Live Oak Buys Giant's Causeway Filly for Record Price

Live Oak Buys Giant's Causeway Filly for Record Price
Photo: Tattersalls Photo
Giant's Causeway filly purchased for record price.
Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Stud at Ocala, Florida, set an auction record at Tattersalls Friday when purchasing a Giant's Causeway filly foal out of Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Urban Sea for 1.8 million guineas -- the highest amount ever paid for a weanling filly at public auction.

Offered through the Irish National Stud by the Sunderland Holding Inc. of Mrs. Ling Tsui, the half-sister to champion Galileo, was sought by many parties, as much as a breeding than a racing prospect.

But precious few of those in a packed arena got a look in, with Barbara Facchino's Barouche Stud in Ireland, Pat O'Kelly of Kilcarn Stud (bidding through Johnny McKeever) and ultimate Lady O'Reilly's stud manager James Kelly providing the opposition to Weber's representative Michael Youngs.

"Charlotte Weber has bought some nice mares in America and this is not just a weanling but a broodmare prospect. You have to pay a premium to get the best and she has huge value whether she lands a group 1, is a winner or a non-winner," said Youngs. "I spoke with (trainer) Bill Mott this morning and to be ruthlessly
critical, she was nice standing still but not as fluent a mover as some others. But she vetted good. It is up to Mrs Weber where she goes now and what happens to her."


Weber also bought Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Desert Stormer through Youngs for $3.6 million at Keeneland in January.

Irish National Stud's chief executive John Clarke said: "The owner and I are very happy and delighted that Michael got her. She vetted extraordinarily well and was a collector's item -- we knew she had everything and was going to sell real well, it was just a question of the price."

A lively day began when Coolmore agent Demi O'Byrne signed for a Danehill colt for 510,000 guineas. The colt, whose Roberto dam Al Theraab is scheduled to sell on Thursday, was consigned from Barton Stud for breeder Bjorn Nielsen.

Agents John Ferguson and Will Edmeades were the main disappointed bidders on the colt.

The only foal of the recently-deceased Japanese record-breaking sire Sunday Silence made his mark when Ferguson paid 250,000 guineas for the Shadai-bred half-brother to the Group 1-placed Al Waffi.

"He was an outstanding individual by one of the world's great sires and will go to Ireland before we make a decision on his future in the summer," said Ferguson, Darley's bloodstock director.

The sale continues Saturday.

COMPARATIVE STATISTICS

Year/Number Offered/Number Sold/Gross (guineas)/Average (guineas)/Median (guineas)
2002/221/164/8,513,900/51,914/22,500
2001/210/178/7,459,000/41,904/20,000

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