Lauriston successfully selling on two fronts

Article from TDN written by Paul Vettise

Lot 61 Headwater x Final Star

Two clearly defined and independently successful businesses are neatly combined under the Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm banner, whose Victorian operation has become renowned for selling high quality stock.

The breeding operation is home fuelled by a band of resident broodmares with Lauriston taking a don’t hold anything back approach while its ready to run business is based on strict selection criteria that has earned a strong sale ring following.

Lauriston will be presenting a draft of 12 at the Inglis Ready2Race Sale on October 22 and among them is Lot 20, a Better Than Ready colt who posted the quickest breeze-up time during the recent Cranbourne session.

“We primarily breed and sell yearlings and the way it all started for us was when Dad (Kevin) sold his business and bought a farm in 2000 and bought a few horses and had amazing success,” James O’Brien said.

“Street Smart won the Light Fingers and came third in the Doomben 10,000, Pure Energy was runner-up in the Golden Slipper and won the Reisling in the lead-up and Ice Chariot won the Queensland Derby while Goldie was doing her thing at the same time.”

Golden times
Gold Edition (Lion Hunter), affectionately known as Goldie by the family, won 17 of her 37 starts including the G1 Ascot Vale S. and the G1 Manikato S., posted five wins at Group 2 level and was a multiple top-flight placegetter.

Gold Edition

“You become hooked so we transformed our business and breeding quickly became our passion and we quickly learned to sell everything,” O’Brien said. “If you don’t, it’s very difficult to sell horses if you’re going to keep all the good ones.

“We’ve had some pretty good success and I guess the highlight has been breeding Global Glamour, who won two Group 1s in seven days with Gai Waterhouse.”

Global Glamour

Global Glamour’s dam Spectacula still resides at Lauriston

Global Glamour’s dam Spectacula (Testa Rossa) still resides at Lauriston and is empty this year and has been booked to visit The Autumn Sun.

“Goldie’s still here as well and just gave us a positive to Lonhro, which is nice and she’s very much loved,” O’Brien said.

“We’ve separated our businesses and have a breeding farm, which is massively busy foaling down and taking mares away to the studs and the other side where we do the yearlings preps is a little bit quieter.

“We ramped that up by doing the ready to runs and something that we’ve been focussing on for the last four or five years. We’ve had some terrific success and I deliberately keep the two businesses separate.

“We strongly try not to sell our homebred horses into the 2-year-old market and the reason is we try to sell all of our foals.

“With the ready to runs, we specifically buy horses to suit that market. While we breed ourselves, we pinhook into the ready to run market and we’ve had some terrific success.”

They include the Hong Kong-based Jumbo Prize (Your Song), a winner for Caspar Fownes who was sold for $160,000 in 2017 while the previous year Battle Storm (Statue Of Liberty {USA}) made $100,000. The Adam Durrant-trained gelding has won five of his six starts for owner Bob Peters.

The Gai Watehouse and Adrian Bott-trained winner Ausfighter (Fighting Sun) is another Lauriston graduate, who was sold for $50,000, also at the 2017 auction.

“We had a really good sale last year as well and sold a Not A Single Doubt for $210,000 and a nice Rubick colt for $175,000,” O’Brien said.

“We’re looking forward to selling 12 colts this year. We look for nice types with hopefully with a nice pedigree. We do all the due diligence with x-rays and scoping.”

The Better Than Ready who breezed over 200 metres in the quickest time of 10.37s at Cranbourne was a $61,000 Magic Millions Gold Coast March Yearling Sale buy and is out of a half-sister to the stakes winner Zebulon (All American).

Lot 20 – Better Than Ready x Blessed Anna (colt)

“We’ve got a Nicconi, Lot 31, who has always looked a fast horse and he breezed up well and Lot 61 by Headwater has always impressed us. He’s a nice, strong type,” O’Brien said.

The Nicconi was a $40,000 buy at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale and his dam Casino Bride (Casino Prince) won five races and is from a well-performed North American family. The Headwater colt was purchased for $15,000 at the Inglis Classic Sale and his mother Final Star (Delago Brom) is a half-sister to the dam of Group 3 winners Red Colossus (Testa Rossa) and Nediym’s Glow (General Nediym).

Lot 53 – Headwater x Dreamlike (colt)

Another son of Headwater, Lot 53, is highly-regarded and was secured at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale for $30,000. He is from the family of Holy Roman Emperor (Ire), who also has two sons, Lots 75 and 139, in the Lauriston draft.

“We’re really, really happy with the I Am Invincible as well,” O’Brien said. “He’s Lot 60 and a half-brother to a 2-year-old winner with Gai Waterhouse called Minted.”

Classic buy
A $120,000 Classic purchase, the son of I Am Invincible is out of the stakes performed Encosta de Lago mare Fashion.

O’Brien also has high hopes for Lot 116, a Rich Enuff colt from Non Stop Rock (Fastnet Rock), the family of black type winner Absolute Flirt (Stratum), who was bought out of the Magic Millions Capricornia Yearling Sale for $14,000.

Lot 60 – I Am Invincible x Fashion (colt)

Not A Single Doubt is also represented by Lot 160, a son of Shoptalk (Flying Spur) from the family of dual Group 1 winner Ace High (High Chaparral {Ire}) bought for $80,000 at the Classic Sale.

“Some of them will go early and some of ours will be 3-year-olds. The team does a great job and they’re all good types specifically bought for this,” O’Brien said.” There’s only one judge though, and that’s the winning post.”

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