The second highest priced yearling ever sold in Victoria – and the third most expensive yearling sold in Australia – topped the 2024 Australian Pacing Gold sale at Oaklands Junction on Sunday.

A colt, by Bettor’s Delight from the Art Major mare Left For Dead and thus a three-quarter brother to the Inter Dominion champion and A. G. Hunter Cup hero Leap To Fame, was sold for $210,000 to Leeton owner Mick Boots after a spirited bidding duel.

“I really liked the family and the style of the horse. He’s just a beautiful animal,” Boots said.

The colt, who was offered by Sydney businessman Glen Holland and prepared by Riverina horseman Roger Strong, will be trained by dual Inter Dominion-winning trainer Jason Grimson.

Boots, Australia’s leading harness racing owner, also shelled out $60,000 for a Sweet Lou colt out of the Rocknroll Hanover mare Habanero, a half-sister to the dual Inter Dominion Final placegetter Flaming Flutter.

The colt has been entrusted to successful Tatura trainer Craig Turnbull.

Two colts, both owned by Melbourne enthusiasts Bruce Paul and Peter Watkinson and from the same maternal family, realised the second and third highest prices at the sale.

A Downbytheseaside colt out of Sahara Sunrise (by Art Major) was knocked down to Goulburn Valley horseman Nathan Jack for $160,000, while an Art Major colt out of Sahara Sunrise’s dam Sahara Miss was haltered by Kevin Gordon, of Lochinvar Art fame, for $100,000.

Both colts were part of the final draft prepared by Kialla horsewoman Annie Dalton, who announced her retirement after 36 years in the sales arena.

The top price paid for a filly was $60,000 for the Bettor’s Wish-Goodtime Grace miss prepared by Courtney Slater for her parents Ian and Judi Slater’s Goodtime Breeding enterprise.

The filly was secured by Florida-based cousins Marc Hanover and Gordon Banks, who have enjoyed Group 1 success in Australia for more than 20 years.

“We had a couple of horsemen have a look at her and they both loved her. We like Bettor’s Wish,” Banks said.

“A friend Eric Cherry, one of the owners of Bettor’s Wish, is buying the filly with us. He’s one of the biggest owners in North America. He has 150 horses in training including Tattoo Artist and shares ownership with us in Gem Quality, who won the Breeders Crown at two last year.”

The filly is to be trained by champion Cranbourne conditioner Jayne Davies.

The sale grossed $1,977,000 for 75 lots sold, an average of $26,360. The overall clearance rate was 67 percent.

A total of 40 colts from 54 presented were sold for $1,434,000, an average of $35,850, while 35 fillies from 57 offered made $543,000, an average of $15,514.

“We had four horses sell for over $100,000 on the day which was a good result,” APG sales consultant John Coffey said. “For a yearling to sell for the second highest price ever at a Victorian sale was an outstanding achievement in a tough economic climate.”

“There was a really good crowd in attendance with 110 registered bidders and the presentation by the vendors was superb. It’s been a tough year with lots of people feeling the hit from the economy, so it is encouraging to see a good turn out in support of the industry.

“The almost 70 percent clearance rate was a satisfactory result. ”

APG would like to thank everyone who braved to 40-degree heat to see the fantastic yearlings from our vendors and congratulate those the lucky buyers who have picked up some outstanding future prospects.

For those who are interested in any passed in lots from Sunday’s sale, they are still available for you to make an offer to the vendors. Multiple lots have already been sold by negotiation through APG and are now eligible for the APG race series. Click here to check out the full sale results, reserve prices for passed in lots, and make an offer today!