Astute yearling purchases reap rewards

Friday 10 April 2020

The unique 2020 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale format was deemed a success by many considering the testing circumstances. 

Day two of selling was a momentous day for DGR Thoroughbred Services’ Duncan Ramage who was delighted with the sale prices fetched by yearlings out of two very special mares he purchased for clients as yearlings; First Seal and Yattarna.

To this day, Group One-winner First Seal is Duncan’s most expensive yearling purchase, costing NZ$700,000 at the 2013 NZB Karaka Yearling Sale. 

Purchased for the China Horse Club and the late Dato’ Tan Chin Nam (Think Big Stud) from Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore Stud, First Seal has excelled in everything she has been asked to do. She won over A$1.25 million in prizemoney and can now add producing the 2020 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale topper to her impressive list of accomplishments.

Knocked down to Coolmore Stud’s Tom Magnier for A$1.8 million, First Seal’s sale-topping colt (Lot 447) is by Champion Sire Snitzel and was offered by Sledmere Stud on behalf of the colt’s breeder China Horse Club.

“It was a fantastic result for the China Horse Club. They had an enormous amount of fun racing First Seal, and it would have been a huge thrill to sell her first foal for $1.8 million,” Duncan said.

In what can only be described as a stellar racing career, First Seal was crowned Champion Female Sprinter in Australia for the 2015-16 season. Five of her six career wins were at Group level, and she recorded major victories in the G1 Coolmore Flight Stakes, G2 Surround Stakes, G2 Tea Rose Stakes, G2 Millie Fox Stakes and G2 MRC Tristarc Stakes.

She was also runner-up in four top-tier Group One races including the G1 Spring Champion, G1 Coolmore Classic, G1 Vinery Stud Stakes and G1 Canterbury Stakes.

Group winning Exceed and Excel mare Yattarna achieved another memorable milestone in her career when her first foal, a filly by I Am Invincible (Lot 292) fetched A$400,000 to the bid of Sir Owen Glenn’s Go Bloodstock.

Duncan purchased Yattarna for A$90,000 from Kambula Stud’s 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale draft on behalf of Think Big Stud and a syndicate of owners.

Yattarna won two of her nine starts and finished her racing career on a high when winning the G3 ATC James HB Carr Stakes at Royal Randwick at her very last appearance. She was subsequently sold for A$600,000 at the Inglis Chairman’s Sale in 2017 to the China Horse Club. 

In a highly successful career that has spanned over several decades, Duncan acknowledges the magnitude of due diligence that goes into selecting a great racehorse, “When I purchase yearlings for clients, there is a massive amount of work that goes into identifying individuals with the potential to develop into exceptional racehorses.”

“As a Bloodstock Agent it is very rewarding when horses go on to do just that, then take it a step further by achieving excellence in the sale ring, then hopefully going on to play a part in producing a new generation of champions,” Duncan said.

Duncan looks forward to following the career of his most recent purchase, “I was thrilled to secure a lovely Dundeel filly at this weeks Inglis Easter Sale. She has a beautiful physique and a pedigree that suggests she will develop into a nice staying type of filly,” he said.

“She’s not dissimilar to our John Sargent trained Dundeel filly Stick ‘Em Up who will run in the Australian Oaks at Randwick tomorrow”.

First Seal

Group One winner First Seal

Modern day results from enduring selection criteria

Friday 3 April 2020

Over many years, DGR Thoroughbred Services’ Duncan Ramage has forged a distinguished career as a Bloodstock Agent. The extensive list of successful racehorses and breeding stock Duncan has purchased is testament to this fact.

The impressive line-up of horses that Duncan has been involved with include racetrack greats like So You Think, First Seal, Saintly, Viewed, Dariana, Faint Perfume and Norzita (to name a few).

What is more impressive is the longevity and success that these families go on to achieve—many of the prominent racehorses under Duncan’s current management hail from families he has acquired for clients.

Saturday’s esteemed ‘Derby Day’ at Royal Randwick hosts a brilliant card of top-class racing. Duncan will no doubt be watching eagerly as five prominent runners in which he has been instrumental with will get their chance to etch their name in the history books.

The first of those runners is Donnachiara, a three-year-old filly by Eurozone who will line up in the G3 Adrian Knox Stakes for trainer Anthony Cummings. She recently claimed back-to-back wins and blitz her rivals by six lengths during her most recent success at Gosford in late February.

Bred and owned by Think Big Stud, Duncan purchased both her sire Eurozone (G2 winner & multiple G1 placed) and dam Reglisse. The former was a $180,000 purchase from the 2012 Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale, and Duncan purchased her dam Reglisse for $87,500 at the 2011 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale.

Taking on Donnachiara in the G3 Adrian Knox Stakes is John Sargent trained three-year-old filly Stick ‘Em Up. A daughter of leading young sire Dundeel, Duncan purchased her for $110,000 at the 2018 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale from Lime Country Thoroughbreds on behalf of Tunku Ahmad’s Westcode Syndicate.

Quality stayer Carif (pictured on the front cover) will take his place in the G2 Chairman’s Quality over 2600m. Last seen running fifth in the G1 Tancred Stakes, the four-year-old entire is by 10-time Group One winner So You Think, out of Champion Filly Norzita.

Bred and raced by Think Big Stud and Tunku Ahmad’s Westcode Syndicate, Duncan purchased both Carif’s sire and dam from Windsor Park Stud’s NZB Karaka Yearling draft.

Duncan has also had a hand to play in two runners that will contest the $1 million G1 Australian Derby; Chains Of Honour and Get The Idea.

Regally bred Chains Of Honour is by Redoute’s Choice out of G1 Vinery Stud Stakes and G1 VRC Oaks winner Faint Perfume. Owned and raced by Sun Stud, he is trained by Gerald Ryan and has won three from six-race starts and more than $200,000 in prizemoney.

Duncan purchased his multiple Group One winning grand dam Danendri as a yearling and devised the mating which resulted in Chains Of Honour (Faint Perfume was sold for $700,000 to Sun Stud while in foal).

John Sargent trained So You Think gelding Get The Idea will also get his chance to claim Group One glory in the G1 Australian Derby for breeder/owner Think Big Stud. A winner of two of four race starts, his dam Cavita was purchased by Duncan for $45,000 at the 2007 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale.

Purchased to enrich Think Big Stud’s broodmare band, Cavita has been a valuable broodmare acquisition. She has produced Stakes placed/seven-time winner The Peak and now promising staying prospect Get The Idea.

Venturing out of NSW, Phillip Stokes trained So You Think gelding Good Idea will race in the Geoff Murphy Handicap at Caulfield.

Bred and owned by Think Big Stud and Alan Jackson, Good Idea is a half-brother to G1 Australian Derby hopeful Chains Of Honour (Redoute’s Choice – Faint Perfume). 

He is a progressive staying type that has won five starts and was most recently seen placing second in the G2 Adelaide Cup.

At Morphettville under the guidance of Mike Price and Michael Kent Jnr, DGR purchased three-year-old Savabeel gelding Craftmanship will take his place in the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas.

Purchased for $360,000 from Little Avondale Stud’s 2018 NZB Karaka Yearling draft, Craftmanship was successful in winning the Listed Hill Smith Stakes and ran in the G1 VRC Derby. He was purchased for Think Big Stud and a syndicate of owners.

The day of racing presents an exciting opportunity for a talented group of runners across three states in Australia.

“It’s certainly very exciting to see such a large number of horses I have been involved with contesting such prestigious races on what is going to be a massive day of racing nation-wide,” said Duncan Ramage.

“I look forward to watching each of them run and wish their connections the very best of luck.”


G1 Australian Derby contender Get The Idea

G1 Australian Derby contender Get The Idea

DGR 2020 yearling purchases enter training stables

Wednesday April 1, 2020 

This time of year represents an exciting chapter as DGR purchased yearlings get closer to unveiling their athletic ability on the racetrack.

We couldn’t be happier with the progress that the Shalaa ex Methyar colt has made since being purchased at the 2020 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

By all accounts, he has pleased his breakers and trainer Chris Anderson.

Watch the video to hear trainer Chris Anderson’s thoughts.

A Sebring Quinella in the $1 Million Ferrari Magic Millions Trophy

Mark Smith – Breednet – Saturday January 11

Widden Stud’s late, great Sebring went 1-2 in Saturday’s $1 Million Ferrari Magic Millions Trophy but there was a dominant winner in the John Thompson-trained Primitivo.
With Glenn Boss having his first ride on the honest 5yo gelding, Primitivo came clear in the closing stages to defeat the Chris Waller-trained Black On Gold by one and three-quarter lengths with the Tony Gollan-trained A Man To Match a short-neck back in third.

“He had a lovely run it chopped and changed a little in the middle but we were always in a strong position he was in a great rhythm breathing beautifully very relaxed,” Boss said.

“At the half mile once I got out off the fence I knew the race was his.

“The Candy Man is a hell of a horse but I knew he had 61 where we had 54 so we got going early and he was way too good.”

Winning trainer John Thompson said Boss had made the difference.

“All credit to the horse he’s incredibly clean winded and tends to go well on the fresh side, so the step up in distance wasn’t a real worry.”

“Eleven out of ten ride from Bossy. If you watch the replay you can just see him thinking the whole way it made a big difference.”

“It’s been a good week, I bought a couple including another Sebring like this guy.”

– Primitivo as a yearling

A $105,000 purchase by DGR Thoroughbred Services out of the Turangga Farm draft at the 2016 MM Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Primitivo advances his record to 4 wins, 6 seconds and 3 thirds from 21 starts with earnings of $830,810.

A half-brother to four winners including the stakes-placed Quest For Peace (Hard Spun), Primitivo is out of the imported Coronado’s Quest mare Classic Quest (USA) a half-sister to the dam of the Group III winner and Group 1-placed Lemon Pretty (Scat Daddy).

Classic Quest (USA) has a yearling colt by Your Song in the Turangga Farm draft headed to the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

Absolute peach ride from @boss_glen on Primitivo to win $1M Trophy Quality Hcp.@mmsnippets


Sebring’s Primitivo an easy winner of the $1 million MM Trophy – image Grant Courtney.

Careful Pre-Race preparations by trainer & jockey.

Moving With The Times

17th December 2019

Careful Pre-Race preparations by trainer & jockey[/caption]DGR Thoroughbred Services first purchase at public auction resulted in that $7,000 acquisition winning the 1992 Inglis Classic for two-year-olds, a race even then worth $350,000. Shoeshine Henry made his debut for short neck second in the Breeders Plate Gr3 in September of 1991. Shoeshine also ran second in the Silver Slipper Gr2, then run prior to Christmas at two. At three he ran third in the Caulfield Guineas Gr1 and MVRC Vase Gr3 and Spring Stakes (behind star of the year Coronation Day).

Moving forward to the current era in the 2019 Inglis Nursery on December 14th, Encountabull, a $80,000 purchase in conjunction with his trainer John Sargent, ran a great second sandwiched between $525,000 & $600,000 purchases Wild Ruler & Canadian Spice. Encountabull will chase the big the big $2m prize of the Inglis Millennium on February 8th in the New Year. Like Shoeshine Henry, Encountabull should have a decent career beyond his two-year-old years.

We cannot recall many other DGR Inglis Classic runners but past Inglis Classic Sales purchases does include outstanding Caulfield Guineas Gr1 winner Gods’ Own purchased in conjunction with his trainer the Late Bart Cummings.

Grown Up & Carif

11th November 2019

With the major spring carnival over our spring contenders have grown in stature as a result. Yearling purchases like Battenburg became a new name running third in the Gr1 Spring Champion Stakes at only his fourth career start. Fellow 3yo Craftmanship won the Listed Hill Smith Stakes in Adelaide on the same day, that was his fourth career start also. Battenburg met at their next start on Cox Plate day in the Gr3 Vase running fifth and sixth. Also on Cox Plate day, Ballistic Boy ventured down from his Eagle Farm base to run a great Fourth in the new Million Dollar Bondi Stakes at Randwick. The previous day Stick ‘Em up was forced to venture to the nation’s Capital Canberra to race after several of her scheduled engagements where abandoned meetings. She handled her first attempt at 2000m with aplomb beating older horses well in the process. All of these were 3yo’s however earlier the same week 4yo Into The Abyss ventured back into Stakes company in Victoria after her demolition win in Sydney. She ran a creditable third at Listed level at Geelong.

Craftmanship & Stick ‘Em represented us in the feature spring classics for the boys & girls in the Gr1 VRC Derby & Oaks at Flemington. Both came up a bit short both running 8th with some handy prizemoney and both off limited prior racing. Autumn should be a good space for them. On Derby day at the provincials La Grisa took a big step to a promising career with a commanding win in her third career start and first attempt at in the middle distance range. Other to run places off limited career starts in this period included Instant Attraction & She’ So Savvy.

Homebreds ran well too. Brunetta providing an authoritative much deserved win in provincial Sydney after a string of placings on Melbourne Cup Day. Cup Day in metropolitan Sydney saw a solid second at Randwick by To Your Health. But of all “homebreds” very special mention must go to the lightly raced stayer Carif. Throughout this window he pressed and furthered his claim towards the 2020 Melbourne Cup with a provincial win, 5th at weight for age in the Gr2 Hill Stakes, 2nd in the $500,000 ATC St Leger then to Flemington for 2nd Gr3 Hotham Hcp and backing up and rounding out his spring campaign with a further 2nd in the Gr3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes. In all three of those staying handicaps it took three different Northern Hemisphere bred and raced rivals to beat him. To call Carif simply a Homebred is slightly belittling. He was indeed bred by his owners, the Late Dato’ Tan Chin Nam & spritely octogenarian Tunku Ahmad Yahaya, but he is the product two former yearling purchases who won 12 group 1 races between them and claimed divisional Horse Of The Year Titles themselves in the mighty So You Think and Champion 3yo filly Norzita. Watch this space as Carif will mount a defence of the Cups’ against the foreign horses in the same vein as 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare.

Battenburg was spelled after his run at Moonee Valley as have now many of those mentioned above.

Carif opens up his Flemington Career in the Melbourne Cup qualifier & historic Hotham Handicap on Derby Day 2019.

Into The Aybss striding clear on Labour Day Holiday Racing


10 October 2019

Our spring growth (10 Sept) has sprouted some more recent winners with a pleasant last week. Joyous Times, a Think Big Stud/Foote Street homebred by our former champion racehorse and top 10 sire So You Think broke through for an all important maiden win at Gosford (3 Oct) under an excellent R King ride. Saturday 5 October saw Dundeel purchase Profit chalk up his four win from his three career starts for trainer Chris Anderson at Eagle Farm. He will likely reappear in the $2m Magic Million 3YO Guineas on 11th January. On the same day, this time at Randwick, homebred Carif, by former yearling purchases So You Think & Norzita (a combined 12 Group 1 wins between them) gets special mention with his first attempt at Weight For Age running 3 lens fifth in the $500,000 Group 2 Hill Stakes. He will revert to a more favourable weight scale at his next start in the St Ledger Gr3 at Randwick on 19 Oct. Rounding out the long weekend runner was Into The Abyss who chalked a further easy win under a large weight at Warwick Farm on 7 Oct. See Breednet story about her The weekend ahead see yearlings we have purchased compete nationwide at Randwick, Eagle Farm, Morphettville, Kembla Grange & Hawkesbury in Group 1 races, Stakes Races, Open Handicaps to Maidens. Hopefully we can report back with some good fortune.

Spring Growth

10th September 2019
With Spring comes new growth and as we ease into Spring 2019 some new horses are emerging for DGR and associates. Three Year Old Profit by Dundeel from Opportunity is unbeaten in his two career starts thus far. While he is yet to become a “Profit” in prizemoney terms and it is far from a Done Deal that he will, but he certainly has the opportunity to do so.
Ref: Breednet

Fellow Dundeel 3yo Mystery Trick also won on debut in August weeks and while he found the Group 3 Ming Dynasty a bridge to far at his subsequent start, he too will have an opportunity to so in the Autumn having been put away by his trainer Bjorn Baker for now.

Yet another Dundeel for our connections, the cutely named 3yo filly Stick ‘Em Up, out of Shoot Fer Love a half sister to Grupo 1 her Shoot Out, has started to show some staying potential with a nice third placing last start over 1500m. The further the better for this filly into spring.

Not every horse we race is by super stallion Dundeel. Another 3yo filly who will appreciate more distance is last start placed daughter of Nicconi called Wurnic, doing so this last Sunday hailing from the growing association with Anderson Heathcote stable.

Some interesting unraced or lightly raced three olds around our team by stallions such as Reliable Man, Redoutes Choice, Smart Missile & Iffraaj are warming up via barrier trials for various trainers while yet another fellow 3yo called Craftmanship, by Savabeel this time, in the care of the Price Kent Jnr stable won when resuming in Melbourne on the first day of Spring. He too will have his opportunity going forward from his two career starts to date.

Not restricted to just our three year olds, we are looking forward with some optimism with our group performing four years olds like Purple Sector and Carif this spring.

Profit returns to scale at Eagle Farm on Saturday 7th September thus far unbeaten

Indeed An Honour with Hall of Fame Induction

I was honoured to make the acceptance speech for So You Think’s induction into the Racing Hall of Fame in Brisbane on Friday 17th May. It is not the first time having had a similar honour when Saintly was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Adelaide ceremony a few years prior. Both great horses and worthy inductees and similarly carrying the famous Black & White Checks, Yellow Sleeves of owner, the Late Dato’ Tan Chin Nam and trained for him by Hall of Fame Legend the Late Bart Cummings.

These colours continue to be represented at the top level with Purple Sector carrying them to victory in the Rough Habit Plate Group3 on 11th May. June 8th we have every expectation to see these colours adorn runners in the two year old and three year old Group 1 races of the day at Eagle Farm.

Picture : Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 17th May 2019 – Brisbane

A Champion Result

Friday 4th May’s Chairman’s Sale at Inglis Riverside saw the sale of “NORZITA” to John Messara’s Arrowfield Stud for $1.7m. A poignant moment for DGR she was offered as one of the last core breeding assets of the estate of the Late Dato’ Tan Chin Nam. Sold in foal to Snitzel, Norzita was purchased by DGR for her racing owners Dato’ Tan Chin Nam’s Think Big Stud and Tunku Ahmad’s Westcode Pty Ltd for NZ$200,000 at the 2010 New Zealand Karaka Premier Yearling Sales.

Norzita raced twelve times winning 4 of those occasions including the Group 1 ATC Flight Stakes in the spring of 2012 and the Group 1 ATC Storm Queen Stakes Gr1. She was never unplaced at stakes level, she was first past the post in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes only to lose it in the stewards room and she closed out her three year old career running third in the Group1 ATC Doncaster Stakes to males Sacred Falls & Pierro, who are both now at stud as stallions themselves. This consistent dominant performance saw her crowned 2012/13 Australasian Champion 3yo Filly.

By our records Norzita became at least the fourth Champion 3yo Filly procured by DGR after Danendri, Dashing Eagle & First Seal. Faint Perfume achieved the same accolade, but she was bred in partnership by Dato’ from daughter of the aforementioned Danendri, but will still feel we have our fingerprint on that filly also.

Norzita has started her own breeding career off soundly with her 3yo son Carif winning his maiden in track record time, posting a fourth at Group 2 level in April 2019 at his sixth start with aspirations of better things to come from him. Carif is by our ten time Group 1 winning Champion So You Think who also came from the same sale ring as Norzita, but for NZ$110,000 in 2008.

Norzita’s 2yo called Confidant is at the time of writing unbeaten in two Flemington Jump Out Trials so we at DGR have much to look forward to watching Norzita and be proud about.

Easter Optimism

The 2019 version on the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales set some records and some very high prices and indices with 75 lots selling for $500,000 or more and an overall average of $356,372.

Perhaps not the sale to claim to have bought cheaply but our two purchases bought in conjunction with Anthony Cummings do sit below the overall sale average and less than the half price of $500,000. We have purchased Group 1 winners from the Easter Yearling Sales as has Anthony Cummings and we are rightfully optimistic that this years combined purchases can add to the Group 1 haul.

Our purchases of Lot 147 by Teofilo & Lot 186 by So You Think can be viewed in the links.

Picture : Lot 186 in the auction ring at Inglis Riverside purchased for $220,000.

Legacy Updates Continue

The legacy of Dato’ Tans support updates yet again. We commented during 2018 and again in a post in January 2019 about winning combinations and successful progeny bred from racehorses initially purchased by DGR as yearlings such as Krone (Eurozone/Soft Landing), Tivaci (ex Breccia),Emperors Way (Roman Emperor/Laylia) but 2018 ended with our pinnacle success for breeding with SKY BOY winning five in a row and the Villiers Group 2 on 15th December putting him on top of the individual metropolitan wins table (source Racenet) for the season. The unbeaten MYSTERY LOVE adds the recent Bendigo Guineas Listed to the tally.

She is another stakes winner for her sire Eurozone purchased by DGR as a yearling to race for the late Dato’ Tan & Partners. Her dam Free Thinking was bred by Dato’ being by his beloved Pendragon, purchased as a yearling by DGR out of an off the track broodmare purchased for Dato’ as we set his then new Think Big Stud property in the southern highlands. That mare leash is now also the grandam of the $2m earner HOUTZEN.

The late Dato Tan

Classic Rewards Then & Now

We would not be described a “frequent flyer” in buying at the January Inglis Classic sales however in our past attempts rewards have flown.

DGR purchased one horse at the inaugural Inglis Classic in 1991 for $7,000. That horse became known as Shoeshine Henry and he won the inaugural classic race in 1992, then worth $353,000 under Mick Dittman when run at Canterbury. Shoeshine also ran second in both the Breeders Plate Gr3 & Silver Slipper Gr2 as a two year old and at three ran third in the Caulfield Guineas Gr1 & BMW Vase Gr3. In conjunction with the late Bart Cummings DGR purchased God’s Own at the same sale in 2004.

He cost a bit more than Shoeshine Henry and was the sale topper at $220,000, a price that would now barely raise an eyebrow. God’s Own did vindicate his price winning among other races a Caulfield Guineas Gr1 and second in a Lightning Stakes Gr1 by a head to Takeover Target. Those performances saw him subsequently syndicated as a stallion for millions of dollars. 2019 DGR purchased just one horse at the Classic. In partnership this time with John Sargent we acquired Lot 225 for $80,000.

By the interesting and very good looking first season sire Bull Point from a full sister to multiple Group 2 winning two year old Into The Mist. Into The Mist has gone on to produce her own Group 2 winning two year daughter and now it is sister Countess Delago’s turn with our equally good looking Bull Point colt.

January Yearling Sales Activity 2019

With over 1500 yearlings cataloged in the premium sessions of the Magic Millions & New Zealand Karaka Yearling Sales in January, DGR has kept up traction in the frantic competitive pace of the sales circuit purchasing 5 yearlings at both sales in total, some in combination with our new “stable” of trainers including Chris Anderson, Anthony Cummings, Mick Price & John Sargent so far.

These new additions we hope will be the topic of treasured memories in the years to come like many of our previous acquisitions. Positions in some of these yearlings currently remain available. Info via the individual links –

  • Magic Millions Lot 303 bay filly Not A Single Doubt – Zarakiysha $210,000
  • Magic Millions Lot 341 bay filly Smart Missile – Aloona $360,000
  • Magic Millions Lot 793 bay colt Vancouver – Messenger $140,000
  • NZ Karaka Lot 146 bay colt Tavistock – Lady Kipling NZ$230,000
  • NZ Karaka Lot 560 bay colt Tavistock – Alluring Belle $150,000

Savabeel-Lady Kipling colt

Dato Tan leading back in his 1998 Doncaster winner Catalan Opening

Ongoing Legacy

We commented earlier in the year about winning combinations and successful progeny bred from racehorses initially purchased by DGR as yearlings such as Krone (Eurozone/Soft Landing), Tivaci (ex Breccia), Emperors Way (Roman Emperor/Laylia).

But 2018 ended with our pinnacle success for breeding with SKY BOY winning five in a row and the Villiers Group 2 on 15th December putting him on top of the individual metropolitan wins table (source Racenet) for the season even above the likes of the mighty Winx.