The importance of foreign investors in the local thoroughbred industry was underlined on Day 1 of the National Yearling Sale on Wednesday, with overseas buyers accounting for more than 30% of the turnover.

The record for a yearling sold in South Africa was smashed when Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum of Dubai paid R9 million for a colt.

Consigned by Wilgerbosdrift, the regally bred Masaki (Lot 184) was the second last lot sold in the session, but the son of Maine Chance Farms’ champion sire Silvano proved the star turn.

In what proved a protracted bidding duel, Masaki was eventually knocked down to Mike de Kock, who purchased the colt on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell South Africa. De Kock has already had great success for the sheikh with another son of Silvano this season, namely the rising star Hawwaam.

The classically bred Masaki, a full-brother to G1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes winner Nightingale and to G2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks second Oriental Oak, is out of G3 Magnolia Handicap winner Quickwood – a full-sister to exported G1 SA Guineas winner Heir Apparent.

His Fort Wood-sired dam is also a three-parts sister to G1 SA Fillies Classic winner Athina.

Form Bloodstock signed for the top filly sold on Wednesday when purchasing a Dynasty filly named Kim Soo (Lot 98) for R4.3 million. Consigned by Drakenstein Stud, Kim Soo is out of the top-class Dubawi mare Happy Archer, whose seven wins included both the G1 Thekwini and G1 Garden Province Stakes.

No fewer than 17 yearlings fetched R1 million-plus on the first day, which was also the first part of the first session of the 2019 National Yearling Sale.

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