By Duane Ranger
The Redcliffe Harness Racing Club and organisers are trying to rapidly adjust the logistics for the upcoming Garrards Redcliffe Yearling Sale in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 66-lot annual Sale will still take place on Sunday April 5 but for the first time it will be entirely presented fully online.
RHRC President Bernie Ring said the COVID-19 outbreak and Government law had forced his club into a corner and they were left with no option but to either cancel or go live online.
“Bearing in mind the 1.5 metre social distancing, we actually changed our Sale format and were going to sell the horses in our parade ring away from the public, but changing Government legislation forced our hand,” Ring said.
“It might not be all that bad though, who knows we might even get a wider audience if we can promote it everywhere.
“We have been in contact with Racing Queensland and they have offered to assist in any way they possibly can.
“We expect to have all the nuts and bolts and finer detail of the Sale finalised with the next few days.”
He said he didn’t expect last year’s average price of $9,396 or the Sale high of $47,000 to be reached, but he was also prepared to be surprised.
“People won’t have to bid on the day like years gone by,” Ring said.
He said last year’s Sale was one of the best catalogues the Club had presented, and this one wasn’t too far behind.
“Where else can you buy a yearling with no reserve?” Ring said.
“All bids start at a dollar, and we’ve had some nice horses go through the Sale over the years like Group One winner, Governor Jujon, and Leos Best.
"The big incentive about this Sale is that yearlings are eligible for the Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series with a minimum $100,000 prize money for two-year-olds in 2021 and the 3YO Sale Classic in 2022.
“They are also eligible for Q-Bred, Vicbred, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and NSW Breeders Challenge.”
He said the Sale continued to produce winners, including yesterday’s Albion Park 2-year-old easy 10.4m victor, Glitter Strip.
“He is trained and driven by John Cremin, and he and Tanya paid $6,000 for him at our Sale last year,” Ring said.
“He’s a lovely gelding by Sunshine Beach, and is out of a Red River Hanover mare named Red River Laine.
“Murray Thomas’ Onlysbest (Cammibest – Only Ours) is also unbeaten in both of his starts his a 2-year-old - I think Murray only paid $5,500 for that colt.
“Dollar for dollar there’s not better Sale for buyers, and we are also the last cab off the rank.
“We can’t put the Sale back any further because the yearlings have to get to the breakers.”
This year’s catalogue will see 17 sons and daughters of Changeover go through the ring.
Last year’s top selling sire, the late Hurrikane Kingcole, will have just three yearlings representing him.
Of the 66 yearlings that will be presented, more than half of those listed (38) of them are fillies.
“A half-brother to Queensland's best juvenile filly of two season’s ago, Smart As Camm Be, was the top Lot last year,” Ring said.
“He was by Hurrikane Kingcole and sold for $47,000.”
The Sale will be run in conjunction with Darren Ebert and Co. Auctioneers and Agents.
Click here to view the Redcliffe Yearling Sale electronic catalogues.