An Australian-bred Hussonet gelding out of a South African champion mare topped the March 17 Hong Kong International Sale at Sha Tin with a record-setting price of HK$10.5 million (US$1.35 million).
With buyers keenly aware that last year's sale produced Pakistan Star, a runner in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (G1), 29 lots were sold for an aggregate HK$130.9 million (US$16.86 million) at an average of HK$4.51 million (US$581,300). That's up 7.8% on last year's average for 24 lots.
The 3-year-old Hussonet gelding sold to Peter Lau, whose purchase bettered the record of HK$9 million (US$1.159 million) set five years ago. The sale topper is out of Almah (by Al Mufti), a group 3 winner and 2002-03 champion older female stayer in South Africa, who has already produced group winner Sensible Lover (Good Journey).
Nine of the 29 geldings sold reached at least HK$5 million.
"Last year's International Sale produced a BMW Hong Kong Derby runner in Pakistan Star, who has already made a profit in a racing career spanning just nine months and represents the promise of any purchaser anywhere," said Anthony Kelly, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's executive director of racing business and operations.
"That's what we want for our owners—to provide them with the chance to chase a dream. We look forward to what these horses will achieve in the future and wish the best of luck to their new connections."
With no breeding industry in Hong Kong because of space constraints, the HKJC purchases prospects at sales around the world and brings them to auction for its members.
Hussonet, a former Australian champion and seven-time champion Chilean sire, died from a stroke March 21, 2016, at Cornerstone Stud in South Australia. At the time of his death, the Kentucky-bred son of Mr. Prospector counted 30 grade/group 1 winners around the world among his progeny. He also developed a reputation as an effective broodmare sire. He raced in the United States early in his career under the care of trainer Bill Mott and finished third in the Count Fleet Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack in 1994 before shipping overseas.