A brown colt by the champion Australian sire Redoute's Choice and closely related to outstanding sire Zabeel on the distaff side, fetched the highest bid at HK$5.5m at the Hong Kong International Sale Dec. 13.
An auction which mirrored current bloodstock sales worldwide saw 30 lots pass through the paddock at Sha Tin Racecourse for an aggregate of HK$87.2m. The average and median prices amounted to HK$2.9m and HK$3m respectively, a drop of 34% and 33% from a year earlier.
Cheng Keung-fai, who also purchased the highly progressive five-time winner Danesis at this same sale in 2006, signed for the handsome three-parts brother to the top class Australian filly, Crowned Glory.
"To see him top the sale was no surprise. It was a very realistic price for a beautiful horse with a lot of potential and a wonderful pedigree," said Mark Player, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Head of International Races, Sale and Development.
The next highest purchases were an O'Reilly gelding for HK$4.2m and another son of Redoute's Choice for HK$4m.
Estimates for this year's sale were conservative ahead of the sale in light of the current economic climate, not to mention fluctuations by up to 30% against the Hong Kong dollar since the time all lots were purchased.
Nevertheless, Hong Kong owners displayed very strong interest in the catalogue with over 200 buyers registered.
"Today's figures are a reflection of the global trend for bloodstock at the moment but it's never been our objective to make a profit either. This sale is all about providing owners with quality horses for Hong Kong racing," Player added.
"We are very proud of this group overall. The consignors have done a fantastic job in their presentation and on the whole I would say it's been the best bunch that we have put through the sale. They will provide their new owners with terrific opportunities for the future."