The appeal of I Am Invincible shows no signs of abating after a blueblood filly by the reigning Australian champion sire sold for AU$1.1 million (US$744,436, AU$1=US$0.6767) on Day One of the Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale.
Yarraman Park’s super sire was responsible for the two highest-priced lots sold March 5—a filly from the Eight Carat (GB) family and a daughter of Chris Waller’s elite mare Unforgotten at AU$650,000—and two other yearlings to top AU$400,000 at Oaklands Junction.
Tony Fung Investments bought Noorilim Park’s session-topping seven-figure daughter of I Am Invincible (Lot 159), the most expensive filly and the equal second highest-priced lot ever sold at a Melbourne Premier sale, while agent Sheamus Mills continued his love affair with the stallion by signing for the Unforgotten filly.
There were 185 yearlings sold on Day One for a gross of AU$26.375 million ($15,819,265) at an average of AU$142,568 ($96,484) and a median of AU$110,000 ($74,443), while the clearance rate was 76%.
Noorilim Park’s owner Peter Carrick, who bred and sold the top-priced I Am Invincible filly, admitted sales ring results like he experienced Sunday don’t come along very often.
“But we did think we had a serious contender here. I was originally going to take her to Sydney, but I thought, ‘You know what, she’ll be a drawcard for a lot of people looking at the rest of our draft’ (at Premier),'” Carrick told ANZ Bloodstock News.
“She’s done that, but she’s actually superseded our expectations by bringing more than $1 million, for sure.”
Lot 159 at the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale
Carrick paid NZ$160,000 for the I Am Invincible filly’s dam Special Lover, a subsequent stakes-placed filly, from the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale, and nine years later she paid her biggest dividend.
Special Lover’s first dam is Special Diamond, an unraced sister to group 1 winner Don Eduardo (NZ) and group 2 scorer Peruzzi (NZ), as well as being a three-quarter sister to Tristalove (NZ), and Antwerp (NZ), herself the dam of champion 2- and 3-year-old colt Viscount.
Carrick’s pride and joy Special Lover is the dam of Blue Diamond Preview (G3) winner Miss Roseiano and five-time winner Easy Single who ran fourth first-up at Flemington on Saturday.
“The Eight Carat—Diamond Lover line, you just don’t get any better,” Carrick said.
“(The late) Sir Patrick Hogan tapped me on the shoulder (at Karaka in 2014) and said, ‘this filly that you’ve just bought, being Special Lover, she will pay for your farm,’ and she’s slowly doing that in a high-quality manner.”
Manny Gelagotis, the brother of Miss Roseiano’s trainer Peter Gelagotis, was the underbidder on the filly, pushed to AU$1.05 million by Michael, Wayne, and John Hawkes, only to be trumped by TFI’s racing and bloodstock manager Sally Williams who had just the one successful bid.
“We waited right until the end. We were debating (what to do) and I said, ‘if she was at Easter we’d probably be paying more for her,'” Williams said.
“Mr. Fung thinks it’s very important to buy fillies like this with serious pedigrees to add to the racing team. We’re having a great season with our 2-year-old fillies and the Fung family are getting a lot of enjoyment out of it.
“This filly is everything we look for with sensational looks, by a champion stallion, a world-class pedigree, and she looks sure to be up and winning early. I’d like to think she’ll be our Slipper filly for next year.”
Carrick, who recently retired after 50 years in the plumbing industry, knew he had the Gelagotis’ in his corner when the prized filly entered the ring, but he was in shock that they were prepared to press so deep in an attempt to buy her.
“I don’t know who was more nervous, Manny or I, but he did confront me a minute before she went into the ring and I said, ‘Look, Manny, I will keep a leg with you’ and he was more than happy with that but then he more than exceeded all expectations of what I thought (he’d go to),” Carrick revealed.
“He’s proud to have Miss Roseiano (in the stable) and I do believe she’s getting back into the scene (good form) and hopefully she’s successful for him.”
A trainer for the filly is undecided. Special Lover, who missed in 2021, is back in foal to I Am Invincible.