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Sheikh Mohammed's bloodstock adviser John Ferguson

John Ferguson: bought the top lot and joint second-dearest horse

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Selective market at Fasig Florida two-year-old sale

THURSDAY’S Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of two-year-olds, conducted for the first time this year at Palm Meadows training centre instead of Calder racecourse in Miami, recorded drops in turnover and average of 15 and five per cent.

Gross receipts for the boutique one-day auction totalled $19,832,000, down from $23,430,000 in 2010, while the average fell to $244,840 from $257,473. The median performed best, remaining steady at $200,000. The clearance rate was just 57 per cent.

Eight horses made $500,000 or more this year, three fewer than in 2010. It took Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock adviser John Ferguson $1,350,000 to secure the sale-topper, nearly $1 million shy of last year’s top lot.

The sale-topper was an Empire Maker filly out of a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Halfbridled consigned by Murray Smith as agent. Smith had bought her for $435,000 at Saratoga last August.

Ferguson also bought the joint-second dearest lot of the sale, a $750,000 Tapit filly who is a sister to Grade 2-placed Tempted To Tapit and had completed her furlong breeze on Monday in a time of 9.4 seconds.

A Medaglia D’Oro colt out of the French-bred Darshaan mare Bubbling Heights completed Ferguson’s purchases, taking his expenditure to $2.6m. Last year Ferguson bought two horses for $1,125,000.

Empire Maker, sold by Juddmonte last year to stand in Japan, was popular at Palm Meadows and he also accounted for the $750,000 half-brother to Grade 1 winner Cash Included knocked down to Robert and Lawana Low.

Coolmore’s Demi O’Byrne struck for two horses, both Malibu Moon colts: one a $500,000 half-brother to winner Quick In Motion from the family of Listed winner Medford and the other a $300,000 son of stakes winner Christmas Lily.

Forty-six of the 87 pinhooked horses at the sale can be deemed to have been successful – that is, they sold for in excess of their purchase price plus approximate costs.

Among the highlights were the Street Sense colt out of a daughter of stakes winner Talk Back who was a $9,000 yearling buy and sold for $200,000, and the Macho Uno colt out of Champagne Cocktail who was bought for $50,000 and sold for $700,000.




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