Avantage (Fastnet Rock) conformation shot

Champion Fastnet Rock Mare Avantage bought by Coolmore for $4.1million

A nine-time Group I winner by champion sire Fastnet Rock, Avantage has fetched a whopping NZ$4.1 million when sold to Tom Magnier via New Zealand Bloodstock’s online platform Gavelhouse Plus.

The stunning figure establishes a new world record for any horse sold online, a growing trend in the bloodstock industry.

Avantage is the third highest-priced mare ever sold via auction in the Southern Hemisphere behind Milanova, who fetched A$5 million in 2008, and the A$4.2 million outlaid for Sunlight last year, with all three purchased by Coolmore.

It was virtual theatre at its best as Magnier, bidding under user name Danehill1986, fended off rival bidders with refreshed bids every thirty seconds for the best part of 15 minutes.

“Congratulations to David Ellis, Jamie Richards and the connections of this wonderful mare for what they have achieved with her on the track,” Coolmore Australia Principal Tom Magnier said.

“We love Fastnet Rock mares, and she has won more Group One races than any of them. He is making his presence felt as a broodmare sire throughout the world, and she is one of his best daughters.

“A mare like her needs to go to an elite stallion and thankfully there are a plethora of options for her here at Coolmore, so the likes of Wootton Bassett, Pierro and Justify will be considered. We look forward to welcoming Avantage back to the farm where she was raised and grazed.”

The champion mare’s racing career was brought to a sudden halt last Friday after suffering a tendon injury and the decision to disperse the syndicated six-year-old via gavelhouse.com was promptly made by the Te Akau Avantage Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

Initially purchased as a yearling at Karaka by David Ellis CNZM for $210,000, she was prepared by Jamie Richards to win 16 of her 28 starts and $2.16 million in prizemoney.

A Group winner on both sides of the Tasman, Avantage boasts the largest haul of Group I wins of any of Fastnet Rock’s 41 individual Group I winners and was known for her versatility, as a Karaka Million winner at two, who won at Group I level between 1200m and 2000m.