Perth's premier yearling sale bucked the downward trend in posting a record average of $24,791 (Australian Funds). That figure was up by a third on the $18,482 the previous year and surpassed the record set in 2000 by almost $2,000. The sale median also advanced by a third to reach $20,000 for the first time.

Trade over the two sessions on March 11 and 12 grew 28% to $5.4 million as 307 head were sold. The 63 RNAs represented 22.4% of the 281 yearlings on offer.

Top price was $150,000 for a sister to Kalatiara, a winner of the Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park and the Western Australian Guineas (Aust-II). The eighth foal from the What A Guest mare Bonny Guest is by the deceased Metal Storm.

A French graded winner by Kalamoun horse Kenmare, Metal Storm died in 2001 after working his seventh season at Mungrup Stud. His 20 to sell averaged more than double the sale average at $51,775. The Japan-Australian Bloodstock Agency paid $95,000 for his filly from Moonrake.

Sale high for a colt was $90,000 paid by Singapore handler Richard Tea Geow Tong for a son of Serheed and On Silent Wings.

Sale average for 143 males jumped 36% to $25,549. Filly trade was up 32% to $23,347.

The Perth Premier is highly dependent on buyers from Singapore and Malaysia and this group figured more prominently than it had 12 months earlier.

Perth's success saw it join the main Magic Millions sale at the Gold Coast in January, and last month's Melbourne premier as the only sales to post gains in the current series.

Buoyant results from those three has seen trade into the biggest sale by far in Australia -- the Australian Easter (April 22-24) -- increase on 2002 levels nationally. Trade at the first six Australian majors has topped $90 million for 1,868 head. The series average is running at $48,318 and the median $31,000.

At the same stage a year earlier, 1,880 head averaged $44,321, attended by a $30,00 median and $83.3 million in receipts.

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