08/28/2008 12:00AM

Doncaster sale ends down


Doncaster's St. Leger yearling sale in England ended Thursday with downturns across the board and a message to stay positive from its managing director.

The three-day auction's results showed a drop of 14 percent in gross sales, with 401 yearlings bringing approximately $24,693,105. The average price of about $61,579 was down by 11 percent, and the median, about $47,580, fell 12 percent from last year.

The buy-back rate rose from 11 percent in 2007 to 15 percent in 2008.

The sale-topping yearling was a Dubawi colt who sold for 220,000 pounds, or about $402,600, at Tuesday's opening session.

Malih al-Basti purchased the colt from Charlie and Tracy Vigors's Hillwood Stud consignment.

The managing director of Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, Henry Beeby, said in a post-sale statement that the auction had "solid trade" but noted that market polarization, with strong activity at the market's top end but little below that, was evident in the declining figures. Still, he pronounced the company "far from despondent" and urged consignors and buyers to remain confident in trying economic times.