11/08/2016 12:26PM

Keeneland November: Sale off to flying start with $3.5-million Secret Gesture


Five horses fetched seven-figure prices in the first hour of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale's opening session to get things off to a rousing start, led by $3.5-million Secret Gesture, purchased by Godolphin's bloodstock agent John Ferguson.

The multiple Group 1-placed daughter of international titan Galileo sold carrying her first foal, to the cover of internationally-popular commercial sire War Front. She was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, as agent.

Secret Gesture was a Group 2 winner and multiple Group 1-placed in England, highlighted by a runner-up effort in the Epsom Oaks. She was also second in the German Oaks, and was Grade/Group 1 placed in both France and the U.S.

Secret Gesture is a full sister to Group 3 winner Sir Isaac Newton and a half to Group 3 winner Maurus. They are out of a stakes-placed Danehill mare who is a full sister to Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Sagamix.

"She's a lovely mare and was an outstanding race filly in Europe from a beautiful family," Ferguson said after signing the ticket, adding that the mare would likely head to Europe. "From our point of view, she was a mare that could make the difference."

The other seven-figure lots in the first hour were led by $1.5 million My Conquestadory, headed to Australia after selling to SF Bloodstock out of the Conquest Stables dispersal, which is being handled by Lane's End, as agent. The Grade 1-winning mare sold in foal to two-time leading sire Tapit.

"She's a fantastic racemare in foal to the best stallion in the country by $8 million," SF Bloodstock representative Tom Ryan said. "She's most likely going to go to Australia to be covered by Capitalist."

Also fetching top dollar early on were Grade 1 winner Peace and War, also in foal to Tapit, sold for $1.45 million to Northern Farm of Japan; Princesa Silvia, sold for $1.4 million to Mandy Pope; and multiple Grade 2 winner She's Not Here, sold for $1.3 million to China Horse Club.

-- Additional reporting by Joe Nevills