Imperatriz obliterates Australasian record with $6.6 million sale

29/05/2024
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Coffs Harbour Racecourse 14/06/24
Imperatriz sold for record amount at Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale

Legendary mare Imperatriz is now the most expensive broodmare ever sold in Australasia, following a record $6.6 million sale at the Gold Coast Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale on Tuesday. This sale destroyed the prior record of $5 million, which was set in 2008 when Danehill mare was sold to Milanova Coolmore Stud.  
 
Coolmore also bid on Imperatriz this Tuesday. However, they were outbid by Victoria-based stable Yulong Stud. 

Highlights

  • Bidding at the National Broodmare Sale for Imperatriz started at $4 million.
  • Yulong’s Zhijun Zhao came out on top with a record-breaking $6.6 million bid.
  • Te Akau purchased Imperatriz for $360,000 in 2020.

Bidding war for record-breaking broodmare 

While Yulong Stud eventually won the war, the fight to be Imperatriz’s new owners was a tough one.  
 
Bidding at the National Broodmare Sale for Imperatriz started at $4 million, just one million short of the previous record sale price. The price quickly escalated with Yulong and Coolmore both bidding on the prize horse.  
 
Bidding online, Yulong’s Zhijun Zhao came out on top with a record-breaking $6.6 million bid.  
 
Coolmore Australia head Tom Magnier explained that $6.5 million was the most they could spend on Imperatriz.  
 
“She is a mare with extraordinary racing ability, we were really, really keen to get here, but we have bought some high-priced mares today. It's great to come to the Gold Coast, we have had a lot of luck here buying horses but we ran into someone who was stronger than us,” Magnier said on Tuesday.  

Imperatriz a “rare commodity”

Imperatriz’s eye-watering sale price is already money well spent according to Yulong.  
 
Vin Cox, head of Yulong Australia, said after the auction that he and his team closely inspected the horse and that she was a rare commodity worth spending big on.  
 
“We did the inspections and went over to have a look at her last week,” Cox said.  
 
“These are rare commodities. A 10-time Group 1 winner, they're elite and they don't give Group 1 races away at any level, in any country, in any jurisdiction.” 
 
Cox also praised Imperatriz’s former owners, Te Akau Racing and their main owner David Ellis.  
 
“You know you had to dig deep coming here and I think she made well and truly enough money. Congratulations to Te Akau Racing and David and Karen,” the Yulong boss said.  
 
“They bought her here on the Gold Coast, raced her in New Zealand and then proved her here in Australia. Full credit to them. We had to dig deep to get her.” 
 
Te Akau purchased Imperatriz for $360,000 in 2020. In the years since, she has made her owners and horse racing betting fans all around the world millions of dollars.  

John Stewart missing from action 

One name missing among the bidders on Tuesday was American billionaire John Stewart. The MiddleGround Capital manager and Resolute Racing owner became a major player in the horse racing world after spending nearly AUD$40 million during the most recent US sales season. 
 
Stewart promised to bid at least $6 million on Imperatriz ahead of the National Broodmare Sale auction. The billionaire did not place a bid.

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