Million dollar yearlings thrill the sales crowd, and often become exciting racehorses, such as this season’s top 2YO Gr1 winner Estijaab (Snitzel – Response). She sold in 2017 at the last Easter Sale in Newmarket for $1,700,000 and after only four starts (three wins) as a 2YO, the dazzling Gr1 Golden Slipper heroine has already won $2.3 million with much more promised.
One of the drawcards to the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales is the high quality pedigrees on offer, with many of Australia’s great racemares and top families represented. These pedigrees, combined with superior physical types, lead to understandably expensive yearlings.
But how do the numbers work out? Over the past ten years, 97 million dollar yearlings have sold at the Inglis Easter Yearling Sales. The biggest year was way back in 2008, when 28 yearlings sold over the benchmark figure, and the least occurred in 2011 when only two horses made this figure.
The vast cost of these yearlings can’t compare to their racetrack earnings, however once breeding income is added to the mix, then the invested risk becomes worthwhile for buyers. Many of the million dollar yearlings who have medium level race records have become successful broodmares, and some of the dams on the list were million dollar yearlings themselves. Minor winner and half-sister to Alinghi, Perfect Persuasion sold as a yearling for $2,600,000, and her own yearlings have made $4,625,000 including two million dollar yearlings. Two of her foals are stakes horses, and she’s left four winners to date.
Twelve stakes winners have emerged from this group (a high percentage), led by multiple Gr1 winner and sire ALL TOO HARD, who sold for $1,025,000 and earned $2,288,200, as well as his stud earnings. Two other Gr1 winners in the last ten years from these 97 million dollar yearlings are WANDJINA, and MUSTAAQEEM (South African 2YO Gr1 winner last season). Throw in stakes winners ESTIJAAB, ZULULAND, DAWN WALL, COLOUR, BENETEAU, SOOBOOG, COME HITHER, LAKE GENEVA, and LITTLE SURFER GIRL, and you can see why buyers chase these horses. Another seven of this group are stakes-placed, including two horses from the 2016 sale who are both Gr3-placed this season and look to go on with it – Dissolution, and Siege of Quebec.
Of the young horses, the 2016 sale had nine millionaires, now 3YOs, of which all are raced bar 2, and six are winners, including stakes horses MUSTAAQEEM, Dissolution, Siege of Quebec and Merovee. The 2017 sale had buyers clambering for nice types with superior pedigrees, and 17 yearlings made a million or more (the largest number since 2008). As these horses are only halfway through their 2YO season, it is no surprise to find eleven still unraced. Three are already winners, led by Gr2 winner ESTIJAAB, and the other two are Al Naifa, and Casadiva. Watch this space.