A brother to 2009 Japanese Derby winner Logi Universe topped the foal section of the JRHA July Sale on Tuesday when he sold for Y112 million (AUD 1.45 million).
By Neo Universe out of the unraced Cape Cross mare Acoustics, he was the subject of a spirited bidding duel before prominent owner Takaya Shimakawa outbid Riichi Kondo.
Shimakawa, who has 150 horses in training, bought the colt on the strong recommendation of Northern Farm owner Katsumi Yoshida. “I was ready to pay more,” he said. “So I am happy.” Shimakawa did also purchased a colt by Deep Impact out of Argentine Group 1 performer Data for Y92 million.
The average price of Y23.68 million (AUD 305,470) declined by less than 1% from last year. The clearance rate improved two points to 68%.
Japan has been moving toward establishing a significant trade in yearlings in order to follow other major markets but it was the time-tested Japanese attraction to foals that allowed some optimism by the conclusion of the reformatted two-day sale.
“It’s the Japanese tradition, to buy foals, and nobody has asked me to wait until they are yearlings to sell them,” Shadai Farm owner Teruya Yoshida said “This year’s sale has been much better than we anticipated.”