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22/03/02 Davilora Flattered by Bester's Bold Record Call

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This colt is destined to be a headliner. That is if one of the industry's best judges James Bester is correct in his assessment that Camarena's full brother (pictured above) will top next month's Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney.

Bester one of the country's leading Bloodstock Agents is regarded as a fine judge of horseflesh and he has seen hundreds of top yearlings throughout Australia in recent years. But it was this colt that left Bester breathless.

"This is the most outstanding yearling I think I have ever seen in Australia. He is perfect," Bester claimed.

Outstanding. It's a powerful word, but perhaps it is the right one when describing the colt that will be offered on the first day of the Sydney sale as lot 72.

The colt is being presented by industry leaders Collingrove Stud, who are acting as agents for Victorian based Davilora Lodge.

Not only is this colt "outstanding," Bester also claims the Easter record price of $1.5 million (shared by two horses including Group One winner Viking Ruler) is set to tumble.

"This colt could be a record breaker. He is everything you want from a yearling - a beautiful mover and his family doesn't get any better," he added.

"He is by the king in Danehill and out of a Marscay mare and that cross is always a winner. Plus the family is already proven at Group One level."

Davilora Lodge is the property of David Thomas and Lorraine Smith and Lorraine was pleasantly surprised by the huge wrap given by Bester.

"It's a great honour to have a man of his knowledge and experience choose our colt out from what is a catalogue filled with so much quality," Lorraine said today.

Lorraine was quick to point out that her and husband David aren't expecting to top the Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney.

"Look it would be great if we could, but I am just keeping my feet on the ground and just have everything crossed."

"He's a lovely colt and he would probably be the best we've ever bred," Lorraine said. "Let's just hope there are a couple of people who really, really like him."

The Danehill colt looks just about assured of breaking the "Davilora record" for a yearling, which currently stands at $400,000 for a Danehill filly out of Christmas Spirit at the Easter Sale three years ago.

It's probably not well known that Davilora Lodge purchased the mighty New Zealand Horse of the Year Tycoon Lil as a weanling before selling her off as a yearling a year later. If the Canny Miss colt is set to be pipped by another to become the sale topper this would be the yearling that would be more "accepted" than the others.

"It would be good to see the Tycoon Lil colt by Zabeel make a good price for sentimental reasons and we sold her to Peter Walker when she was a yearling," Lorraine said.

Breeders for seventeen years, Lorraine and David, stitched up one of their biggest deals in the past year when they sold their star mare to Darley.

"This is the last youngster we have from Canny Miss as we sold her in foal to Danehill," she said referring to an undisclosed seven figure deal which was struck between Davilora and Darley.

Darley, headed by one of the world's richest men Sheikh Mohammed, also went all out to purchase the Group One winner Camarena from her then Canberra connections.

Canny Miss, who recently produced her new owners with a full sister to Camarena, is now in foal to the champion Northern Hemisphere based sire Danzig - the sire of Danehill.

With Darley already having purchased a large part of the top class family, it is expected the dual hemisphere breeding operation could be one of the more interested onlookers when lot 72 enters the ring in just over a week.

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