A rare yearling by hot sire Starspangledbanner was the top seller at the opening session of Doncaster Bloodstock Sales' premier yearling sale Aug. 26 when purchased for 230,000 ($380,615 in United States funds).
"He was the standout of the sale," winning bidder David Redvers, acting on behalf of Qatari Sheikh Fahad al Thani, told the Racing Post. "As we know, they're not making many Starspangledbanners and this was a colt that had great presence and action as well as a good page."
The session-topping colt is one of only current 11 yearlings for fertility-challenged Starspangledbanner, and Redvers staved off Mark Richards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club to acquire the youngster.
The British-bred gray colt, offered by Ireland's Castletown Quarry Stud, is the first foal out of the winning King's Best mare Ultimate Best and is from the family of 1990 English champion older mare Starlet. He has gone through the sales ring previously—at the last year's Tattersalls December foal sale, where he was acquired for just 13,000 guineas ($22,138) by Peter Parkhill and Eoin Banville in the name of A T Bloodstock. The dam is half sister to three stakes winners, including group winner Barney McGrew.
With only 33 members of his first North American crop, Starspangledbanner had a most impressive two Royal Ascot stakes winners in The Wow Signal and Anthem Alexander in June, with the former going on to top-level success this past weekend at Deauville in the Prix Morny (Fr-I). The high-profile victories and the shortage of his offspring make them hot commodities.
A strong finish on day one pushed key economic indicators well ahead of last year's figures for the same session. The average price on 208 horses sold was £37,610 ($62,225), a 19% rise. The median of £28,000 ($46,326) rose 8%. Total receipts of £7,823,000 ($12,943,776) were up 14%. Nine yearlings sold for £100,000 ($165,456) or more.
The clearance closed at a healthy 89%
Irish bloodstock agents Ross and Peter Doyle went to £180,000 ($297,875), the day's second-highest price for Baroda and Colbinstown Studs' colt by Acclamation out of Bahati, by Intikhab. The colt is the first foal from his dam, who was stakes-placed. As a weanling last November at Goffs, he was bought by Mick Flanagan, agent for €85,000 ($114,725).
The Doncaster premier yearling sale continues Aug. 27 with the second and final session.