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Returning Asian buyers to the fore at Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale

An explosion of interest from Hong Kong and Singapore buyers, who purchased 60 two-year-olds between them, set up a record Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale.

Hong Kong buyers have returned to the fray with gusto at the Inglis Ready 2 Race Sale, with 17 of the top 20 priced two-year-olds on a record day in Sydney destined for a possible future in Hong Kong racing.

Hong Kong participation at the past two editions of this Sale has been muted because of travel restrictions, but after purchasing just 10 horses last year and eight the year prior, Hong Kong buyers secured 31 of the 141 horses sold on Tuesday.

Between them they spent just short of AU$6 million, over 38 per cent of the record gross of AU$15.6 million, while there were several other Hong Kong buyers represented by Australian agents.

The most notable of those agents was Olly Koolman, who bought three of the top six lots on the day on behalf of Hong Kong clients including a Deep Field colt out of Alderney (Lot 110), which is headed to Francis Lui, having been purchased for AU$550,000.

That colt, a half-brother to the winner Riduna, breezed the fastest of any in the catalogue, 10.10 seconds for his 200-metre hit-out.

Lui, who recently celebrated his 800th winner, will also welcome the third highest priced two-year-old of the day, Lot 136, the No Nay Never colt which Koolman signed for at AU$460,000 from the draft of Baystone Farm. That powerfully built colt is the half-brother to Group 3 winner Marboosha.

Koolman’s third purchase was a first-crop son of Justify, Lot 54, who cost AU$300,000 from WBF Thoroughbreds on behalf of an undisclosed Hong Kong client.

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Lot 136 - the colt by No Nay Never out of Boomex. (Photo: Katrina Partridge/ Inglis)

Golden River Investments’ Denys Chan had a busy day bidding on behalf of his Hong Kong-based client base, buying three colts for a total of AU$1.17 million.

Chan has sourced horses out of Australasian sales for the likes of trainers Danny Shum, Manfred Man and Michael Chang, and set the early pace when going to AU$500,000 for Lot 58, a colt by The Autumn Sun out of the well-related High Chaparral mare Sopraffina.

“This one for me was the horse of the sale. He really caught my eye. His physique, his walk, his movement, everything was 100 per cent,” Chan said.

“My clients are based in Hong Kong. If he is sound and he is proven quality at the trials here, perhaps we will race him here first and send him over as a PP.”

Chan also purchased Lot 78, a colt by Complacent out of Thunderchine from Hannover Lodge for AU$400,000. That colt is a half-brother to Group 2 winner and Group 1 placegetter Thunder Lady and is from the family of Hong Kong winner Such A Happiness.

Golden River also signed for Lot 86, a Dundeel three-quarter brother to Group 2 winner She’s Ideel for AU$270,000. He may remain in Australia and is likely to head to trainer Bjorn Baker.

Lot 58, the colt by The Autumn Sun purchased by Golden River Investments. (Photo: Katrina Partridge/Inglis)

Trainer Ricky Yiu made an enthusiastic return to Sydney having been confined to quarters in Hong Kong for much of the past two years and picked up five colts, spending AU$1,020,000.

Top of his list was Lot 19, the Deep Field colt out of Purr Itty Kitty, who cost AU$280,000.

“They are very, very popular these horses by Deep Field, in Hong Kong, and this horse is really suitable for Hong Kong. They are good sprinter-milers and a lot of them do very well,” Yiu said.

“I like the medium-sized horses, not too big, not too small. They need that physical look and you want them to be runners. You want to see them go through the breeze-up easily without them being asked too much.”

Yiu also paid AU$260,000 for a Starspangledbanner gelding, AU$230,000 for a colt by All Too Hard, AU$130,000 for a gelding by El Roca and AU$120,000 for a colt by Capitalist.

“We haven’t been overseas for so long and we really look forward to coming to this Sale and I know that you can always get a good one,” he said.

Hong Kong trainer Ricky Yiu (Photo: HKJC).

Also in action was one of the newest additions to the Hong Kong training ranks, Jamie Richards, who combined with bloodstock agent Andy Williams to buy two horses, including a colt by Capitalist (Lot 95) for AU$160,000 from the draft of Riversley Park.

“This is for a bunch of owners I met through the Club (HKJC), happy Valley Brothers Syndicate. They are a new group of people for the stable,” he said.

“You can’t go wrong buying horses off Sam Beatson. He’s got a great record of producing good horses for Hong Kong, horses like Golden Sixty have come through his system, so he does a very good job and they are going to keep improving.”

Other Hong Kong buyers on the sheet included Frankie Lor, Willie Leung, Jimmy Ting, Peter Ng, Solari Bloodstock, Upper Bloodstock, JAB Bloodstock, Ronald Yau and Super Molly Racing Syndicate.

Trainer Jamie Richards at Sha Tin Racecourse on May 22, 2022. (Photo by Getty Images)

Singapore splurge

There was also a resurgence in investment from buyers from Singapore. Having purchased just five horses in total over the past two Covid-impacted editions, Singaporean buyers signed for 29 two-year-olds on Tuesday, spending over AU$2 million.

The biggest spender was the combination of Fitzsimmons Racing and Wattle Bloodstock, who purchased Lot 174, a colt by Smart Missile for AU$160,000, Lot 85, a colt by Spirit Of Boom for AU$115,000, and Lot 235, a colt by Encryption for AU$150,000.

Tim Fitzsimmons and Wattle Bloodstock’s Peter Twomey purchased five-time Singaporean winner Relentless at this Sale three years ago and were happy to combine again, particularly for the Smart Missile colt.

“We loved the breeze-up. He was a horse that I saw at the Classic Sale and he has definitely improved. Jean Dubois at Woodpark does a really good job with his horses,” Twomey said.

“We had to push pretty hard for him, but glad to get the ones we wanted.”

Relentless, who contests the SIN-G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday, was purchased from Blake Ryan for AU$30,000 and Twomey and Fitsimmons returned to that same source again for the colt by Spirit Of Boom.

“He had such a great attitude and didn’t turn a hair every time we saw him. He was just bombproof. That’s what we were looking for,” Twomey said.

Singaporean trainer Jason Ong purchased five horses for a total of $145,000, while fellow trainers Jerome Tan, Richard Lim, Keah Young, Donna Logan and Shane Baertschiger were also on the buyers’ sheet.

The strong market meant it was a quieter day than expected from the Macau Jockey Club, who spent just AU$80,000 on two horses.

The top-priced lot of the day was Lot 223, a colt by Dundeel who sold to Ciaron Maher Racing and Group 1 Bloodstock for a sale-record price of AU$750,000. That was the highlight of a record day’s trade.

The two-year-old sales circuit now heads to the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions 2YO in Training Sale on October 25, before heading to New Zealand for the NZB Ready To Run Sale on November 16 and 17.

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