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Bloodstock Desk: Danehill progeny top the Hong Kong International Sale.

Byline: Rachael Pagones

THE late Danehill was the sire of the evening at the Hong Kong International Breeze-Up Sale at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday night, when a pair of his sons brought the top two prices, writes Rachel Pagones.

Just 25 two-year-olds, mainly geldings, were sold, but these brought in HK$41,500,000 (pounds 3,055,965), for an average of HK$1,660,000 (pounds 122,239) and a median of HK$1,600,000 (pounds 117,820). While gross revenue fell 16.8 per cent from last year, when 35 horses were sold, the average and median both rose significantly, by 16.4 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.

The sale-topper came from one of Danehill's last Australian crops. Out of the Secretariat mare Secret Truth, he is a half-brother to Pleasant Secret, a Group 2 winner in Chile. His HK$3.6 million (pounds 265,096) price on Friday was a fine return on investment, as he cost A$360,000 (pounds 152,229) at the 2002 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

The second highest price of HK$2.5m (pounds 184,094) was for a New Zealand-bred Danehill gelding. His dam is the French-bred Irish River mare Spell On You, from the family of popular young Kentucky stallion Unbridled's Song.

He previously cost NZ$420,000 (pounds 156,000) at the 2002 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.

Only two horses went for less than seven figures, and six brought at least HK$2m (pounds 147,275). All had been extensively vetted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club before the sale.

The sale was conducted by the HKJC and the Magic Millions sales company of Australia. It was the first time Magic Millions had been involved; the Keeneland Association and Doncaster Bloodstock Sales had previously filled the position.

The catalogue was less than half the size of the pool of buyers, which was small compared to most sales, as only HKJC permit holders or reserve permit holders were allowed to bid.

The lucky few have a chance at a major jackpot, as the HKJC offers a

HK$1 million bonus for the sales graduate earning the most money while based in the country next year.

"These are the best odds in the world to win a million dollars," Magic Millions managing director David Chester told the Blood-Horse. Referring to the size of the catalogue, he said: "You have a 25-1 shot."


Danehill: a son of the late sire, from one of his last Australian crops, fetched HK$3.6m
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 15, 2003
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