The Hong Kong Jockey Club was active earlier this week at Deauville’s prestigious Arqana August Yearling Sale, securing a pair of promising colts by leading sires Fastnet Rock and Shamardal for a total of €300,000.
Deauville is the curtain-raiser to the European yearling auction season and this year’s three-day event started with a bang on Saturday, 16 August, as the first session’s average price rose 15% on the corresponding day last year. The Jockey Club entered the fray early to collect Lot 14, a well-bred son of esteemed Australian sire Fastnet Rock, for €120,000.
“I’m pleased with that, he represents good value,” said Mark Richards, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Manager, International Sale. “Fastnet Rock is still relatively new to the European market, so we got him for a nice price if you compare that to what you would have to pay in Australia. He looks the part and he’s from a classy European family that has produced Group 1 winners.”
Day two (17 August) saw the Club go to €180,000 for Lot 158, a Shamardal colt out of the Peintre Celebre mare Nina Celebre. The dam is a two-time Listed winner in Germany from an exalted family that features a pair of German Oaks winners and a German Derby victor.
“He’s another nice individual with a cracking page,” said Richards. “Shamardal, like Fastnet Rock, is an exceptional sire whose progeny have performed well in Hong Kong and this colt has quality.”
Lot 14 b c Fastnet Rock ex Seschat (Sinndar) €120,000 (approximately HK$1.24 million).
Lot 158 b c Shamardal ex Nina Celebre (Peintre Celebre) €180,000 (approximately HK$1.87 million)
Fastnet Rock (Danehill), a Group 1-winning sprinter and champion sire in Australia, has already produced the champions Atlantic Jewel and Mosheen, as well as talented Hong Kong runners such as Captain Sweet and Berlinski. This youngster is the first produce of his dam, who placed four times in a five-race career but who is a half-sister to the multiple G1-placed Salutino (Monsun). His second dam, the Sadler’s Wells mare Saderlina, is a half-sister to the G1 Prix de Diane heroine Caerlina (Caerleon) and a full-sister to the French Listed winner Swalina.
Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway) was European Champion at ages two and three and the brilliant four-time G1 winner has since produced the likes of Lope De Vega, Sagawara and Hong Kong’s own G1 hero Dan Excel. This colt hails from a stout Classic family, his Listed-winning dam being a daughter of the G1 German Oaks winner Next Gina (Perugino) who was herself out of the German Oaks heroine Night Petticoat (Petoski). The last-named also produced Next Desert, Germany’s Champion three-year-old in 2002 thanks to his victory in the G1 German Derby.