A tale of two Vinnies
Coolmore’s Tom Magnier came home from the 2020 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale with two sons of I Am Invincible, hoping he had found a future stallion. One was Home Affairs. This is the story of the other one.
When COVID first seriously impacted the thoroughbred industry in 2020, the famous Inglis Easter Yearling Sale was among the early casualties and was confined to a ‘virtual’ format, because of lockdowns.
Arrowfield Stud had pulled its horses out of the Sale in the week prior, preferring to deal privately on its elite draft of yearlings, and there was a great sense of trepidation that the Easter harvest which the breeding industry relied so much upon, would be severely diminished.
The Sale was split into two, one round held on the traditional Easter dates in virtual format and the second held in the traditional format in July, when lockdowns were lifted. Round One was held via livestream, with phone and online bids powering a tentative market.
In a move which would earn him much credit among the industry, one of Australia’s leading buyers, Coolmore’s Tom Magnier, stood up in that virtual Sale to buy four of the top eight lots, spending over $5 million. It was widely seen across the industry as a sign of defiance to the uncertainty of the times, although Coolmore was also able to do some canny shopping.
Among Magnier’s five purchases that week were two sons of the country’s leading commercial sire I Am Invincible, a sire known by many as ‘Vinnie’. Early on the first day, Magnier paid $875,000 for a colt out of Flying Spur mare Miss Interiors. It would prove a key moment for Coolmore’s Australian stallion ranks as that colt would become the dual Group One-winning sprinter Home Affairs.
A winner of the Coolmore Stud Stakes and the Lightning Stakes, he will debut at Coolmore’s Jerrys Plains farm this year at a service fee of $110,000 (inc GST), a price unprecedented for an Australian first-season stallion.
The following day, Magnier returned to pay $1.4 million for an I Am Invincible colt from Kia Ora Stud out of the Group Two-winning mare Twilight Royale. That colt, now a three-year-old gelding named Montenegro, will be shooting for his fourth straight win this Saturday.