Dual Oaks winner Dancing Rain sold in foal to undefeated European champion Frankel for 4 million guineas ($6,869,080 in United States funds) on opening day of the Tattersalls mare sale Dec. 2 in Newmarket.
The 5-year-old daughter of Danehill Dancer entered the ring as the only Oaks winner carrying her first foal to be offered at public auction in the past 50 years. Billed as one of the auction's star attractions, her sale to John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock adviser, lived up to the hype at a session Tattersalls described as an "extraordinary day of trade."
The sales comparny reported 203 horses sold for 18,693,000 guineas ($32,100,928), a rise of 64.4% from last year's first day, when 229 horses were sold.
Average and median prices also rose significantly: 50.6% and 40% to 92,084 guineas ($158,133) and 42,000 guineas ($72,125), respectively.
The clearance rate of 82.5% improved from 81.2% at the corresponding session in 2012.
Offered by offered by Martin and Lee Taylor's Clairemont Stud, Dancing Rain is out of the unraced Indian Ridge mare Rain Flower, a half sister to 1992 Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Dr Devious. Winner of the 2011 Investec Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) and the German equivalent for the Taylors and trainer William Haggas, Dancing Rain is a three-quarter sister to English stakes winner Sumora, who is the dam of Maybe, winner of the 2011 Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) winner and third-place finisher in the 2012 QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).
"It really was a no-brainer," said Ferguson, who outbid Pinar Araci, the daughter of Turkish owner-breeder Ibrahim Araci, sitting alongside bloodstock adviser and racing manager Rob Speers.
"Sheikh Mohammed has not bought a lot of mares in the recent years, but at the end of the day Sheikh Mohammed felt that, to use the old phrase, she really did tick all the boxes: She is an Oaks winner from the family of a Derby winner.
"This game is all about reducing the odds and give you the greatest chance of producing a Classic winner; buying Dancing Rain is a way of reducing those odds. You can have lots of mares, but you need the jewels. Sheikh Mohammed felt that she is a jewel.
"On paper she looks the part, but there were two things in particular that I loved about her. First, she is such a beautiful mare, then second I had supper with William and Maureen Haggas at the weekend and they told me what a straightforward pleasure she was to train.
"And we haven't even got to the fact that she is in foal to Frankel."
The Tattersalls December mare sale continues Dec. 3 with English and French group I winner Immortal Verse set to be offered along with an additional eight mares in foal to Frankel.