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Invasor - Fernando Jara - Dubai World Cup

One of six purchases made by John Ferguson during the final session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale was a Distorted Humor half-brother to Invasor (above),who was sold for $900,000


$2.8m Storm Cat colt leads way at Saratoga

saratoga select day two comparative figures ($)
 Year  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median  $500k+
 2009  99  75  76  25,760,000  343,467  260,000  17
 2008  79  62  78  17,920,000  289,032  225,000  7
saratoga select overall comparative figures ($)
 Year  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median  $500k+
 2009  205  160  78  52,549,500  328,434  250,000  31
 2008  164  122  74  36,080,000  295,738  227,500  16

A THREE-PARTS brother to the Grade 1-winning miler Aragorn from the final full crop of Storm Cat stole the show during the final session ofthe Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale in New York, selling for $2.8m to John Ferguson.

While trade was not as vibrant as the evening before, when four yearlings sold for $1m or more, both the aggregate and average again recorded substantial gains.

Buoyed by the expenditure of Ferguson, the aggregate rose 19 per cent to $25,760,500 for 75 yearlings sold. The average jumped16 per cent to $343,467 while the median increased by 13 per cent to $260,000.

Although three yearlings surpassed the $1m barrier in the ring, only the sale-topping Storm Cat colt was listed as sold. Another yearling, a daughter of Kingmambo out of Imperial Beauty, was knocked down for $1m to an unknown buyer but had tore-offered when it became apparent that the man had no credit. He was later questioned by police, and the filly was resold to Shadwell for $300,000.

Since last year's acquisition of Fasig-Tipton by Synergy Investments, which is owned by an associate of Sheikh Mohammed, the sale company has embarked on an aggressive marketing drive, aimed in particular at foreign buyers.

Their efforts appeared to pay off as the overall aggregate leapt 46 per cent to $52,549,500 for 160 yearlings sold. The average increased 11 per cent to $328,434 while the median climbed ten per cent to $250,000. The clearance rate improved slightly to 78 per cent.

As on the first night, Ferguson led the buyers' list with six yearlings purchased for $6.35m, in the process taking his overall total to $11.85m on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed, who was present at Saratoga. Ferguson's 12 purchases, ten of whom were by stallions with connections to Darley, amounted to 23 per cent of the aggregate.

Rabbah Bloodstock, an associate of Darley, were again active during the second session, paying $185,000 for two yearlings, while Shadwell Estates bought three for a total of $1.25m.

Conspicuous by their absence was the Coolmore operation, which signed for just one yearling under their own name on the first night.

Ferguson had to fight off a persistant D. Wayne Lukas to secure the sale-topper, who is the eighth foal out of Onaga, a half-sister to Poule d'Essai des Pouliches runner-up Sha Tha from the immediate family of One Cool Cat.

"Onaga had proven herself with a horse the calibre of Aragorn," explained Ferguson. "When you send a mare like that to Storm Cat, you hope for the best. It doesn't always happen but when it does, you deserve to be handsomely rewarded."

Lane's End Farm offered the colt on behalf of his breeder Summer Wind Farm, who purchased Onaga privately in 2003 after she was led out unsold at $1.475m at the Keeneland November Sale.

Ferguson also accounted for a Distorted Humor half-brother to Invasor from Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency who was knocked down for $900,000, and a son of Medaglia d'Oro who cost $875,000.

Fasig-Tipton have been extremely aggressive in recruiting European buyers - in some cases offering free flights to Saratoga - and as a result European participation remained strong throughout the sale with Andrew Balding, BBA Ireland, Blandford Bloodstock, Mark Johnston, John McCormack and Frederic Sauque each signing for lots on Tuesday night.

BBA Ireland's sole purchase of the evening was a sister to Grade 2 winner India, by Hennessy, who cost $775,000. Blandford Bloodstock and Mark Johnston paid $500,000 apiece for colts by Henny Hughes and Indian Charlie respectively.

At the close of play, European buyers, excluding the Maktoum family and theirassociates, had accounted for $6.46m worth of yearlings. Last year, European expenditure was $2.95m and included the $2m sale-topper.

What they are saying at Saratoga:

Anthony Stroud, bloodstock agent
"There were some very nice horses were catalogued. Fasig-Tipton have done everything to accommodate both vendors and buyers and it is a user -friendly sale. It has helped having plenty of progeny by exciting young sires such as Medaglia D'Oro, Bernardini and Henny Hughes."

Tom Goff, Blandford Bloodstock
"There is a real buzz about the place, the sales company has made a lot of effort to get as many people here as possible, and it is pretty obvious looking at the returns that their efforts were well rewarded. Such a buoyant sale is great to see in the context of the economic downturn, and it will give breeders confidence going into the yearling sale season. It hoes to show once again just how resilient the bloodstock market can be."






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