Central Kentucky-based bloodstock agent John Moynihan as well as Spendthrift Farm were among a strong international presence at the Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale on its April 8 opening day, which saw several horses sold for seven figures.
The day's top price was $1.6 million ($1,496,616 in United States fund) for a Fastnet Rock colt out of the Encosta De Lago mare Perfect Persuasion who was offered by Coolmore Stud and bought by British bloodstock agent John Warren. Perfect Persuasion is a full sister to Australian champion Alinghi
Moynihan outlasted Shadwell Stud's racing manager Angus Gold for a daughter of Darley's Central Kentucky shuttler Lonhro, going to $840,000 ($785,723) for Turangga Farm's filly from the winning Zedative mare Midnight Joy. The price was a record for a Lonhro yearling at auction.
Spendthrift went to $400,000 (374,154) for Kia-Ora Stud's daughter of Fastnet Rock out of U.S. multiple graded stakes winner Heart Ashley, by Lion Heart. The Australian-bred filly is the first foal out of Heart Ashley, a half sister to grade III winner Ashley's Kitty and stakes winner Indianapolis.
Both fillies will remain in Australia to race.
Spendthrift also sold its first yearling in Australia, offering a son of leading U.S. sire Tapit through Arrowfield Stud's consignment. The Australian-bred colt, bought by K. Yoshida of Japan for $500,000 ($467,672), is the fourth foal out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Pretty, a stakes winner at Churchill Downs in 2006 and a half sister to graded stakes winners Kauai Katie and Winding Way.
Also active on day one were buyers from Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
"There is such as broad range of owners, trainers, agents and syndicators all here at Newmarket, making for some great bidding duels over the cream of Australasia's yearling crop yet again," said Inglis managing director Mark Webster.
Two additional horses were sold for seven figures on opening day, both to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. One is a brother to group I winner Snitzerland who was knocked down for $1,500,000 ($1,403,018), the day's second-highest price. Sheikh Mohammed outbid James Harron as well as John Warren and the China Horse Club to buy the colt by Snitzel—Monte Rosa, by Fraar. He was offered by Arrowfield. The price is an auction record for a Snitzel yearling.
Sheikh Mohammed also secured the third highest-priced yearling, going to $1,050,000 ($982,142) to buy Segenhoe Stud's Street Cry filly from Munhro, by Lonhro, who is from the family of champion sprinter Snippets. Street Cry stands at Darley in Central Kentucky and Australia. Overall, Sheikh Mohammed bought four yearlings for $3,625,000 ($3,390,730).
Shadwell's Australia operation bought seven horses for $3,235,000 (3,026,020).
There were 124 horses sold on opening day of the three-day sale for revenues totaling $34,815,000 ($32,565,964), off 15.6% from last year's $41,275,000, which included the sale of a $5 million yearling.
"I think we're off to a positive start," Webster said. "Gross sales today were not too far off last year. The clearance rate of 74%—we actually finished last year at 73%, then it improved to with private selling, so we're slightly ahead of that."
The average price of $280,766 ($262,622) was slightly down, 0.7% from the same day last year, and the median improved 8.1% to $200,000 ($187,075.
Day two of the Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale continues April 9.