Sunlight’s brother sells for $3million

Antony Thompson is part of a family that has been an Australian bloodstock leader since the 1860s, so he has experienced his fair share of yearling sales, meaning even he was surprised with his reaction after his Zoustar colt topped this year’s Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.

The Widden Stud principal needed several minutes to compose himself after the brother to three-time Group 1 winner Sunlight sold to Coolmore’s Tom Magnier for $3 million.

Thompson admitted to sleepness nights in the lead up to Day 2 of the sale and couldn’t recall being as emotional after a successful result.

“There are plenty of highs and lows in this game, there are some really amazing moments and there are obviously a few rough ones, but that was a pretty special one,” Thompson said.

“It’s obviously a huge, anxious build-up with sleepness nights the last few nights worrying about how it’s going and how you’re looking, but I guess we didn’t have much to worry about after all.”

The colt became the equal-third most expensive yearling sold in Australia behind the $5 million and $4 million colts sold at Easter in 2013.

The final purchase price was three times the reserve Thompson and his partners placed on the colt.

“We put him on the market at $1 because I knew he was always going to make more than that and there was no way I was going to sell him for a cent less, but after that it was in their hands and it’s up to them where he goes,” Thompson said.

“When he hit $2 million I thought, ‘that’s a fantastic result’, when we got past the top lot in the sale, that was fantastic, but to hit $3 million is really stunning and beyond all expectations.”

The sale-topper is by Widden’s banner stallion out of Solar Charged, who is the dam of Newmarket Handicap, William Reid Stakes and Coolmore Stud Stakes winner Sunlight.

It was the most Coolmore has paid for a yearling in Australia and merely strengthened their association with the family, having bought Sunlight for $4.2 million in 2020.

“We bought Sunlight and the foal at home by Justify is our best foal at home, so it’s a family that we know well,” Magnier said.

“He was probably the best type on the sale. We’ve got a great team behind us in our colts syndicate and obviously when you’re going and buying horses like this you have to have everybody agreeing and this is a horse that ticked every box for the whole team.”

The Zoustar colt was the headline act of a stunning second day, which produced the top six lots of the two-day sale.

Magnier also paid $2.25 million for a colt by Snitzel out of Response, who is a brother to Golden Slipper winner Estijaab, while Snitzel also had the highest-priced filly of the sale – a $2.2 million daughter of William Reid Stakes winner Silent Sedition who was bought by Hawkes Racing.

Tyreel Stud sold a half-sister to Classique Legend, by I Am Invincible, for $2 million.

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