Twin Hills’ blue hen Lipari sells for $1.6million on the Gold Coast

Lipari (Redoute’s Choice), the dam of Group 1 winner Levendi (Pierro), was one of two seven-figure lots sold on day three of the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale with her $1.6 million price tag also confirming the arrival of Olly Tait’s Twin Hills Stud as a major player.

It was Tait’s biggest success since acquiring the Cootamundra-based property in 2017 from Godolphin, not long before he purchased Lipari in foal to More Than Ready (Southern Halo) for $170,000 from Widden Stud at the same Gold Coast auction two years ago. Lipari, whose second foal Levendi won the 2018 Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) and her third foal Marcel Of Madrid (Sepoy) won a Group 3 as a juvenile, was offered in foal to I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) and was secured by Baramul Stud and Magic Millions owner Gerry Harvey.

Lipari is one of eight million dollar mares sold so far this week, with five of them acquired during the race fillies and maiden mares session on Tuesday led by benchmark mare Missrock (Fastnet Rock), who was sold to a client of European agents John and Jake Warren for $2.3 million.

“From the day we bought her it has been really exciting owning her. Levendi broke his maiden three days after we bought her, so I guess from that point on we thought we could get lucky with her – and we have; she has been fabulous to us,” Tait told ANZ Bloodstock News of Lipari. “She had a yearling sell here in January for $550,000 and to sell her for the money we did today is a huge thrill.” Tait, who oversaw Sheikh Mohammed’s buyout of Woodlands Stud which prompted Darley’s large-scale investment in Australia in 2008, targeted daughters of Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) when compiling foundation mares. “When you are starting out you have got to try and buy quality at the level you can buy and I thought, and still believe, Redoute’s Choice mares are and will be great producers. She was a Redoute’s Choice mare who was in our price bracket,” he said.

“She obviously had a few foals at the time. Wu Gok had won some races but Levendi was unraced at the time, so it has all played out really well for us. “We could see there was some potential in her then but you could never envisage she would do what she has done.” Harvey said Lipari was ‘the best mare in the catalogue’ and was prepared to go to at least $2 million to buy her. He has already made plans for Lipari, who was catalogued as Lot 1325, to return to I Am Invincible this season. “I am more likely to keep (the I Am Invincible foal), particularly if it is a filly, because if you want to race a really good horse, this is the way you buy them,” Harvey said. “But I also buy a lot of cheap mares. I bought one for $80,000 yesterday and another for $60,000, so I don’t just stay at the top end of the market. I go all the way through, and I have always done that. “I bought a mare in foal for $9,000 and sold the foal for $45,000 who was a Group 1 winner, so you know you can get them out of the cheap ones as well.
You buy at the bottom, you buy in the middle and you buy at the top, then you hope you get lucky.”

Tait said it made commercial sense to sell Lipari now despite the desire to hold onto her. “We considered keeping her, and there are parts of me that are very sad to see her go, but we are in the business of selling horses and we felt now was the right time,” he said.

“She had a beautiful covering in the first week of September to I Am Invincible who has done so well. The horses she has produced are still fresh in people’s minds and there is still a lot of potential in her for the next owner.” Tait said Harvey’s contribution to the Australian racing and breeding industry should not be underestimated. “I am really pleased that Gerry bought her. He is a great Australian and what he and Katie do via Magic Millions, we all should be very appreciative of, and I know we are,” he said. “He has been breeding horses for a long time and I hope she is super lucky for him.”

Story courtesy of ANZ