Hong Kong buyers claimed 30 yearlings at an outlay of NZ$6,235,000 (HK$37.6 million) on a frenetic opening day to the New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale in Auckland. The Hong Kong Jockey Club led the way, claiming 14 yearlings including a half-brother to 2007 Champions Mile hero, Able One, for NZ$2,920,000. Ricky Yiu Poon-fie chimed in for two lots late in the evening, when some of the heat had dissipated from the auction. Yiu, the buyer of Sacred Kingdom as a yearling three years ago, acquired a colt by first-season stallion Thorn Park for NZ$160,000 and a highly-bred Rock of Gibraltar colt - closely related to 10-time Group One winner and Australian Horse of the Year Octagonal - for NZ$180,000. New Zealand Bloodstock marketing manager Petrea Vela said the Premier Sale is in record territory, with receipts up NZ$8.4 million (27 per cent) to NZ$39.9 million on the corresponding point in the 2007 sale. The most significant barometer of the true state of a horse sale is the median - the price at which half the lots sell for more and half for less. Yesterday the median was NZ$155,000, up 41 per cent on the 2007 Premier median of NZ$110,000. Vela was 'overwhelmed' by the first day's results. 'By all accounts, buyers have found it extremely tough to secure what they wanted today as competition was very heated ringside,' she said. 'We have never seen so many buyers at Karaka before and that has translated into strong results and a great atmosphere around the sale grounds.' Jockey Club international racing and sale manager Mark Player echoed Vela's comments. 'There were no NZ$2 or 3 million horses there, but there was quality right across the board,' Player said. 'The Jockey Club had a good day, we've acquired 14 very nice horses, some of which will be aimed towards the Hong Kong International Sale in December and some will become subscription griffins.' The highest-priced horse bought for Hong Kong was a son of successful sire O'Reilly and acquired by the club for NZ$480,000. The colt is a half-brother to New Zealand Group One winner Captivate (by Stravinsky), winner of seven races including the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes. Player said the O'Reilly colt is 'top class' and is representative of the higher grade of yearling that the club is now aiming for the international sales.