On day 3 it was James Harron who paid the top price, but the colt, Lot 624 out of stakes-winner Golden Penny (Blevic) didn’t quite reach the million-dollar mark.
Still it was $735,000 more that Harron paid for Capitalist in 2015, with that colt going on to win the G1 Golden Slipper and the Magic Millions 2YO Classic a year later. He has just served his second season at Newgate.
Harron said this colt was a little different to Capitalist, but the qualities they did have in common certainly made him an attractive buy.
"He's a bit different but I guess, muscle maturity, great mind, those type of characteristics played a big part," he said.
"He's very strong and very mature. Hopefully he can go early as well." - James Harron
"Written Tycoon gets a few different sorts. He's been best with the precocious type of 2-year-olds. Obviously with Capitalist and Written By recently, this guy looks precocious too. He's very strong and very mature. Hopefully he can go early as well."
Written Tycoon results unsurprising for Woodside
James Price, General Manager at Woodside Park where Written Tycoon stands, was not surprised that it was Harron that won the bidding war for the most anticipated lot at the sale by the stallion.
"James Harron has been a big supporter of Written Tycoon and again dipped in this year. Obviously we know that he purchased Capitalist. From what James buys, Written Tycoons are really built that way," he said.
"As you know he gets sharp 2-year-olds and this sale has built its reputation on sharp 2-year olds and that's what his stock are." - Woodside General Manager, James Price
"They’ve got great muscle tone, great hips, great balance and depth and are really well-boned horses. As you know he gets sharp 2-year-olds and this sale has built its reputation on sharp 2-year olds and that's what his stock are."
Stronger female pedigrees
Off the back of Capitalist's brilliant 2-year-old season and aided by Group 1 wins from Music Magnate and Luna Rossa (NZ), Written Tycoon's stud fee at Woodside Park jumped from $19,800 in 2015 to $49,500 in 2016 (inc GST), the year this crop of yearlings was conceived.
"It’s probably the first crop of really strong female pedigree." - James Price
Price said the fact that Written Tycoon was averaging $292,000 for his 34 lots sold at the Gold Coast as compared to $279,000 for 23 lots in total last year, was attributable to the greater demand for him, which led to better quality mares.
"With the big jump in service fee, from the year that these mares were covered. It’s probably the first crop of really strong female pedigree," Price said.
"I would suspect that the racehorses coming out of this crop will be at another level again from what we have seen from Written Tycoon. He's getting to the later years of his stud career, but I think we are going to see the best racehorses from now on."
Even with the jump in service fee that year - Written Tycoon now stands for $110,000 - the strong average price is a significant reward for breeders, according to Price.
"It's a tremendous reward for breeders who supported him. So we are delighted for everyone across the board." - James Price
"We're tremendously excited about the returns that breeders have got from the Written Tycoon's at this sale. The yearlings selling this season are off a $45,000 service fee (ex GST). We've had 34 sell at a clearance of 95% with an average of $292,000. It's a tremendous reward for breeders who supported him. So we are delighted for everyone across the board."
The best are yet to come
Harron certainly makes no secret of his opinion of the Woodside Park stallion, and agreed with Price that the best of his stock were yet to come.
"He's a stallion that has done it the hard way. He's built his way up from a small fee. It’s always a great sign. The mare quality comes and the key breeders come and they work out what they need to get that result. It's something that keeps building and you'd expect him to keep building as well," he said.
The previous highest lot by Written Tycoon was the $750,000 Jadeskye Racing paid for the final Lot (530) on Day 2 of the sale, while there was another purchase of $650,000 on Friday for Lot 575 by B K Racing and Breeding. There were further purchases of $660,000 (Lot 49) and $650,000 (Lot 376) earlier in the sale.
The $900,000 that Harron paid was the second most ever for a Written Tycoon yearling, who before this week had only ever sold two yearlings for over $650,000.
Both Price and Harron also credited the jump to the desirability of his colts as possible stallion prospects. Rich Enuff became the first son of Written Tycoon to have his progeny at a yearling sale this week and the early signs are positive. Winning Rupert and Capitalist's first crop will feature at next year's sales.
"We’ve seen the success of his son in Rich Enuff and in more seasons to come, his sons like Capitalist and Winning Rupert. That sireline is hopefully going to carry on," Price said.
"That sireline is hopefully going to carry on." - James Price
"Especially now that we have seen the colts' syndicates getting together and buying. They identify Written Tycoon as a sire of sires who gets 2-year-olds. A good looking colt by Written Tycoon, all the big guys were in for it from around the country and internationally."
When asked how far he would have gone to secure the colt, Harron said the market dictated that it was always going to be a tough battle.
"These colts are very well sought after and by a proven sire in Written Tycoon that is starting to get sons at stud, it’s what you are expecting you’d have to go to," he said.