Monday, 23 April 2012
: The appearance of a set of twins in the catalogue for the Inglis Melbourne Autumn Yearling Sale to be held on April 29 and 30 may be unique in Australian sales history.
Research shows that the chances of an equine twin birth are one in 10,000. Of those over 80% sees one or both foals lost so the odds of twins making into the same sale catalogue are as a big as winning lotto.
The twins in the Melbourne sale are September 16 foals, a colt, and a filly, and are a miracle in more ways than one.
They are by young Danehill sire Shinzig from Babouska, a mare by Royal Handout from Falling Boulder, a daughter of Oakleigh Plate winner Mighty Avalanche.
Bred by well known Hunter Valley identity Ken Delforce when he stood Royal Handout at his Kendel Park Stud, Babouska produced six successive foals, one of which died, and three winners. However her only produce in the next five years were the twins.
Bred in Victoria by Mrs B. Ivill, the twins are among 19 yearlings in the Autumn Sale catalogue representing Little Plains Stud near Wangaratta.
There is no recall of twins being sold at the same sale in Australia although it is said it may have occurred at Scone in 1960 when at least one of two surviving twins by Newtown Wonder was offered as a yearling.
The one that is known to have been sold at the sale was a filly which was sold twice on the day, on each occasion for about $100. The story goes that she went back into the sale ring after the first buyer had a few beers and changed his mind.
The filly proved to be a failure in a light bush racing campaign under the name of Woodie Wonder. Retired, she went to the Star Kingdom sire Sunset Hue at The Dip Stud at Breeza near Tamworth three times and produced a trio of stakes winners, all greys like their sire.
One of them was Gunsynd, a hero of Australian racing, and the others were his siblings Sunset Sue and Sunset Red. Woodie Wonder eventually produced five winners from ten living foals and is ancestress of more than a hundred winners.
Woodie Wonder's twin brother, named Newtown Star, apparently went through a sale as he ended up racing in South Australia, winning three country races and finishing third in Adelaide. He stood at stud, but had very little opportunity.
There are instances on record of twins being sold at sales overseas.
One set of twins who made sale history in Ireland were a pair offered at a Goffs yearling sale in 2008. They were by Orpen, a Coolmore
sire who shuttled to Australia.
Famous twins in England's history were the unraced sisters Lady Bawn and Lady Black, good winner producers by an unraced Irish sire Le Noir.
The vagaries of horse breeding was shown when Lady Bawn in her first season at stud went to Tredennis, a sire who failed to win in three years of racing.
The mating with Lady Bawn produced Bachelor's Double, an unbeaten champion Irish juvenile who went on to win the Irish Derby and good races in England before becoming an influential sire.
One of Bachelor's Double's sons, Backwood, followed up good performances in England by winning the 1924 Melbourne Cup and was then used as a sire at Widden Stud where he produced Parkwood, a leading 2YO and VRC Newmarket Handicap winner.