Winner: Exceptionally (Ekraar-Sahayb)
Race: VRC St Leger LR (2800m)
Sold for: $4,500
Sale: 2007 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale
Vendor: Yarraman Park
Buyer: Grange Thoroughbreds
Sold for: $62,500
Sale: 2008 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale
Vendor: Grange Thoroughbreds
Buyer: Kingsley Peach
Owner(s): Mrs EM & KAJ Peach & Mrs RS & T O’Sullivan
Trainer: Terry & Karina O’Sullivan (Stawell)
When Kingsley and Evelyn Peach attended the 2008 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling Sale at Morphettville you could have forgiven them for taking some time to find their star buy.
But when Lot 1 entered the ring – a filly by a then little known New Zealand sire – Peach was there to snap up the youngster.
“I wasn’t long out of the hospital after open heart surgery,” Peach recalled. “But we went to the Adelaide Sale and she was Lot 1.”
“Not many knew much about the sire (Ekraar) – but I had seen the stallion and liked him.”
“She was out of a Zabeel mare and was a really nice filly. We had to pay a bit for her – but she’s worth it!”
Peach snapped up the filly with a $62,500 filly and he and his wife Evelyn would end up sharing ownership in her with well known Stawell horseman Terry O’Sullivan and his wife Robyn.
The filly, now known as Exceptionally, had her connections cheering at Flemington today when she scored a breakthrough win in the $201,000 listed VRC St Leger (2800m).
Exceptionally ($19-$21) flew home between runners in the final furlong to reel in Gallant Lady ($3.60-$4.60-$3.90 fav) and win by three quarters of a length.
Another short neck back in third place was the well fancied second elect Sherpa Tenzig ($4.20-$5-$4.60).
Expectionally is prepared at Stawell in Victoria’s west by father-daughter team Terry and Karina O’Sullivan.
Terry, as expected, was looking to the future with the stable’s latest staying star.
He wasn’t surprised that his long shot was in the winner’s stall following a down the track effort last start in group class in Adelaide.
“I thought her run at Caulfield (two runs back) was great,” O’Sullivan commented.
“She went to Adelaide then and just felt flat and dopey. We took her over the day before and she obviously didn’t do that well overnight.”
“She was flat at the races – there was no life in her and she raced accordingly.”
“On her run at Caulfield we thought we should have run at least second – if not worried the winner – and it (Chartreux) won the West Australian Derby last night.”
“So all up we thought we had a great chance.”
“She’s always shown good staying promise. She’s a great winded filly and we always thought she’d stick.”
“We’ve always thought she was pretty good.”
The Melbourne Cup is already a long term aim for Exceptionally – and while it is a long way off – connections can’t help but think they have a contender on their hands.
“She’ll have a rest now,” O’Sullivan said. “But you’d have to look at a race like the Melbourne Cup – she just might be the right kind of horse.”
Exceptionally is a great advertisement for pin-hooking from the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale at the Gold Coast.
She was offered by Yarraman Park at the 2007 edition of the sale and she was astutely purchased by Gary Mudgway and Kylie Wood’s Grange Thoroughbreds for $4,500.
The Grange team took her back to grow out at their Victorian based and they elected to sell her in Adelaide around eight months later for a healthy $62,500.
Exceptionally – an exceptional success for all concerned.