An investment of $260,000 on a Chief’s Crown mare in 2002 reaped big dividends for Ron Gilbert and his Highgrove Stud at the second session of the Australian Easter Yearling sale. But is has been some time coming.

The colt was the first leg of a memorable double for Highgrove at Easter 2006. The following day, the stud sold a Redoute’s Choice – Our Side Show colt for $1.2 million to Cambridge Stud. But it was the Redoute’s Choice – Brilliant Crown colt that set the ball rolling.

Back in 2002, Gilbert paid $260,000 for Brilliant Crown (Chief’s Crown – My Brilliant Star) at the Australian Broodmare Sale. She was in foal to End Sweep at the time and the subsequent colt was sold at Magic Millions in 2004 for $96,000.

Gilbert chose Desert Prince as the mare’s next mating, but the filly made just $14,000 at last year’s Inglis Classic sale. What a difference a year makes!

Gilbert pulled the right reign when he chose Redoute’s Choice as the mare’s next stallion. She produced a colt this time and the youngster blossomed on the lush pastures at Highgrove on the Darling Downs and has been the subject of much admiration for a long time. He was sold to William Inglis as agent during the night session for $950,000 and Brilliant Crown is now looking like a very sound investment indeed!

Highgrove had previously sold a Danehill – Verocative colt for $1.4 million at Easter a few years ago, only to see it fail the xray and the sale voided. That bitter-sweet memory was erased with the 2006 dynamic duo propelling Highgrove Stud to the top of the Vendors list by average. The Brilliant Crown colt was one of three horses to sell in the $900,000’s in the opening hour of the second session.

The 1992 Golden Slipper winner Burst made her presence felt when the Redoute’s Choice – Bounce filly offered by Newhaven Park Stud was knocked down to Robert Roulston for $900,000. Bounce, a Woodman mare, is an unraced daughter of Burst and this is her second foal. The filly is bred on the same Redoute’s Choice – Woodman cross as Golden Slipper winner Miss Finland. Bounce herself was sold through the Easter sale in 2000 for $210,000.

Soon after, former outstanding mare Camarena had her Elusive Quality filly knocked down to Woodlands Stud for $950,000.

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