Sunday Silence Filly Brings $804,440 As Australian Easter Yearling Sale Ends

A more buoyant third session did much to restore the fortunes of the Australian Easter yearling sale, which concluded Thursday in Sydney. Most indicators were still well below the values of the previous two years, but the auction rallied well to finish with 379 head averaging Aus$145,000 (approximately $89,726 in U.S. funds) after running more than Aus$10,000 ($6,188) below that during the first two sessions.

Australia's main yearling auction had averaged Aus$160,780 last year and had peaked at Aus$167,000 in 2001. The declines this year of 9.5% in average and 15.1% in turnover to Aus$55,118,000 ($34,107,018) can be directly attributed to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Asia is a strong market for Australasian-bred colts and it was significant that the male average slipped from almost Aus$162,000 last year to Aus$135,000 ($83,538). Fillies maintained their market share to average 6.7% higher at Aus$160,000 ($99,008).

RNAs were sharply trimmed on the final day, coming back from a third to account for 24% of the 498 head offered. The median closed down Aus$10,000 ($6,188) lighter at Aus$100,000 ($61,880).

A Sunday Silence filly -- Sensation filly topped the third day of the sale, bringing Aus$1.3 million ($804,440) from Grant Pritchard-Gordon, who declined to name his client. The England-based agent was the European racing manager for Prince Khaled Abdullah of Saudi Arabia prior to Teddy Beckett and has purchased horses for Juddmonte Farms.

Like the Australian-record Aus$1.7-million ($1,051,960) Sunday Silence colt the previous evening, this filly's first dam was bred by Sheikh Mohammed and owned by his brother Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum. Both yearlings were sold by Sheikh Maktoum's Gainsborough Farms in partnership with Arrowfield Stud.

The filly's dam, the Soviet Star mare Sensation, is a graded winner on both sides of the English Channel.

Three Easter yearlings by Sunday Silence averaged Aus$1,116,667 -- ($690,994) a staggering amount for Australia. Progeny from the penultimate Australian crop of Danehill sustained an average of Aus$342,500 ($211,939) and a median of Aus$300,000 ($185,640) in contributing Aus$13 million ($8,044,400) to turnover. His current yearlings were conceived on a fee of Aus$200,000 ($123,760).

Red Ransom had the highest representation of Kentucky-based sires, returning an average of Aus$151,339 ($93,649) and a median of Aus$130,000 ($80,444) on a Aus$65,000 fee ($40,222). Most expensive from his second southern crop was Aus$400,000 ($247,520). The deceased End Sweep had 15 average Aus$79,667 ($49,298).

Real Quiet led the freshmen averaging Aus$148,333 ($91,788) for three. Stravinsky had seven sell for an average of Aus$139,286 ($86,190).