Australian Thoroughbred

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Records smashed on extraordinary day

27th Feb 2017

The most expensive yearling ever sold in Victoria, the most expensive yearling sold in the world this year and the most expensive yearling ever by star stallion I Am Invincible.

That was the fallout from a record-breaking Day 2 of the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale, when Lot 259 sold for $1.4million to Ciaron Maher Bloodstock.

In an extraordinary day at Oaklands Junction, the I Am Invincible x Soorena colt from the Gilgai Farm draft broke record after record before finally being assigned to Caulfield Cup-winning trainer Maher.

In one of the greatest bidding duels ever witnessed at an Australian yearling sale, Maher outbid fellow Victorian trainer Robbie Griffiths, who ironically trains the colt’s Group 1-winning half-brother The Quarterback.

Bidding started at $200,000, jumped immediately to $500,000 before progressing in $100,000 Lots.

The final $1.4million price tag eclipsed the former Premier Yearling Sale record of $750,000 (set in 2008), broke the $1.3million mark for most expensive horse sold in the world in 2017 and eclipsed the $900,000 chart-topper for an I Am Invincible.

Maher first saw the I Am Invincible x Soorena colt almost six months ago when he visited Gilgai Farm’s draft on the farm.

And from day one, he knew he was going to buy him.

“I thought then he was a lovely type and obviously he’s got a stallion’s pedigree, is a cracking type and I’ve loved the way he’s developed the past six months. He’s a great mover, got a great temperament, he’s got what it takes,’’ Maher said.

“I don’t always inspect before looking at my catalogue but I did with this particular draft and I quite like that way of doing it. You’re not influenced by pedigrees or fashionable stallions or anything like that.

“Gilgai have done a great job again. They seem to do it year after year.

“I’m very excited to be able to get him home and I can’t wait to get him into the stable.’’

Gilgai Farm’s Kelly Skillecorn was stunned by the result.

“Unbelievable, it’s amazing, it really is,’’ Skillecorn said.

“We were hopeful of a figure in the highish hundreds of thousands, but to see him do that, it’s quite extraordinary.

“During the sale, I was nervous the whole time. I was nervous from when we got him back from Segenhoe as a foal when I saw how good he was because anybody that’s seen him since fell in love with him from the moment they saw him.

“We’re just thrilled that Ciaron is getting him, he’s in the top half-dozen trainers and the obvious young trainer that’s just skyrocketed to the top. He’s an extraordinary horseman.’’

The record Lot highlighted another overall successful day for the Premier Sale.

At the conclusion of Day 2, the average sits at $126,730 with a clearance rate of 82% and a gross of $33,330,000.

Gilgai Farm is the leading vendor for both aggregate ($2,745,000) and average ($274,500) for drafts with three or more sales.

I Am Invincible is the leading stallion by aggregate with $3,505,000, Snitzel the leading stallion by average (three or more sold, $348,750) while Ciaron Maher and partners have purchased the most Lots with 11.

Inglis’ Victorian Bloodstock Manager Simon Vivian was thrilled with the success of the day and the sale overall.

“We came into Day 2 knowing we had some outstanding yearlings to offer the market and this was ultimately supported by the vast buying bench in attendance, where those quality yearlings realised very pleasing results,’’ Vivian said.

“Undeniably, the highlight was selling Gilgai Farm’s I Am Invincible colt for $1.4million. Such theatre has not been seen in the Oaklands ring before and I am delighted for the vendor, excited for the purchaser and respectful for the underbidders.’’

For the full statistics, CLICK HERE.

Day 3 action begins at 10am tomorrow, Tuesday February 28.

To view the catalogue, CLICK HERE.

The remaining two days of the 2017 Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale will again be broadcast on Inglis Sale Day Live, while Online Bidding and Make An Offer services will again be available.


Lots Sold: 263

Clearance Rate: 82%

Average Price: $126,730

Median Price: $100,000

Top Price: $1,400,000

Gross: $33,330,000