Australasian-breds to the fore at HK International Sale

4 min read
Racehorses by O'Reilly, Snitzel, Exceed And Excel and Hinchinbrook proved popular at the annual Hong Kong International Sale held on Friday night.

Australian and New Zealand bred horses were the equal highest priced lots at last night’s Hong International Sale (March) at Sha Tin Racecourse with each selling for $HK7M (AUS$1.26M).

Not surprisingly, buyers rallied strongly for Lot 11 a full brother to multiple Group 1 winner Sacred Falls by the late O’Reilly x Iguazu’s Girl (Redoute’s Choice).

The gelding was originally purchased by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale for $NZ300,000 and posted the best return for the HKJC of the 27 horses (32 catalogued) it sent through the sales ring at the exclusive auction for permit holders.

The progeny of Waikato Stud’s O’Reilly, who died in 2014, have enjoyed tremendous success in Hong Kong with 86 winners of 301 races. He was the champion sire of Hong Kong in 2007-2008.

Arrowfield’s champion stallion Snitzel produced the other $HK7M horse of the evening which was lot 17 out of Savabeel mare Scarlett Lady. This horse was a $AUS870,000 buy from the 2017 edition of the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Snitzel’s success story as a stallion in Hong Kong continues to build. He’s sired 12 winners of 34 races in the region including Tan Tat Sun and champion miler of 2015-16 Sun Jewellery.

In summing up last night’s sale, HKIS Executive Manager Mark Richards said, “I think it pretty much went as expected. It was a good even sale with no ridiculously high-priced horses but a good strong middle that gave us an average of $HK4.3M. (AU$770,000)”

“In the present climate with markets as low as they are in Hong Kong that can be considered a good result.”

“Hong Kong owners who trust and make investment through the sale were rewarded this year with an above average group of horses particularly on type,” he said.

It was a good even sale with no ridiculously high-priced horses. - Mark Richards, Hong Kong International Sale Executive

Exceed and Excel provided the second highest priced horse of the sale. Lot 15, out of a Jeune mare So Tempted, was sold to popular female owner Vicky Tang for $HK6.5M ($1.17M.) This gelding was a $AU800,000 buy at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Early in the sale, bidding was fierce for the only son of Hinchinbrook offered in the book. The gelding from Canadian race mare Double Malt was knocked down to trainer Richard Gibson for $HK6.2M ($AUS1.11M).

“This horse breezed up nicely and was always going to be popular. Hinchinbrook is a huge loss to the sires ranks here in Hong Kong,” said Richards.

"Hinchinbrook is a huge loss to the sires ranks here in Hong Kong." - Mark Richards.

Hinchinbrook has certainly left his mark on Hong Kong racing producing six winners of 15 races including Group 2 winning sprinter Beat the Clock and top performer Champion’s Way.

Champion Victorian sire Written Tycoon also featured prominently in last night’s HKIS results with a gelding out of a half-sister to Group 1 Caulfield Cup winner Mummify, Shabtis, selling for $HK5.7M ($AUS1.02M). The spitting image of his sire, this gelding was a $530,000 purchase at the 2017 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale.

Written Tycoon has a strong winners to runners ratio in Hong Kong and is regarded for producing good “bread and butter horses” in the region.

Written Tycoon x Shabtis

Two Australian bred horses sold for $HK5.5M including Lot 7 by Exceed and Excel x Emotional Circus and Lot 3 by Choisir x Couredge.

Five horses were withdrawn from last night’s sale. Three of the geldings, Lot 6 (Exchange Rate ex Margate), Lot 12 (Frankel ex Noelani) and Lot 28 (Olympic Glory ex Anandara), will be given time to develop further ahead of the season’s second Hong Kong International Sale (July).

All three breezed during the HKIS Breeze-Up session at Sha Tin on Saturday, 9 March and pulled up after that exercise in good health.

“The Hong Kong Jockey Club’s International Sale team always acts to ensure the best interests of each individual horse. In keeping with that approach, it was felt that it would be beneficial to the development of each of those horses if they were given more time to mature and adapt to the Hong Kong environment. The team, in discussion with the Club’s senior management, has taken the decision to withdraw the three horses from the March sale,” said Richards.

Lot 32 (Dark Angel ex Snowfields) was withdrawn on veterinary grounds and will also now be aimed for the July auction.

For full results and information regarding the 2019 Hong Kong International Sale (March):