JRHA SALE FEATURE
JULY 13, 2010
Recap of Monday's session
by Michele MacDonald
"It's largely like treading water," said Irish native Harry Sweeney, who operates Paca Paca Farm near Shizunai on Hokkaido, one of the top consignors outside of the Yoshida family's Shadai Group. "But in this environment, treading water is not too bad because the alternative is drowning."
Teruya Yoshida, owner of Shadai Farm and vice chairman of the JRHA, was upbeat following the session as he laughed and chatted with Japanese media covering the sale.
"There were not many high-priced horses but the medium-priced horses sold very well," Yoshida said. "I'm very satisfied with these results, and I'm very happy with the number of buyers coming here.
"The quality of the catalog is not quite as strong as in previous years, but the range of buyers has grown and that is good considering this economic situation," he added.
A robust bay colt by two-time Japanese Horse of the Year Deep Impact out of French and American Group/Grade 3 winner Isle de France (Nureyev), topped the yearling session at ¥66 million ($733,333). In contrast, last year's top yearling, a colt by Rock of Gibraltar (Ire), sold for ¥145million ($1,526,315).
Makoto Kaneko, who raced Deep Impact, purchased the Isle de France colt from the Northern Farm consignment of Katsumi Yoshida. The top five yearlings sold on Monday all came from Northern Farm.
Kaneko typically shies away from talking to the media at sales and declined to comment on the colt.
Yutaka Uda, a savvy Tokyo-based investment manager who obtained an owner's license last year, bought the co-second highest-priced yearling, a Deep Impact colt out of Group 3 stakes-placed Kiss Pasion (Jade Robbery), for ¥60 million ($666,666).
The colt is a three-quarter brother to multiple group winner Admire Kiss (Sunday Silence), runner-up in the 2006 Oka Sho (Japanese One Thousand Guineas).
The colt marks the first time that Uda has invested in a major racing prospect.
"I liked this one," he said simply when asked about his purchase.
Among other relatively new buyers was Masami Aramaki, who operates the Papas clothing manufacturing and retail business and who bought two yearlings by Deep Impact for a total of ¥77 million ($855,554).
Meanwhile, Riichi Kondo, who has been a big buyer at the JRHA sale for years, acquired the other ¥60 million yearling, a stout gray son of Kurofune out of Be Positive (Sunday Silence), a Group 3 stakes-winning full sister to champion To the Victory.
"As usual, I went to Northern Farm to inspect as many yearlings as I could and this was one of my favorites," said Kondo, who bought six yearlings with his wife, Hideko, signing the ticket on another. "This is a very buyer-friendly market; I can buy very nice horses for reasonable prices, so I am very happy as a buyer. But I'm a bit worried about the industry."
Sellers generally were stoic. Alan Cooper, manager of the Niarchos family's international bloodstock holdings, said he was pleased that three well-bred yearlings consigned on behalf of the family by the Yoshidas' Shiraoi Farm were all sold although each brought less than the sale average.
A colt and a filly by European champion Bago (Fr) sold for ¥6 million ($66,666) and ¥9.5 million ($105,555), respectively. Another colt, by Agnes Tachyon out of Second Happiness (Storm Cat), a daughter of international champion Miesque (Nureyev), drew a bid of ¥18 million ($200,000) from Kaneko, who purchased a total of six yearlings including three by Deep Impact.
The JRHA sale concludes Tuesday with a session of foals, and while some have predicted that the organization will move more toward yearlings to meet global standards on the sale of young stock, Teruya Yoshida said he believes foals will retain a significant place in the sale.
"I'm looking forward to seeing the foal session because the quality of the foals is as good as in previous years and there has been lots of interest in them," Yoshida said. "My hope is for higher prices."
Although not usually highly preferred in Japanese sale arenas, yearlings by American-based stallions sold well during Monday's opening session of the Japan Racing Horse Association, auction with a son of A.P. Indy leading the way.
The first foal produced by Grade 1 winner Ermine (Exchange Rate), the strapping chestnut ranked as the fourth highest-priced horse of the session after drawing a final bid of ¥56 million ($622,222) from prominent owner Takaya Shimakawa.
Consigned by Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm, the A.P. Indy colt was foaled in Japan after Ermine was acquired by Yoshida for $1.3 million at the 2008 Keeneland November sale.
The JRHA sale also generated news for another American-based stallion who had earned the Horse of the Year title. Shadwell Farm's Invasor (Arg), America's champion runner of 2006 and winner of the Dubai World Cup (UAE-G1) the following season, was represented by his first yearling reported to sell at auction anywhere on the globe.
Invasor's chestnut son out of Concern Nacca (Concern), a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Hystericalady (Distorted Humor) and a daughter of Chilean champion Sacramentada (Chi) (Northair), was sold for ¥20 million ($222,222) to Nakatsuji Akira. One of the new owners in Japanese racing, the Kyoto-based Akira, who is in the construction and property leasing business, was making his first purchase at a JRHA sale.
The Invasor colt was sold by Tsuji Bokujo, which bought Concern Nacca for $450,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November sale.
Darley Japan, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's growing racing and breeding enterprise, stepped in to endorse one of the global operation's top stallions when it bought a colt by Medaglia d'Oro out of multiple Japanese group winner Preeminence (Jpn) (Afleet). Consigned by Grand Stud, the colt sold for ¥40 million ($444,444).
A Mineshaft filly who is the first foal of stakes winner Moonee Ponds (Mizzen Mast) was the final yearling by an American-based stallion to sell in Japan on Monday, going for ¥15.5 million ($172,222). Consigned by Okada Stud, which bought Moonee Ponds carrying the filly, her first foal, for $300,000 at the 2008 Keeneland November sale, the yearling's second dam is Grade 1 winner Lotka (Danzig).
Yearlings by deceased Lawyer Ron and Hat Trick (Jpn), who stands in Kentucky, were reported as not sold.
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