Heytesbury Stud always produces a strong draft for the Perth Magic Millions and this year is no exception. The Keysbrook farm has a consignment of 33 youngsters highlighted by the first crop of Danehill stallion Saxon.
Saxon (Danehill – Jeanetta Cochrane by Sadler’s Wells) has been very well supported by WA breeders and has covered over 330 mares in his first three seasons at stud.
Heytesbury is offering 20 yearlings by Saxon and studmaster Nigel Reid is confident, as a group, they will be popular with owner and trainers.
Reid believes Lot 151 is the standout Saxon colt of the sale. He is out of Miss Caro (Cheraw) making him a half brother to G3 WATC Strickland Stakes winner Gwalia Girl (Marooned).
The Saxon colt out of the five time winning Metal Storm mare Celestina (Lot 407) will also have heaps of admirers. The dam won at Flemington and is a full sister to the black-type winner Oxidation and the dam of G3 Belmont Sprint winner Beat The Storm (Scenic).
Lot 226, the half-sister to G3 Asian Beau Stakes winner Kasabian (Choisir) is another Saxon that will attract interest. She is also a half-sister Bunbury Cup winner Belarus (Xaar) and Singapore Stewards Cup winner Safety Outlet (Favourite Trick).
Saxon’s filly from Auction Action (Lot 373) could be a bargain. Her second dam Clayton’s Bid (Pago Pago) could have been anything but for breaking down.
The family has gone quiet for a generation but it’s overdue to produce another top-flight performer.
Thoroughbred Express journalist Graham Orr explains when he first became of fan and a part-owner of Saxon fan:
I saw Gerald Ryan buy Saxon as a yearling at the 2003 Magic Millions for $165,000. Little did I know that within three months of a visit to Wayne Alchin’s Carramar Park at Grose Wold, I would be lucky enough to own a share in him.
I had gone to Grose Wold to look at another colt bought by Gerald that was available for sale. I told Gerald the truth – ‘Mate, I could not syndicate that colt.’
Gerald’s response: “Well, what about a Danehill colt?’ ‘Yessir’, I said, and within the hour I was at Gerald’s Rosehill stables to look at this Danehill colt, who I thought looked like a cracker.
Gerald had bought him for two clients but, sadly, only Preecher Charaitna stuck with him, keeping a 50% share. Through Tony Fleiter, we quickly syndicated the other half – and I liked the horse so much that I kept an interest myself – because Saxon’s breeding spoke for itself.
And he soon showed that his attitude to racing was great, too – he always tried his heart out, and that will to win made him a wonderfully rewarding colt to be involved with.
Preecher’s decision to keep a half share was a wise one, and Saxon gave all his owners a great return on their investment – not only in winnings, but in heaps of fun.
When Saxon won the G2 Queensland Guineas & G3 Doomben Classic in 2005, we couldn’t have been more proud and delighted.
Saxon’s acquisition for the Holmes a Court family’s Heytesbury Stud at Keysbrook in Western Australia assured the horse of a great opportunity to live up to his pedigree and conformation.
His sale to that stud was effected by Adrian Hancock who was formerly with ABCOS and Magic Millions in Adelaide.
Adrian, like Gerald Ryan, has no doubt that the horse will succeed at stud. “Saxon has a lot of potential and is one of the best bred Danehills to go to stud anywhere in the world” Adrian told me.
Gerald Ryan too has high hopes for the colt. “Had he not picked up a virus in Melbourne after his Brisbane campaign, I’m sure he would have won a Group 1.
“A grand temperament and a grand type. He will succeed at stud!”