Duramente Colt Tops Hokkaido Selection Sale

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Duramente sired the 2020 Hokkaido Selection Sale topper | JRA Photo

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Despite massive COVID-19 prevention protocols, the postponed 2020 Hokkaido Selection Sale drew a strong crowd, easily as big as normal years despite protocols requiring everyone to pre-register for entry credentials. The looming pandemic-induced global recession also seemed to have little effect on the sale, which set records on nearly all fronts despite being pushed back a little over a month from its usual mid-July date.

While the clearance rate was 82.5%, down from last year’s record of 83.5%, it was the best year of the sale by every other measure since its inception. The 2020 renewal grossed ¥3,589,300,000 (US$33,719,535/£25,694,448/€28,549,547), a 15.66% increase from 2019. The 2020 average was ¥19,507,065 (US$183,406/£139,643/€155,160), and the median was ¥16,500,000 (US$155,007/£118,117/€131,242), both a record, up 23.83% and 22.22%, respectively, from the 2019 figures. Overall 184 of the 223 lots that went through the ring sold, of which 137 were colts and 47 were fillies. After weeks of COVID-19 spikes around the country, Hokkaido’s rural breeders uniformly issued a massive sigh of relief, being spared any massive consequences from the recession thus far.

The sires of the top 10 lots sold say a lot about the current trends in Japanese racing and breeding, and one of those trends is the popularity of young sires. The highest price lot was lot 155, a colt by first-crop stallion Duramente (Jpn) out of Kirschwasser (Jpn) (Sakura Bakushin O {Jpn}) that sold to Toshihiro Hirosaki Holdings for ¥79,200,000 (US$744,034/£567,013/€629,944), the second most expensive yearling ever sold in the history of the Selection Sale. Offered by Amaba Reiji Bokujo, his fourth dam was blue hen mare Blitey (River Ridge).

The second highest priced lot was lot 125, a Kizuna (Jpn) colt out of Smash Heart (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) from the draft of Sakai Bokujo that Chiyono Terada bought for ¥66,000,000 (US$620,034/£472,511/€524,954).

Sophomore sire Kizuna (Jpn) had two other lots in the top 10. Lot 191, a colt that Toshihiro Hirosaki Holdings stretched to ¥50,600,000 (US$475,359/£362,250/€402,364) for from Tsuchida Farm and lot 97, another colt, that brought €44,000,000 (US$413,353/£314,945/€349,881) from Masahiro Miki and was offered by Hiroshi Chikushi.

Lord Kanaloa (Jpn), whose oldest foals are only 5-year-olds, had a pair of colts in the top 10: lot 21 went for ¥57,200,000 (US$537,358/£409,429/€454,825) to Minoru Yoshioka from Masanobu Sasajima’s draft. His dam is a half-sister to Japanese Group 3 winner Kinetics (Jpn) (Forty Niner) and the MSW Fujino Wave (Jpn) (Black Tie Affair {Ire}). The other, offered by Sakai Bokujo as lot 160, was out of MGSW & G1SP Kokorono Ai (Jpn) (Stay Gold {Jpn}). He was acquired by Shigeo Nomura for ¥50,600,000 (US$475,359/£362,250/€402,364).

Freshman sire Maurice (Jpn)’s lot 217 was a colt consigned by Kineusu Bokujo that was snapped up by Northern Farm for ¥50,600,000 (US$475,359/£362,250/€402,364). Consigned by Oshima Bokujo, the Mastery colt (lot 94), out of the MGSP mare Courtesan (Street Sense), sold for ¥45,100,000 (US$423,700/£322,854/€358,612) to Bando Bokujo. He came to Japan in utero after selling for $250,000 to J.S. Company during the 2018 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Also included in the top 10 was what is likely the last Deep Impact (Jpn) yearling filly to ever go through public auction. A member of the Sakai Bokujo consignment, lot 91, out of GII Indian Oaks heroine Tiz Windy (Tiznow), sold to Tatsue Ishikawa for ¥63,800,000 (US$599,381/£456,720/€507,349).

Also among the top 10 lots was Grand Stud’s lot 209, a Henny Hughes half-brother to Listed Japan Dirt Derby (Jpn-G1) winner Higashi Will Win (Jpn) (South Vigorous). He changed hands for €53,900,000 (US$506,402/£385,843/€428,622) and was bought by Yoshizawa Stable Co. Ltd., the owner of 2019 Kentucky Derby contender Master Fencer (Jpn) (Just a Way {Jpn}).

Besides Mastery’s single lot, two other foreign stallions were represented. Lot 129, a filly by Nathaniel (Ire) out of a full-sister to two-time G1 Dubai World Cup winner and Japan-based stallion Thunder Snow (Ire) (Helmet {Aus}) hailed from the Yano Bokujo consignment. She sold for ¥30,800,000 (US$289,372/£220,487/€244,933) to Yuichi Masuda. Postponed (Ire)’s filly (lot 70) rounded out the trio from the draft of Yano Bokujo. Knocked down to Yasuo Tejima for ¥9,350,000 (US$87,849/£66,932/€74,354), the daughter of Salasie (Fr) (Teofilo {Ire}) is out of a half-sister to Kind (GB) (Danehill), the dam of Frankel (GB).

Overall it was Kizuna that rocked the sale selling nine lots for a gross of ¥298,100,000 (US$2,800,860/£2,133,964/€2,370,398) and an average of ¥33,122,222 (US$311,217/£237,116/€263,377). Henny Hughes wasn’t far off selling all of his 11 offerings for a gross of ¥285,450,000 (US$2,682,095/£2,043,491/€2,269,837) and averaging ¥25,950,000 (US$243,835/£185,750/€206,348). Lord Kanaloa sold eight for a gross of ¥242,550,000 (US$2,279,088/£1,736,175/€1,928,706) and average of ¥30,318,750 (US$284,886/£217,021/€241,100). Epiphaneia (Jpn), a sophomore sire with a lot of promise, had 13 lots sell grossing ¥229,900,000 (US$2,160,305/£1,645,673/€1,828,207) and averaging ¥17,684,615 (US$166,177/£126,590/€140,631). The hot two freshman sires Maurice and Duramente grossed ¥227,700,000 (US$2,139,633/£1,629,925/€1,811,029) from 12 sold and ¥222,750,000 (US$2,093,019/£1,594,600/€1,771,659) from 10 sold, respectively. Maurice averaged ¥18,975,000 (US$178,294/£135,836/€150,920), while Duramente’s average came in at ¥22,275,000 (US$209,291/£159,448/€177,167). Finally, first-crop sire Drefong, who has been quite popular with his progeny at the sales this year and last year grossed ¥138,600,000 (US$1,302,258/£992,126/€1,102,390) from six sold, averaging ¥23,100,000 (US$217,047/£165,351/€183,731).

The week continues with the 2020 Hokkaido Summer Sale beginning Tuesday and running through Aug. 28. If the Selection Sale’s momentum can be maintained, it could be a banner year for Hidaka region breeders.

JP¥106.449 = US$ 1.00

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