The old adage ‘the cream rises to the top’ was in play as day one of Australia’s biggest yearling sale -- in fact the southern hemisphere’s biggest yearling sale -- came to a thunderous end on Tuesday evening.
Inglis’ National Easter Yearling Sale has weathered the Magic Millions assault and after all the receipts were added up from the opening day’s trading, seven hips sold for over Aus$1 million, one of them for Aus$2 million, and all of day one averaged a whopping Aus$296,958 (U.S.$245,440) –- up 15.6% from last year’s record breaking sale.
“I’m not surprised,” mused Mark Player, in Australia on behalf of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. “I was blown out of the water on about four horses. They said before we left that some international money wasn’t coming here this year, the South Africans in particular, but that hasn’t stopped this being an extremely strong opening day.”
His first successful bid came when Hip 32 entered the ring –- a strapping colt by Red Ransom from Ain’t She A Daisy, offered for sale by perennial Twin Palms Stud. Player bought him for Aus$240,000, “and I struck while the iron was hot, buying the next one in the ring also, a colt by Rock Of Gibraltar from All Angels which we paid Aus$150,000.”
A whisper spread the packed grounds that 18-year-old Red Ransom will be returning to stand at Vinery Stud again this year, and may possibly stay permanently in Australia henceforth. Vinery, meanwhile, which scaled back is Australian operation two years ago in a very public and massive sell off (except for a few well bred mares) which resulted in owner Tom Simon walking away with over Aus$25 million (U.S.$20,655,000), quietly sold a few and even more quietly bought a couple. Their first for sale was a cracking filly by the in form leading Australian stallion at present Flying Spur from the mare Alle Belle Be which fetched Aus$550,000 and will head to England.
“That was about $150,000 more than I expected so we are already happy,” claimed Simon who has been in Australia for the past week and will remain for the upcoming broodmare and weanling sales next week. “We then managed to get Aus$650,000 for our Encosta de Lago - Ashkeleta colt, so this has been a nice start for us,” he added.
And that was the order of the day right across the board. Vendors with well bred yearlings, and this year it mattered little whether they were colts or fillies, walked away with springs in their steps. International buyers like John Ferguson for Darley, Demi O’Byrne for Coolmore, Tim Stakemire for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum, Adrian Nicoll for BBA Ireland, Taylor Made’s Byron Rogers, plus a raft of Hong Kong, New Zealand and Japanese buyers headed by the Yoshida family, all spent money.
Ferguson supported the Darley horses freely spending Aus$825,000 (U.S.$682,000) to buy an Elusive Quality filly from the group I VRC Oaks winner Bulla Borghese which was consigned by neighboring Brooklyn Lodge. He also bought a Reset for Aus$280,000 and a Dubai Destination filly for $350,000.
O’Byrne bought for Coolmore and Nicoll bought for various clients throughout the modern world spending Aus$725,000 in one go on a filly by Encosta de Lago from the mare Embraceable You presented by Kia Ora Stud.
But the big buys were made by Aussies and all will remain there -– a welcome change from recent years. It comes as no surprise that superstar Redoute’s Choice remains as popular as ever with racing’s big spenders as three of his yearlings hit the Aus$1 million or more. Plenty of interest surrounded the Coolmore consigned Lot 169, the Redoute’s Choice half-brother to Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Grand Delight, before leading bloodstock agent Rob McAnulty –a New Zealander now living in Queensland - eventually carried the day with a bid of Aus$2 million (U.S.$1,653,000).
Naturally, new Inglis’ Acting managing director, Jamie Inglis, was ecstatic with the result as Aus$49,295,000 (U.S.$40,697,000) was turned over on day one. “Easter has proven, yet again, that it is a sale that truly belongs alongside the world’s best and as such, demands the attention of an impressive international buying bench. In particular, I was delighted with the pre sale comments about the type of yearling we presented for sale. Our vendors are claiming record numbers of inspections and buyers are telling us the number of yearlings getting second and third looks is mind boggling. It seems this year’s short lists are turning out to be quite long!”
The Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale continues Wednesday.