$1.975 Million for Star Fastnet Colt

Champion sire Fastnet Rock provided the sale-topper at the 2012 NZB Premier Yearling Sale and seems likely to do so again this year after his Australian bred colt from Celebria sold for $1,975,000 at Karaka on Monday. Bred by John Camilleri’s Fairway Thoroughbreds, the star colt from Celebria was consigned for sale by Curraghmore Stud and was the object of desire for many buyers in attendance. A half-brother to Group I winner Gathering and three-quarter brother to Group III winner Florentina, Lot 63 is a colt that has everything, the good looks, the pedigree and a red hot sire in Fastnet Rock. Furious bidding saw the colt’s price quickly soar past the million dollar mark with Peter Moody and James Harron in the battle early before making way for David Ellis and team Coolmore, who fought it out to the end. Coolmore emerged triumphant with Michael Kirwan making the winning bid of $1.975 million and Tom Magnier later confirming the colt would be trained by David Hayes, who also prepared Fastnet Rock’s Group I winning daughter Irish Lights for Coolmore. "He was definitely one of the horses we wanted, he is a very nice colt with lots of quality and the family is doing very well,” commented Magnier. "The horse will go to David Hayes at this stage and then we will just see how it goes. He is by the right stallion in Fastnet Rock and we just need a bit of luck now. "Gordon [Cunningham] does a terrific job with all of the horses and this one was no exception. It's a great place to raise horses over here and they look great.” The colt is the fifth foal of Peintre Celebre mare Celebria, a grand-daughter of celebrated matron Dancing Show (USA), whose descendants include Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain, Umatilla, Hurricane Sky, PlatinumScissors, etc. Curraghmore principal Gordon Cunningham always had high hopes for the colt and wasn't surprised by the result. "He was a colt that I rated very highly from the very first time I saw him and I am grateful to John Camilleri for having given me the opportunity to sell him,” he commented. "I wasn't surprised at the result as well-bred colts of his nature will always be sought after by the major players and I'm delighted that Coolmore have bought him.” Celebria was raced by Fairway Thoroughbreds and showed above average ability in winning three of five starts before retiring to what has become a highly successful career at stud. Now 11 years of age, Celebria produced a filly by Fastnet Rock last year and is back in foal to the champion sire again. This colt represents a new benchmark for Fastnet Rock as his most expensive yearling, the conversion to Australian dollars putting him at $1.584 million. Fastnet Rock had 10 yearlings sell at an average $472,500 during the opening session with other good results including $700,000 paid by Bart Cummings for a filly from dual Group I winner Episode that was also consigned by Curraghmore Stud.