After two sessions of the 2018 NZB National Yearling Sale Series Book One, champion sire Fastnet Rock is leading the sires by average list with eight yearlings averaging $406,250.
His top selling colt from Group I winning Savabeel mare Diademe was the subject of spirited bidding on Monday from all directions before he was knocked down to Mark Pilkington for $1 million.
“He’s a colt with a great pedigree and the looks to match,” said Gordon Cunningham, who consigned the colt under his Curraghmore Stud banner.
“He’s got a great mind and attitude as well, he was always going to attract a lot of attention from the bigger players from a stallion point of view.”
The colt is the first foal of Diademe, who crowned her career when she claimed the Group I New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes after previous success in the Group II Cal Isuzu Stakes.
Diademe is a sister to the 2017 Group I New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Embellish while the multiple Group I winning sprinter Sacred Star is also part of the family.
“He was very popular from the first parade at home, he’s a top quality colt,” Cunningham said.
Pilkington has previously enjoyed success with the stock of Fastnet Rock and he was delighted to add another one.
“My take on him is that he’s a mid-size, athletic Fastnet – not a big heavy one,” he said. “He’s in keeping with the same sort of horse as Merchant Navy.
“We recently negotiated the sale of him to Coolmore for $27 million so it would be nice if he was going well enough to head down the same path.”
The top selling filly for Fastnet Rock on Monday was the full sister to Group I winner Age of Fire.
Offered by Hallmark Stud, the filly from Galileo mare Dragon’s Tail was purchased for an international syndicate for $725,000 by Adrian Nicoll of BBA Ireland.
“She’s a beautiful filly – the best individual I saw here,” he said. “I thought she might go for more than $600,000 and less than $800,000, so I was happy to go to $725,000 for her.
“Being a full-sister to a Group One winner, it just became a no-brainer.
“She’ll be going to Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. We’ve put a partnership together, which includes the Niarchos family.”