Highlighted by a Fastnet Rock colt that sold for a sale-topping AU$2.3 million (US$1,785,260), Inglis Bloodstock's Easter yearling sale came to a close April 11 with the second-highest gross in sale history.
Anthony Freedman Racing purchased Lot 400, the sale topper that was produced from The Broken Shore, dam of group 1 winner Shoals and a half sister to three group 1 winners, including Australian champion miler and leading sire Redoute's Choice. The colt was consigned by Arrowfield Stud.
Freedman, who trains Shoals and Tides, an unraced 2-year-old daughter of The Broken Shore, said his familiarity with the family played a key role in his purchase.
"He was the colt of the year," the trainer said of the yearling. "Knowing the family as well as I do, I was very confident he was the right type. He gave me the confidence to go to the price. I think he's the right type of Fastnet Rock colt. He's not too big, and I think he's just a bigger version of Shoals."
"It's been a good week," said Arrowfield's John Messara, whose group was leading vendor. "The Broken Shore colt is a horse that had a lot less unknowns about him than almost any other colt in the sale because he was by a proven sire out of a multiple group 1-producing mare. He just had everything, really. It's a risk-mitigation exercise if you want to go into the stallion business, and this horse had a lot of the features you would seek.''
The gross of Book 1, with a total of AU$116,457,500 ($89,792,653), was behind only the 2008 Easter yearling sale. The average was AU$347,634 ($268,038), with a clearance rate of 84.4% and median of AU$250,000 ($194,050). There were 22 yearlings sold for AU$1 million or more, up from 17 in 2017. Of those, eight different stallions and 18 individual buyers were represented. A total of 71 lots sold for AU$500,000 or more, up from 64 in 2017.
Coolmore Stud, Yarraman Park, Kia Ora Stud, Highgrove Stud, Tyreel Stud, and Fairview Park followed Arrowfield as leading vendor, and all eclipsed the sale's overall average. Of sires with more than three sold, Coolmore Stud's Fastnet Rock led by average with AU$554,167 ($427,194). Shadwell was leading buyer, spending AU$6,140,000 ($4,737,140), followed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
"These results all come down to the fantastic quality of product our vendors have presented to the market, and the diversity of the buying bench that has come to Riverside Stables this week," Inglis managing director Mark Webster said.
Following Book 1 were the Book 2 offerings, in which 51 horses grossed AU$5,890,000 $4,571,818), with a AU$115,490 ($89,643) average and AU$100,000 ($77,620) median.