Buyers on day two at the Inglis Melbourne premier yearling sale March 4 showed little hesitation to open their pocketbooks for horses bred to go middle and long distances in a new "Blue Riband" session at the Oaklands sales complex.
"The Blue Riband session was a huge success, recording a clearance rate of 85% and an average price of $116,564 ($118,388 U.S.)," Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said of the day's trading, which was topped by a Fastnet Rock colt for $450,000 ($457,040 U.S.).
"It was great to see so much competition on yearlings bred to excel over middle and staying distances, with buyers from Victoria, New South Wales, South Africa, and Singapore purchasing from this new concept."
Inglis reported 152 horses sold on day two for total receipts $13,200,000 ($13,401,676 U.S.)
The premier sale is already established as a source of champion sprinters and milers, such as Black Caviar, Starspangledbanner, Sacred Kingdom, and Weekend Hussler. Inglis company officials are hoping the new Blue Riband session further enhances the premier sale's burgeoning reputation as the launching pad of outstanding middle-distance and staying horses, such as graduates Pinker Pinker, Fields Of Omagh, Littorio, Hollow Bullet, Arapaho Miss, and South African Horse of the Year Igugu.
"Athletic yearlings by both proven and young sires have been extremely popular and we hope that all buyers are able to experience the outstanding racetrack results that horses from Melbourne are well renowned for," Webster said.
Coolmore's Fastnet Rock, whose offspring have brought the overall highest price the past two years at the premier sale, appears headed for the top spot again this year. His session-topping colt sold to Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock/McKeever Bloodstock out of the Esker Lodge consignment.
The bay colt is the first foal produced by Australian multiple group winner Bird Of Fire, by Stravinsky. Bird Of Fire won from 1,400 meters (about seven furlongs) to 2,000 meters (1 1/4 miles) while posting five wins, 10 seconds, and five third from 34 career starts.
Fastnet Rock, an 11-year-old by Danehill, currently leads Australia's general sire list with $6,542,396 ($6,650,187 U.S.) in progeny earnings for the 2012-2013 season.
Through two days of the four-day premier sale, 238 horses have sold for an aggregate $19,250,662 ($19,544,907 U.S.), down 10% through the first two days compared with 2012. Cumulative average price grew 5.2% to $80,885 ($82,126 U.S.) while median was unchanged at $65,000 ($65,980 U.S.).
The overall clearance rated dipped to 75% from 77%.
Day three of the Inglis Melbourne premier yearling sale begins at 10:30 a.m. local time.
For complete sales results, visit www.inglis.com.au