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Coolmore strike for A$1m Fastnet Rock colt at Gold Coast Yearling Sale

Wednesday's opening session surpassed 2017's first day figures

The Fastnet Rock colt consigned by Element Hill selling in the Magic Millions ring on Wednesday
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A Fastnet Rock colt that drew comparisons with Group 1-winning sire Foxwedge and recent top-class colt Merchant Navy was sold for A$1 million on day one of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

The highest-priced lot, to be trained by John O’Shea for Coolmore Stud and partners, was one of five yearlings by champion stallion Fastnet Rock to sell for more than A$500,000.

Overall, Wednesday’s sales surpassed last year’s first day figures, with 182 horses sold for an aggregate of A$39,170,000 with the average closing at A$215,220, an increase of 12 per cent on 2017.
Seventeen yearlings also made A$500,000 or more, up from 11 on day one of the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale last year.

The top-priced Fastnet Rock colt was offered late in the day, with the Hutchins’s family’s Element Hill-consigned yearling seeing a bidding duel stall at A$925,000 before two quick fire bids saw the A$1m mark reached.

The colt is the second foal out of the Encosta De Lago mare Risk Aversion, who won five races and was also Group 3-placed, and is a three-quarter sister to VRC St Leger winner Order Of The Sun and Subsequent, the dam of last season’s Sistema Stakes winner Summer Passage.

Risk Aversion is also a half-sister to Group 2 winner Shania Dane  and Hong Kong Classic Mile winner Scintillation.

O’Shea, who returned as a public trainer at Randwick last August after a three-year stint with Godolphin, said the colt showed similar traits to his former Group 1-winning sprinter Foxwedge, now a Newgate Farm-based stallion.

“He's a great horse by a champion sire in Fastnet Rock and to my eye he's the best Fastnet since Foxwedge, who was a great horse to me,” O’Shea said.

“When you see a colt like him it's all about whether you can afford them because in this market, with a strong under bidder, they can make a lot of money. You'll be very hard pressed throughout the year to find a colt who is as good as this one who also has his pedigree.”

O’Shea was delighted to have the support of Coolmore, where Fastnet Rock stands, enabling him to secure the colt.

“This horse probably has a better pedigree (than Foxwedge) and it's outstanding to have a horse in partnership with Coolmore and I'm grateful to my clients who have also taken a share in the horse.”

Tom Magnier compared the colt on looks to Merchant Navy, a Fastnet Rock colt who won the Coolmore Stud Stakes in the spring.

Merchant Navy will retire to Coolmore Stud at the conclusion of his racing career after a deal was brokered for the international operation to take a controlling interest in the Aaron Purcell-trained three-year-old.

“The Hutchins family have been such great supporters of the farm and they have bred a horse like this who we thought was the nicest in the sale,” Coolmore Stud’s Magnier said.

“We have a colt like Merchant Navy and this horse looked very much like him. It is exciting to have a horse with John.”

Harron makes early play for A$900,000 Snitzel colt

Bloodstock agent James Harron featured prominently on the buyers list of the highest-priced colts on Wednesday, most significantly when outlaying A$900,000 for a Snitzel colt early in the session.

Best-known for purchasing Magic Millions 2YO Classic and Golden Slipper Stakes-winning colt Capitalist for his colts syndicate, Harron added three colts for his 2018 package, headed by the Snitzel colt.

The Arrowfield Stud-consigned colt is out of the unraced mare Madame Andree, who hails from the family of US Grade One winner Exciting Story, with her first foal the unbeaten Paul Messara-trained three-year-old Madame Pauline.

Harron said he would be raced as part of his colt syndicate and be sent into training with co-trainers Peter and Paul Snowden.

“First and foremost, he’s just a super type,” Harron said. “He has a really great way about him. He walks super, has a lovely shape, great hip and a lovely girth. He’s a really beautiful athlete.”

“He has a great head on his shoulders and has handled the sale really well. He ticked a lot of boxes.

“We’ve had a few Snitzels and we’ve had some luck with them and he had a lot of those attributes put together. He’s his own individual and being out of a War Emblem mare, it’s quite an interesting pedigree, so he carries a lot of scope.

“He reminded me of all the good Snitzels. He also soaked up the pressure of the sale which is good and he’s by Snitzel, who is unstoppable at the minute. So he's a great package and he just ticked all the boxes." 

Bahen strikes for first crop sires

Hong Kong-based agent Justin Bahen was not afraid of the uncertainty first season sires provide, purchasing two colts from the first crop of Rubick and Newgate Farm-based stallion Deep Field.

Bahen, acting for the growing Orbis Bloodstock, secured a Deep Field colt for A$675,000, the third highest-priced lot on day one, and a Rubick colt for A$350,000.

The Kia Ora Stud-consigned Deep Field colt is the eighth living foal out of the Danehill mare Reggae, who is a sister to dual European Group 1 winner Spartacus, Group 2-winning stallion Johan Cruyff and South African Grade Two winner Meteor Shower.

“He was our favourite colt without a shadow of doubt. Every time he came out of his box he hadn’t turned a hair and had the same amount of energy as when we last looked at him,” Bahen said.

“You want to see a horse start the prep at the sales and still be the same at the end, so we loved him.”

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He's a great horse by a champion sire in Fastnet Rock and to my eye he's the best Fastnet since Foxwedge, who was a great horse to me
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