Kodiac Gelding Tops Virus-Impacted HK International Sale

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Sales-topping lot 11 | HKJC photo

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The first of two sessions of the Hong Kong International Sale took place Saturday morning in the parade ring at Sha Tin Racecourse, having been postponed from Hong Kong Derby weekend in mid-March owing to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some 16 lots, purchased in Europe and South America, were scheduled to go under the hammer before five withdrawals earlier in the week left 11 ready-to-run gallopers to be offered.

Owner Kerm Din, who campaigned one of the HKIS’s most notable graduates in the form of ‘TDN Rising Star’ and MG1SW Pakistan Star (Ger) (Shamardal) (HK$6 million in 2016), struck the biggest blow of the morning when going to HK$6.5 million for lot 11, a 3-year-old gelded son of Tally-Ho Stud’s Kodiac (GB) out of the Group 3-placed Coolnagree (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}).

The Jan. 17 foal, bred by the Burns family’s Lodge Park Stud, was acquired for 525,000gns at the 2018 Tattersalls October sale and is a maternal grandson of Win Cash (Ire) (Alhaarth {Ire}), a half-sister to two-time Hong Kong champion sprinter Lucky Nine (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and his Japanese Group 3-winning half-brother Teehaff (Jpn) (Storming Home {GB}).

Down the years, Exceed and Excel (Aus) has been a popular sire among local owners, having accounted for dual G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint hero Mr Stunning (Aus) and G1 Al Quoz S. hero Amber Sky (Aus), and the stallion’s lot 9 hammered for a second-highest bid of HK$4 million Saturday. A 130,000gns acquisition at Tatts October, the bay hails from the female family of G1SW’s Aussie Rules, Allegretto, Albanova, Alborada and Yesterday (Ire).

The 11 lots grossed HK$31.7 million for an average of HK$2.88 million and a median price of HK$2.5 million.

“We expected prices would be a little bit down today because of the economy and the global pandemic,” said Bill Nader, Executive Director, Racing, for the Hong Kong Jockey Club. “There were no great surprises and we’re happy with the results. 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.”

The second HKIS of the year is set for July, during which horses that were sourced in Australia and New Zealand, but could not travel to Hong Kong due to coronavirus-related restrictions, will be offered. Three of the five lots withdrawn from Saturday’s sale are also expected to be offered.

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