Damion Flower was an under-bidder for champion filly Atlantic Jewel when she sold as a yearling so he wasn’t about the miss out when her close relation was offered by Vinery Stud on Friday.
Catalogued as Lot 624 on Day 3 of the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sale, the I Am Invincible – Commanding Jewel yearling colt was the focus of frenzied interest around the sale-ring before Flower had the final say at $1.45 million.
“He’s a belter and looks a serious colt,” Flower said shortly after signing the sale sheet alongside Hawkesbury trainer Brad Widdup. “He’s a real athlete with a proper attitude and I rated him among the best colts of the Sale.
“It’s a fantastic mating. I Am Invincible is a cracking young sire and the bottom-half is alive with Commanding Jewel who won from 1000m to 1600m in the (Group 1) Thousand Guineas.”
The millionaire colt is the first foal of Commanding Jewel who is owned by Vinery partner Greg Perry. She is a half-sister to Atlantic Jewel and foaled a More Than Ready filly in September before being bred back to I Am Invincible.
Vinery sold Atlantic Jewel for $320,000 at the 2010 Gold Coast Magic Millions when Flower and several other potential buyers were forced to play second fiddle to Coolmore Stud. She had also captured a Thousand Guineas and graduated to weight-for-age wins at the elite level in the All-Aged Stakes, Memsie Stakes and Caulfield Stakes.
Atlantic Jewel was Australia’s undisputed Champion 3YO Filly and Older Mare and connections were devastated when a career-ending tendon injury ruled her out of the 2013 Cox Plate.
Coolmore transferred the Fastnet Rock mare to Ireland where she visited Galileo first-up in 2014. The result of that cover is 3yo colt Empireofthedragon who holds a nomination for the 2018 English Derby.
Flower and Widdup also bought a colt by Vinery champion More Than Ready from Sugar Babe for $675,000 on Day 2 of the Magic Millions. “The way Brad is training gives you the confidence to really go after these sort of horses,” Flower explained. “His strike-rate is unbelievable.”
Widdup also prepares last-start Canterbury winner Za Zi Ba for Flower and a syndicate that includes Max Whitby, Bruce Mathieson and Rick Smith. She is by Vinery sire All Too Hard from a More Than Ready half-sister to Snitzel.