Danehill Gelding Brings Record Price For Hong Kong Sale

The Hong Kong Jockey Club's Piaget International Sale set a new record straight out of the gate Friday night as the first horse offered, a 2-year-old son of Danehill, brought a record HK$3.8 million (about US$487,179) from Li Wing Hon. The gelding was one of 23 horses purchased by the HKJC, imported, and resold at the annual event.

Friday night's final numbers showed increases in average, gross, and median, over the 1999 figures. Of the 26 horses cataloged, 23 went through the ring (three were withdrawn) and brought a total of HK$49,100,000 (about US$6,294,872) for an average of $2,134,783 ($273,690). The same sale in 1999 showed 24 horses grossing HK$31,110,000 (about $4,000,000) and averaging of HK$1,295,833 ($166,667).

Only one horse brought less than $1 million, hip #2 (Marscay--Alicia, by Darshaan), who was sold for HK$800,000. After the sale topper opened the evening, there was a bit of a correction, but throughout the rest of the evening prices appeared to grow. Bidders seemed hesitant to make the first move, At one point the auctioneer had to drop down to $20,000 for a first bid on a horse which ended up going for HK$1.6 million, but once the bidding got going, the bid spotters were often out-yelling each other to register the next jump. The hesitancy wasn't across-the-board however, as two horses, hips 14 and 26, respectively, opened at $500,000 (hip #14, O'Reilly--Sound Lover, by Sound Reason, hip 26 Volksraad--Magyar Princess, by Beldale Flutter).

The purchase price and costs incurred by the HKJC to care for the horse for a year were listed in the program. The highest figure was HK$1.7 million for a son of Gulch and Packet (by Polish Navy) who then sold for $2.4 million ($307,692). He was the only of the group purchased in the United States, where he brought US$180,000 at the 1999 Keeneland September yearling sale. The sale-topper, who was purchased at the New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, incurred HK$1.5 million in expenses, including the HK$310,000 purchase price at auction.

Danehill was the star of the evening among stallions. He had five colts and geldings sell for an average of HK$2.86 million. The only other $3 million-plus purchases were also by that sire. First was hip 19, produced from the Riverman mare Aunty, sold to Ho Sau Ki for HK$3.5 million ($448,718), and hip 22, from the Nebbiolo mare Sedra.

(Complete results, Hong Kong Jockey Club)