Hong Kong Jockey Club goes to A$1m for first Australian buy in 2018
Fastnet Rock colt makes A$1.8m to top Easter Sale after second day
The Hong Kong Jockey Club's absence from the buyers list in Australia this year came to an end on Tuesday courtesy of a bold statement of intent that saw the club strike a winning bid of A$1 million (£546,000/$774,000) for a son of I Am Invincible.
Changes to Australian quarantine rules governing the movement of horses from Hong Kong resulted in a damaging stand-off but recent negotiations between industry and government officials led to a return in Sydney this week.
Having missed out during Monday's opening session, the HKJC was not to be denied on Tuesday, leaving with two yearlings including the seven-figure I Am Invincible colt, who was consigned by Kitchwin Hills.
A A$900,000 son of Snitzel was also snapped up later in the day by the HKJC, whose Mark Richards said: "We didn’t want to be out of the Australian market but you have to abide by what goes on. It wasn’t really our call, but we are really happy to be back.
On this week's sale and the purchases, he added: "The top end of the market is very strong. It has been like all the other sales at the moment where everyone wants the good ones and it is hard to find a buyer for the middle of the road ones.
"At the end of the day, we aren’t looking at the stallion potential, we are looking to on-sell as racehorses, so we have to have a cap on our spend. However, we had such a successful Hong Kong sale in March this year, we had to stretch ourselves a little bit for the right horse."
Fireworks courtesy of Fastnet Rock
Another yearling bound for Hong Kong is the new sale-topper after George Moore was forced to double his budget and go to A$1.8 million to fend off Coolmore and secure an in-demand son of Fastnet Rock.
Having been instructed by his client to identify the best colt on the premises, Moore was given the go-ahead to smash the $900,000 budget and keep bidding to get the Kia Ora Stud-consigned colt.
"He is going to Hong Kong to a guy who owns about 30 horses. He was my top lot and he is a good moving and small size Fastnet Rock colt, which is exactly what we want," Moore said.
"When Coolmore are going against you, you should be pretty pleased, because they know what they are talking about when they are buying horses.
"I think he is going to go really well in Hong Kong."
Earlier in the day, Moore also bought an Exceed And Excel colt from the Segenhoe Stud Australia draft for $800,000, taking his total spend on six yearlings this week to A$4.4 million.
Following another day of high drama, a total of 15 yearlings have sold for $1,000,000 or more during the opening two sessions, ten more than at this stage last year, with eight going for a million or more on Tuesday following Monday's spree of seven.
There have been 54 lots make $500,000 or more, while Arrowfield Stud, who sold five $1,000,000 yearlings on day one, remains the leading vendor with 21 yearlings sold for an aggregate of $11,390,000 at an average of $542,381.
Gai Waterhouse, Blue Sky Bloodstock and Adrian Bott are the leading buyers by individual lots purchased, with eight for an aggregate of $2,600,000 at an average of $325,000.
"Today was largely as expected and it’s been great to see the diversity in the buying bench," Inglis managing director Mark Webster said.
"Of the 15 lots to have made seven figures, they have gone to 13 different buyers which is a great indication of that diversity.
"The day one clearance rate has risen to 86 per cent, which is very pleasing and I expect day two to follow suit."
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