English and French group I winner Immortal Verse
sold in foal to Dansili
for 4.7 million guineas ($8,090,580 in United States funds), a European record price for a broodmare, at the Tattersalls December mare sale Dec. 3.
Additionally, Rosdhu Queen
and Dream Peace
sold for 2.1 million guineas ($3,614,940) and 2.7 million guineas ($4,647,780), respectively, the trio helping to drive total receipts for the day past 30,000,000 guineas ($51,642,000) for only the second time in European auction history.
Overall, 190 horses sold for 34,478,500 guineas ($59,351,289), up 44.9% on last year's corresponding session while average and median also showed double-digit percentage gains.
The average of 181,466 guineas ($312,375) represented an increase of 40.3% and the median rose 15.9% to 76,500 guineas ($131,687).
The clearance rate was 80.1%, compared with 81.1%.
Bidding for Immortal Verse climbed from an opening offer of 2 million guineas $3,442,280) from James Wigan. Winning bidder Adrian Nicoll of BBA Ireland had only to make two offers--the first at 4.5 million guineas ($7,746,300)--before securing the 5-year-old daughter of Pivotal for a price tag that surpasses the previous European record of 4.6 million guineas for Magical Romance at the same sale in 2006.
Immortal Verse was bought for a new partnership to be established within Coolmore, which earlier in the day bought Rosdhu Queen through Stephen Hillen Bloodstock.
"Everything was right with her," Nicoll said of Immortal Verse, who was offered by Ireland's Mount Coote Stud on behalf of U.S.-based Merriebelle Stable. "It was top whack for her, but she is beautiful."
The mare is out of the French group-placed Sadler's Wells mare Side of Paradise, and is the best female descendant of Kilfrush founder Monsieur Binet's outstanding foundation mare Mill Princess, who produced 11 winners, including English and French champion sprinter and successful sire Last Tycoon. Sire Pivotal is a leading active broodmare sire in Europe.
Immortal Verse won four of 11 career starts, including the 2011 Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) and Prix Haras du Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I). She also finished third in the QIPCO Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I) en route to lifetime earnings of $1,053,873.
John Moores' and Charles Noell's Merriebelle Stable bought all of the stock previously owned by the Irish-based Kilfrush Stud, which was sold earlier this year to Qatari Mubarak Al Naemi, and decided to sell the mare. The Texas-based pair own farms in Kentucky and Maryland as well as in Ireland and held major shares in prominent Central Kentucky sire Kingmambo.
"It is wonderful to be part of this, it is a once in a lifetime chance to be do this and to see this," said Merriebelle spokesperson and adviser Peter Bance.
"If you want to get to the top of racing in the world, this is the kind of mare to take you there. It is all down to (Kilfrush manager) Brendan Hayes of Kilfrush, who has developed the family for such a long time, and Luke (Lillingston, of Mount Coote Stud) for producing her so well.
"She is a gorgeous mare, she is balanced, is so good-looking, a picture. She has the ability to become anything."
Rosdhu Queen, a 3-year-old Invincible Spirit filly and winner of the 2012 Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I), was offered in the Somerville Lodge consignment.
"She's been bought for Coolmore," Hillen said of the bay filly out of French group III winner Green Minstrel, by Green Tune. "I should imagine she is going to be one for Galileo. She is a beautiful filly, a great physical. She is by Invincible Spirit, who is doing so well, she is a group I-winning sprinter and won her group I (was) as a 2-year-old. You don't get many of those coming onto the market."
Hugo Lascelles landed the European Sales Management's French group II winner Dream Peace, a 5-year-old Dansili mare who was third in the 2011 E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) at Woodbine. Like Immortal Verse, she was bred by Kilfrush and the family has been developed by the farm for generations.
"She is for Frankel
" Lascelles said of the half sister to 2003 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I) third-place finisher Catcher In The Rye. She is out of out of graded/group winner Truly a Dream and from the family of 2008 Darley Irish Oaks (Ire-I) winner Moonstone and 1981 Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) victress Arctique Royale.
Lascelles prevailed in the bidding from Badgers Bloodstock's Grant Pritchard-Gordon, Greg Goodman of Mount Brilliant Farm, Fiona Craig, and Reiley McDonald.
"She will probably be staying in the (United Kingdom)," he said. "It is a truly wonderful pedigree, one of the very best.
"We have been underbidders on a few; it meant that we've saved some ammo."
The Tattersalls December mare sale continues Dec. 4 with the third of four sessions.