(Edited William Inglis & Son press release)
The first foal out of two-time Australian Horse of the Year Makybe Diva brought Aust$1.5 million (approximately $1,073,265 in U.S. funds) April 5 during the opening session of the William Inglis & Son Easter yearling sale in Australia. Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien purchased the Galileo colt from Tony Santic’s Makybe consignment.
An emotional Santic described the colt as being “very special” and a horse close to his heart.
“The market is pretty difficult at the moment and if he didn't make that sort of money, I was very happy to take him home because he's such a great type. But he made his money,” Santic said. “This is one of my biggest thrills to see her (Makybe Diva’s) first foal go for a lot of money and hopefully down the track, he's able to win some great races and hopefully -- you never know -- he might become a stallion. You've got to dream.”
O’Brien was thrilled to have secured the yearling, whose dam is a 10-year-old daughter of Desert King. Makybe Diva was Australia's Horse of the Year in 2005 and 2006.
“She was the best race mare probably to race ever in Australia,” O’Brien said. “It is such a volatile market at the moment. No one knows where it is heading. All I know is that there may never be another colt out of Makybe Diva offered for sale and we now have it."
As expected, the impact of the global financial crisis was felt. The average price of Aust$296,978 ($162,405) fell from 2008’s comparable figure for the opening session of $338,737. The gross for the 91 yearlings sold this year was Aust$20,655,000 ($14,778,859), and the median price was Aust$150,000 ($107,326). The session was cut short by a power outage.
“This has been the trend right through the sales season; buyers have secured value like they haven’t done for many years,” said Inglis managing director Mark Webster. “Having said that, there are many other sales companies that would love to average Aust$226,000; it’s still a fair result in the current climate. The absence of some significant players in the top end of the market saw a reduction in the number of seven-figure yearlings as has been the case with other sales this year. A significant number of private sales are being negotiated after the market readjustment today."
The second-highest-priced yearling sold was a Redoute’s Choice colt out of Australian group I winner Miss Pennymoney that went to Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Australia operation for Aust$1 million ($715,510). Cressfield consigned the colt, which is a half-brother to the winner Wai Lin (by Scenic).