Yulong have made headlines around the world for their ambitious mare acquisition strategy over the past few years, but like all aspiring global powerhouses it will be their stallions that will define their long-term success.

Yulong stallion Grunt.
Grunt has sired his first Group 1 winner with Veight claiming the George Ryder Stakes. (Photo: Yulong).

If Coolmore is the model - think of Sadler’s Wells, Danehill and Galileo, or in an Australian context, Arrowfield with Danehill (initially), Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel - then standing the best sires will be crucial to Yuesheng Zhang getting the most out of his formidable broodmare investment.  

On Saturday, Veight became the first Group 1 winner conceived in a Yulong stallion barn, claiming the first elite victory for Grunt, Yulong’s foundation stallion. Veight, placed in a Caulfield Guineas and an Australian Guineas, earned his Group 1 tag against the older horses in the George Ryder Stakes.

It was a moment that was probably overshadowed by the other reasons to celebrate for Zhang and his Yulong team. Imported mare Via Sistina made an emphatic first impression on Australian racing winning the Ranvet Stakes and sailing past another imported mare in the green and white colours, Place De Carrousel.

That pair of internationally credentialled mares cost $A12 million to purchase, part of a significant and well-publicised mare spending spree over the past few years.

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