(Edited press release)
The record price for a Thoroughbred sold at public auction in Australia was shattered today when dual group I winning Virage de Fortune (by Anabaa) was purchased by Darley Australia for AUS$3.4 million (about US$2,835,260) at the The 2007 William Inglis & Son Select Australian Broodmare Sale.
In one of the most exciting bidding duels ever seen in the Newmarket Sale ring, competition came from all corners of the auditorium and, it would seem, all corners of the globe, before William Inglis & Son Director, Jonathan D’Arcy, via mobile, fired the final shot on behalf of Darley. Darley Australia also purchased 14 yearlings at last week’s Easter yearling Sale for a total of $14,290,000.
Ollie Tait, general manager of Darley Australia, said they had been prepared to pay the price because, “Virage de Fortune is a beautiful type, she was fast and has a wonderful pedigree.”
With the purchase, Darley eclipsed its own record Australasian price for a broodmare after paying AUS$2,050,000 for the Danehill (USA) mare Mannington at the 2005 William Inglis & Son Australian Select Broodmare Sale.
“It was a great result and Virage de Fortune enhances a rapidly growing broodmare band which includes Mannington, Serenade Rose and Golden Slipper placegetter Pure Energy,” Tait added. “A decision on a mating will be made later, but she matches up very well with Elusive Quality and Bernardini.”
Virage de Fortune, victorious in the MVRC Australia Stakes and QTC Sires’ Produce Stakes, both at the elite level, was purchased as a yearling by astute judge James Bester for AUS$70,000. Keeping a share in this grand-daughter of champion racemare Emancipation now seems like worthwhile venture for the well known bloodstock agent.
Interestingly, Emancipation was sold at the 1995 William Inglis & Son Broodmare Sale for $180,000 and Virage de Fortune’s dam, Virage, was sold at the 2000 William Inglis & Son Broodmare Sale for $200,000.
William Inglis acting managing director, Jamie Inglis, said, “it’s been an amazing week. Bidding came fast and furious for the choice lots with breeders seeking to capitalize on a boom market. Importantly though, there were plenty of bargains to be had at the other end of the spectrum too with a number of well-pedigreed mares, in foal to commercial stallions, selling for $40,000 or under.”
At the final fall of the hammer in today’s first session 112 lots sold for a gross of AUS$11,091,750 (US$9,249,410) and average of $99,033 ($82,584).
The sale didn’t take long to get into full swing with bloodstock agent, Robert Roulston, upping the ante to $775,000 (US$^46,272) to secure Lot 292, the group I MRC Oakleigh Plate heroine, Reactive. In foal to group I VRC Lightning Stakes hero Fastnet Rock, Roultson pointed out that, “I purchased Reactive on behalf of a Victorian breeder who will send her to Redoute’s Choice this spring. She’s a neat, tidy mare, a good walker and I actually bid on her as a yearling”.