INTRICATELY, the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner and Irish 1000 Guineas fourth, sold for 1.7 million guineas at Tattersalls on Monday.
Trained by Joseph O'Brien for owners John Murrell and Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez, the daughter of Fastnet Rock was bought by John and Jake Warren on behalf of a client who is developing a significant bloodstock and racing interest.
The final opposing bid came from John O'Connor of Ballylinch Stud, but other parties involved earlier in the bidding process included Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm, Justin Casse and Badgers Bloodstock.
"She was the star of the show," said Jake Warren. "We rated her highly and she is an absolutely beautiful Group 1-winning two-year-old. She also comes from a fantastic female family and we felt she was faultless in every way.
"She will be a wonderful foundation broodmare for a client who is getting started with a bloodstock interest and looking to build a band of high class horses.
"She will be coming to Highclere Stud and will be knocking on a number of doors regarding nominations."
Intricately is out of a half-sister to the seven-time Group 1 winner Rock Of Gibraltar. She was bred by Whisperview Trading and initially owned in training by Annemarie O'Brien.
Murrell and Regalado-Gonzalez are also selling Zhukova and Only Mine at Newmarket this week.
The second highest price on the opening day was 775,000 guineas given by Barronstown Stud’s David Nagle for the five-year-old mare Prize Exhibit.
The daughter of Showcasing scored victories in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap and Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes as well as being placed in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and was secured by Nagle after he saw off John McCormack, bidding on behalf of Japanese interests.
She is out of the Inchinor mare Roodye, was consigned by Jamie Railton, and provided her owner Deron Pearson with a great result.
Successful purchaser Nagle commented: "She is a beauty, she was a great racemare, we just need to be lucky now. She is a complete outcross and will go to Churchill."
The classy three-year-old filly Urban Fox, who was placed in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile last year for trainer James Tate, was secured by South African interests for 425,000 guineas and is set to remain in training.
She has been bought by the newly established Barnane Stud in Co Tipperary, an Irish satellite farm for the South African-based Highlands Farm, which was bought by Wayne Kieswetter in January.
Manager Patrick Wynn-Jones said: "She remains in training, no trainer has been decided upon yet. She will be a bit of fun for the lads and then we'll see about future plans."
Japanese interests purchased the next two lots which both realised 400,000 guineas. The first of those was the Group 3 winner Tourny who was knocked down to John McCormack on behalf of the Rokuroda family’s Taihei Farm.
The daughter of Country Reel won the Group 3 Prix de Cabourg and was third in the Group 1 Prix Morny for trainer Pascal Bary, and was offered here with a covering by sire-sensation Frankel whose Japanese runners include the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) winner Soul Stirring.
McCormack, who was standing alongside Saori Rokuroda commented following the purchase: “She is a lovely mare. She is young and has good physical attributes and is in foal to Frankel. She’s carrying a colt so the return should come hopefully for them in Japan.
“She’s for Taihei Stud in Japan who are very good breeders. They’ve two farms, one on the mainland and one up in Hokkaido.”
The second lot to realise 400,000 guineas was the Mick Channon-trained four-year-old filly Harlequeen who was secured by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm.
The daughter of Canford Cliffs was placed in both the Oaks and Irish Oaks and was knocked down to Northern Farm’s farm manager Dr Fumihiko Nakajima.
The Tattersalls December Mare Sale continues at 9.30am on Tuesday, December 5th, and concludes on Thursday.