Gordon Cunningham was expecting something special when Lot 156 entered the Karaka sale ring and the Curraghmore principal wasn’t disappointed.
The son of Fastnet Rock was the subject of spirited bidding on Monday from all directions before he was knocked down to Mark Pilkington for $1 million.
“He’s a colt with a great pedigree and the looks to match,” Cunningham said. “He’s got a great mind and attitude as well, he was always going to attract a lot of attention from the bigger players from a stallion point of view.”
The colt is the first foal of the Savabeel mare Diademe, who crowned her career when she claimed the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) after previous success in the Group 2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) and twice winning the Group 3 Westbury Classic (1400m).
Diademe is a sister to the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Embellish while the multiple Group One-winning sprinter Sacred Star is also part of the family.
“He was very popular from the first parade at home, he’s a top quality colt,” Cunningham said.
Curraghmore also sold a son of Zoustar and the Flying Spur mare Crystal Spur for $460,000 to Aquis Farm.
“I believe both colts are destined to be trained at Lindsay Park and I’m so pleased about that,” Cunningham said.
“They have got a few horses in the stable at the moment that have been sourced from Curraghmore, including Long Leaf, Tulip and Fanatic.”
Pilkington has previously enjoyed success with the stock of Fastnet Rock and he was delighted to add another one.
“My take on him is that he’s a mid-size, athletic Fastnet – not a big heavy one,” he said. “He’s in keeping with the same sort of horse as Merchant Navy.
“We recently negotiated the sale of him to Coolmore for $27 million so it would be nice if he was going well enough to head down the same path.”