The Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale opened is three-day run April 7 with median and average gaining by 17% and 12%, respectively, while trading was led by a Fastnet Rock filly sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum for $1.6 million (US$1,223,665).
Similar to the 2014 auction, a strong contingent of international shoppers made for spirited bidding and included B. Wayne Hughes' Lexington-based Spendthrift Farm, which was active at last year's sale, both as buyer and consignor; Angus Gold of Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Stud; China Horse Club, including in partnership with Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables; Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Horse Farm in Japan; and BBA Ireland, as well as buyers from Hong Kong and South Africa.
There were 132 horses sold for an aggregate $38,500,000 ($29,421,154), a figure that increased marginally from last year's opening day, when 147 were sold for $38,349,250. Median price rose to $210,000 ($160,612), and the average price improved to $291,667 ($223,073).
The session-topping Fastnet Rock filly, offered by Yarraman Park Stud, was produced by the Encosta de Lago mare Perfect Persuasion, a stakes-placed full sister to Australian champion 2- and 3-year-old filly Alinghi. The youngster, who will stay in Austalia to race, is the fourth foal from her dam, who has produced a pair of group-placed runners. A full brother to the filly topped the opening day last year when also selling for AUS$1.6 million to bloodstock agent John Warren from the Coolmore consignment.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum made one other purchase Monday—also a filly—going to $675,000 ($512,149) for Coolmore Stud's daughter of Fastnet Rock out of the Hennessy mare Livealifeoflove. A half sister to U.S. multiple stakes winner Srumdiddlyumptious
) and grade I-placed Hamsa
), she is from the family of U.S. grade I winners Vicar
and French classic winner Astronomer Royal
Fastnet Rock was responsible for the day's top two highest prices as his daughter from the unraced Entrepreneur mare Mennetou, offered by Coolmore Stud, was sold for $1.3 million ($994,615) to BBA Ireland's Adrian Nicoll, who was bidding on behalf of the Niarchos family. The filly is a half sister to group III winners Osaila
and Obama Rule
, both by Danehill Dancer
. Second dam is 1980 French Horse of the Year Detroit
, who also produced Carnegie
, winner of the 1994 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I), a three-quarter brother to Mennetou.
Hong Kong-based George Moore Bloodstock landed the day's highest-price colt from Willow Park Stud, going to $1 million ($764,638) for a son of deceased sire Street Cry out of Exceed And Excel's stakes-winning daughter Noesis.
China Horse Club and Central Kentucky-based Stonestreet Stables teamed to secure Yarraman Park's colt by 2013/14 leading first-season sire I Am Invincible out of the winning Northern Spur mare Rivers Secret for $750,000 ($573,724). The mare is a half sister to Australian group I winner River Dove.
Gold led international buyers, signing for eight yearlings for $2,685,000 ($2,051,817), including Arrowfield Stud's Redoute's Choice filly out of South African champion National Colour for $675,000 ($512,149).
Spendthrift, which has expanded its racing and breeding operations into Australia, bought two yearlings, the most expensive being a colt by late sire Northern Meteor for $350,000 ($267,614) out of the unraced Rock of Gibraltar
mare Rockin Babe, a three-quarter sister to Hong Kong standout Hidden Dragon and a half sister to Australian group III winner and group producer Tahni Girl and group II winner Just Dancing. Spendthrift also picked up Widden Stud's More Than Ready
filly out of U.S. stakes winner Moon de French
for $200,000 ($153,031).
Coolmore Stud led all consignors by totals sales, selling 11 of 13 horses offered for $5,155,000 (3,942,587). Coolmore sire Fastnet Rock had five of the top 10 highest prices and overall had 16 horses sell for $8,445,000 ($6,459,713).
Ten other sires also had individual progeny sell for $500,000 ($382,457) or more: Street Cry, I Am Invincible, Snitzel
, Manhattan Rain
, Redoute's Choice, Exceed And Excel, Sebring
, Medaglia d'Oro
, High Chaparral
, and More Than Ready.
"There has been an incredible buzz around the sale, and day one has certainly lived up to that," said Inglis' managing director Mark Webster. "It is great to see Australian trainers and agents working closely with both international and local owners to secure the incredible athletes assembled at Easter."
The day's clearance rate came in at 73% compared with 74% at last year's corresponding session.
The Inglis Easter yearling sale continues April 8.