A Fastnet Rock colt sold to trainer Gerald Ryan for the highest price of $1.3 million ($1,224,972 in United States funds) April 10 before the Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale closed its three-day run in Sydney.
Among the international buying bench for the prestigious auction was Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes, who bought three horses for a total of $1.6 million ($1,507,611) in the premier session I and sold a Tapit
colt for $500,000 ($467,672).
The Fastnet Rock session topper on closing day was offered by Coolmore Stud. The colt is out of the stakes-winning More Than Ready
mare Defiant Dame, a half sister to group III winner Hidden Warrior from the family of group I winners Red Tracer and Shellscape.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum outbid Hong Kong agent George Moore to secure the half brother to recent Golden Slipper (Aus-I) winner Mossfun for $750,000 ($706,715), which is a record price in the session II part of the auction. By Magic Albert—Eye For Fun, by Sntizel, the colt was offered by Fairview Park Stud.
Session II saw a record average of $94,922 ($89,442) as 83 horses sold at a clearance rate of 77%, well above last year's figures.
The first session's 83% clearance rate is the best since the all-time high of 2008 as 326 yearlings sold at an average of $252,873 ($238,269).
"We are very pleased to see the overall combined gross from session I and II on par with last year at nearly $91 million ($85,749,935)," said Inglis managing director Mark Webster.
"Vendors must be congratulated on presenting their drafts in such great order. Buyers were here to pick out the best of the best and we look forward to these Easter graduates hitting the racetracks around the globe in the coming years."
Hughes' three yearling purchases—two Fastnet Rock fillies and a Street Cry (IRE) colt—will not race in the U.S; they will remain in Australia and enter training with John Hawkes.
"He's our kind of guy," Hughes told the Sydney Morning Herald about Hawkes. "He's low key, and he reminds me of (trainer) Richard Mandella, who is our main guy in the U.S."
Mandela trained Spendthrift's Beholder
to Eclipse Awards as 2012 champion 2-year-old filly and 2013 champion 3-year-old filly.
Spendthrift also sold the Tapit
colt to K. Yoshida of Japan. An Australian-bred, the colt is the fourth foal out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Pretty
, a stakes winner at Churchill Downs
in 2006 and a half sister to graded stakes winners Kauai Katie
and Winding Way
In discussing his trip to Australia with the press, Hughes said: "You've got a really good operation, good racing, good people, good horses; you've got everything. You guys are much more international than we are."