£2.94m colt is highest-priced yearling sold in the world this year

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  • A colt by racing superstar and super sire Frankel became the most expensive yearling sold in the world this year when going under the hammer for 2.8 million guineas at Tattersalls in Newmarket on Wednesday (5 October).

    The colt (lot 221), bred by the Lloyd Webbers’ Watership Down Stud, was sold to top racing operation Godolphin for £2.94m at the prestigious Book One Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. The unnamed yearling is out of the Group Three Musidora Stakes winning mare So Mi Dar, who was sired by Dubawi.

    Watership Down Stud’s owner Madeleine Lloyd Webber said: “It is always a shame to sell the wonderful stock out of the Dar Re Mi family but we just have to. He is a particularly beautiful colt, he looks so like his father Frankel yet he has the Dar Re Me line and the beautiful head. He walked beautifully, I could not really fault him. We obviously loved him, we are delighted that Godolphin bought him and he is going to stay here [in the UK] and be trained brilliantly. We could not have hoped for anything better really.”

    “Obviously he’s got a stallion’s pedigree as he’s by Frankel out of a very good Dubawi mare,” said Anthony Stroud after signing for Godolphin’s top purchase. “This is one of Watership Down’s best families so he was the jewel in the crown. He is an outstanding horse and he will be a very valuable horse if he is a good racehorse.”

    Simon Marsh, general manager of Watership Down, said: “It is an amazing family, it’s an extraordinary thing when you have a horse like that and he fulfills everything you want. He has been an exceptional individual all his life, but these things don’t happen by accident, there has been an enormous amount of people involved in getting him here – stud manager Terry Doherty, who has been with us for 30 years, Conor Chapman, who led him up, and Donna Vowles, who is our manager in Ireland, the feed people, the farriers, all these people have to come together to get the horse here today. We are delighted, it is an incredible family and we are incredibly lucky.”

    Frankel was a superstar on the racecourse and looks to have transferred that superiority to the breeding shed, breaking all records so far in his stud career and already the sire of eight top-level winners in 2022. He had five of the top 10 prices at this year`s October Book One Sale, including the top two lots.

    Trade was incredibly strong at this year’s Book One sale with turnover reaching a record 126,671,000 guineas, up 47% on last year’s sale. The average and median sale prices rose by 30% and 25% respectively to 298,752 guineas and 200,000 guineas, which are also both records. However the top lot’s price fell short of the sale’s record, which remains held by a Galileo filly out of Alluring Park, who sold for 5,000,000 guineas in 2013.

    The world’s most expensive horse ever sold was Fusaichi Pegasus, who cost $70 million (£53.7 million) when he was bought by the racehorse breeding powerhouse Coolmore Ireland in 2000.

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