The anticipated outcome of the SGA Selected Yearling Sale in Milan, Italy Sept. 16-17 is mixed due to uncertainty regarding the amount of purse money available for Italian racing next year.
In recent months, Francesco Saverio Romano, the Italian Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry, has been working on a plan to halt a slide in handle. Total wagering has fallen by more than 10% annually over the past four years.
Despite the crisis, the quality of the horses in the SGA select catalog is expected to be strong.
“We have 21 yearlings with a group winner in first generation by the leading sires Dubawi, High Chaparral, Invincible Spirit, Montjeu, Oasis Dream, Cape Cross, and Dalakhani,” said SGA’s president Umberto Pianca.
SGA Selected Sale graduates have gone on to become world-class runner, including multiple group I winner Rip Van Winkle, by Galileo, who Coolmore’s agent Demi O’Byrne purchase for $239,122 in 2007. The colt went on to win the BGC Sussex Stakes (Eng-I), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot, and the Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I). He now stands at Coolmore Stud in Ireland for €20,000. Other international champions produced by Italian breeding farms include Falbrav, Ramonti and Rakti.
Some sires either bred and/or standing in the U.S. that are represented in the sale include Fusaichi Pegasus , Geri, Henrythenavigator, Johnny Red Kerr, Pollard's Vision , Rob's Spirit, Speightstown , Tale of the Cat , and Claiborne Farm’s Stroll, who spent two seasons in Italy. Stoll has seven yearlings from his second Italian crop.
International buyers—who generated around the 18% of the gross in the last three years—are expected to attend the sale despite the clash with Keeneland September yearling sale.
All the catalogued yearlings are eligible for the Italian-bred bonus program that offers added money from the 50% up to the 100% in all races over the maiden level. A new bonus introduced this year, sponsored by Società Incoraggiamento Razze Equine, will help offset the reduction in purses by paying owners €5,000 for each winner of a juvenile maiden race.