By Ric ChapmanIt seems the free spending honeymoon is far from over if the outstanding success of the opening session of the 2004 Australian Broodmare sale today is anything to go by.Following the record-breaking Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale last week, the company's broodmare sale offered 227 lots that averaged $42,346 (U.S. $31,560) with gross sales of $9,612,500 ($7,164,100). The buy-back rate was 18%.The highlight of day one was the appearance in the sale ring of the multiple group winning Dehere mare Galapogas Girl, who took the top lot honors when selling for $700,000 ($521,703) to Trelawney Stud on behalf of prominent broodmare owner Deborah Ho. Trelawney Stud is one of New Zealand's most successful breeding farms. The strapping big mare was group I placed and earned $276,255 in stakes.Multiple group I winning mare Episode, in foal to first season sire Rock of Gibraltor, was another star attraction of the day, fetching $510,000 ($380,098) to the bid of John Hutchins. And understandably so after her Flying Spur filly was sold to Graeme Rogerson for $200,000 at the Easter sale.In total 21 horses sold above $100,000 ($74,529), with a very diverse buying bench including plenty of interest from overseas.Grant Pritchard-Gordon from England spent $490,000 on two mares: the in foal to King's Best mare Enniskerry, the winning half-sister to Australian Champion Fields Of Omagh, for $150,000; and $340,000 the daughter of Thunder Gulch and Prayerful named Divine Secret. She's a group I placed mare in foal to English Derby winner Galileo.
Wattle Brae Stud went on a buying spree nabbing three mares for a combined $270,000. One, Magaling, was carrying an Encosta de Lago foal and she fetched $130,000."I am sending them all to this new stallion Taimazov," claimed Wattle Brae's owner Gary Turkington. Taimazov (Southern Halo--Heiress) was the fastest thing on four legs during his racing career in South America winning Argentina's three biggest sprint races in astonishing time. "We saw how well received the More Than Ready yearlings at Easter this year were and he is the only other son of Southern Halo in Australia," added Turkington.The mare many came to see, Lisheenowen, who is the dam of Australia's grand champion female at present Private Steer, failed to reach her reserve of $500,000 falling just short at $475,000. The sale continues Tuesday at the Sydney's sales complex of Inglis with a further 312 lots for sale.