Some quick mental arithmetic was enough to convince International Bloodstock Agent Hubie De Burgh to soldier on as he waged war in the auction ring during the early action on Day One at Karaka.
De Burgh had his sights set on Lot 19, an I Am Invincible filly from the Little Avondale Stud draft. As the bidding built steadily from the $80,000 opening offer for the elegant brown filly, he was confident he had the firepower to see off the immediate challenges.
A raid-fire burst of action that saw her purchase price race past the $400,000 mark had De Burgh sweating as he approached the limit of his budget. A final bid of $500,000 saw him sign for the filly on behalf of his client, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his Shadwell Racing operation.
“That was the absolute bloody last bid,” he said.
“I actually walked in thinking that I might get her for a bit less than that but the one before went for $300,000 so I thought jeepers we’re going to have to battle here.
“We converted it (the $500,000) back into sterling and when you convert it back then that’s very good value on what you buy in England.
“When you’re buying globally you have got to compare apples with apples. The big advantage down here is that you can pay half a million and then win half a million without winning a Group race.
“I’m not knocking European racing as it’s the best in the world, but here you can put your hand on your heart and say you can buy a horse, win a stakes race and treble your investment.
“She is going to race for huge prizemoney in Australia so that makes all the difference.”
De Burgh advised the filly would be heading to Lindsay Park in Melbourne to follow on from the five individuals that were purchased from the 2018 edition of the sale.
“We purchased five last year,” he said.
“We’ve won two with one Group placed while another has won a trial.
“We bought a couple of Derby types plus a couple of sharp ones, but this is more a get up and go type.
“She’s by an unbelievable stallion from that Invincible Spirit family with a lot of speed in there.
“She could be a two-year-old (type) and just as easily a three-year-old, so she fits a lot of purposes.”
The filly is out of the More Than Ready mare, Exposed and hails from an extended family that includes Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) winner Contessa Vanessa along with speedy Listed Mufhasa Stakes (1300m) winner Astor. – NZ Racing Desk