Fastnet Rock Colt Sparks More Fireworks

A colt by Coolmore Stud's elite sire Fastnet Rock sold for $4 million (US$4,209,200 U.S.), the second-highest price ever paid for a yearling at auction in Australia, during the second day of the Inglis Easter yearling sale April 10.

Emirates Park chief executive officer Trevor Lobb outbid Coolmore to secure the muscular colt, whose price tag is exceeded only by Black Caviar's half brother by Redoute's Choice that was sold for an Australasian record $5 million (US$5,238,006) at the sale's opening session April 9. Both prices eclipse the previous Australasian record of $3 million set in 2000 in New Zealand and equaled in 2006 and 2007 in Australia.

Offered by Cressfield Stud, the Fastnet Rock colt is out of 2003 Oakleigh Plate (Aus-I) winner River Dove, by Hurricane Sky. He will be raced in partnership between Dubai businessman and Emirates Park owner Nasser Lootah and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum.

"I just loved the athleticism of him, the way he walked. He's got the best temperament. Nothing upsets him; one of those horses you don't see that often at a yearling sale," Lobb said. "To us he was the best colt in the sale.

The colt will be trained by John Hawkes, who had great success training for Woodlands Stud with Lobb as general manager when the operation was owned by the Inghams. Hawkes' runners currently include Black Caviar's multiple group I-winning half brother All Too Hard.

Fastnet Rock had two other yearlings sell for seven figures at the second session. Kia-Ora Stud's filly out of U.S. grade I winner Mani Bhavan, by Storm Boot, sold to James Bester Bloodstock for $1,550,000 (US$1,631,237). Cressfield Stud's filly out of the multiple stakes-winning Singspiel mare Park Esteem sold to Peter Moody for $1 million (US$1,052,411). The filly is from the family of 2003 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) winner Moon Ballad.

Fastnet Rock currently ranks second on Australia's general sire list, with progeny earnings of $8,378,879 (US$8,816,568) thus far for the 2012-2013 season. He leads the Easter sale sire list through two days of the three-day sale as 33 of his progeny have sold for an aggregate $21,240,000 (US$22,350,755), an average of $643,636 (US$677,295), and median of $400,000 (US$420,920).

Offspring of Arrowfield's two-time leading sire Redoute's Choice, who is standing his first Northern Hemisphere season in France, brought the two other seven-figure sales April 10: Eliza Park's colt from Black Caviar's grandam Scandinavia sold to Bester for $1,200,000 (US$1,263,536), and Cressfield's filly out of Star Satire was bought by John Warren for $1 million (US$1,052,976).

Buoyed by the record-priced colts, total sales on 249 horses through two days of the Easter sale stand at $75,310,000 (US$79,311,876 249), up 32% when compared with the first two days at last year's sale.

The average price of $302,450 (US$318,537) marks a 36.4% rise, and the median price of $200,000 (US$210,608) represents an 18% increase. The clearance rate slid a bit to 75%, compared with 77% through the first two days in 2012.

The third and final day of the 2013 Easter sale, which includes a second session, is set for April 11, beginning at 11 a.m. local time.

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