07/03/2007 12:00AM

Coolmore goes top dollar in Australia


Coolmore Stud, which has a major breeding farm in Australia, has privately purchased a half-interest in Australian two-time Group 1 winner Haradasun.

The 3-year-old colt is by Fusaichi Pegasus, also owned by Coolmore.

The deal for Haradasun came after a bidding duel between Irish-owned Coolmore and its arch-rival, the Darley organization owned by Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, Haradasun's co-owner, Frank Tagg, told Australia's Racing and Sports website. Australian press outlets reported that the deal gives the stallion prospect a total value of $20 million Australian, or about $17 million in U.S. currency, a Southern Hemisphere record for a stallion prospect.

Coolmore bought the breeding rights to Haradasun's sire, Fusaichi Pegasus, privately in 2000 for a reported total value of $60 million, a world-record valuation for an untested stallion.

In a statement issued Tuesday announcing the sale, Tagg said that he had received "other substantial offers" for the colt but found their terms unacceptable.

"Whilst those offers have certainly been tempting, they were for outright purchase of the horse and did not include an ongoing racing career," he said.

Tagg said Haradasun might contest a race at the 2008 Breeders' Cup as part of the goal to raise the colt's profile before his dual-hemisphere stud career. Haradasun's long-term goal for the 2007 racing season is the Oct. 27 Cox Plate, a Group 1 event at Moonee Valley in Australia.

Haradasun is out of the 1991 Australian Oaks winner, Circles of Gold. Circles of Gold also is the dam of Australian champion Elvstroem and Group 2 winner Hveger.