Hong Kong buyers dominated the top end of the first day of the Inglis Classic Sale in Sydney, with involvements in the top three lots on a day where the average dropped but the median stayed steady on 2023 levels.

Day one investment, with a slightly smaller first day catalogue, and a change-up in the format, was down $5.7 million, while average dropped from $109,613 to $95,209. However, the median stayed steady on $80,000 and the clearance rate improved later in the day to 82 per cent.

Inglis CEO Sebastian Hutch was broadly pleased with how the opening day progressed.

“If you said to me that at the end of today we’d have an average of $95,000, a media on $80,000 and a clearance rate of 82 per cent, I think we’d all have been very pleased,” he said.

“Vendors should be very pleased and I think there is a lot to be satisfied with and plenty to look forward to.”

Hong Kong buyers only made up 11.3 per cent of the gross but were very active at the top of the market.

“Vendors should be very pleased and I think there is a lot to be satisfied with and plenty to look forward to.”

Champion trainer Ricky Yiu purchased the top-priced yearling of the opening day, spending $375,000 on Lot 199, a Street Boss colt offered by Bhima Thoroughbreds.

The colt, a half-brother to stakes-placed Rome out of the extended family of Group 1 winner Spright, will head to Muskoka Farm on the Central Coast to be broken in before joining Yui’s stable.

“He is a very nice individual who likes he could run from 1200 to a mile,” Yiu said.

“If he is mature enough he’ll come up to run in the Griffin races otherwise normally I leave them here and then bring them back.”

Hong Kong based agents Upper Bloodstock were involved in the purchase of the second highest priced lot of the opening day. It signed for Lot 138, an Extreme Choice colt from The Chase, along with trainer Mick Price for $320,000.

Price purchased the colt’s dual Group 1-winning sire Extreme Choice for $100,000 at this sale nine years ago and has raced six of his progeny together with his training partner Michael Kent Jnr.

Of those six, four have been winners, including Group 3 winner and now Rosemont Stud stallion Extreme Warrior.

 “I love this horse and of course I trained Extreme Choice and I have bit of faith in The Chase. I feel their farm is one which will just keep building,” Price, the leading local buyer on the day,  said.

“The one of out the mare that Moody has got, Dance To Dubai, is a flying machine, but I looked at a photo of the one that he got and the one I got as yearlings and I feel the one I bought is like a bigger version of Extreme Choice.”     

Extreme Choice colt out of Brisk
Extreme Choice colt out of Brisk (Photo: The Chase)

Price revealed the colt’s breeders China Horse Club, in whose colours Extreme Choice won a Moir Stakes, will remain in the colt, while Upper Bloodstock will take 25 per cent.

Another Hong Kong buyer, Magus Equine, went to $300,000 to buy Lot 238, a colt by Toronado offered by Lime Country Thoroughbreds. Willie Leung indicated there was a chance that colt could start his career in Australia with a  view to heading to Hong Kong after that point.

Domeland, registered in New South Wales, but backed from Hong Kong, was the day’s biggest buyer, spending $650,000 across six horses.