04/09/2013 3:13PM

Inglis Easter sale: half-brother to Black Caviar sets record yearling price

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The first session of the three-day Inglis Easter yearling sale on Tuesday posted substantial increases in total sales, average price, and median price compared with last year’s opening session, boosted by a record-setting yearling half-brother to undefeated Australian racing legend Black Caviar.

Inglis reported 127 yearlings sold on Tuesday for total receipts of about $40.7 million ($38.9 million in Australian currency). That marked a 41 percent increase compared with the first session of the 2012 Easter sale, when 129 hips brought about $28.8 million. Tuesday’s average price of about $320,472 jumped 44 percent from 2012, and the median of about $209,680 rose 25 percent. The buy-back rate rose slightly, from 26 percent in 2012 to 27 percent this year.

The session’s top-priced yearling contributed to the boost in the overall gross, as BC3 Thoroughbreds, the pinhooking and racing outfit owned by Bill Vlahos and enlisting the services of American horseman John Brocklebank, went to about $5.24 million ($5 million Australian) to secure Black Caviar’s half-brother, a Redoute’s Choice colt out of the Desert Sun mare Helsinge.

BC3 purchased another half-sibling to Black Caviar, a Redoute’s Choice filly named Belle Couture, for $2.6 million Australian at the Inglis Easter sale last year. BC3 subsequently syndicated the filly, and Brocklebank said earlier this year while training Belle Couture in preparation for her racing career that she was one of the most talented prospects he has worked with, from a list that includes Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek and multiple other graded and group stakes winners.

After Tuesday’s session, BC3 chairman Vlahos said that last year’s experience in the sales ring with Belle Couture piqued the company’s interest in Tuesday’s record-setter, who was expected to be the star of the session and was the subject of considerable discussion leading up to the sale.

“As soon as Belle Couture started to show us that she wasn’t going to let the family down and that she might be pretty special herself we started to think we better have a look at this colt,” Vlahos said. “We had a bit of inside knowledge, so we thought we might have to use that, and when John Brocklebank comes back and says [the Redoute’s Choice colt] is the best yearling he has ever seen, we got a bit excited. John has a great eye and he said he has never seen a better yearling here or in the U.S.”

The colt is also a half-brother to multiple group winner All Too Hard, who is by Casino Prince. Two-time Australian Horse of the Year Black Caviar, by Bel Esprit, resumed her racing career in February and has subsequently scored two more Group 1 wins in the Lightning Stakes and the William Reid Stakes, giving her 13 overall. Overall, she has won 24 races in as many starts and earned over $6.85 million. Black Caviar is slated to run in this Saturday’s Group 1 T. J. Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick.

The Redoute’s Choice will be syndicated and sent to BC3’s property in Victoria to undergo the same breaking and pre-training regimen that Belle Couture is currently close to completing. Consigned by Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, the colt was bred by Rick Jamieson, who may retain a partial interest. BC3 added that several 5-percent shares were still available for select clients.

The second-highest price on Tuesday was proffered by John Warren, agent for Coolmore and the China Horse Club, who spent about $2.51 million for a Fastnet Rock colt out of the stakes-placed Made of Gold mare Gold Anthem. The colt is a half-brother to Starspangledbanner, a multiple Group 1 winner in both Australia and England who was awarded European and Australian champion sprinter honors in 2010.

The Inglis Easter sale continues on Wednesday starting at 11 a.m. local time and concludes on Thursday.

For complete results, click here.