(Edited Japan Racing Horse Association press release)
A Rock of Gibraltar colt brought 145 million yen (approximately $1,567,161) July 13 to top the Japanese Racing Horse Association yearling sale, which turned in a solid performance at the Northern Horse Park on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. Shigeyuki Okada of Big Red Farm purchased the brown yearling that was bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm and consigned by Shunsuke Yoshida’s Northern Racing.
"I have the feeling that the quality of muscle which the colt is carrying is very good,” said Okada of the half-brother to 2007 Japanese Horse of the Year Admire Moon (by End Sweep). "While the offspring by Rock of Gibraltar tend to have the problem of weak muscle, this colt has taken over the muscle with nice quality from his broodmare sire Sunday Silence. He is beautiful".
Asked about the price, Okada said: "It is surprising, surprisingly high for me. However, I could not stop myself, because this is the lot which I like the best in today's catalog".
Okada said he has not decided who is going to train the colt, who is out of the 11-year-old unraced mare My Katies.
In all, 122 horses were sold for a gross of 2,699,400,000 yen ($29,175,133) and averaged 22,126,230 yen ($239,140). The median price was 16 million yen ($172,928). Compared to last year, when 105 yearlings were sold, the gross rose 15% from 2,347,600,000 yen. The average fell only 1% from 22,358,095 yen, and the median was the same.
This year’s buy-back rate was 21.8%.