Black Caviar fever arrived in Sydney a couple of days early when a half-brother to the champion mare topped the million dollar mark at the Australian Easter Yearling sale.
A huge crowd gathered to watch proceedings as the colt walked into the ring with auctioneer Simon Vivian labelling him the “half-brother to equine perfection”.
John Hawkes secured the Casino Prince colt for $1.025 million after staging a tense bidding war against Black Caviar’s trainer Peter Moody and her part-owner Neil Werrett.
Hawkes and his sons Wayne and Michael train Black Caviar’s half-brother Moshe who cost $75,000 while the great mare herself fetched $210,000 as a yearling.
The world’s highest-ranked racehorse, Black Caviar arrives in Sydney on Friday ahead of her bid to extend her unbeaten streak to 12 in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.
Bidding on the colt started at $200,000 and increased mostly in increments of $25,000 until it surpassed the $1 million paid for the previous top-priced lot a day earlier.
“He’s a lovely horse, he is a half-brother to one we have got (Moshe) and he’s a half to a champion (Black Caviar),” Hall of Fame trainer John Hawkes said.
“Hopefully he’ll make a stallion but who knows, time will tell.”
The colt out of the mare Helsinge was offered on the account of Tony Santic’s Makybe farm on behalf of Gilgai Farm.
Wayne Hawkes said the colt was purchased for “a few loyal stable clients” and he was very happy to be taking him home.
“To be honest I never had a really close look at Black Caviar the year she was sold,” Wayne Hawkes said.
“But he was just a lovely horse this bloke. We spell a lot of our horses at Makybe and got (stud manager) Scott (Holcombe) to pull the rug off this bloke about six weeks ago and he impressed us then.
“He has only gone forward and conditioned on for the sale very well and we’re happy to be taking him home.”
Casino Prince stands at Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm.
Patinack part-own the Hawkes-trained Shadowofexcellence who runs in Saturday’s Group One AJC Australian Derby (2400m).
The colt overshadowed other high-profile sales with Mark Kavanagh securing a three-quarter brother to Melbourne Cup winner Shocking for $450,000 which the trainer said was cheap.
“Four hundred and fifty thousand is not a lot of money for a three-quarter brother to a Melbourne Cup winner and Group One weight-for-age horse that’s one of the best in Australia,” Kavanagh said.
A full-brother to 2008 champion three-year-old filly Samantha Miss was passed in at $300,000, just $20,000 short of his reserve.
Samantha Miss was a $1.5 million purchase at the 2007 Easter sale.