Because day two of the sale in Sydney, on Monday, April 21, was sensational .
One colt reached Aus$2.2 million, another $2 million, and yet another $1.9 million in a day that featured spirited bidding by representatives of some of the leading figures in international racing -- John Ferguson of Darley, Demi O'Byrne of Coolmore, Bob Ingham of Woodlands, Roger Langley of Patinack Farm, and Gary Moore, who was buying for Macau's wealthiest man Stanley Ho. On top of that, all of Australia's leading trainers were buying -- well trying to anyway.
As the day closed in, trainer Anthony Cummings was the man who grabbed the most expensive yearling, a big long barreled colt that all the experts looked at and admired by Encosta de Lago from Oceanfast, making it a full brother to former Australian champion and U.S. stakes winner Alinghi.
Cummings, who is part of the Patinack team and who has been busily buying on behalf of them, said this colt was for a separate syndicate, "but I will talk to Nathan (Tinkler of Patinack) to see if he wants in as well. After all, he is a tremendous stallion prospect."
Oceanfast has produced four foals to race – all winners. Along with Alinghi ,who won $3,563,105 in purse money, she has thrown stakes-placed gallopers Slice of Paradise and Perfect Persuasion -- both full siblings to Alinghi.
Stanley Ho, the casino baron of Macau was represented in Australia at this sale by his trainer Garry Moore and bloodstock expert John Hutchinson. Together they decided to buy a Redoute's Choice colt for their boss and went to $2 million for the one from the Sunday Silence stakes-placed mare Lavishly, consigned by Arrowfield Stud."He will stay and race in Australia and then maybe head to Hong Kong," said Moore.
Lavishly was an experiment of Arrowfield. Her dam Lunaliona was floated to Japan in 1998 by her owner John Messara to be bred to Sunday Silence in the off-season to Southern Hemisphere time. The foal was Lavishly and being the first offspring by Sunday Silence to race in Australia, was watched with great interest by everyone in the Thoroughbred world Down Under. She was stakes-placed as a 2-year-old and retired as a 4-year-old. The Easter yearling was her third foal.
The Coolmore money was outlayed on a colt by leading sire Encosta de Lago from My Juliet (by Canny Lad), making it a full-brother to former super 3-year-old filly Mnemosyne, who won at group I level and earned over $1.4 million in purse money. My Juliet, a stakes winner, has had three to race—all winners -- including stakes-placed Tantat Secret. The colt was consigned by Emirates Park Stud, which is owned by Dubai billionaire Nasser Lootah
"We decided we would sell him because we want the buyers to see us as sellers and not as a farm that just hangs on to the best and sells the rest," said stud farm general manager Dr. Shalabh Sahu. "This colt is a beautiful specimen -- no x-ray issues at all -- and his mother is a big mare so I expect he will continue to grow and make into a lovely late 2-year-old and 3-year-old. I think Coolmore has bought well. I knew they would be on him because Demi (O'Byrne) came and inspected him seven times," he added.
O'Byrne paid $1.9 million for him and it was the second highest price reportedly ever paid for an Emirates bred. (The highest was a $2.2 million filly reported sold two years ago but which made its way back into Lootah’s hands and raced in his colors.)
"The boss was happy to sell this colt as the last one (the $2.2 million filly) became cast in a box one day and hurt her back so she never won a race," said Sahu.
Overall, the sale was rich and extravagant in its machinations, with vendors being the runaway winners.
Darley's Ferguson was an active buyer, with one of his purchases being a filly by Redoute's Choice from the stakes-placed mare and stakes winner producer Hanky Panky. Ferguson went to $1.1 million for her.
Tom Magnier, spending independent of O'Byrne, went to $1.7 million for a colt by Coolmore stallion Encosta de Lago from the group I Golden Slipper runner-up How Funny (by Rory's Jester). He was consigned by Tyreel Stud in New South Wales and looked a ready-made racehorse. Moments later Tyreel was in the news again when Ferguson went to $1.2 million for a colt by Redoute's Choice from the British made mare In the Past who has already produced a 2-year-old stakes winner in Domesday.
At the end of the first two days of robust selling, the average was a stunning $344,313 while the aggregate was $82,635,000, and the median at $230,000. The average for just the second day was $348,929. All these stats are records.