The first ever June session of the Hong Kong International Sale is set to offer 14 horses acquired from auctions around the world. Bidding will get underway at 7:45pm at the Sha Tin parade ring this Friday, 15 June.
The June sale follows the March session, in which 26 horses went under the hammer. This season’s second sale offers more opportunities for permit-holders as Hong Kong expands its horse population in line with the upcoming August opening of the Conghua Training Centre on the Chinese Mainland. Any PPG permit-holder or any person on the PPG permit reserve list, except those who are announced in the 2018 Horse Ballot on 15 June, is eligible to bid at this auction.
Ten of the 14 geldings, all now three years old, were sourced in Europe. The four southern hemisphere lots – less than two months away from entering their four-year-old season – have benefitted from the extra time, having side-steeped the March sale.
Mark Richards, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Manager, International Sale, said: “Some of our Australian and New Zealand horses were not ready in March but have benefited greatly from the extra three months; I think the Charge Forward (Lot 6, ex Emanday) and the Pins (Lot 14, ex Natural Rhythm) are two that fit that category.
“Being able to sell in June has given them the time to mature and allows them to be at their peak physically when they enter training in Hong Kong. We talk about time so often with horses but it is a fact, horses mature at different rates. They grow in fits and starts and, certainly, the southern hemisphere horses as a group are a nice bunch of individuals.”
The northern hemisphere lots, too, have enjoyed the advantage of time. Richards said that many of these horses are still maturing as they approach the middle of their three-year-old season, and that they are progressing the right way.
“The second sale has allowed us to manage all of our horses a little more successfully than we have been able to previously,” Richards said. “The Shamardal (Lot 9, ex Light And Airy) is a classic case of a horse that would have been big, weak and immature if he’d come in March. He looks anything but that now, he’s one that absolutely stands out and that’s the difference that three months can make.
“As a group, most of them are still growing as you would expect – they are six months behind the southern hemisphere horses and they look that way, these are horses that are only starting to fill their frame. Northern hemisphere horses take time, but with time, they can develop into serious racehorses.”
Hong Kong’s 2016/17 champion sire well-represented
Among the 14 lots are two sons of Holy Roman Emperor who played a leading role in the March sale when his half-brother to 2017 Derby winner Wings Of Eagles – now named Circuit Number One – created a new record purchase price at HK$11 million. Last season’s champion sire in Hong Kong counts G1 winners Designs On Rome, Beauty Only and Rich Tapestry among his best sons.
Lot 1 (ex Whole Grain) is a full-brother to hardy sprinter Louis The Pious, while Lot 16 (ex Sojitzen) comes from the family of top Japanese filly Fabulous La Fouine.
“Lot 16 is small, he hasn’t grown since we bought him like we thought he would but he has a great attitude, anyone who came to see him saw that he’s sharp as a tack. I think he’s got the right mentality and attitude to make a place in Hong Kong,” Richards said.