Analyse This: May vendor focus on Corumbene Stud

Cover image courtesy of Corumbene Stud

Each week we put the analytical spotlight on an in-form sire, trainer, vendor or breeder who is enjoying a particularly good run. This week, Corumbene Stud is TDN AusNZ’s vendor of the month.

Selling the winners of no fewer than three individual feature-race winners this season, Corumbene Stud continues to maintain its status as one of the country’s leading sources of racetrack talent. Offering relatively small yearling drafts, the Dunedoo nursery punches well above its weight for stakes-class graduates. In over 40 years of operation, Corumbene Stud are the proud vendors of multiple Group 1 stars and a host of retained talents.

  • Corumbene Stud has produced three feature-race winners this season headlined by $3 million The Quokka winner Overpass (Vancouver).
  • Eighteen stakes winners have been offered by Corumbene Stud as yearlings at a rate of five per cent stakes winners to yearlings offered.
  • The Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling sale has been Corumbene’s most successful sale by stakes-winning graduates (11).
  • More Than Ready (USA), Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt have each sired three stakes-winning Corumbene Stud yearling graduates.

The recognisable orange silks of George Altomonte have reigned supreme in a Golden Slipper with Overreach (Exceed and Excel) and most recently with Group 2-winning entire’s Standout and Menari who both currently stand under the Corumbene banner. While the stud boasts an impressive record with their retained stock, they have sold three Group 1-winning graduates including $10 million Hong Kong earner Southern Legend (Not A Single Doubt), the late Golden Slipper-winning sire Sebring and Oakleigh Plate winner Eagle Falls (Hussonet {USA}).

By the numbers

Taking a glance at Corumbene Stud’s vendor statistics for the 20 years, it is no surprise that buyers hold its yearling drafts in high regard. Of the 386 yearlings offered since 2000, three graduates have won Group 1s, 18 are stakes winners and 27 are stakes performed.

The Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale has been responsible for 11 stakes-winning graduates which is almost double that of its stakes-winning graduates from the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling sales (six). In saying this, almost twice as many yearlings (210) have been offered through the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale as opposed to the Inglis Easter version (122).

The farm’s output of quality racehorses is quite remarkable, and they don’t cost a fortune. Since 2000, the average price for a Corumbene graduate is a tick over $111,000. Of the 18 stakes-winning Corumbene graduates, 16 were purchased for less than $300,000 with Empire Of Japan (Snitzel) and Noesis (Exceed And Excel) the only ‘expensive’ stakes-winning graduates having set their connections back $680,000 and $600,000 respectively.

The farm’s reputation for producing sound racehorses is justified by the fact that over 80 per cent of its yearlings offered have raced with close to 70 per cent of those runners winning at least once. A stakes performer is produced at a rate of every 14 yearlings offered and over 33 per cent of its sales graduates are metro level performers or better.

Table: Corumbene Stud’s stakes-winning graduates by sire

George Altomonte appears to have a strong liking for a select group of stallions and there is good reason for it. The late vinery shuttler More Than Ready has sired three Corumbene stakes-winning graduates in Sebring, Raceway and Nayeli. Arrowfield Stud duo Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt have both sired three Corumbene stakes-winning graduates. Samantha, Lofty Strike and Empire Of Japan are progeny of champion sire Snitzel, while Sugar Bella, Single Bullet and Southern Legend are all by the now pensioned Not A Single Doubt. Widden Stud’s ill-fated General Nediym is the sire of two Corumbene offered stakes winners including Isurava and Bennetta who both failed to meet their reserves at their respective editions of the Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sales.

Overpass exceeds $3 million in earnings

Last month, the Corumbene-bred and -sold Overpass saluted in the inaugural running of Western Australia’s richest race, the $4 million The Quokka (1200 metres). In his 21 starts to date, Overpass has won six events including the Group 2 Expressway S. and the lucrative $750,000 Inglis Sprint at Flemington.

Overpass, winner of the inaugural The Quokka | Image courtesy of Western Racepix

First listed in the 2020 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling sale which was held online due to COVID, Overpass was passed in for $140,000. He was then re-offered in the round 2 portion of the sale when Darby Racing and William Johnson Bloodstock (FBAA) secured him for almost half price at just $75,000 which was over four times less than the sale average ($306,189) for that year.

Now a gelding, the Bjorn Baker-trained 4-year-old has proved a fruitful investment for his Darby racing connections having accumulated earnings exceeding $3.7 million or 49 times his yearling price-tag.

Narrow misses for Lofty Strike

Being the second foal out of Corumbene’s own Golden Slipper-winning mare Overreach, the expectations around Lofty Strike have always been high. The striking colt was a $280,000 purchase by the Paul Lofttis managed Loft Thoroughbred Group from the Corumbene Stud draft at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Lofty Strike | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Undefeated as a 2-year-old, the lightly raced colt entered his Autumn campaign with plenty of expectation. A winner first-up in the G2 Rubiton S., Lofty Strike was then runner up in two Group 1 contests. Defeating Uncommon James (Cable Bay {Ire}) in his first-up assignment, the Queensland visitor then turned the tables in a hot Oakleigh Plate contest when Lofty Strike was a close second. Displaying his customary get back and run on tactics, the striking colt then split the exceptional In Secret (I Am Invincible) and I Wish I Win (NZ) (Savabeel) in the G1 Newmarket H.

At his fourth run of the preparation, the Snitzel colt travelled to Sydney for the TJ Smith S. where he didn’t handle the bottomless conditions to finish a credible eighth. It appears only a matter of time before the Julius Sandhu-trained colt hands Corumbene Stud their fourth Group 1-winning yearling graduate.

Empire Of Japan impressive in Breeders Plate

The most expensive of the stud’s feature winners this season, Empire Of Japan justified his price-tag with an impressive debut win in the valuable G3 Breeders Plate. Setting back his China Horse Club, Newgate Bloodstock and Starlight connections $680,000 at last year’s Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale, the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained colt contested feature races throughout the autumn carnival.

Empire Of Japan | Image courtesy of The Image Is Everything

Out of the farm’s prized homebred G2 Magic Night S.-winning mare Ichihara (General Nediym), Empire Of Japan lined up in top-level juvenile races including the $2 million R. Listed Magic Millions 2YO Classic and the G1 Golden Slipper where he finished a promising fifth.

Already producing the $2.8 million Inglis Easter sale-topper in Mount Fiji (Snitzel), the early season performances of Empire Of Japan certainly did no harm to Ichihara’s future progeny sales. Her 2021 yearling by Exceed And Excel gave the farm plenty of reasons to smile at this year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast sale when the Kia Ora Stud and TFI Investments partnership forked out $1.8 million for the well-related colt.

Emerging talent

Corumbene Stud has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Denise Martin’s Star Thoroughbreds having purchased the brilliant stallion Sebring and now his progressive 3-year-old daughter Amati from the Dunedoo nursery. Purchased by her connections for $210,000 at the 2021 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling sale, the lightly raced filly notched up a valuable stakes-placing when second in the G3 Alexandra S. at The Valley in March.

Amati | Image courtesy of Racing Photos

While not yet a stakes performer, it appears only a matter of time before exciting debut winner Soldier Of Rome is mixing it in better grade. The Go Bloodstock/TFI/Kia Ora Stud-raced colt commenced his career with a stylish midweek Kensington maiden in March. Trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, the Snitzel colt was one of Corumbene’s most expensive recent graduates when fetching $850,000 at last year’s Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Soldier Of Rome is out of a Group 2-winning General Nediym mare in Bennetta who was retained to race in the Corumbene silks when she failed to fetch her $80,000 reserve at the 2011 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The decision to retain her appears to be worthwhile given she has already produced the multiple stakes-placed Bottega (Snitzel) and now this talented colt.

Soldier Of Rome | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Producing a stakes performer for every 14 yearlings offered is an exceptional feat for a stud working from limited numbers. Having outlaid $2.3 million for five mares at last year’s Inglis Chairman’s sale, there is no doubt that Corumbene Stud will be high on the lists of astute yearling buyers for many years to come.

By Caitlin Smith

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