Away Game became the fourth most expensive Australasian broodmare in history when she was sold to Yulong for an incredible $4 million on the opening day on the Gold Coast.
The extraordinary figure sent a surge of excitement through the sale ring when the hammer eventually dropped, with only three mares in history fetching a higher price than the daughter of Snitzel.
Milanova, who was sold for $5 million to Coolmore in 2008, still sets the benchmark with Sunlight ($4.2 million) and Avantage ($4.1 million) the next two in line.
Coolmore’s deep pockets saw Tom Magnier go toe-to-toe with Yulong in an intense bidding war for Away Game, but it was owner Mr Zhang and Chief Operating Officer Sam Fairgray who emerged victorious after outlasting their big-spending rivals in the ring.
“She’s been a fantastic race mare and is a beautiful-looking specimen, so we’re really pleased to take her home to Victoria,” Fairgray said.
“She’ll have at least one more start for us, and then have a date with Written Tycoon. She’s already done enough but if she happened to pick up a Group 1, then obviously that’s a bonus.
“We’ve seen the market is so strong with these fillies that have been very dominant, especially with her two-year-old form so you’ve got to front up.
“If she leaves progeny looking like she does, then they will definitely do well in the sales ring.”
Away Game (Snitzel x Elusive Wonder) has compiled a remarkably consistent racing career, winning five of her 23 starts and finishing in the minor placings on 11 occasions.
Whilst a Group 1 has proved elusive, she has a pair of Group 3 victories and a Group 2 triumph on her resume, but perhaps she will be best remembered for her explosive display in claiming the $2m Magic Millions 2YO Classic in 2020.
That speedy turn of foot as well as an iron constitution have been the hallmarks of her career, with co-trainer Ciaron Maher paying tribute to the mighty mare.
“She hasn’t done much wrong in her career so far, I’m sure she’ll find a great home at Yulong and I look forward to seeing her progeny go through the ring in future sales,” said Maher.
“She’s very adaptable and has done everything we’ve asked of her, the only thing missing from her CV is a Group 1 but hopefully she can tick that box in the Kingsford-Smith Cup on Saturday.”
Away Game will have her work cut out after drawing barrier 18 in the 1350m contest at Eagle Farm, where she will race for the first time in Yulongs distinctive green and white colours.
But with “Group 1 Johnny” [Allen] in the saddle and the all-conquering Maher and Eustace stable having her in peak condition, few would bet against her signing off with a fairy-tale victory.