Australian thoroughbred prices have been riding high this year and the Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney was no exception, grossing more than $132 million this week. 

Key points:

  • Thoroughbred sales have been breaking records, with mostly Australian buyers driving the market
  • Easter Yearling Sale grossed $132 million, with an average price of $371,236
  • Easter Yearling Sale included the last of Redoute’s Choice progeny 

The top price at the sale was a colt by Snitzel which sold for $2.5 million.

“It was just a spectacular result,” said Inglis managing director Mark Webster.

“We traded $132 million which is the highest turnover since the pre-global financial crisis days in 2008.

“The average price of the yearlings was $371,236 … and we sold 22 yearlings for $1 million or more — which is not a record, but it’s a significant result, particularly noting it’s been done during the COVID period and we had very few international buyers.”

Horse capital cashes in

Horse studs near Scone in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales had plenty of reasons to celebrate this week. 

Yarraman Park Stud part-owner Arthur Mitchell said it had been one of their best results, with 41 yearlings out of their stallion I Am Invincible grossing more than $25 million.

“He’s been amazing, and [the yearlings] are lovely looking and people want to buy them,” he said.

The nearby Vinery Stud had three yearlings sell for over $1 million each, including an Exceed and Excel colt for $2.1 million.

“That was a little bit over what we were looking at,” said Peter Orton from Vinery.

“We’re very pleased to receive it, but what recognition it is for a lovely horse.

Horse stud in the Hunter Valley

Scone is regarded as the ‘Horse Capital of Australia’, and local studs have been doing well in 2021.(

AAP/Tourism NSW

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What’s driving the market?

The red hot thoroughbred market began the year with records tumbling at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast.

The sale grossed $211 million making it the highest grossing yearling sale in Southern Hemisphere history, according to Magic Millions.  

The record money has surprised many in the industry, but there seems to be no definitive answer as to why the level of investment has bolted.

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Tasmanian bred yearling breaks the record price at the Melbourne sales
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Mark Webster from Inglis said the increasing amount of prize money in the racing industry was definitely a factor.

“There’s been so many new additional races put onto the calender such as The Everest which is a $15 million race. 

“And there’s been a real growth in million-dollar [plus] races. I think we now have 52 million-dollar races which is more than any other country in the world.

“So people see it as an opportunity to invest, but also have a bit a fun and win some prize money.”

End of an era

Arrowfield Stud near Scone was responsible for the Easter Yearling Sale’s top price colt of $2.5 million.

But it was the sale of Arrowfield’s last remaining offspring of multiple Group One winning racehorse Redoute’s Choice, who died in 2019, that was the significant moment for Arrowfield general manager John Messara.

“He’s gone but he hasn’t really gone,” he said.

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The last of Redoute Choice’s yearling progeny sold for $760,000.

However, Mr Messara estimates the overall financial impact of his dynasty, started by Redoute Choice’s father Danehill, to be much higher.

“He did have a massive impact on the economy of racing itself.”

Thoroughbred prices bolting as Easter Yearling Sale surpasses $132m
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