10/09/2012 3:40PM

$1.34 million Raven's Pass colt tops Day 1 at Tattersalls sale

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The Tattersalls October Book 1 yearling sale kicked off Tuesday in Newmarket, England, with a classic bidding duel that resulted in John Ferguson’s buying the session-topper for just more than $1.3 million.

Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s regular agent, went to 800,000 guineas – the equivalent of $1,344,000 at the current rate – for a son of Maktoum’s Raven’s Pass foaled March 7, 2011. Ferguson outbid Maktoum’s longtime rival, Coolmore Stud boss John Magnier, for the chestnut son of Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nightime, by Galileo.

The first of three Book 1 sessions sold 139 yearlings for about $38,666,880, for a $278,179 average and a $184,800 median. Aided by a larger catalog, the gross (as compared year to year in the local auction currency of guineas) increased 27 percent and was a sale record. Average and median also posted gains, with the former rising 9 percent and the latter up by 10 percent. Buybacks were 20 percent, up from 18 percent at last year’s equivalent session.

“Raven’s Pass has obviously done very well, and we are thrilled with Steeler,” Ferguson said, referring to the Group 2-winning Raven’s Pass juvenile owned by Maktoum’s brother Sheikh Hamdan.

Ferguson added: “We have seen this horse as a foal and through to the spring, and he has just thrived. When we saw him here, we were not surprised to see such a lovely horse.”

The Castlebridge Consignment offered the session-topper.

Earlier in the session, Coolmore agent Demi O’Byrne sprang for a 700,000-guinea colt by Coolmore’s late stallion Montjeu; the price was about $1,176,000. The bay colt, foaled March 24 last year, is out of the Machiavellian mare Lucina and hails from the family of German champion Warrsan, Group 1 winner Luso, and Group 1-placed Blue Monday and Lundy’s Lane. Croom House Stud in Ireland was the consignor.

The top filly at that hour was a Galileo daughter of the Oasis Dream stakes winner La Sylvia that Badgers Bloodstock bought for 570,000 guineas, or about $957,600. The Feb. 10, 2011, foal is from the family of stakes winner Power Elite and, further back, champion Al Bahathri. Clare Castle Stud was the consignor.

◗ A Galileo colt out of popular champion Ouija Board also sold Tuesday, bringing 525,000 guineas (about $882,000) from Coolmore. Lord Derby, who owns Ouija Board and sold the colt, said at Tattersalls that the champion mare’s juvenile Galileo filly, Filia Regina, has returned to the farm after she was deemed too immature for a 2012 start with trainer Ed Dunlop this year.