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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Turnover rolls past last year's tally – with five days still to go

And Cairo Prince colt ensures quantity matched by quality

This session-topping $350,000 colt keeps freshman Cairo Prince in the headlines
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The buoyant pace continued at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale when gross sales of $273,298,000 through Monday's seventh session – out of 12 – surpassed the aggregate of $272,890,500 recorded during last year's entire auction, then over 13 days.

During the first of the two days devoted to Book 4, Keeneland reported 276 horses sold for $18,385,000, for an average of $66,612 and a median of $50,000. A total of 75 horses did not sell, resulting in an RNA rate of 21.37 per cent. Cumulatively, 1,455 horses have so far changed hands at an average of $187,834 and a median of $120,000.

"Today's session was strong, and there was a lot of activity in the barn area with buyers inspecting horses for tomorrow," Keeneland director of sales operations Geoffrey Russell said.

Mike Ryan: colt matched anything he saw in the early Books
Mike Ryan, as agent, paid the day's top price of $350,000 for a colt from the first crop of Cairo Prince. Consigned by Lane's End, agent, the colt is out of the winning Horse Chestnut mare Precious Princess. Bred in Kentucky by G Watts Humphrey Jr and Sally S Humphrey, he is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Zipessa.

"He's a horse that puts a chill up the back of your head," Ryan said of the grey or roan colt, consigned as Hip 2196. "He was very, very special. He's an exceptional colt."

Ryan said he told his unnamed client that the horse was "a no-brainer; if the price is reasonable, we have to have him."

The agent, who has bought more than 40 horses for a total exceeding $11 million at Keeneland so far, put the colt in lofty company by saying he was as good as any yearling offered among the 2,200-odd already through the ring.


"I rated him up with any of the horses I saw this week," Ryan said. "He measures up with anything that was selling in Books 1 or 2 from a physical standpoint. I thought he was a really top horse: a two-turn horse that can go a classic distance. And he actually has a very nice pedigree. If he's a good horse on the racetrack he has stallion potential."

Ryan said the yearlings from the first crop by Cairo Prince have been well received because "they have a lot of leg, have a lot of quality, and are good movers."

Cairo Prince stands locally at Airdrie Stud near Midway. His fee was $10,000 in 2015, when the current yearling crop was conceived, and $15,000 this year.

At $285,000 this Orb filly made the second highest price on the opening day of Book 4
"They look like sound horses and they are so consistent," Ryan said. "He's an extremely good-looking horse himself. And he's very dominant. Some sires are the other way. But he's dominating his mares."

Lane's End sales director Allaire Ryan said the consignor was not surprised by the colt's price since he had a dozen pre-sale endoscopic exams.

"We're really pleased," said Allaire Ryan, who is Mike Ryan's daughter. "He was really popular and had gone over well at the barn. We were realistic with our reserve; we were really pleased with what he brought.


"We've always liked the colt and he was a little immature when we were doing our [sale prospect] inspections, which is part of the reason he's here. And we lucked out with the sire becoming really popular. He seems like gold and everybody is trying to get their hands on one. So all of the stars kind of aligned for us."

Glen Hill Farm's Craig Bernick paid the day's second highest price of $285,000 for Hip 2147, a filly by Orb consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent. She is out of the winning Langfuhr mare Maxinkuckee Miss and from the family of Grade 3 winner Fly'n J. Bryan.

Craig Bernick: getting busy after finding the first phase of the sale tough going
"She's a big, strong, beautiful filly: clean, with a lot of size to her and she scoped fine, which is a concern with a big horse," said Bernick, noting that agent Donato Lanni picked her out when he was looking at the Claiborne consignment. "I didn't buy her because she's an Orb. I bought her because she's a good filly. [But Orb] is off to a good start. It's a good bet he will sire good horses."

Bernick has been an active player in Books 3 and 4, saying that the going had been tough. "It was hard to buy horses earlier in the week," he said. "Our hope was for the people with money to leave town, but they all had trouble buying horses and it's carried over. I think the market is strong and people adjust to what the prices are. I think good horses always bring more than average horses. It kind of pushes everybody else back."

Select Sales was the day's leading consignor, selling 35 horses for $2,374,000.

EQB (Patrice Miller), agent, purchased four yearlings for $485,000 to be the leading buyer.

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He's a horse that puts a chill up the back of your head, an exceptional colt

Key data

Cairo Prince Orb
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