At the Inglis Australian Easter Sale, on Wednesday 19 April, a son of Redoute's Choice from the mare Deja Slew (by Slew O' Gold) broke the all-time Australian yearling record when he reached a bid of AUS$3 million (US$2.4 million).
South African trainer Charles Laird made the historic purchase from the draft of Yarraman Stud in the NSW Hunter Valley. And while it was wildly applauded by the 5,000 strong crowd in attendance, it merely revealed what was to come.
When this mare was covered by Redoute's Choice, his service fee then was AUS$44,000. Within a week from now, the hot stallion's owner, Arrowfield Stud, will announce his 2006 fee at AUS$330,000. Last year Redoute's Choice served just shy of 200 broodmares. This year he already has 350 mares lining up. Naturally, the hefty AUS$330,000 fee will shorten that number up, but he'll still get 175 mares and they will be the crème of the crop.
The $3million record beats out last year's all-time best of $2.5 million, set by another son of Redoute's Choice.
The record-breaking colt will race in South Africa. Not so for the next highest on the night, yet another son of Redoute's Choice.
Just under an hour after the record setter was purchased, Tim Stakemire bidding for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum of Dubai, made a winning bid of $2.3 million for another Yarraman Park raised Redoute's Choice.
"It's been a great sale, I had no idea we would make that much," said Yarraman Park's Arthur Mitchell. "This just might be the best 24-hours of my life."
Session-topping buyer Laird hinted at his determination to get his hands on a Redoute's Choice yearling on Tuesday, having spent $1 million on a Giant's Causeway
colt. He told reporters this evening he would have gone even higher to secure the record-breaking colt.
"We really wanted this one, we knew this was the one," he said. "We have the best colt at the sales, he's like an attractive woman on the street you know, he talks to you."
The colt heads straight to South Africa after the obligatory quarantine period, for Laird's client, multi billionaire Marcus Jooste.
Redoute's Choice progeny, who are averaging a whopping AUS$881,750 and who are sure to be even more popular Thursday when his real big guns hit the ring, were again the star attractions of an evening's trade that saw 73 yearlings change hands for gross receipts of AUS$25,380,000 at an average price of AUS$347,671.
These figures represent giant gains on the corresponding session last year where 79 lots sold for gross receipts totaling $17,640,000 and an average of $223,291, while cumulatively 239 yearlings have changed hands for a gross of $68,710,000 and average of $286,291.
"I didn't think the $2.5 million record would be broken, although we were very confident going into this sale that the sale would be good, it has way surpassed our wildest expectations," said managing director Reg Inglis. This is the greatest sale we've ever seen in Australia."
After two days of selling, there hves been 10 lots fetching $1 million or more – unheard of Down Under previously.
An interesting bystander on day one was Californian Jess Jackson. He missed seeing the $3 million colt on day two as he flew back to the U.S., but said he'd be back in the next few weeks as he was interested in Australian bloodstock.