Weanling Rock of Gibraltar Colt Establishes National Sale Mark

Anton Koolman, a bloodstock agent renowned for his purchases of Australian Thoroughbreds that end up racing with distinction in Hong Kong, created a Magic Millions National weanling sale record when he went to Aus$250,000 for a son of unproven sire Rock of Gibraltar Sunday in Australia.

As day one of the auction was unwinding, sparks flew when the colt from the mare Emulate entered the ring.

"I wanted him the moment I saw him," Koolman said.

The colt, a half-brother to the New Zealand group I winner Tapildo, was knocked down to Koolman after some fierce bidding. Rock of Gibraltar (Danehill-Offshore Boom) was standing at Coolmore for Aus$132,000 when he served Emulate.

Koolman said the colt was one of the clear standout lots at the sale.

"I think Rock of Gibraltar will be a super sire of the future," Koolman said moments after signing for the top-priced lot of the day.

"He (the weanling) was very athletic-looking and was well balanced," he added.

Emulate, although the dam of a star galloper, hasn't been a runaway success in any other areas. She never raced herself and has had only two to the track from seven live ones – obviously the past two are too young to compete, but you get the gist.

Saying that, this colt was appealing as he's from an international family that includes Oak Tree Derby (gr. IIT) winner Devious Boy and Lancashire Oaks (Eng-III) heroine Sing Softly. And let's not forget Tapildo -- a New Zealand-bred filly who won the New Zealand Oaks (NZ-I) before a stellar black type racing career in Singapore.

Rock of Gibraltar won 10 races including five during his 2-year-old season. Seven of his wins came at group I level and in succession -- the only horse to ever achieve the feat.

Earlier in the afternoon, the other Rock of Gibraltar youngster offered sold for Aus$170,000. The colt from Lyphard mare Casuarina Beach was purchased by Magic Millions acting as agent for a client from New South Wales.

Redoute's Choice was at it again this time when his daughter from the listed winner Bridie Jo (by Exploding Prospect) reached Aus$180,000, falling to the bid of Ron Grogan who has been on a spending spree at this sale.

The top Fusaichi Pegasus  weanling went for Aus$115,000 being a son of the Night Shift mare Deadly Nightshade, who won twice as a 2-year-old.

More Than Ready  was active, too. His highest on day one was a son from Devise, a stakes-placed Luskin Star mare. The colt reached $75,000.

A Tale of the Cat  youngster fetched a healthy Aus$150,000 off a fee of just Aus$22,000. This was for a colt from the popular stakes-winning mare Nanny Maroon, purchased by Accomar Holdings.

Mossman (Success Express -- Lichen Lady) the young group I-winning stallion astutely purchased by Vinery Stud in January 2004, boasted an average weanling sale average of Aus$59,000 off his 2004 fee of just Aus$16,500 for the four offspring offered in the Noble Park Dispersal draft. His top priced weanling reached Aus$85,000 – a filly from the stakes-placed Skytripper.

Day one of the National Weanling Sale ended up with aggregate takings of Aus$4,636,900, and the average from 201 sold was Aus$23,069. There were 21 lots bought back.