Japanese Globetrotters Boost Record JRHA Select Sale

The top-priced foal is a son of the late Duramente out of Champagne Anyone | JRHA


Clearance rates narrowly in excess of 95% for both days of the Japan Racing Horse Association (JRHA) Select Sale speak to the consistent demand for fledgling racehorses in the country where the leading bloodstock auction has once again set new high markers in all sectors of the market.

At the final count, 447 foals and yearlings (from 469 offered) changed hands for a new record aggregate of ¥25,762,500,000 (£159m/€187m), up 14% on last year's previous high. The average also increased significantly, by 12%, to ¥57,634,228 (£355,000/€419,000) for the sale as a whole. The foal session's contribution to that overall tally on Tuesday was ¥12,892,500,000 (£98m/€116m) spent on 225 foals from the 236 offered. That figure represented an 18% increase, while the average of ¥57,300,000 (£353,000/€417,000) was up by almost 12%.

“It was a record-breaking market here last year and I did not expect to beat it this year,” said leading breeder Teruya Yoshida of Shadai Farm, who is also the chairman of the JRHA. “The market was very strong from the top end through to the bottom end, and I am very impressed with the depth of buyers. High demand for young horses was kept thoughout the two days and the clearance rate of 95.3% is unbelievable.”

He added, “I am very happy to see that so many people are interested in enjoying ownership of racehorses and very glad to witness that they are very keen to make a big investment in the bloodstock market.”

Just as Ireland and Britain have lost the influential Galileo (Ire) and Pivotal (GB) from the stallion ranks in recent years, the Japanese breeding scene is now contemplating life after the big-hitters Deep Impact (Jpn) and King Kamehameha (Jpn), both of whom died in 2019.

Duramente (Jpn), a Classic-winning son of King Kamehameha, had been starting to hint at his own prowess, but he was lost to an attack of colitis last August leaving 629 foals from his four seasons at stud. With his eldest runners now four, Duramente is responsible for this season's G1 Japanese 1000 Guineas and G1 Oaks winner Southern Stars (Jpn), as well as Titleholder (Jpn), a member of his first crop who claimed last year's G1 Japanese St Leger and has added another two Group 1 wins to his record this season in the Tenno Sho and Takarazuka Kinen.

The late stallion featured prominently among Monday's yearling results and, with a member of his final crop he topped the final day when the second foal of the GII Gulfstream Park Oaks winner Champagne Anyone (Street Sense) brought the hammer down at ¥320 million (£1.97m/€2.33m). The colt (lot 393) was offered by Shunsuke Yoshida, the son of Northern Farm owner Katsumi Yoshida who is now in his second year consigning, and was bought by Red Horse.

The death of Giant's Causeway was also much lamented, and this year's Select Sale has featured the first yearlings of his talented son Bricks And Mortar, a four-time Grade I winner, including the Breeders' Cup Turf, and one of four sires imported to Japan from America for the 2020 breeding season. His 11 yearlings in the sale were led by lot 104, a colt from the dual Group 3 winner and Classic-placed Maximum De Paris (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn}) who sold for Y135 million (£831,400/€982,800) from Shadai Farm to Hirosaki Toshihiro.

The 8-year-old stallion was also represented by 13 foals on Tuesday and these included the day's second-top lot (325). The graduate of Northern Farm was offered alongside his dam Awake (Jpn), a Group 2-placed daughter of Daughter Impact (Jpn) from the family of the globetrotting Stella Veloce (Jpn) (Bago {Fr}), and was sold for Y310 million (£1.9m/€2.25m) to Tetsuhide Kunimoto.

“I visited Northern Farm several times in the last few months and found that this colt, out of Awake, kept improving. That is what I like about him,” said Kunimoto. “To be frank, I do not know who [will be] the next leading sire, though I think Bricks And Mortar is a very suitable stallion for racing in Japan, as he is a turf champion himself and most of his yearlings look like sharp and speedy turf horses. This colt lets me have a dream.”

The Australian four-time Group 1 winner Mosheen (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) had her name in lights on Monday when her Maurice (Jpn) colt topped the yearling session at ¥450 million (£2.7m/€3.25m), and she made an appearance herself on Tuesday in the company of her colt foal by Epiphaneia (Jpn). Offered as lot 367 by breeder Katsumi Yoshida of Northern Farm, her youngest offspring was also in demand and sold for ¥300 million (£1.84m/€2.18m) to Ver Co Ltd. Epipheneia, whose leading offspring include the Fillies' Triple Crown winner Daring Tact (Jpn), was also the sire of another of the day's bestsellers, lot 353, another from Northern Farm and out of the GI Del Mar Debutante S. winner She's A Tiger (Tale Of The Cat). The top-priced filly among the foals, she was knocked down to Hiroyasu Takeuchi, racing manager of Nicks Co Ltd for ¥280 million (£1.72m/€2.03m).

“I studied her pedigree and am convinced she should have inherited a lot of speed,”  said Takeuchi. “She is very valuable as future broodmare as well and I believe she is worth paying this amount of money.”

Fifteen foals by Epiphaneia were sold on Tuesday for an average price of ¥111,100,000 (£684,000/€808,800).

Fourteen members of the first crop of G1 Japanese 2000 Guineas winner Saturnalia (Jpn) were for sale on Tuesday and the stock of the son of Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) received a thumbs-up from buyers, with two ending up among the top 10 lots of the day. These included lot 339, a three-parts-brother to G1 Mile Championship winner Stelvio (Jpn) (Lor Kanaloa {Jpn}) who fetched ¥300 million (£1.84m/€2.18m). Their dam L'Archetto (Jpn) (Falbrav {Ire}) had also provided one of the leading yearlings of the opening day–a colt by Rey De Oro (Jpn) who sold for ¥220 million. Both youngsters were bought by Kaneko Makoto of Deep Impact fame.

Concluding his review of the two-day sale, Teruya Yoshida added, “The quality of mares we have in Japan is very high and the quality of young horses offered here yesterday and today was very high as well. Japanese-bred horses are running very well in international races in the USA and Middle East, and I understand that it helps to boost this market.”

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