A Galileo colt sold late in the day for a European record price of 3.6 million guineas ($6,084,666 in United States funds) to Coolmore's M.V. Magnier on the first day of Tattersalls' elite Book 1 session of its October yearling sale Oct. 8 in Newmarket.
Tattersalls reports the price as the highest for a yearling sold at auction in Europe.
The full brother to Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) runner-up Secret Gesture was offered by breeder Newsells Park Stud. He is out of the stakes-placed Danehill mare Shastye, a half sister to 1998 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner and sire Sagamix and French group I winner Sagacity.
"He has the pedigree, he ticks all the right boxes, he is by Galileo out of a Danehill mare—let's hope he has an engine," said Magnier, outbidding David Redvers, who opened bidding at 1 million ($1,690,185), and his client, Sheikh Fahad Al Thani. "Galileo, of course, speaks for himself, but you 'd never think you'd have to go that far."
Galileo, a 15-year-old son of Sadler's Wells, stands at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
The price for his colt out of Shastye eclipses the previous Tattersalls record of 3.4 million guineas for a Sadler's Wells colt out of Lord and Lady Lloyd Webber's Darara, by Top Ville, set in 2000 at the Tattersalls Houghton yearling sale. The colt raced under the name River Dancer for Hong Kong Jockey Club Chairman Ronald Arculli and became an international group I winner and Hong Kong champion.
The new record also is the highest price worldwide for a yearling this year after surpassing the AUS$5 million ($5,238,000) price tag for a Redoute's Choice half brother to unbeaten Australian mare Black Caviar at the Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale.
Financials were up double digits in three key economic indicators. Overall, 124 of 156 horses offered were sold for 26,319,000 guineas ($44,483,979), a 14.3% increase from last year's opening day and marking the highest in total receipts for Book 1 since the sale's inception in 2003.
The average price and median rose 28.% and 6.8% to 212,250 guineas ($358,742) and 117,500 guineas ($198,596), respectively. The turnover for the day was the highest for Book 1 since its inception in 2003.
A Montjeu colt and an Invincible Spirit filly each sold to Sheikh Joann Al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing for the session's second-highest price of 600,000 guineas ($1,014,111).
The Montjeu colt fired up buying immediately as the first horse through the ring, selling out of the Castlemartin Stud consignment to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing.
Bloodstock agent Ross Doyle, who was standing with Richard Hannon Jr., signed the ticket for the bay colt out of Canadian grade III winner Madeira Mist, by Grand Lodge. The colt is a full brother to two-time Pattison Canadian International Stakes (Can-I) winner Joshua Tree.
"He's a lovely horse," said Doyle, who outbid Dermot Weld and Badgers Bloodstock. "We missed on one by the sire last week, but we are delighted to have bought this lad. He has a great pedigree, a very classy. There are some lovely horses here."
Nicholas de Watrigant's Mandore International secured the Invincible Spirit filly on behalf of Sheikh Joaan from breeder John and Clodagh McStay's Oaklawn Stud consignment.
The filly is the first foal out of the winning Halling mare Romie's Kastett, a sister to multiple group winner and sire Norse Dancer, who was classic-placed in England. The McStays enjoyed a nice return on their investment in Romie's Kastett, whom they bought as yearling for $105,214 at Goffs in 2008.
Mandore Agency jumped in late in the bidding to secure Camas Park Stud's Sea The Stars colt out of Mood Swings, by Shirley Heights, for Sheikh Joaan, going to the day's third-highest price of 550,000 guineas ($929,602).
"We bought the Sea The Stars out of Alpine Rose last year (for $1,480,200 at the Arqana Deauville yearling sale) and we like him a lot," de Watrigant said.
He was impressed with the colt out of Mood Swings, who has produced eight winners, including Irish group III winner Grand Ducal.
"This is a good-walking, good-looking individual and we like the sire," de Watrigant said. "We aren't sure where he is going to go as yet."
Overall, Sheikh Joann's Al Shaqab Racing bought 12 yearlings for 4,410,000 guineas ($7,453,715).
Six other horses sold for 500,000 guineas ($845,092) or more.
Four horses—three colts and a filly—sold for 525,000 guineas ($887,347), the first being Tally Ho Stud's son of Raven's Pass out of Palatial, by Green Desert, to Al Shaqab Racing; Glenvale Stud's Galileo filly out of Singing Diva, by Royal Academy, to Badgers Bloodstock; Hascombe & Valiant Stud's son of Dansili out of Royal Ascot group I winner Rebecca Sharp, by Machiavellian, to John Warren Bloodstock; and Highclere Stud's son of Galileo out of Mauralakana, by Muhtathir, to Magnier.
Of the 47 horses by leading sire Galileo cataloged for the three-day Book 1 sale, Magnier's purchase out of 2008 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. I) winner Mauralakana was the first through the ring.
"He's a nice horse, the lads liked him a lot," Magnier. "We'll get him home and break him and plan from that."
Lofts Hall Stud's Galileo filly out of graded/group winner River Belle, by Lahib, fetched 500,000 guineas from Mike Bell Racing; and Ballyhimikin Stud's Teofilo colt out of the winning Green Desert mare Neverletmego sold for the same price to John Ferguson Bloodstock.
Ferguson, bloodstock adviser to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, was the leading buyer on opening day, purchasing 19 horses for 5,113,000 guineas ($8,641,916).
The Jacobs family's Newsells Park was leading consignor, with seven horses sold for 5,113,000 guineas ($8,640,970), including the record-priced Galileo colt.
The second session of the Book 1 sales continues Oct. 9 at Park Paddocks.