Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum paid a record $3 million for a racehorse on Wednesday.
Setting the highest price so far for 2014, Sheikh Mohammed also bought the second and third most expensive stallions at the second Book 1 session of the Tattersalls October yearling auction at Newmarket in England.
He paid 1.7 million guineas ($2.9 million) for Shamardal, a colt consigned by Ireland’s Ballyhimikin Stud. The horse is a half-brother to three Group stakes winners: Irish 1000 Guineas winner Halfway to Heaven and Group 3 winners Theann and Tickled Pink.
“The colt is from a top breeder and out of a top racemare, who has gone on to produce a classic winner,” bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohammed, John Ferguson, said in a statement released by Tattersalls.
“There is always the chance that she might do it again… Yes, it is a lot of money, but it is difficult to breed something so special as this colt, he deserves to make a top price.”
Sheikh Mohammed’s other purchases were two yearlings by Irish 2000 Guineas winner Dubawi, and both bought for more than 1 million guineas (about $1.8m).
The UAE vice-president owns one of the world’s largest international horse racing entities, with stables in Australia, Ireland, the UK and Dubai, under the name Godolphin. He also launched the world’s richest horse race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup.
Ferguson told The Telegraph Sheikh Mohammed’s recent investments were expensive but could produce high returns.
“You are basically prospecting, trying to find the next gold mine which will be the next dual hemisphere stallion,” he was quoted as saying.
“Although each yearling is a huge sum of money – and I am not saying for one second it is not – across the spectrum of what we invest all over the world, it is all relative.”For all the latest lifestyle news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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