11/25/2008 12:00AM

Business poor at Tattersalls sale

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The 2008 Thoroughbred market’s downward spiral continued Tuesday at the opening of England’s Tattersalls December foal sale, where the buy-back rate hit 60 percent and sales figures dropped sharply in all categories.

Tuesday’s session, the first of five for the auction’s foal portion, sold 76 of 189 horses who went through the ring after 57 scratches. The session grossed about $441,305 and was down 75 percent from last year’s total for 131 horses. The average price, approximately $5,806, was down 56 percent, and the median of about $3,213 was 50 percent lower than at last year’s opener.

The Tattersalls returns follow slumping results at Keeneland November and Goffs November mixed sales and at the Tattersalls December yearling auction.

The session-topping filly was a February-foaled daughter of Phoenix Reach and the Sadler’s Wells mare Rasmalai. Winterbeck Manor Stud consigned the bay filly, and Lodge Farm Stud bought her for about $32,130.

The session-topper is from the first cop of Phoenix Reach, an 8-year-old Alhaarth horse that Winterbeck Manor Stud campaigned to Grade or Group 1 victories in the Dubai Sheema Classic, Canadian International Stakes, and the Hong Kong Vase.

The Tattersalls December foal sale was to continue through Saturday.