Honours went to a colt by Exceed And Excel at Sha Tin racecourse yesterday as the Jockey Club completed its International Sale for this season.
The club moved this season to a two-sale format, one in December and one in March, and executive director of racing Bill Nader said the club had lost money on the sale, with the two sessions aggregating almost HK$91 million for 33 lots.
"That's ok. In some previous seasons we've made money but that's not what drives this. Our overriding aim and hope is that these horses can go on and have productive racing careers in Hong Kong," Nader said. "As a comparison, the prices are higher than December's Sale when the horses went for an average of just under HK$2.6 million per lot and this time that figure was marginally below HK$3 million per lot."
Yip Kong-wah, a shareholder in recently retired Class Five horse Ekraar Emperor, sat beside trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing as he paid out $6.2 million for the Exceed And Excel youngster which topped the 16 lots yesterday.
Mark Richards, the sale manager, described the sale as "extremely good, realistic and satisfying."
"In any sale there are some horses that will make more money than you expect and others less than you expect, but I thought those that should have made money did, while there were still a few that may turn out to have been bargains," Richards said. "Our aim is to bring them to the sale to enable them to fit into the system here and give Hong Kong racing a good influx of good horses which are ready to go."