World-beating sires and global pedigrees see JRHA Sale shine
A Deep Impact colt out of a half-sister to Caravaggio among the lots to sell
In the wake of another record session for the Japan Racing Horse Association Select Sale on Monday, two primary reasons for the tidal wave of buying enthusiasm were cited by leading consignor Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm.
New buyers from within Japan, joined by an influx of foreign-based buyers, is one of the reasons for the strength of the two-day market, which opened with yearlings on Monday and will close on Tuesday with a session of foals.
But perhaps the more intriguing reason Yoshida noted is the growing depth of Japan's stallion ranks. While Deep Impact continues to be unchallenged as Japan's top sire and the world leader by progeny earnings, a number of other stallions have attained enough status to warrant serious yen for their offspring.
While there were a record 15 yearlings sold for ¥100 million (£680,390/€769,015) and over during the initial session, it was a departure from recent years' norms that almost half of those expensive horses were by stallions other than Deep Impact, who sired eight including the three highest-priced individuals, all colts, and the two top-priced fillies.
Established sires Heart's Cry and King Kamehameha were represented by a trio of yearlings that sold for more than ¥100m each, while freshman sire Lord Kanaloa - who has been quick off the mark with three early winners - also sired one of the most expensive yearlings of the sale.
A colt by Lord Kanaloa out of New Zealand champion King's Rose, by Redoute's Choice, sparked the session's joint-fifth highest bid when sold to the Nicks Company Limited of Mamoru Suwa for ¥180 million (£1,224,250/€1,383,463).
"This is my pick of the day," Suwa said of the colt by Lord Kanaloa, Japan's Horse of the Year for 2013.
A colt by King Kamehameha out of the Agnes Tachyon mare Girl On Fire, a granddaughter of Deep Impact's dam Wind in Her Hair, also brought ¥180m when sold to Yoshio Ozasa, one of the relatively new owners buying at the JRHA sale.
Northern Farm consigned the colts out of King's Rose and Girl On Fire. The JRHA's near perennial leading consignor, Northern Farm accounted for more than half the session's turnover with ¥4.41 billion in sales.
Meanwhile, Heart's Cry finished the session as second leading sire behind only Deep Impact with 19 yearlings sold for a combined ¥1.1 billion. Lord Kanaloa was not far off, ranking third with 19 yearlings sold for a total ¥858m.
Foreign activity occurred on both sides of the ledger, with the Niarchos family's Vinca Holdings among the sellers with a Heart's Cry colt out of the Caerleon mare Forest Rain, a half-sister to Breeders' Cup Mile winner Domedriver.
Consigned by the Shadai Corporation's Shiraoi Farm, the colt was reported sold for ¥16m to Akio Nozaki.
There were many pedigrees in the catalogue that would have broad appeal, including the Deep Impact colt out of US Grade 2 winner My Jen, by Fusaichi Pegasus. My Jen is a half-sister to the three-year-old Scat Daddy colt Caravaggio, who recently stormed to victory in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and who also was a Group 1 winner at two.
Tatsuo Tanikake, who races Japanese Graded stakes winner America's Cup, cast the winning bid of ¥70m for the grey colt out of My Jen.
Buyers from outside Japan included Australian Robert Anderson, who purchased a Manhattan Cafe filly from the Chiyoda Farm consignment for ¥29m. Anderson's bloodstock agent, Satomi Oka, said the filly will stay in Japan since Anderson holds a Japan Racing Association owner's license, and she will be trained by Mitsu Nakauchida.
Hong Kong-based Thomas Lau also was a buyer, acquiring a Lord Kanaloa colt and a Dunkirk filly for ¥10m and ¥22m respectively. Lau, who has raced in Macau, indicated that he will seek a JRA license and keep his newly purchased yearlings in Japan.