The opening day of Melbourne's two-day Inglis Premier Sale in Victoria rang the bell loud and clear – buyers want the progeny of Encosta de Lago. This current crop of Australia's most expensive stallion was conceived when he stood for a lowly $18,000 but you'd think he was a $100,000 stallion given the demand for his babies. Nowadays he is just that and more – in fact he'll stand at Coolmore for $125,000. But eight of the top nine lots sold on day one were by him. Adelaide trainer Mark Minervini (representing Wayne Ormond from Global Thoroughbred Syndicates) paid a new record price for a yearling sold at an Inglis Premier Sale. He bid A$480,000 for a colt by Encosta de Lago (Fairy King-Shoal Creek) out of Classic Plume, by Military Plume at the Oaklands complex in Melbourne on Sunday. Adam Sangster's Collingrove Stud as agent consigned the colt (whose dam Classic Plume is a half-sister to stakes-winners Isca, Star Alight and Slapstick). Collingrove marketing manager Jenny McAlpine said, "The colt was a great sort and made well above all expectations. Breeder Rick Jamieson from Gilgai Farm was over the moon." Similarly vendors of the next highest priced lots couldn't believe their windfalls. Victorian trainer Rick Hore Lacy paid the Inglis Premier 2nd top price of $340,000 for a colt by Arrowfield Stud stallion Redoute's Choice (Danehill-Shantha's Choice) out of the mare Luskin Jazz. The colt was consigned by Bellerive Stud and Redoute's Choice was a $33,000 stallion at the time this colt was conceived.
Encosta de Lago yearlings dominated the next seven lots in price order. Champion trainer Gai Waterhouse paid $300,000 for an Encosta de Lago-Garter Lane colt (consigned by Eliza Park as agent). Fellow trainer Bart Cummings paid $260,000 for an Encosta de Lago-Hermitrage Lane filly (consigned by Kornong Stud Farm). Overall 187 yearlings sold during day 1 for $12,271,000 (up 29% from last year's $9,481,500). The A$65,620 (U.S.$51,600) average was up a massive 33% and the clearance rate was a strong 84%. Inglis associate director Peter Heagney summed up: "Coming into the sale I felt confident that we had the horses with pedigrees and conformation to achieve a good result and I am delighted that this has been reflected in the figures."