By Ric Chapman
On paper it looked like the overwhelmingly successful Australian broodmare and weanling sale conducted by the Inglis was going to wind down without a highlight – until Darley and Coolmore flexed their respective muscles one more time.
Following last week’s record shattering Easter yearling sale with its $148 million plus turnover, the select broodmare sale closed after five days of trade, realizing an aggregate of yet another record--$42,291,450 for 655 hips sold, an average of $64,567 (all Australian funds).
Darley has indicated this year that the firm is prepared to pay top dollar for any mare that wins a group I race and so they did when the chestnut mare Regal Cheer came through the ring early Friday. Darley Australia unleashed a winning bid of $900,000 to secure the group I winner. Winner of six races and $877,955, Regal Cheer’s career highlight came when successful in the group I STC Coolmore Classic where she defeated fellow group I winners Star Shiraz, Mnemosyne, Aqua D’Amore, Ike’s Dream, and Hollow Bullet, while Infinite Grace (sold for $850,000 Thursday) was another to finish in her wake.
She will complement its Australian collection of some outstanding broodmares of late, the Mossman filly Pure Energy for $1 million, and at this sale Darley paid $3.4 million for the sale topper, Virage de Fortune, on Monday and $14,290,000 for 14 yearlings at last week’s sale.
The Danehill factor would undoubtedly have figured heavily in Darley’s decision to purchase Regal Cheer, who is by Danehill’s group I winning son Arena. Group I winners from Danehill mares this season include the Inglis graduates Camarilla (by Elusive Quality) and Red Dazzler (by Red Ransom), while Tuesday Joy (by Carnegie) and Hong Kong superstar Vengeance of Rain (by Zabeel) have also recorded victories at the highest level.
“Sheikh Mohammed determines all the matings but in light of his recent success with Danehill mares, I wouldn’t be surprised if Regal Cheer is mated this season with Elusive Quality,” said Darley Australia general manager Ollie Tait.
Colm Santry, who works for Coolmore and has been a big buyer for them and others recently, is another who stepped up in a big way, signing for Tuesday’s sale topper Lady Marion ($840,000) for Coolmore Stud and also purchased nine broodmares in his own right for an overall tally of $2,215,000.
Santry was eager to secure the group II VRC Edward Manifold Stakes winner She Will Be Loved on behalf of an overseas syndicate, eventually nabbing her for $1,150,000.
A lightly raced daughter of Strategic (whose son Meurice is a juvenile group I winner this year) and closely related to Soleil Rouge, All Thrills Too, and Silky Red Boxer, She Will Be Loved took out the Manifold in thrilling fashion, defeating Miss Finland in the process (one of only two fillies to defeat the five-time group I winner since last year’s Golden Slipper). “She will continue racing with David Hayes and eventually go to Danehill’s multiple group I winner Holy Roman Emperor,” according to Santry.