LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - The ruler of Dubai paid $10.5 million to buy Irish-bred Playful Act at Keeneland's Breeding Stock Sale on Monday, a world record auction price for a broodmare.
The bidding was another showdown between two titans of the horse breeding industry, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley Stud and Coolmore Stud of Ireland.
"When those two teams hook up, neither one of them wants to stop," said John Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale Bloodstock, who consigned the horse for Swettenham Stud of Australia. "It's a test of wills, test of ego. They bought a fantastic mare. Obviously we wish them nothing but the best and hope she'll bring a champion."
John Ferguson, the buyer for the sheik, said he was determined to get the horse, in part to honor Swettenham's late owner, Robert Sangster, who always talked her up.
"He was a great friend of Sheik Mohammed," Ferguson said of Sangster, who died in April 2004. "That is part of the reason why Sheik Mohammed was so determined to have this particular mare."
During Keeneland's 2006 September yearling sale, Darley outlasted Coolmore to pay $11.7 million for a bay colt by Kingmambo, setting a sale record. The two prominent buyers have battled numerous other times at Keeneland and other auctions.