Sheikh Joann al-Thani, son of the emir of Qatar, paid 5,000,000 guineas (about $A8,900,000) for a full sister to last year’s English Oaks winner Was, who is from the family of Lynward Park’s shuttle stallion Alfred Nobel.
The sale also realised the highest price in European thoroughbred auction history, beating the 4,600,000 guineas paid for Magical Romance at the 2006 Tattersalls December Mare Sale.
The record-priced filly, by Galileo from Alluring Park, by Green Desert, is also a sister to a filly that sold for 1,500,000 guineas last year and was consigned by Lodge Park Stud, County Kilkenny, Ireland, who also bred and sold Alfred Nobel.
Alluring Park is a daughter of the 1986 champion Irish filly Park Express – Alfred Nobel’s third dam – and is a half-sister to exciting young stallion New Approach, the 2007/08 champion European 2Y0 and 3Y0 colt and winner of the Group 1 English Derby, National Stakes, Irish Champion Stakes, English Champion Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes; Dazzling Park, the 1999 champion European 3Y0 filly and a full-sister to Shinko Forrest, the Japanese Group 1 winner and sire.
Turkish owner-breeding Ibrahim Araci opened the bidding at 500,000 guineas and went head-to-head with English bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson to 2,000,000 guineas.
Coolmore supremo John Magnier, who the day before had paid a previous European record 3,600,000 guineas for a Galileo brother to this year’s English Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture, and French bloodstock agent Nicholas de Watrigant then entered the bidding.
France won this war and de Watrigant signed for the filly on behalf of Skeikh Joann’s Al Shaqab Racing, who just won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Treve.
“She is a magnificent specimen,” said de Watrigant. “We bought her sister last year and we think she could be special.
“We didn’t want to miss this one. We didn’t expect to pay that sort of price, but Al Shaqab Racing is keen to invest.”
The filly will be trained in France by Andre Fabre.
Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony said: “Regally bred and the most outstanding individual, she is a filly who has absolutely everything.
“Lodge Park Stud have sold many magnificent yearlings at Tattersalls and she is the ultimate tribute to three generations of astute horsemanship.”
. Alfred Nobel, winner of the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes in Ireland, stands for $6, 500, plus GST (a real bargain at these prices).