Irish bred horses top Hong Kong Sale

Sat 23rd May 2020, 14:29

Lot 11 a son of Kodiac out of the G3 placed Coolnagree sells for HK $6.5 million
Hong Kong Jockey Club

The top six lots at this morning's Hong Kong International sale (May) held at Sha Tin racecourse were bred in Ireland.

Eleven unraced horses were sold for a total value of €3,749,527 (median €295,704; average €340,866).

The top price paid was €768,830 for a three-year-old Kodiac gelding out of Group 3 placed Coolnagree (Dark Angel).

Mr. William Nader, Director of Racing Business and Operations at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said: “We expected prices would be a little bit down today because of the economy and the global pandemic. There were no great surprises and we’re happy with the results.

Last year's average for the sale (27 lots held in March 2019) was €484,433.

“The most important point is that our interests are aligned to the owners. Our job is to select horses and prepare horses that can come in and produce a positive outcome for Hong Kong racing, so the true success of the sale will be known in the future.

“We’ve made a few changes to help fine tune the process and we are always aiming to get better year on year. It’s an ongoing process and we think the horses, having come in much earlier this year — in December — have acclimated better for the sale; we think the breeze-up last week was much better as a result and we hope this approach will manifest positively in the performances of the horses next season.”

The auction had been slated for 20 March but was postponed and rescheduled to May due to the COVID-19 situation. A second sale will be held at Sha Tin on 3 July.

The May sale offered horses purchased as yearlings in Europe and South America, while the upcoming July sale will offer mostly those bought in Australia and New Zealand, whose arrival in Hong Kong was delayed as a result of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The upcoming July Sale is also likely to include three lots — sourced in South Africa and Ireland — which were withdrawn from the May sale in order to give them more time to mature.

THE IRISH TIMES