Chicken and racing magnate Bob Ingham yesterday jumped the bidding to knock out his competitors to buy an Encosta De Lago filly for a cool $600,000. The bidding had jumped in $20,000 increments up to $560,000 before Ingham delivered the knock-out blow with a straight-out $600,000 call.

It has been a long wait for the owner of superhorses Octagonal and Lonhro as he had been sitting through 659 other lots without raising an eyebrow at the bid spotters. It is believed the underbidder on the lot was international bloodstock expert Adrian Nicoll. General manager of Ingham’s Woodlands Stud Trevor Lobb was the proxy bidder and proved beauty, or bloodstock, is in the eye of the beholder by saying his purchase was the pick of the fillies of the sale.

At least two other buyers at these sales have also said their buys were the best horses at the sale. “She was our pick of the fillies at the sale,” he said. “We don’t buy many fillies but we buy a few to race and for their breeding potential; this one’s pedigree suggests she’ll be an excellent addition to our broodmares at Woodlands in years to come.” “Hopefully she’ll be another (Group One-winner owned by Ingham) Mnemosyne.” Ingham bought Mnemosyne in Sydney two years ago for $400,000 and has added another five yearlings by Encosta De Lago to his stables in the past 12 months.

Another Encosta De Lago sold at these Gold Coast sales on Friday for $725,000. Lobb wouldn’t divulge what budget he was working with yesterday but it appeared the cost was no object due to the long wait for the lot to come up. “All I’ll say is we waited a hell of a long time for lot 660 to come up,” he said.

Lobb and Ingham have some more yearlings in their sights between now and Thursday but Lobb was keeping mum about what they were. He also hinted similar bidding tactics could be used. “Well we jumped it up once and it worked yesterday,” he said.

Yesterday’s filly will be floated to Ingham’s Belmont Park breaking in facility.

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