Yarran steps it up

June 07, 2018

Heatherly, a former top sprinting mare from Northwood-based Yarran Thoroughbreds, was sold for $1.6 million in the Gold Coast last week.

An emerging Northwood breeding and agistment farm is celebrating being a major player at one of the world’s largest horse sales.

Yarran Thoroughbreds found its name towards the head of the vendors’ list at last week’s Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on the Gold Coast after selling former top sprinting mare Heatherly for $1.6million.

The five-year-old daughter of Lonhro, who is in-foal to leading Victorian stallion Written Tycoon, was the fifth highest-priced lot of the sale, which was topped by Caulfield Cup winner Jameka, who sold for $2.6million.

John Doherty, who manages Yarran, said it was an honour to take the Group 2 winner to such a prestigious sale on behalf of owners Barrie and Midge Griffiths and he knew she would be one of the sale’s banner lots.

‘‘We kind of knew we had a seven-figure horse from a very early stage and it was just a matter of how much she’d go over that,’’ Doherty said.

‘‘Everyone that looked at her wanted her, it was just a matter of how many people had the money for her.’’

Highly-regarded New Zealand Bloodstock agent Paul Moroney and Geoff Roan, who manages the racing portfolio of Sir Owen Glenn, whose yellow and white colours have been sported by the likes of Criterion and Comin’ Through, offered the final bid.

‘‘Barrie Griffiths came up to the sales as well and to see him getting excited, it was a lovely experience,’’ Doherty said.

‘‘It’s one of those memories that you’ll keep forever.’’

Doherty is hoping it also provides the impetus for Yarran, a 240ha property on the banks of the Goulburn River, to increase its profile on the breeding scene.

The farm, which is owned by Griffiths’ son-in-law Andy Hine, is around a decade old, but Doherty has been in charge since being recruited from neighbouring property Darley, where he spent eight years managing stallions, in May last year.

‘‘Andy wants to grow the business and expand and bring Yarran to an elite level,’’ Irishman Doherty, who has also worked for Coolmore and spent eight years managing stallions in Japan, said.

‘‘It’s all in progress. We’re making a few moves and buying a few mares.

‘‘We’re terribly conscious of the fact that Sepoy was born and reared next door here at Darley, which is effectively our next-door neighbour. Redzel was born and reared just next door to them and Black Caviar was born and reared just down the river from us.

‘‘It’s a rich vein of land and we just want to produce horses that can win those big races like those horses.’’

In the meantime, Doherty’s attention has turned to preparing a draft of horses for the Great Southern Sale, which will be held at Oaklands Junction from June 17-21.

Expectations for that sale are not quite as high as they were last week.

‘‘There’s certainly no million-dollar horse in the midst of those ones, I can tell you.’’

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