Records Continue at Hokkaido Summer Sale
After a record setting July sales season in Japan, the trend continued into August for the five-day Hokkaido Summer Sale accumulating a record \5,461,992,000 (US$49,735,858) gross, a 36% increase from last year. The clearance jumped from 63.5% in 2016 to 78.58% this year.
Each day saw high clearance races with the lowest being on the final fifth day, 70.56% while the highest was on day four, 83.41%. The rain during the middle of the sale did nothing to slow down the buyers during Japanfs largest yearling auction.
The overall average for the sale was \5,749,465(US$52,353), up 15% from last year. Colts averaged \6,986,300(US$63,615), up 17.8%, and fillies averaged \4,175,311(US US$38,019), up 11% from last year. The median was \4,428,000(US$40,320), up 7.9% from 2016.

Based on gross, South Vigorous(USA), a very successful dirt stallion, was by far the most popular sire at the sales with \270,216,000(US$2,460,535) spent on his 28 lots sold from 32 offered. He also sold the most lots of any sire in the sale, while the next most popular stallion was promising Sprint sire Kinshasa no Kiseki(AUS) having sold 27 of his 31 lots in the sale. South Vigorous(USA) was tied with Japan Cup winner Rose Kingdom(JPN) for the second most expensive lot in the sale.
Screen Hero(JPN), the sire of six time G1 winner Maurice(JPN) topped the sale with lot 454, a colt out of Love Dylan by Dylan Thomas, which was bought by Sachiaki Kobayashi for \43,200,000 US$393,370). Mr. Kobayashi has campaigned several G1 winners in Japan including Copano Rickey(JPN) and Copano Richard(JPN).
Each day saw at least one lot going for over \21,000,000(US$191,221), which in previous years could have been the top lots sold. Aside from the sale topper 127 lots sold for \10,000,000(US$91,058) or more, 13 lots sold for \20,000,000(US$182,116) or more, and two sold for over \30,000,000(US$273.174).
The top six stallions with average over \10,000,000(US$91,058) were: Screen Hero(JPN)(\15,079,500, US$137,311) selling 8 of 10 lots, second crop sire Lord Kanaloa(JPN)(\14,148,000, US$128,828) selling 7 of 8 lots, French Deputy(USA)(\11,880,000, US$108,177) selling 4 of 6 lots, first crop sire Just a Way(JPN)(\11,029,500, US$100,432) selling 8 of 10 lots, the late Manhattan Cafe(JPN)fs final crop (\10,800,000, US$98,342) for one lot, and first crop sire Cape Blanco(IRE)(\10,164,705, US$92,557) selling 17 of 20 lots offered.
Aside from the many hungry Japanese buyers, Irish trainer Emmet Mullins made the long journey to Japan to buy some Japanese bred yearlings to take home to Europe. After decades of learning horsemanship from the Irish, the Japanese breeding community was very excited to have the Irish taking interest in their stock. Several Singapore buyers also attended the sales, with several lots being purchased to race in Singapore.
All of the major sales in Japan so far this year have seen significant gains across the board. While foreign buyers have played an active role in each sale, the domestic market this year has been stronger than ever.
The next yearling sale in Japan is the Hokkaido Autumn Sale held in October. The three-day sale will be held at the Hokkaido Sales Pavilion in Shizunai, Hokkaido on October 2nd through the 4th.
US$1 = \109.82