The Australian Easter yearling sale's new location at Riverside Stables near Melbourne started on a strong note April 9, with seven individual lots selling for seven figures at the auction conducted by Inglis Bloodstock.
With five of the top lots selling during a frenetic first hour, the pace of the trade steadied, and by the end of the session the average was well above the comparable session a year ago, with the median price even.
Inglis reported 86 of the 111 horses offered were sold for gross receipts of AU$32,155,000 (US$24,704,687), compared with AU$38,175,000 fetched by the 110 sold a year ago. This year's Day 1 average of AU$373,895 ($287,264) represented a gain over the AU$336,880 opener in 2017 and the median was unchanged at AU$300,000 ($230,490).
"It was a solid start with five yearlings selling for AU$1 million or more in the first hour, but I think the sale definitely steadied after that,'' Inglis managing director Mark Webster said. "There was so much excitement, it was electric out there in the sales arena those first couple of hours especially."
Arrowfield Stud, the day's leading vendor, offered five of the seven yearlings that sold for seven figures. Another, offered by Bhima Thoroughbreds, was sired by Arrowfield's super stallion Snitzel, and the seventh seven-figure-plus lot was an I Am Invincible colt.
"It was a great day no doubt, a great reward for all the staff who put a lot of effort in to getting these horses ready for sale day,'' Arrowfield's John Messara said. "We always thought Day 1 would be a strong one for us so to get those results, to sell five horses for seven figures in one day, is fantastic.''
Arrowfield sent out the day's top-priced individual, a Snitzel filly (Lot 32) produced from the Galileo mare Azmiyna, a half sister to European champion Azamour. She was purchased by Chris Waller Racing and Guy Mulcaster for AU$1,300,000 ($998,790).
The day's second-top lot at AU$1.2 million ($921,960) was a Snitzel colt (Lot 23), which Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott/Blue Sky Bloodstock/Kerri Radcliffe bought from the Bhima Thoroughbreds draft, on behalf of the colt's breeder Bruce Wilson of Glentree Thoroughbreds. The colt was produced from the Stravinsky mare Asscher, a daughter of group 1 winner Marquise.
"It is hard to judge horses in that price bracket, and Snitzel can do no wrong,'' Bhima's Mike Fleming said. "The colt is out of a Stravinsky mare, which is the same as Russian Revolution, so it is a cross that is proven.''
The Easter yearling sale continues April 10.