Low Aussie Dollar Boosts Sale Indicators<br>

A "hot" catalogue and a wintry Australian exchange rate ($1 Australian equals U.S. $.51) assisted indicator increases on the first day of trading at the Australian Easter Yearling Sale, conducted at Sydney's Newmarket sale ring April 17. Offshore spending through agents and trainers boosted the average by 10% to $170,278 (all amounts in Australian dollars) over last year's overall figure of $154,200. With 151 head sold, the median kept pace with the average, the $120,000 coming out 9% ahead. The gross topped $25 million.

The highest price of the first of three sessions came just 23 lots into the sale when a Danehill filly from Sydney group I winner Shindig realized $950,000. The sale's lone Sunday Silence colt, out of Wrap Around, was expected to surpass that, but bidding stalled at $800,000. As the consignment for a partnership of Arrowfield Stud and John Kluge entered the ring, auctioneer Reg Inglis announced that the colt had been seen to windsuck.

The top filly, consigned by Philippa Duncan, and colt were signed for by Jonathan D'Arcy and listed as sold through the auctioneers, William Inglis, as agents. D'Arcy is an associate director (and auctioneer) of Inglis. He said both purchases were made on behalf of domestic clients.

Siblings to Sunline and Fairy King Prawn also made the leader board. The Octagonal half brother to Sunline realized $520,000 to the bid of John Hawkes, trainer of Octagonal. Fairy King Prawn's Marauding half-brother was bought by Dubai-based Australian trainer Tony Vasil for $650,000. Marauding is a group I winning son of Sir Tristram.

It took some time for the sale to find a rhythm with RNAs still running at a third by the time hip No. 100 appeared. By the session's end, the clearance rate had recovered to almost 81%. With a higher than usual volume of fillies, they averaged lower at $150,000 -- $40,000 lower than the males.

Danehill supplied six of the 10 yearlings to bring more than $500,000. Coolmore's four-time Australian champion sire by earnings accounted for 11% of the Easter catalogue with 56 of 505 head.

The sale continues with a night session on April 18, the final 200 head listed for sale on April 19, when three Sunday Silence fillies will be offered.