Retired horse dentist Vern Trillo has bought back into a familiar family at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Weanling Sale at Karaka on Friday.
He went to $160,000 to purchase lot 1013, a U S Navy Flag filly out of Honfleur, a daughter of his broodmare gem Bohemian Blues, from Valachi Downs’ draft, with the assistance of Michael Hughes, of Hughes Bloodstock.
Trillo bred some high-quality racehorses from the mare, including dual Group One winner and Australian three-year-old filly of her year Shamrocker, Group One winner Rock Diva, Group Two winner Bohemian Lily, and Group One performer Vernanme, the latter in partnership with Valachi Downs principals Kevin and Joanne Hickman.
“Basil Treymane and I had the mare Bohemain Blues, which my wife and Dick Bothwell rushed me into buying,” Trillo said.
“We foaled Shamrocker and then the next couple were fillies. Basil said to get rid of her, and I said I didn’t want too many fillies, and we sold Shamrocker.
“I was happy to get $60,000 for her and I was thrilled for the guys that she had won $2 million and then sold for $2 million to Japan.
“Shamrocker has about four foals and three of them have won in Japan.”
Trillo said he was buoyed by the interest in the weanling filly’s sibling at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale earlier this year.
“Lance O’Sullivan liked the family because he bought the full-brother for $340,000 this year,” he said.
Valachi Downs General Manager Gareth Downey was delighted to see Trillo go home with the filly given his close association with the farm.
“Valachi Downs has been a private farm with one outside client, which is Vern,” Downey said.
“Kevin (Hickman, Valachi Downs principal) and Vern have had a very close relationship and we have felt honoured to be a part of Vern’s family, and we do think of it as Vern’s family.
“We have had a couple of members of it at Valachi and it felt like that filly went to the right home with Vern. He had to be very strong to get her and she is a gorgeous filly.
“He was very strong and he was determined to get her back, so he got her back.”
While tempted to race the filly himself, Trillo said the filly will now likely head back through the sale ring at Karaka next January.
“I have got three (racehorses) in Australia in Scone and two here,” he said.
“I race Vernanme with Kevin (Hickman) and I have got a Vadamos out of Irish Blues that will go to the sale as well.
“I will put this filly back into the sale and see what comes along. I will send her to Carlaw Park, they do a very good job.”