FOUR Irish-bred horses were among the 17 sold at last weekend’s Hong Kong International Sale at Sha Tin.

One of them, a three-year-old gelding by Starspangledbanner, fetched the second highest price of the day when selling for HK$7 million (€886,000). The horse was bought by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at the relocated 2020 Goffs Orby Sale for £130,000 from Eddie O’Leary’s Lynn Lodge Stud.

A three-year-old Kodiac gelding from the family of Group 3 winner Dress Rehearsal sold for $2.8 million (€354,000). He had been bought at the Orby Sale (in Doncaster) two years ago for £110,000.

Two years ago at the Tattersalls October Sale, Michael Morrissey’s Farranamanagh Stud in Cashel sold a Dandy Man yearling to the Hong Kong Jockey Club for 75,000gns. Last Saturday the now-gelded son of a Barathea mare changed hands for $3 million (€380,000).

Completing the Irish quartet was a three-year-old Dark Angel gelding who fetched $2.8 million (€354,000). As a yearling he was sold by Grangemore Stud for £260,000 at the Orby Sale.

A son of record-breaking sire Deep Field (by Northern Meteor) topped the sale after attracting a bid of HK$7.8 million (€990,000).

By the same Australian sire as Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint winner Sky Field and a host of other Hong Kong winners including The Golden Scenery, Californiadeepshot and Winning Dreamer, the athletic chesnut was one of four lots to top $5 million (€633,000).

Underscoring the popularity of Deep Field, who holds the Hong Kong single-season record for prize money earned by progeny, the two-year-old – who is from the well-credentialled More Than Ready mare Bousquet – was the subject of a willing bidding tussle before being knocked down to Yue Yun Hing. The Yue family have raced a host of successful gallopers in Hong Kong including Panfield and Butterfield.

A chesnut gelding by Snitzel out of Encosta de Lago mare Houston Benefactor was purchased by Yip Wing Kui for $5.8 million (€734,000), while a bay gelding by Fastnet Rock out of Northern Meteor mare Diana’s Star was secured by Philip Liu Chun Hang for $5 million (€633,000).

The sale average was $4.1 million (€520,000), up from $2.95 million (€374,000) in 2021, while the median reached $3.6 million (€456,000), up from $2.8 million (€354,000) in 2021.

Danny Rolston of the Hong Kong Jockey Club said: “With significant increases in average and gross turnover, the Club is overall really happy with the outcome of the sale. The strong results are a reflection of the Hong Kong Jockey Club members’ confidence in the horses that have been selected for the sale, the results of the graduates that have come out of the sale but most importantly the confidence and strength of Hong Kong racing and this is a reflection of the significant increases in prize money for next season.

“I think the two top lots were fairly obviously going to be the highlight horses, they breezed particularly well and they’re both by stallions that are very popular. Beyond that it’s really hard to predict what the horses are going to sell for and just how much the turnover will be but we’re very happy to see such a significant increase in gross turnover.

“While we sold 17 horses here today, that was just the select group of horses that was decided were completely well suited to the environment in Hong Kong to be offered at the sale. There’s still 12 that didn’t come to the sale and that is a reflection of the standard that we have.”