Bobby Zen

The successful dual-hemisphere stallion Starspangledbanner (Aus), the sire of recent G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup winner and G1 Al Quoz Sprint aspirant California Spangle (Ire), supplied the HK$5.4 million (£541,837/US$690,352) top price as the last of 14 horses through the ring during Friday’s Hong Kong International Sale in the parade ring at Sha Tin Racecourse.

Lot 20 was purchased by the Hong Kong Jockey Club from the draft of Chasemore Farm for 550,000gns during Book 2 at Tattersalls October in 2022. The British-bred 3-year-old is a full-brother to the treble Group 3-placed galloper Breege (Ire) and offered further pedigree appeal, as his dam Wowcha (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) is a half-sister to six winners, including Starspangledbanner‘s champion The Wow Signal (Ire), G2 Airlie Stud S. winner Matrika (Ire) (No Nay Never) and Japanese multiple group winner and Group 1-placed Unicorn Lion (Ire) (No Nay Never). The successful bidder was Cheung Kwok Wing sitting alongside Danny Shum, who trains the most prolific graduate of the HKIS, the outstanding six-times Group 1 winner Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}).



Sale topper! HK$5.4 million for a son of Starspangledbanner#HKIS | #HKracing

— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 15, 2024


So Wing Keung signed the winning ticket at HK$4.2 million (£421,429/US$536,940) on lot 7, a New Zealand-bred son of Savabeel (Aus) and Kona (Aus) (New Approach {Ire}), also the dam of the multiple listed-placed Hilo (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}). A September-foaled 3-year-old gelding, the bay was hammered down to the HKJC team for NZ$290,000 at the 2022 NZB Premier Yearling Sale.

From a statistical standpoint, the 2024 renewal of the HKIS was significantly down on the same event from 12 months ago. Turnover of HK$46.3 million (£4.65 million/US$5.92 million) declined by 35.3%, while the average of HK$3.31 million (£331,389/US$422,795) represented a drop of 30.7%. The median price of HK$3.2 million (£321,088/US$409,097) dropped by 27.3%.

“We have a lot of confidence in the horses that we have offered and what we’re probably seeing is that when we bought these horses two years ago is that we were operating in a very intense yearling market, so we’ve bought these horses at the very top of the market and we’re seeing a softening in horse sales around the world, which we’ve seen tonight, we’ve also seen a softening in our wagering turnover and also in the local stock market,” offered Danny Rolston, the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Executive Manager, International Sale/Owners Advisory Services.

“I think the story of the night is that the sale has seen a bit of a drop in average, but with that comes an opportunity that we were able to give forward to our permit holders with some really nice horses.”

The post Starspangledbanner Gelding Tops Hong Kong International Sale appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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