Racing: Magnier beats arch-rival with world record $16m bid for colt
Thursday 02 March 2006
The difference between cost and value will never be more thoroughly tested on the racecourse than it will be this summer after the demolition in Florida of the world auction record price for a thoroughbred.
The horn-locking between the Coolmore and Godolphin camps reached a new level when Demi O'Byrne, acting for Coolmore principal John Magnier, outbid Sheikh Mohammed's representative John Ferguson at a cool $16m (£9.14m) for an unraced bay two-year-old by Forestry at a sale in Miami.
The fall of the hammer in the sales arena at Calder racecourse late on Tuesday night consigned one of the longest-standing statistics in the business. It had been 21 years since two of the Coolmore first guard, the late Robert Sangster and his trainer Vincent O'Brien, bought the yearling colt subsequently known as Seattle Dancer for $13.1m.
In global business terms, $16m is perhaps not such a big deal as an investment. And unlike an unbroken yearling, this colt, Lot 153 in the Fasig-Tipton catalogue, may be less of a gamble, for he has at least already proved he has something of an engine. He was offered at a 'breeze-up' sale, the format of which requires a workout under saddle at the gallop before going through the ring. And the white-blazed bay, a son of promising young sire Forestry, proved on fire in his spin on the racetrack, clocking an unprecedented 9.8 seconds through a furlong. If he could keep that up for five, he'd take 10 seconds off the Ascot track record.
"He'd better be good," said O'Byrne afterwards. "And only time will tell. But he breezed awfully well, and he's a good-looking horse with a good pedigree." Taking a chance, however expensive, on well-bred colts was Sangster's brainchild and is what still drives those at the sharp end of the bloodstock industry. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.
The ringside battles between Mohammed and Magnier seem to be as much about ego as business and the Irish team drew first blood of this year after losing out to the Dubai men for last season's yearling plum, a Storm Cat colt who took third place on the all-time leader board for his age at $9.7m. The Forestry colt has already changed some lives. Florida-based Randy Hartley and Dean deRenzo took some chance when they speculated $425,000 on the youngster last year with the intention of re-selling. But when the two highest rollers in the world eyeballed their colt and then each other, the lottery jackpot was theirs.
Latest in Sport
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Arsenal shareholders Stan Kroenke, Alisher Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri appear on Forbes' rich list - with a combined net worth of £14.9bn
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm are focussed on assis...
£7 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A vacancy has arisen for a General Processor ...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...