Newhaven Park Stud Dispersal 1996

Newhaven Park Stud Dispersal 1996

1.00pm Sunday 31 March 1996 @ William Inglis & Sons ‘Newmarket’, Young Street, Randwick

It all begins with a dream; yet another hoary old cliché. Sometimes dreams are realised. John Kelly Senior had returned from WWII and taken up the reins at the Kelly Family’s totemic property Newhaven Park at Boorowa. It was he who established the Newhaven Park Thoroughbred Stud in the 1940s. Owned by the family since the 1920s the prime farmland of 3200 acres was run as a sheep (wool) and cattle property. It might be claimed John Kelly started out with a significant advantage over his competitors. This was proven pristine breeding country for all classes of livestock including thoroughbred horses.

On the advice of an Uncle John purchased a mare called ‘Solex’ from the St Aubins Stud dispersal at William Inglis & Sons sales in 1944 for a mere 210 guineas. She proved to be a highly successful investment for a youthful John Kelly; her first foal by ‘Manitoba’ selling for 1500 guineas thereby encouraging him to build a broodmare band.

In 1956 on the advice of George Blackwell of the BBA, John Kelly purchased the Court Marshall stallion ‘Wilkes’, a smart winner in France and a half-brother to the outstanding racehorse and sire Worden II. Wilkes was an immediate success and one of the first yearlings Newhaven Park sold by him was the immortal Wenona Girl. Out of the mare Golden Chariot she sold for 2100 guineas and subsequently won 13 Group I races and $141,650:00 in stakes. By 1962/63 Wilkes had displaced Star Kingdom as the champion Australian Sire, his progeny included 89 stakes performers with champions such as Vain, John’s Hope, Bogan Road and Vivarchi. He also proved an outstanding broodmare sire. In particular his daughter Valour, a smart race filly has become one of the stud’s most notable foundation mares. She is the dam of top class performers Worth, Artist Man, Crab Apple and Sudden (dam of Burst), plus Victoria Cross (dam of AJC Sires’ Produce Winner Victory Prince – the sire of Tierce.

Author’s Note: George Blackwell approached John Kelly offering to buy him another stallion. He was peremptorily told ‘lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice’!

Many of the stud’s families have been developed over the years from mares purchased in the era of Wilkes. Since that time the stud has had a policy of retaining fillies to race with notable success. Fillies such as Visit, Parade, Invade, Sun Sally, Specify, Shackle and Worth all won stakes for J W Kelly Newhaven Park & Co as the stud was formerly known. Since 1992 the stud has raced no fewer than 14 stakes performers by Marauding including of course the Golden Slipper winner Burst. As well the stud has sought to introduce new bloodlines by importing a number of top class mares form Europe and the United States with immediate results. Included in the stud’s dispersal is the outstanding Imperial Prince filly of 1994 Arborea, a daughter of the Alleged mare Open Question. This season’s top three year old filly Pontal Lass by Marauding is a daughter of the Riverman mare Pier – a sister to Rousillon.

Since Wilkes the stud has stood a number of top class stallions including the great champion Luskin Star, Epsom Derby second Imperial Prince who has seven Group I winners to his credit and English St Leger winner Boucher, also a highly successful sire. Today the stud boasts an impressive line-up including the 1987 Golden Slipper winner and Champion Sire Marauding, Triple Crown winner Tierce, Champion Three Year Old Zeditave and US Derby winner Personal Hope.

With sound judgement, foresight and some intuition John Kelly Snr and later his sons have developed what is today one of the finest collections of broodmares anywhere in the world.

80 choice mares were offered in the catalogue of which 78 found new owners. The sale aggregate was $7,750,500 with an average of $99,365. Top price of $900,000 was paid for the filly ‘Burst’ in foal to ‘Danehill’. Significantly most of the better lots were snapped up by other major breeders. The covering sires listed were: Bluebird (USA), Canny Lad, Comet Shine (Can), Danehill (USA), Dehere (USA), Grand Lodge (USA), Marauding (NZ), Marscay, Personal Hope (USA), Tierce and Zeditave.

Footnote: As I write this post Brian Russell has just informed that the ‘new age iteration’ of Newhaven Park Stud will offer the largest draft of yearlings at the 2019 Magic Millions Sale at the Gold Coast.