A YEARLING colt sold at auction for €2.85m has become the most expensive horse to be sold in this country in nearly 30 years.
It is the second most costly yearling in the history of Irish racing, beaten only by the legendary sale of Authaal, a rare Shergar colt, which made IR£3.1m in 1984.
It followed an exciting auction battle with Irish bloodstock agent Ross Doyle, thought to have been bidding on behalf of the royalty of Qatar.
Auctioneer Henry Beeby, CEO of Goffs, initially asked for an opening bid of €1m but dropped to €100,000 to kickstart the proceedings.
From the €1m point, the only bidders were Mr Magnier and Mr Doyle.
The bloodstock agent appeared to have secured the colt for €2.8m.
When the auctioneer suggested an answering bid of €3m, Magnier declined – but offering €2.85m, was successful.
"It's plenty of money but obviously he's very well bred," said Mr Magnier afterwards.
"Montjeu has been very good to us – they're not making them any more."
"It was one of those moments of sheer theatre," said Mr Beeby of the auction, adding it had been a 'privilege' to preside over the sale.
He described the colt as "a beautiful physical specimen whose breeding in the human world would be the equivalent of a "heavyweight champion of the world and a supermodel producing a baby".
He revealed how trainer Aidan O'Brien – who will now take over the colt's progress – described the colt as "a dinger."
"We're very pleased. And the great thing is that what's driving this is the strength of Irish horses. They are absolutely world class," said Mr Beeby.