QATAR Racing spent 3.5 million guineas on a Dubawi yearling colt at Tattersalls on Wednesday. The purchase price is the highest paid in the world this year for a yearling, bettering yesterday's top price by 100,000gns.
A packed sale ring greeted the Dubawi colt out of the wonderful broodmare Dar Re Mi, a full-brother to Too Darn Hot, the impressive winner of this year's Group 2 Champagne Stakes and favourite for this Saturday's Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes.
The bidding opened up at 500,000gns and then rained in from all angles - Angus Gold of Shadwell was involved and Mitsu Nakauchida from Japan, but it was David Redvers of Qatar Racing who stepped in at 3.2 million and was the successful purchaser at 3.5 million after Gold shook his head when offered to extend the bidding.
Redvers said: "This is the sort of horse that Sheikh Fahad and his brothers want to own - they want to participate at the highest level and have a taste of it this year with Roaring Lion. He is out of an exceptional mare and by an exception stallion. It is very hard to put a value on horse such as this – you can see lovely horses selling for good sums and they still are not the best.
"We are looking to make commercial stallions - let's hope that he goes out and lives up to all the potential that he has. he could look to be a cheap buy in future."
The colt was bred and sold by Lord and Lady Lloyd-Webber's Watership Down Stud, and Lady Lloyd-Webber was in the sale ring to witness the sale.
"We are so very lucky to have a mare such as Dar Re Mi, who is breeding horses who are put together with such perfection. This horse is very similar to Too Darn Hot, a little more mature if anything.
"The farm's policy is to sell the colts and keep the fillies - we were unable to sell Too Darn Hot last year, thank God in the end - but we kept to the overall plan. It has been a nerve-wracking six months, but Terry [Doherty, stud manager] has produced him brilliantly, he looked amazing."
Summing up, Lloyd-Webber said: "Let's hope that the mare can produce a Group 1 winner now - and yes we have a fabulous chance on Saturday and over the next two weeks, but she didn't win her first Group 1 until she was four. I saw Lah Ti Dar this morning - she looks as though she will be a stronger filly again next year as a four-year-old too."
Six other yearlings sold on Wednesday for seven-figure sums. Four were by Galileo, one by Dubawi and one by Sea The Stars.
M.V. Magnier bought two of the 'millionaire' Galileos - a brother to Oaks winner Was for 1.3 million guineas and a sister to Kew Gardens for 1.2 million.
Cheveley Park Stud stepped in for a Galileo filly out of stakes winner Wannabe Better at 1.2 million guineas, and Godolphin paid the same price for a Dubawi half-sister to 1000 Guineas winner Legatissimo.
FULL SALES COVERAGE & COMMENT IN THE IRISH FIELD NEXT WEEKEND