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Extreme Choice filly stars in record-breaking Inglis May Yearling Sale

A filly by the world’s hottest stallion Extreme Choice set the Riverside auditorium alight at today’s record-breaking HTBA May Yearling Sale.

Offered by Bell River Thoroughbreds – who bred the filly and the stallion – the filly (ex Dashie Diva), offered as lot 57, sold to Randwick trainer Michael Freedman for $300,000.

Freedman fought off stiff competition from a number of major buyers to secure the filly, whose price set a new record for the HTBA May Sale, comfortably eclipsing the previous record of $180,000 set two years ago.

The filly was initially set to be sold at this year’s Classic Yearling Sale but a setback close to the sale saw the Ferguson’s of Bell River opt to hold her back for today’s auction, a decision they were well rewarded for.

This result is another chapter in a huge year for Bell River selling through Inglis, headed by their Extreme Choice x Murtle Turtle colt which realised a then-record $775,000 at Classic in February.

“She’s always been a lovely filly. We had her set to go to Classic but she had a tiny chip in the hind fetlock which I was never going to remove until a couple of prominent and well-known vets told me that it needed to be removed as it was in an awkward spot, so we did and she ended up here but as it’s turned out, it hasn’t deterred the result that we were going to get for her,’’ a delighted Andrew Ferguson said.

“I was apprehensive for sure, it was a bit like the colt at Classic, I was apprehensive then too but the Inglis team, they’re getting the buyers here, it’s a great buying bench and as we saw at Classic, he made beyond my expectations and this filly has done the same.

“The job Inglis is doing in getting these people to the sales, we’re getting rewarded as vendors by bringing them here and this is just another result we’ve been rewarded with.

“There were quite a few big names on her and for someone like Michael Freedman to pick her up, it’s pretty exciting.’’

Freedman, who has enjoyed significant success with progeny of the sire already, was thrilled to secure the filly.

“She’s a good physical, she’s athletic, I’m really glad to get her,’’ Freedman said.

“There’s some clients at the stable who have missed out on getting a horse by the stallion earlier in the year so there’s definitely an appetite to get involved in a filly or colt by him and this is probably the last time this year to do so.

“She’s a mid-October foal so she might just be one you’d have a look at in the spring but probably more like doing something more serious with her in the autumn.’’

To view a video of today’s top lot with reaction from Ferguson and Freedman, CLICK HERE.

Today’s second-top lot was an Epaulette x Rosa’s Magic colt from Goodwood Farm, which sold to David Pfieffer and Olly Koolman for $120,000.

The colt – also initially set to sell at the Classic Sale but withdrawn late due to a setback - was offered on behalf of Premier Bloodstock’s Peter Zorbas.

“It was a great result. We’ve had some ups and downs with the horse, when we had to withdraw him from the Classic Sale it was devastating because he was so popular there but he’s come back now and looks even better and stronger and he sold accordingly. I’m very happy,’’ Goodwood’s Kerrie Tibbey said.

“He’s going to a great home, it’s just wonderful.

“A nice horse sells, no matter where it is but the market and buying bench here is certainly very strong. It’s been a great day. He was very popular here all week, it’s been a fantastic experience.’’

Pfieffer added: “I think this sale has gone to a new level. It is harder to buy at every sale and you’ve just got to do your best.

“I think Epaulette has always been a stallion who has flown under the radar a bit and this horse caught our eye very early in the sale (during inspections) and we always had him in our sights.’’

Today’s HTBA May Sale was the most successful renewal in its history, continuing a remarkably strong run of Inglis auctions that has spanned the best part of the past two years.

The sale average ($25,499) was up 36% year-on-year while the gross of $5,354,750 achieved in the one-day sale set a new record and eclipsed last year’s aggregate, despite 71 fewer yearlings being offered this year compared to last year’s two-day sale.

Today’s median of $17,000 was a significant 70% rise on last year’s $10,000.

“This is a very important sale as it offers a broad cross section of vendors the opportunity to access a liquid market with a huge number of prospective buyers involved through a live auction at a world-class facility,” Sebastian Hutch, chief executive of Inglis Bloodstock, said.

“The results today are very pleasing, with turnover up on last year despite a significant reduction in the number of horses offered, as well as dramatically improved figures for the average and median, while the clearance has been solid and will continue to improve.

“This sale has a very important association with the Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association and we are particularly grateful to those Hunter-based vendors who have elected to support this sale with quality in quantity in 2022, which lays the platform for further development in this market in coming years.

“It is especially satisfying to get such a good result for the Ferguson family with their Extreme Choice filly, given the incredible support that have shown for us in the last few years and hopefully she can go on to be a great ambassador for the sale for Michael Freedman and his owners.’’

To view our Facebook Live review of today’s action, CLICK HERE.

To enquire about a passed in lot from the HTBA May Yearling Sale, contact Harry Bailey from the Inglis Bloodstock team on 0420 997 417.

Today’s sale kicked off a week-long festival of auctions at Riverside, which continues with the Australian Weanling Sale (Wednesday and Thursday), The Chairman’s Sale (Friday) and the Australian Broodmare Sale (Sunday).

To view the catalogues, CLICK HERE.

2022 HTBA MAY YEARLING SALE (2021 stats in brackets)

Catalogued: 287 (358)

Sold: 210 (279)

Clearance: 82% (81%)

Average: $25,499 ($18,807)

Median: $17,000 ($10,000)

Gross: $5,354,750 ($5,247,250)