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Bloodstock desk: Buoyant results continue apace at Keeneland.

THE$1.1million (pounds 585,739) paid for Native Roots, dam of Wilko, remained the top-price at the first session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale on Monday, which saw the strong results posted by Keeneland in 2004 continue into the new year.

Bought by Will Farish of Lane's End Farm, Native Roots is the first horse to make seven figures at the January sale since 2002, when Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Desert Stormer sold for $3.6m.

The opening session recorded a significant gain in median, which rose to $35,000 (pounds 18,637) from $30,000 last year, and the buyback rate fell to 22 per cent. An increase in horses offered led to a rise in aggregate with 251 horses selling for $15,831,100 (pounds 8,430,153), while the average of $63,072 (pounds 33,586) was down by 4.1 per cent on last year's corresponding session when 226 horses sold for $14,861,100, with an average of $65,757.

Keeneland's director of sales, Geoffrey R ussell described the market as ``buoyant'', adding: ``It's just a continuation of the strong November sale.''

Kentucky Rose, the only mare in the sale in foal to Storm Cat, failed to reach her reserve for the second time, having been bought back for $1.25m at Keeneland in November. Bidding for the Group 3-placed mare, the last lot of Monday's session, reached $885,000 (pounds 471,170) before she was led out unsold.

Blushing Bride, Group 3-placed as a juvenile, fetched the second-highest price for a broodmare when knocked down to ClassicStar LLC for $550,000 (pounds 292,817). Consigned by Crestwood Farm, agent, the mare is in foal to Danzig.

Larry O'Byrne purchased the top-priced yearling of the session, going to $600,000 (pounds 319,437) for a filly by Fusaichi Pegasus, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent. Demi O'Byrne's son bought the filly for a group of English breeders. She is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare User Cat, a daughter of 1992 Horse of the Year and multiple Group 1 winner User Friendly.

During early trading yesterday, former Barry Hills charge Lady Upstage, in foal to Dynaformer, brought a bid of $500,000 (pounds 500,000) from Japanese agent Nobua Tsunoda. The Alzao filly won the Group 2 P retty Polly Stakes at The Curragh for owner Bunny Roberts, and, after running a nose second in the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, she was sold and remained in Canada.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 12, 2005
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