The average price rose 27.5% from a year ago and the median price increased 33.3% during the Hong Kong International Sale, which was conducted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) Dec. 12 at Sha Tin Racecourse. The top-priced 2-year-old sold, an Exceed And Excel gelding, brought HK$5.7 million ($735,484 in U.S. funds) from Tung Moon Fai.
The bay gelding is out of the 9-year-old Zabeel mare Dubai Express, who finished second once in six races, and is a half-brother to Rockadubai (by Fastnet Rock), who was third in the 2008 Murdoch Newell Stakes in New Zealand. Dubai Express is a half-sister to New Zealand group II winner Lady Dehere (by Dehere), Australian group III winner and stallion Oratorio (by Stravinsky), and Australian stakes winner, Discorsi (by Galileo).
"Owners have just acquired some good-looking prospects for the future, and we are delighted that owners have confidence in horses presented for sale by the club.,” said Bill Nader, the HJKC director of racing. “Demand was very strong, and horses were sold right across the price spectrum, again showing that the owners are comfortable with the horses that the club has selected."
The HKJC originally bought 36 horses for the sale at auctions in Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the United States, but offered only 19 for sale following rigorous veterinary monitoring to ensure owners acquired horses that were sound and physically robust before they embarked on their Hong Kong racing careers, according to a HKJC press release.
All 19 head offered were sold. They grossed HK$70.4 million ($9,083,871), down 19.3% from last year when 30 horses were sold, and averaged HK$3,705,263 ($478,098). The median was HK$4 million ($516,129).
"The reduced number of lots coupled with a favorable economy locally contributed to the overall higher average,” Nader said. “I think prices were realistic, given the quality of horses and past HKIS results from recent sales history.”
A Danehill Dancer – Ho Hi The Moon gelding was auction’s second most expensive horse, bringing HK$5 million ($645,161). Lee Ching Yiu was his buyer.