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10/02/02 Melbourne Sale: Sale Concludes in Great Style
You couldn't wipe the smile of Reg Inglis' face after what turned out to be successful end to the Inglis Premier Sale in Melbourne today.

When the final lot was sold at 7.20pm tonight the average for Victoria's best sale had climbed about $3,000 on last year's figure.

Inglis said that he was very pleased with the end result as the current Australasian market had been unsteady in recent months.

"Before the sale started I was just hoping we could hold the figures we got last year, but to exceed if comfortably was a great result," Inglis said.

While conceding the catalogue was "considerably better" than last year, Inglis said the drop in figures on the Gold Coast and Sydney in the past month had him a touch worried.

"The previous yearling sales held earlier this year had all experience a drop," he said.

"But you couldn't take much out of the slip in New Zealand as their catalogued was far inferior than the year before."

At the end of today's second session at Oaklands Junction some 311 horses of the 407 catalogued were sold.

The two sessions grossed a total of $11,460,500, giving an average price of $36,850 (up from $33,900 last year).

Inglis will be hoping the strong performance of the Melbourne Sale can continue at his company's next sale - the country's headliner - in Sydney at Easter.

"Catalogues will be coming out this week and I'm sure everyone will be very excited about what is there," Inglis concluded.

The race for the sales topping position appeared at first to be a dead heat! However, a private sale of a previously passed in lot eclipse the pair of $170,000 purchases.

The grey filly by Desert Sun offered by Eliza Park (lot 190) was sold to Sydney based buyer Frank Tagg for $175,000. The filly is a half sister to the stakes winners Scandinavia, Midnight Sun, Frosty the Snowman and Russian Tea Room.

Encosta de Lago, who was the subject of strong support over the past two days, looked set to grab the honour after John Morrisey paid $170,000 for his Aerate filly.

Morrisey, commonly referred to as the "king of Canberra," said his purchase was an attractive purchase.

"She's a lovely bodied filly. We came to buy a nice filly with a pedigree and she's the one we really liked," he said.

"As well she's the first Encosta de Lago I've bought," he added.

The vendor of the filly, Len Rhodes of the Corowa based Riverside Side, was delighted with the sale.

"We had a reserve of $100,000 on her, so we're really happy, this is just great," a beaming Rhodes declared.

Later in the afternoon the Collingrove Stud Danehill colt, from the stakes winning mare Captiva, realised the same price of $170,000, thus becoming the top priced colt of the auction. He was knocked down to Sydney based trainer Gary Portelli.

Portelli seemed a little stuck for words after buying the colt for what was the highest price he'd ever paid for a yearling.

"I'm shaking so much I'm having trouble signing my name," Portelli said moments after securing the colt.

"All I have to do now is find some owners for him," he added with a smile.

Portelli said he was impressed with both the pedigree and appearance of the colt.

"He's a typical Danehill type, but not too big, and I like that," he said.

"I think he's a real racehorse, hopefully we'll be back for the Premier race next year."

"As well as being a lovely type he's got a nice pedigree, being from a stakes-winning Sir Tristram mare and if he can win a stakes race, then he's a sire prospect as well," Portelli added.

Other highlights for the day included a chestnut filly by the evergreen Rory's Jester which was sold for $160,000. Leading Warwick Farm based trainer Clarry Conners was the winning buyer.

"She's a lovely athletic type," the leading trainer of juveniles said.

"Just the sort of horse to suit our Melbourne stable and she'll be perfect for the race next year," Conners added.

Another highlight of the day came earlier when a chestnut colt by the former brilliant speedster General Nediym was knocked down to the Chefs on the Run Syndicate for $135,000.

The colt's trainer-to-be Robbie Griffiths said he was taken with the crop of General Nediym yearlings.

"We looked at all three of the General Nediyms and they were lovely horses, but this bloke was from a great winning family and I just think he's the ideal type for the Premier race next year," Griffiths said.

Saturday's Premier race winning trainer Bede Murray was back into the swing of things at this year's sale. One of his purchases was an attractive colt by the former brilliant international galloper King of Kings.

Like Recruiting, who was a $15,000 purchase in the same ring last year, Murray was able to grab the youngster for what looked an attractive price of $45,000.

"I've got a King of Kings at home that goes pretty good and this colt is a lovely horse," a relaxed Murray said.

Meanwhile, he also added his Melbourne star from Saturday, Recruiting was likely to race again this preparation.

"We're going to zip him back to Sydney and set him for the ($1 million) Heroic Championship," Murray added.

While the top priced horses took all of the attention many of the cheaper horses purchased are bound to make a name for themselves on the track.

A number of horses were picked up for less than $10,000, the cheapest of which, an Ashkalani colt (lot 386) from Chatswood Stud, was sold for $6,000 to locally based Australasian Bloodstock.

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