rewarded but Classic also continues to be a huge victory for the buyers when you see its graduates winning races like The Everest, the Melbourne Cup, the Golden Slipper, the Blue Diamond etc,’’ Webster said.

“It’s been the strongest of any of the sales so far this year - with 20% growth in average and gross and a clearance rate in the early 90s, Classic has recorded more growth and a better clearance than any other sale held anywhere in the world in 2021 to date.

“There have been so many satisfying elements of this sale; the spread of buyers that in a sale grossing near $60m, no one single buyer spent more than $1.5m, the great individual results for some of the vendors and breeders and the phenomenal participation from international buyers online despite border closures keeping them away physically.

“I’d also like to thank and congratulate the Inglis staff, I’m very proud of all of them for the hard work they put in leading into the sale and the dedication shown to ensuring everybody had an enjoyable and successful Classic Sale the past three days.’’

To enquire about any passed in lot from this year’s Classic Yearling Sale, contact Harry Bailey on 0420 997 417.

To view our Day 3 Facebook wrap, CLICK HERE.

Buyers’ attention now moves to Inglis Digital, where a catalogue of 190 is currently selling in the February (Early) Online Sale.

The Final Countdown of lots begins at 3pm tomorrow, Wednesday February 10.

To register for bidding, to view the catalogue or to bid, CLICK HERE.

The focus then switches to Oaklands Junction in Melbourne for the Premier Yearling Sale on February 28, March 1 and March 2 for which 804 yearlings have been catalogued.

On-site inspections begin at Oaklands on Tuesday February 23.

To view the catalogue, CLICK HERE.

2021 CLASSIC YEARLING SALE STATISTICS - BOOK 1 (2020 figures in brackets)

Lots catalogued: 620 (613)

Lots Sold: 501 (484)

Clearance Rate: 91% (86%)

Average Price: $102,421 ($86,980)

Median Price: $80,000 ($75,000)

Top Price: $625,000 ($380,000)

Gross: $51,313,000 ($42,098,500)


Lots catalogued: 183 (195)

Lots Sold: 140 (142)

Clearance Rate: 88% (81%)

Average Price: $48,736 ($36,821)

Median Price: $37,500 ($30,000)

Top Price: $220,000 ($160,000)

Gross: $6,823,000 ($5,228,548)