A top official of William Inglis & Son is predicting solid results for Australia's major yearling auction, the Easter sale, which is scheduled for April 2-4 (Tuesday through Thursday). Even though other leading auctions in Australia and New Zealand have experienced downturns this year--and some buyers from Southeast Asia have been absent--Reg Inglis, the company's managing director, believes the Easter Sale will at least equal 2001's record gross revenue of $67,554,500 (Australian funds) for the 404 horses sold.Last year's gross represented an increase of 13.2% from 2000. The average of $161,172 was up by 8.4%."Certainly, we've all endured some uncertainty, particularly in the wake of September 11," Inglis said. "And we've been watching what has been happening at major sales on the other side of the globe. But all the signs are that the U.S. economy is heading toward firmer ground now with the U.S. Federal Reserve's recent decision to keep official interest rates on hold. Bloodstock is definitely tied to global economic indicators such as the all ordinaries, but the signs are that US share markets are recovering and the Australian market is back at record levels. We're all revising up forecasts for 2002 and the Australian economy is strong. The Australian dollar broke the U.S.53-cent barrier for the first time since last August on March 21.""Our major offshore market is Southeast Asia," Inglis continued, "but the sharp recessions seen in 2001 are starting to fade and prospects for Singapore and Malaysia in particular are looking better."Inglis said prominent international buyers from Ireland, England, Europe, South Africa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand would participate in the 2002 Easter sale. Leading buyers in 2001 included Gai Waterhouse, Darley Australia, Irish agent Demi O'Byrne, Eduardo Cojuangco's Gooree Stud, and other trainers such as Lee Freedman and John Hawkes.Top price in 2001 was $1.1 million for a Danehill-Rossignol colt sold to Adrian Nicholl of BBA Ireland, representing interests including Robert Sangster.Prominent international buyer Demi O'Byrne, who usually acts for Coolmore principals John Magnier and Michael Tabor, purchased a Danehill-Red Express colt for $1.05 million at the same sale.Cambridge Stud's Sir Patrick Hogan, who will offer 21 yearlings in a bid to provide the sale-topper for the fourth time, said: "The market at most of the other major yearling sales in Australasia this year has eased, but I am predicting that the Sydney sale prices could still be strong and go close to matching last year's levels."