The Easter Yearling is the Kohinoor of the Australian thoroughbred sales season.
According to James Harron, Lot 49, a Snitzel x Ichihara colt bred by George Altomonte’s Corumbene Stud is the best yearling Harron has ever seen.
“He was very busy here the past week, I was making him busy to an extent but how he handled himself was quite rare,’’ Harron said of the youngster, which will be trained at Randwick by Peter and Paul Snowden.
The colt was purchased by Harron for AUD2.8m, making him the most expensive Snitzel progeny ever sold and the best result Corumbene has achieved since it started selling horses 48 years ago.
“I’ve been doing this a long time and when you get a result like this, the staff at the farm are so excited. They feel it, once you get something that tops the sale or might do so, it makes them all feel pretty proud and I’m happy about that,’’ Altomonte said.
“I thought he’d make between AUD1m and AUD2m because of the enquiries I’d had, the right people had been in contact in the lead up so I knew he’d sell well.
Torryburn Stud, Mill Park Stud and Sledmere Stud also achieved a record individual result for vendors to sell a AUD1m+ yearling, while Segenhoe Stud equalled their best individual result.
Aquis Farm exceeded expectations purchasing Lot 88, a stunning Fastnet Rock x Legally Bay colt from Segenhoe Stud (on behalf of clients Chris and Jane Barham) for AUD2,300,000.
The colt – a full brother to dual hemisphere G1 winner Merchant Navy – was popular with prospective buyers all week at Riverside, but Aquis knew he was the colt they needed to take home with them.
Aquis’ Shane McGrath said, “Tony and Justin Fung have been here all week and they loved the horse too thankfully. You saw when that horse walked into the ring that all the big players were on him, it was just a question as to where it stopped really.’’
Ciaron Maher, who also trained Merchant Navy, will train the colt.
“He was a standout colt from the day he was born. You bring him to a sale like this, we knew he’d sell well but we didn’t envisage he would make those numbers,’’ Segenhoe’s Peter O’Brien said.
“This horse, he has a temperament like his brother, he’s just bombproof and has a great action, a beautiful mover. He was called M2 from the day he was born, Chris and Jane are staying in him for a bit, I’m staying in him for a bit, Ciaron’s training him so we’re off to Ascot again!’’
On Day 2, Tyreel’s first AUD1m yearling, (Lot 337 - Exceed And Excel x Written Dash) was sold to Aquis Farm for AUD1,700,000.
“He was an exceptional yearling and the busiest horse we have ever presented at the sales, people were just coming back day after day to come and see him,” Tyreel’s Linda Monds said.
“This is my first horse over AUD1 million - it is quite remarkable. For a small boutique business like ours, to have an athlete like him that we have bred and raised and then to have been bought by the best judges in the industry for me is just phenomenal.’’
Aquis Farm CEO Shane McGrath described the colt as “a horse we just had to have’’.
“It’s a credit to Tyreel for producing a horse of this quality. He’s an absolute star,’’ McGrath said.
“I had a chat with [Exceed And Excel’s trainer] Tim Martin this morning and he said it’s the closest he’d seen to Exceed And Excel at the same stage.’’
At the sale’s conclusion AUD122,235,500 had been traded, making it the second-best Easter Sale ever behind only the 2008 phenomenon.
Over a huge two days at Riverside in front of an energetic buying bench from all corners of the globe:
A total of 19 lots realised AUD1m or more, purchased by 13 different buying groups and represented by 11 different sires (Snitzel, Fastnet Rock, Deep Impact, Exceed And Excel, I Am Invincible, Lonhro, Redoute’s Choice, Not A Single Doubt, Zoustar, Pierro and Brazen Beau).
Arrowfield Stud, whose principal John Messara described it as “a great sale’’, was again leading vendor by aggregate (AUD21,470,000).
“The buying bench has absolutely been as good as in years previous. Everyone seemed to be here,’’ Messara said.
“With a smaller number of stock, there was some real pressure from the buyers.
“The smaller catalogue worked well. There was a sense of urgency knowing there weren’t as many horses and knowing that if you wanted one you better buy it because you mightn’t get a chance to buy another one.’’
2019 AUSTRALIAN EASTER YEARLING SALE STATISTICS
Lots sold: 343; Clearance Rate: 84%; Average Price: AUD356,372; Median Price: AUD260,000; Top Price: AUD2,800,000; Gross: AUD122,235,500;
OVERALL TOP LOTS:
LEADING BUYERS (by total spend)
LEADING VENDORS (gross)
LEADING STALLIONS (by average, 3+ sold)