It was Lot 17 going through the ring at the Hong Kong International Sale at Sha Tin on Friday night that stole the show with the son of Starcraft fetching HK$8.5 million – the second highest figure ever at the annual sale.

The gelding, a full brother to Australian Group Three winner Havana, was bought by mainland owner Liu Yu-wen and will be trained by David Hall, who was one of the main beneficiaries of the sale, picking up three of the top six lots.

The move from a Saturday morning session to a Friday night sale under lights paid off for the Hong Kong Jockey Club, with the 24 lots going for a combined HK$100.5 million, up 5.9 per cent on last year.

“Horses look better under lights! It’s a great atmosphere, we are always looking to provide a premier and elegant experience for our owners and tonight has really accomplished that,” said Tony Kelly, the Jockey Club’s executive director of racing business and operations.

Story by Andrew Hawkins, South China Morning Post

Image: Kenneth Chan