By Ric Chapman
It has gone past the crest of a winning wave now -- it has become tidal in its appearance. That's about as accurate a description as one can make of this buying frenzy in Australia as day two of Willian Inglis & Son's Australian Easter sale ended.
And the reason -- simple, Redoute's Choice. He has eclipsed already in just three crops, many of the benchmarks his illustrious father Danehill set. Wednesday night, his son from the mare Tugela, fetched a whopping Aus$2.5 million (U.S$1,945,000) -- an all time high at Australian yearling sales.
Tugela, by Riverman, was a two-time racetrack loser, but as a mother she's a home run getter. Her daughter, by Desert King, is the talented stayer Makybe Diva, winner of Aus$9.4 million (U.S.$7,250,000) and currently in Japan getting ready for a group 1 race there in May.
Woodlands Stud, owners of Lonhro and Octagonal, bought the colt to much applause. Said the farm's racing manager and bloodstock expert Trevor Lobb: "He was simply the best colt at the sale. Best sire, best dam, best looking, and we just had to have him."
Woodlands who started buying yearlings last year after a decade of breeding and racing their own, have spent Aus$7 million thus far on seven fillies and this colt at the Easter auction. The farm boasts a stallion roster of nine, which includes Quest For Fame and Canny Lad. The hope is this colt will join the roster down the track. Indeed all he needs do is be a black-type earner and his celebrated sister will do the rest.
Arrowfield Stud sold the colt for a client.
Redoute's Choice, who this year alone has sired four individual 2-year-old group I winners, has returned astonishing figures at this sale. His average is Aus$614,000 from 22 sold. And he sired the second- and third-highest-priced yearlings on day two also.
Bellerive Stud sold the Aus$1 million Redoute's Choice colt out of Treasury Gardens, looking so good that Angus Gold, buying for Shadwell Australia, nabbed him. He, too, has a solid stallion pedigree. Treasury Gardens was a winner in England and is by Miswaki.
Third-highest of the sale was a Aus$900,000 Redoute's Choice colt knocked down to Dean Hawthorne Bloodstock of New Zealand. Jon Haselar, who owns Glenlogan Park Stud, the vendor of this handsome bay colt, bought the mother Buck Pass at a broodmare and horses-in-training sale in England three years ago.
"I gave her to a trainer in England to train and she won a maiden for me, so I brought her to Australia," explained Haselar. "Her grandmother produced a mare named Hasili who gave the world the champions Banks Hill and Dansili, so naturally I sent this mare to Redoute's Choice as the nick with Danehill obviously worked. I can't describe how this result feels as I thought about Aus$500,000 would be great. Previously Aus$360,000 was my best, and this has blown me away. I never thought I'd ever play this game at this level."
Haselar bought Back Pass, a Quest For Fame mare, for just 35,000 pounds in England.
The only stallion to come close to Redoute's Choice on day two was Coolmore's Fusaichi Pegasus
. One of his offspring, a half-sister to Hong Kong champion Elegant Fashion, sold for Aus$600,000. From the mare Wily Trick, by Clever Trick, this Fu Peg chestnut filly was a strong-looking thing and was bought by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Elegant Fashion was a three-time group II winner in Australia before being sold to Hong Kong where she has gone on with the job, winning A$6.3 million (U.S$4.9 million) and the Hong Kong Derby (HK-I).
The results for the sale's second session were 72 horses sold for a gross of Aus$16,580,000 and an average of Aus$230,278.
The sale's cumulative average continued to rise, ending at Aus$215,000. The overall gross revenue stood at Aus$53,208,000.