Updated on 09/15/2011 1:13PM

Irish sale slips off record '00

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Highlighted by a $2,436,000 Danehill colt bought by John Magnier and Michael Tabor, Ireland's prestigious Goffs Orby yearling sale concluded Wednesday with declines in gross revenue and average price. But those dips, coming in comparison to a record-breaking 2000 auction, were deceptive, and this year's two-day sale signaled that, at least for now, there's still a strong market for boutique yearlings.

The result sheet reveals that gross revenue for 372 yearlings sold in 2001 slid 10 percent to $35.9 million, while average price fell 15 percent to $97,000.

But set against the record upswing at last year's Orby sale, this year's drop still keeps the auction on solid footing. Last year, Goffs sold 351 lots for $39.8 million, a 36 percent gain on 1999's receipts, and average price shot up by 41 percent to $114,000.

The 2001 gross is up 23 percent from the 1999 figure, and this year's average was up 24 percent compared with the 1999 average. The top of the market, it seems, is still thick with cream, provided sellers offer the right horse.

That is due to a handful of internationally dominant buyers who participated at Goffs in Co. Kildare. As expected, they converged on a lot that O'Byrne called "the horse of the sale."

In the end, O'Byrne outbid Prince Ahmed bin Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp. and Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum for the colt, a son of Coolmore stallion Danehill.

Sold by Kilcarn Stud, the sale-topper is out of stakes-placed Welsh Love (Ela-Mana-Mou) and is a half-brother to two-time Irish champion Second Empire.

Yearlings get second chance

Keeneland's first October yearling sale, a two-day auction designed to relieve the burgeoning September sale of some horses, begins Monday.

For consignors with middle- to lower-market stock, the October sale offers a pool of just 644 horses to compete against, much smaller than the 4,000-plus catalog in September. It also offers a second chance for a substantial number of yearlings. About a third of the horses in the inaugural October sale were cataloged to the colossal September auction but failed to sell or were declared out before the reaching the ring.

The market for lower-market horses, as sellers and sale companies have seen, has shown substantial weakness this year. But the October yearling catalog offers an unusual amount of sire-power that could turn a few small fish into big trout in the smaller catalog.

Among the big-name stallions with progeny headed for the ring are Storm Cat, whose single lot in the sale is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Brushing Gloom, multiple stakes-winner Clash by Night, and two stakes-placed runners.

Seattle Slew also has three colts on offer. The son of Gils Magic is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Magical Maiden, Grade 2 winner Magic Mile, and stakes winner Magic Sister; the colt out of Alden's Juana is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Funontherun; and the son of Coolamon is a half-brother to restricted stakes-winner Untenable.

Pleasant Colony, now pensioned, also has a colt out of La Paz who is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Forest Camp.

Other popular stallions represented in the sale are A. P. Indy, Broad Brush, Coronado's Quest, Dayjur, Deputy Commander, Elusive Quality, End Sweep, Honour and Glory, Not for Love, Open Forum, Storm Creek, Unbridled's Song, and Valid Expectations, among others.

The continuous sessions start at 10:30 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Coolmore cuts stud fees

Coolmore's Ashford Stud, which has dropped Fusaichi Pegasus's fee from $150,000 to $135,000 and raised Thunder Gulch from $75,000 to $80,000 for 2002, has released its complete list of stud fees for the coming season. Among the reduced fees at the Versailles, Ky., farm for 2002 are Bianconi, who drops from $10,000 to $7,500; Grand Slam, from $30,000 to $25,000; High Yield from $35,000 to $30,000; King of Kings, from $25,000 to $20,000; Lure, from $15,000 to $10,000; Royal Academy, from $25,000 to $20,000; Southern Halo, from $40,000 to $15,000; Spinning World, from $35,000 to $25,000; Stravinsky, from $35,000 to $25,000; Tale of the Cat, from $30,000 to $25,000; Victory Speech, from $7,500 to $5,000; and Woodman, from $45,000 to $40,000.

Louis Quatorze ($10,000) and Honour and Glory ($30,000) remain the same.

* California stallions Slewvescent and Robannier have moved from Creston farms in Paso Robles to Special T Thoroughbreds in Temecula. Slewvescent (Seattle Slew-Our Mims, by Herbager, sire of Tout Charmant and Lazy Slusan, will stand for $5,000; Robannier (Batonnier-Home From the Fair, by Northern Dancer), sire of Rosanda, will stand for $2,000.

* Group 2 winner Firebreak (Charnwood Forest), one of Britain's top juveniles this season, will sell at the Tattersalls autumn horses in training sale in Newmarket, England, the sale company announced. A half-brother to five winners, Firebreak is owned by the Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds partnership, whose principal Nick Robinson said, "Obviously, it is with some regret that we are offering him for sale, but those are the terms of the partnership agreement." The sale runs Oct. 29- Nov. 1.