Fastnet Rock Colt Sets Off Karaka Fireworks

Son of Coolmore's prominent sire sells for seven figures to Tom Magnier.

Total revenues and average price showed gains at the opening session of New Zealand Bloodstock’s premier yearling sale at Karaka Jan. 28, which was led by a Fastnet Rock colt bought for $1,975,500 ($1,637,550 U.S.).

Coolmore’s Tom Magnier prevailed in a three-way bidding battle with Peter Moody and David Ellis to secure the session topper, a half brother to Australian group I winner Gathering. Offered by Curraghmore Stud on behalf of breeder Fairway Thoroughbreds, the Australian-bred bay colt is out of the winning Peintre Celebre mare Celebria from the family of two-time leading sire Redoute's Choice and group I winner Platinum Scissors.

“He was definitely one of the horses we wanted; he is a very nice colt with lots of quality and the family is doing very well,” Magnier said about the colt by Coolmore’s Fastnet Rock, who currently ranks second on Australia’s general sire list.

“The horse will go to David Hayes at this stage and then we will just see how it goes,” Magnier said of the session topper. “He is by the right stallion in Fastnet Rock and we just need a bit of luck now.”

Offspring of the son of Danehill brought four of the ten highest prices during the first session, including a filly out of Australian group I winner Episode for $700,000 ($580,251), the day’s third-highest price bought by top trainer Bart Cummings. She also was offered in Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore Stud consignment.

The two-session premier sale launches the New Zealand Bloodstock’s 87th National yearling sales series, which includes a three-day select sale and a two-day festival sale during a seven-day stand.

New Zealand Bloodstock co-managing director Petrea Vela was delighted with the first day of the premier sale, which saw a 2.7% rise in aggregate, compared with last year’s opening session, and a 10.5% uptick in average as well as an improved clearance rate. 

“It has been an extremely pleasing start to sales week,” Vela said. “We’re thrilled with the turnout of buyers, the sale grounds are as busy as ever, and there’s been lots of spirited bidding right throughout the day.”

Overall, 158 horses sold for total receipts of $25,490,500 ($21,129,824 U.S.), an average price of $161,839 ($134,153 U.S.). Median price was down 2% at $117,500 ($97,399 U.S.), compared with the corresponding session in 2012.

The clearance rate improved from 70% last year to 77%.

“Leading into the week it was hard to predict how things were going to unfold but vendors are doing well to meet the market and the mood on the grounds is very positive. The clearance rate at 77% is a great start and is likely to strengthen even further tomorrow.”

The session’s top-priced filly and the day’s second-highest price was a daughter of Cambridge Stud’s elite sire Zabeel bought for $800,000 ($663,621 U.S.) by former Racing New South Wales chairman Alan Bell.

The bay filly, a half sister to Fix, who is New Zealand leading 3-year-old filly this season, is out of the Danehill mare Destined. Bred in New Zealand by Haunui Bloodstock and Frantic Bloodstock, she was consigned by Haunui Farm, agent, and will be sent to Tim Martin’s stable.

“She’s a world-class filly,” Bell said. “She’s by a sire that is both a wonderful sire of race fillies but he’s a broodmare sire par excellence. She’s a rare individual by a stallion that has no peer.”

The premier sale continues with the second and final session Jan. 29 beginning at 11 a.m. local time.

For sales results, visit