08/15/2008 12:00AM

$1.1M colt tops session at Deauville sale

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Australian mining magnate Nathan Tinkler went home with the session-topper Friday at the opening session of Arqana's Deauville August yearling sale in France.

A Galileo colt out of Olimpic Girl, the top-priced horse cost Tinkler's Patinack Farm 770,000 euros, or about $1,131,900. Haras de Meautry consigned the bay colt, who is the first foal for his dam, a listed stakes winner by Darshaan.

John Ferguson, representing Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley organization, bought the afternoon's most expensive filly, a Seeking the Gold daughter of Group 1 winner Lune d'Or, for 700,000 euros, or about $1,029,000. Haras du Mezeray was the consignor.

The first of four days' selling grossed about $24,394,650 for 76 yearlings. The gross, calculated in euros, was down 3 percent from last season, when 94 yearlings sold. But the 2008 average (about $320,982) and median (about $249,900) were up by 19 percent and 42 percent, respectively. The buy-back rate dipped from last year's 22 percent to 21 percent in 2008.

The sale was to run through Monday.