HONG Kong's first Select Sale last night saw frenzied buying from owners experiencing the drama of a sales ring for the first time and produced $30.9 million for the 24 colts on offer.
The financial success of the ground-breaking sale has ensured that next year it will be widened to include major sales companies from the Northern Hemisphere.
Jockey Club chief executive General Guy Watkins, a key figure behind the attractive addition to International Races week activities, said: 'It went off very well and the figures are good.
'I would say that if the stewards of the Jockey Club also see it as being successful, the recommendation will be that we widen it next season to include the Northern Hemisphere.' Former champion trainer Brian Kan Ping-chee and arch rival John Moore were locked in a duel for chestnut Marscay colt that was knocked down to the former for $2.7 million.
Said Kan: 'I have never trained a Marscay before but I liked the look of the colt.
'The conformation was good and the sire gets quality horses.
'He is a first time owner but he followed my recommendation.' Moore missed out on the Marscay but secured a Bluebird colt for $1.8 million.
The sire is a proven success in Hong Kong where eight of his progeny have been winners.
The leggy colt was bought by Law Cheuk who, ironically, once had a horse with Kan.
Said Moore: 'He is an attractive sort and the sire has had good winners here. The prices here have come as no surprise to me, quite frankly. I thought that once they got a taste of the action, there would be very big money spent.' Only a handful of the 24 colts realised less than $1 million, a staggering figure to experienced observers and buyers at sales rings round the world.
It is probably best gauged by the fact that the average price for a yearling at the Sydney sales this year was $435,000.
The average price at Shan Kwong Road last night was $1.28 million.
An attractive Last Tycoon bay was sold in a spirited tussle for $2.1 million with French trainer Patrick Biancone, the underbidder.
The sale wavered at $1.9 million with Biancone giving the nod to reach $2 million but lost it with a decisive shake of the head.
Trainer Alex Wong Yu-on got his hands on the first colt sold, a relatively cheap Kenmare considering what was to follow.
It was knocked down for $500,000 and the trainer picked up another one for the stable when Yip Kam-fai bought a Palace Music bay colt out of the French dam Hyeres for $1.3 million.
'He was sitting beside me and asked for my help. He told me he would put it in my stable,' said Wong.
Lot No, colour and sex, sire and dam, sire of dam and purchase price: 1, Ch c Kenmare - A Little Love (J.O. Tobin): $500,000; 2, Gr c Kenmare - Delightful Belle (Balmerino): $550,000; 3, B c Marscay - Dream Appeal (Valid Appeal): $2.7 million; 4, Ch c Zeditave - Even True (True Statement): $850,000; 5, B c Snaadee - Fair Astrologer (Quack): $1.6 million; 6, B c Last Tycoon - Gun Lady (Thatching): $2.1 million; 7, Ch c Marscay - Heavenly Body (Grosvenor): $1.6 million; 8, B c Palace Music - Hyeres (Gay Mecene): $1.3 million; 9, B c Sunny's Halo - Key To The Gates (Key To The Mint): $1.1 million; 10, Ch c Salieri - Kilmarie (Bletchingly): $1 million; 11, B c Last Tycoon - Kiss Me No (Kenmare): $1.5 million; 12, B c Maurauding - Mystical Sunrise (Northfields): $600,000; 13, Ch c Palace Music - Neensie (Solitary Hall): $1 million; 14, B c Zoffany - Only A Rumour (Francis Bacon): $1 million; 15, B c Danehill - OUt Of Danger (Atilla): $1.6 million; 16, B c Palace Music - Parsimony (Beau Sovereign): $2.1 million; 17, B c Bellotto - Pure Of Heart (Godswalk): $700,000; 18, Ch ch Marauding - Severe (Keen): $1.5 million; 20, Ch c Kenmare - Star Lead (Star Way): $950,000; 21, B c Danehill - Stater (Kaoru Star): $1.5 million; 22, Ch c Bluebird - Subdue (Conquistador Cielo): $1.8 million; 23, Br c Salieri - Super Brenna (Super Concorde): $900,000; 24, Ch g Rory's Jester - Tidal (New Regent): $950,000; 25, b c Canny Lad - Time (Imperial Prince): $1.5 million.