06/24/2009 11:00PM

$948K mare tops Inglis session in Sydney

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The two-day Inglis Australian weanling and broodmare sale got off to a quick start Thursday in Sydney with the session-topper bringing about $948,000 on opening day.

That was the price for Polar Success, winner of the 2003 Golden Slipper and dam of Australian stakes-placed Polaway, at the select broodmare session. Inglis made the purchase on behalf of an unidentified local client. Twin Palms Stud consigned the 9-year-old Success Express mare as agent for the late Stanley Johnson and his son Bruce, who announced in April that the family would disperse its bloodstock.

Polar Success sold in foal to Bernardini.

The select broodmare session sold 94 fillies and mares for about $4,477,918, averaging about $47,637. The median was approximately $15,800.

The Johnson family's dispersal grossed about $3,002,000 and provided the session's seven highest-priced horses.

Two other auction highlights, a pair of half-sisters to two-time Australian Horse of the Year Makybe Diva, failed to reach their reserves. Eight-year-old Celtic Reign, by Woodman, brought a final bid of about $474,000. She is in foal to Redoute's Choice. The unraced 3-year-old filly Optimist, by Red Ransom, went unsold at about $434,500.

Last year's inaugural four-day auction was held under a different format, making comparison difficult.

Select weanlings were to go under the gavel on Friday, the sale's final day.