Sheikh Fahad makes his mark at JRHA Sale

Sheikh Fahad Al Thani showed his intention to become an important player in Japan on Monday when going to 260 million Yen (£1.5m/€1.9m) for a son of Deep Impact out of Group 1 Fillies' Mile heroine Listen at the JRHA Select Sale.

Offered from Northern Farm with one of the best pedigrees catalogued, bids for the March-born colt rose quickly from his reserve of Y100m (£575,000/€723,224) with the Qatari having the final say under David Redvers' name.

"He looks like a champion and has a stallion's pedigree," said Sheikh Fahad. "I don't know if we'll keep him to race here yet but I hope he'll be special after spending so much on him. We'll make a decision about his future later."

Following the purchase of two yearlings and three foals at this sale last year, the which the former are now with young trainer Mitsumasa Nakauchida, Sheikh Fahad is keen to increase his interests.

"I would definitely like to have more horses here in the future," he added after purchasing the second most expensive yearling ever sold at the auction. "I think the racing here is fantastic. It has the best prize-money with a great system and the sales are excellent as well."

Trained by Aidan O'Brien to win the Fillies' Mile for the Coolmore partners in 2007, Listen was sold privately to Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm after her racing career.

She is a sister to Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Sequoyah, the dam of Classic winner Henrythenavigator and Group 3 runner-up Queen Cleopatre from the close family of last year's Irish 2,000 Guineas victor Magician.

Despite Sheikh Fahad's pricey purchase yesterday, figures for day one were slightly down from last year with a clearance rate of 84.3 per cent. The yearling aggregate was Y6,028m (£34.5m/€43.4m), while the average was Y27.9m (£160,618/€201,724).

Earlier on in the day, prolific owner Hajime Satomi made an impression when going to Y200m for a son of Deep Impact out of Grade 2-winning Storm Cat mare Magic Storm.

Once again offered from Northern Farm, the yearling colt is set to join the same connections as his Grade 3-placed brother Satono Aladdin, currently handled by Orfevre's trainer Yasutoshi Ikee.

He is also a sister to last year's Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup runner-up Lachesis.

Satomi had bought Satono Aladdin for Y135.5m as a foal at this sale in 2011.

Progeny by Deep Impact proved popular throughout the day. His son Loves Only Me made Y180m, selling to the owner of the two-time champion sire himself during his racing career, Makoto Kaneko.

A half-sister to champion two-year-old filly and dual Group 1 winner Rumplestiltskin, the February-born colt hails from the family of Miesque.

"I saw almost of all of the horses in the catalogue and I think this was the best, said Kaneko. "He has the pedigree to go a mile and a half so I hope this will be the case.

The sale concludes with the foal session on Tuesday.