A YEARLING son of Rainbow Quest provided the pot of gold for his breeder, Lord Lloyd Webber, at the Houghton Sale in Newmarket yesterday. The lovely dark bay colt, submitted to the auction by Lloyd Webber's Watership Down Stud, fetched 2.2m guineas (pounds 2,420,000), making him the fourth most expensive horse ever sold in the Tattersalls arena.
The buyer was John Magnier, who outbid firstly Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corporation and then the Japanese millionaire Fusao Sekiguchi. The Ballydoyle team's new recruit, an outstanding individual (as one would hope with that sort of price tag) is a half-brother to Black Hawk, a multiple winner in Japan.
Only two European yearlings have ever cost more, the Irish St Leger winner Authaal (Ir3.1m gns in 1984) and the talent-free Classic Music (2.4m gns 10 years ago). The four-year-old filly Dance Design and Generous's foal full-brother both made 2.5m gns last December.
The parlous state of global finances has not prevented the bloodstock high rollers of the world kicking ass in Newmarket this week. Tuesday night's first session of the Houghton, Europe's premier source of blueblooded young racehorses, produced an average price of 166,000gns and another seven-figure transaction when the Magnier/Tabor axis gave the round million for a son of Sadler's Wells. Not a bad day's trading for his vendor, Timmy Hyde, who speculated $275,000 for the colt as a foal.
n Roselier, sire of a host of top-class chasers, has died at the age of 25. The Irish-based grey achieved the unique feat of getting the winners of all four domestic Nationals - Royal Athlete (Aintree), Ebony Jane (Irish), Carvill's Hill (Welsh) and Moorcroft Boy and Baronet (Scottish). His other talented offspring include Suny Bay, Senor El Betrutti and The Grey Monk.
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