A colt from Equiano's first Australian crop sold for $420,000 ($375,113 in United States funds), the highest price ever for a first-season sire in Victoria, on day two of the Inglis Melbourne premier yearling sale March 3.
The strapping bay or brown colt by the two-time King's Stand Stakes (Eng-I) winner is the second foal out of group I-placed Hidden Energy
, by Dehere
. He generated quite a buzz at the Oaklands complex in the lead-up to the sale and was one of the most paraded youngsters for prospective buyers.
In the end, it was Tan Sri Vincent Tan/Dato Robin Tan of Malaysia to secure the colt from Swettenham Stud, which stands Equiano during the Southern Hemisphere season. The 9-year-old son of Acclamation
is based at Newsells Park Stud in England. His first Northern Hemisphere foals are 2-year-olds of 2014.
Adam Sangster of Sweetenham Stud said Equiano's first Australian-bred offspring have been well received.
"It is pleasing to see that so many Australian and international buyers have taking a liking to the physical make up of Equiano's stock here in Melbourne," he said. "Many people remember his power defeating (Australian champion sprinter) Takeover Target (in the 2008 King's Stand) at Royal Ascot and it is that physicality that is so evident in the consistency of his yearlings."
The cumulative average price and median through two days of the four-day auction showed improvements, with average increasing 10% and median also a strong 80%, compared with 75% for the corresponding sessions in 2013.
Overall, 275 of 345 horses offered have sold for cumulative total receipts of $24,334,181 ($21,748,565), up 24.4% from last year, when 238 horses sold. The average price is $88,488 ($79,084), up 10% from last year, and the median is up 7.7% at $70,000 ($62,561).
The day's "Blue Riband" session, for yearlings bred and conformed to excel over middle and staying distances, was deemed a success again this year.
There were 38 horses sold at an average of $135,000 ($120,660) during the session, with three colts—by Encosta de Lago, Fastnet Rock, and New Approach—sold for $300,000 ($268,147) or more.
The Penang Turf Club secured Woodside Park Stud's Encosta de Lago colt out of Special Episode for $360,000 ($321,790).
Woodside also consigned a Fastnet Rock colt out of True Seduction, who was purchased by Dean Hawthorne and Peter Morgan for $310,000 ($277,101).
A New Approach colt from Entrust was purchased by Derek Brugman's Nordic Racing and Breeding of South Africa for $300,000 ($268,147). He was offered by Blue Gum Farm.
"Buyers from Macau, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, China, and all across Australia purchased one or more Blue Riband yearlings, which is a great endorsement for the concept and the quality product that vendors are bringing to Premier," said Inglis' Melbourne bloodstock director Peter Heagney.
The Inglis Melbourne premier yearling sale continues with the third day, March 4.