12/02/2003 1:00AM

Tattersalls has $1.6M filly


The Tattersalls December mare auction in Newmarket, England, got off to a flashy start Monday with a session-topping Storm Cat filly sold for a million guineas, or about $1.67 million. A slightly smaller catalog than last year's resulted in lower gross receipts and a higher average price at the opener.

Peinture Rose, a 3-year-old half-sister to champion and sire Peintre Celebre, topped the session when she went to French bloodstock agent Frederic Sauque on behalf of an unidentified Swiss client. Ted Voute sold the filly, the first seven-figure lot he has ever sold.

When the four-day auction resumed for its second session Tuesday, bidding was still strong, with Irish-bred Sundrenched, a 4-year-old daughter of Desert King in foal to Mark of Esteem, the early leader at $567,800. John Warren Bloodstock was the buyer from consignor New England Stud. The Tuesday figures were expected to soar on consignments that included stock from the final dispersal of Newgate Stud's high-quality fillies and mares.

Monday's opener sold 10 fewer horses than last year, with 236 lots bringing a total of $14,321,586. That was 4 percent lower than last year's gross for the equivalent session. But Monday's average of $80,459 was up slightly, just under 1 percent. Median remained level with last year at $41,750.

The sale continues through Dec. 4.