The 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale at Newmarket has been a great success for both buyers and sellers with a renewed market confidence resulting in auction returns being significantly up on last year.
One of the most popular annual yearling sales in Australia, the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale was held from Tuesday April 5 to Thursday April 7, 2011 and attracted a high degree of interest from both local and international buyers.
Even before the first session begun on Tuesday, the atmosphere at Newmarket in Sydney during the early inspections was buzzing with promise of a thriving trade.
“There’s a good vibe about the complex,” said Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster on Sunday April 3.
“Plenty of interest from local and international buyers ahead of the sale.”
The total combined number of yearlings sold over the three days was 310 for an overall price of $75,240,000, the average price for a yearling being $239,484, up 8.6 per cent on last year.
The clearance rate for the session as a whole was a healthy 81%.
“One of the most pleasing aspects of the sale was the depth of the buying bench,” Webster said.
“We are not relying on one or two major buyers to boost the figures and it was pleasing to see so many different names among the top buyers this year.”
Things got underway on Tuesday with a positive start as the initial session of the Easter Sales saw a return of over $31 million in gross receipts with the $248,906 average up 12 per cent on the overall figures at last year’s sale.
“We were expecting to be up 5 per cent but it is pleasing to see the average up 12 per cent on this time last year,” Webster said.
“We have seen a number of new buyers, which is encouraging.”
Contributing to the early high figures was a $1 million purchase by former top jockey turned champion trainer Gerald Ryan for an unnamed client.
Ryan bought a lovely filly by boom sire Redoute’s Choice from Schiparelli, a three-quarter sister to Queensland Guineas champion Rothesay (Fastnet Rock – Schiaparelli).
“Coming into the sale I didn’t think we’d have to pay that much for her but as the week has gone on I thought we would have to pay close to a million dollars for her,” Ryan said.
“Just because of the amount of interest in her. She is such a lovely filly, all the good judges were on her. My instructions were to buy her.”
Also trained by Ryan, Rothesay had the talent to become a Group 1 horse but their career was unfortunately cut short when the four-year-old was forced into early retirement after two bleeding attacks.
Ryan also prepares two-year-old Fast Shanti, a full sister to Rothesay and a filly he has full confidence in.
“At the same stage, she’s a better type,” Ryan said of his new purchase.
“She’s a lovely filly and I think she will run earlier than the other two. Sepoy’s in the family and it’s a pedigree that can only continue to improve.”
The other major player in the first session on Tuesday was Chantilly Bloodstock from France who paid $850,000 to secure a Redoute’s Choice filly from VRC Oaks champion Special Harmony.
Sold by Arrowfield Stud the filly, a full sister to Saturday’s Group 1 AJC Australian Derby hopeful Shadowofexcellence, will stay on Australian shores to race.
The leading buyer at the end of the opening session was Ingham Racing who finished up with six yearlings for which they paid just over $2 million for in total.
The highest of the Ingham Racing purchases was an Encosta De Lago filly for $690,000.
Things only improved after Tuesday, with the highlight of the annual auctions undoubtedly being the sale of superstar Black Caviar’s half-brother.
After a heated bidding dual, the colt was knocked down to Hawkes Racing for $1.025 million, the top lot of the Inglis Easter Sales.
From the first crop of Patinack Farm stallion Casino Prince, the colt was sold on behalf of breeder Rick Jamieson’s Gilgai Farm by Tony Santic’s Makybe.
A relative to racing royalty, the colt shares the same dam as the world’s best thoroughbred Black Caviar and it was her trainer, Peter Moody, who was the underbidder on the half-brother on Wednesday.
Moody and ‘Team Hawkes’ went bid for bid on the colt until Moody reached his $1 million limit.
A final $25,000 bid from the Hawkes team saw them secure the yearling.
“We saw him (the colt) at Makybe six weeks ago and then when we saw him again last week, he’d just jumped out of the ground,” stable representative Wayne Hawkes said.
The second session on Wednesday closed with 76 yearlings sold for $5,843,364, the average price of $76,886 also up slightly from last year and boasting a solid clearance rate of 78%.
The biggest spender over the opening two days was the Gai Waterhouse team who purchased 14 yearlings on Tuesday and Wednesday for $3,405,000.
Thursday saw the third and final session finish with a total of 45 yearlings sold for $11,755,000.
Although Moody missed out on Black Caviar’s half-brother, the astute trainer didn’t leave empty handed.
His final purchase was for a Redoute’s Choice colt out of Park Esteem for $850,000, the sale giving Redoute’s Choice four of the five highest-priced yearlings at the sale.
“We went a bit higher on one yesterday but this is just a lovely colt,” Moody said.
“I thought he might have made a million dollars. I thought he was probably the nicest colt at the sale. He’s a smashing colt with a wonderful pedigree.”
The colt is from the family of Dubai World Cup winner Moon Ballad and Melbourne Cup placegetter Central Park.
“The broad strength of the stallions also has to be viewed as a positive sign for the industry,” Webster said after the closing of the sales.
“While Redoute’s Choice and Encosta de Lago are still the benchmarks, others like Fastnet Rock and More Than Ready have also emerged, along with exciting new stallions like Street Sense and Bernardini, providing top-end buyers with more options.”