Katsumi Yoshida - JRHA Select Sale
Katsumi Yoshida - JRHA Select Sale

Lot 51 Deep Impact - Air Groove consigned by Katsumi Yoshida (inset)

(Image : TDN / Japan Racing Association)


Summerhill’s connection with the Yoshida family in Japan is well publicised in the presence on the farm’s Stallion Roster of the highly performed racehorse, Admire Main.

Yesterday, it was Japan’s turn to announce it’s economic revival at the JRHA’s Yearling Sale.

In the few minutes it took for a statuesque filly to take several graceful pirouettes around the Northern Horse Park sale ring Monday, the Japanese bloodstock industry burst back into life. The daughter of Horses of the Year Deep Impact (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) and Air Groove (Jpn) (Tony Bin {Ire}) had been groomed for this moment virtually since she had been born at Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm. She did not disappoint, bringing a Japanese yearling record bid of ¥360 million ($4,390,244) from prominent agent Nobutaka Tada’s Globe Equine Management Co. Ltd. at the opening session of the Japan Racing Horse Association’s select sale of yearlings and foals.

Perhaps the best news for the JRHA is that the filly was not alone in the spotlight. A half-brother to 2007 Horse of the Year Admire Moon (Jpn) (End Sweep) by current leading sire King Kamehameha (Jpn) (Kingmambo) also smashed the previous record yearling price of ¥250 million set in 2007 when he went to Takaya Shimakawa for ¥260 million (US$3,170,731).

With the two top-priced yearlings adding turbo power, the overall sale results zoomed upward to a Japanese yearling session record gross of ¥4,726,000,000, a remarkable increase of 49.6% from 2010’s languid session total of ¥3,157,100,000. The clearance rate improved from 80.8% in 2010 to 84.5%, with 197 yearlings sold from 233 offered.

The average price of ¥23,990,000 leaped up by 31.5% from last year’s average of ¥18,249,133, all the more significant since the overall JRHA sale results had declined for four consecutive years. The vibrant trade was expected to make national news as a sign that Japanese confidence is returning after the earthquake and tsunami disaster in March.

“I was expecting the sale figures to be down, so it was a very happy mistake,” said Yoshida, who bred and consigned the two toppers. “This market is very healthy and that is good for the horse industry.”

As Japanese sales continue to shift toward yearling and 2-year-olds and away from the traditional concentration on foals, the quality of the yearlings on offer, both in pedigree and conformation, “was much better than before,” Yoshida observed.

Sticking with his decision to sell the filly out of Air Groove, the 1996 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) winner who missed catching European champion male Pilsudski (Ire) (Polish Precedent) by a neck in the 1997 Japan Cup, proved difficult.

“I didn’t want to sell her; I wanted to keep her,” confided Yoshida.

Even though he well knew the quality of the filly, who is a three-quarter sister to 2004 champion older mare Admire Groove (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) and a half-sister to a pair of Group 2 winners, the price she demanded in a market that strongly prefers colts was a surprise.

“I never expected so much in this economy,” said Yoshida’s son, Shunsuke, general manager of the huge Northern Farm operation and their international roving ambasador. He added, “When she was born, we decided we wanted her to be a star at the sale. Physically, she is very nice. She is the 10th foal out of Air Groove, but she is bigger than the others. Her brothers and sisters had strong temperaments, but she is very relaxed and has a good mind.”

“I liked everything about her: her eyes, elegance, beauty, movement - she had everything,” declared Tada, who also praised the filly’s composure. “She can pose; she can see the cameras and she knows how to behave. She’s like a supermodel.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

japan horseracing
japan horseracing