International sale graduates turning into great money spinners
If there's such a thing as a horse sale being too healthy or too successful, then the Hong Kong International Sale probably fits that description after a year when the boutique market went gangbusters.
The arrival of equine influenza in Australia in late August meant the HKIS had to be divided into two parts, with northern hemisphere and New Zealand-sourced horses going under the gavel as usual in December and the Australian ones having their own showcase on the eve of the Hong Kong Derby on March 15.
The average price at each of the two sessions was within small change of the same number, HK$4.41 million.
The sales grossed HK$132.4 million and the Jockey Club was placed in the curious position of making HK$40 million on what is intended to be a 'service' to members and therefore a non-profit exercise.
The only difficulty sale organisers face now is one of meeting and managing client expectations, because not many horses win HK$4.4 million in stakes.
Sale graduates continued to perform out on the track, with Good Ba Ba emulating another HKIS star in The Duke, landing the Group One Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Mile, plus three other Group Ones and Horse of the Year honours to boot.
Danesis, the record-priced sale graduate at HK$7.5 million, won his fourth race last Tuesday, and landed the HK$1 million bonus for being the highest prize money winner from the 2006 sale.
The Jockey Club also went back to the future and reinvented the subscription griffin (SG) concept. More than 100 members put in for the 20 available SG's, with the successful drawers giving the club HK$1.2 million for the right to be randomly allocated fully educated two-year-olds, chosen at major sales around Australia and New Zealand early last year. The concept will be extended to 25 horses next season.
Jockey Club 's successful Hong Kong International Sale (in HK$) grossed: $132.4m