10/10/2013 5:52PM

Tattersalls: Active trade continues in final Book One section


Although no additional records were set during Thursday’s final Book One session of the Tattersalls October yearling sale in Newmarket, England overall trade continued at a highly-contested level, concluding the three-day section with gains in gross, average, and median.

For the cumulative Book One section, Tattersalls reported 339 yearlings sold for gross receipts of 70,343,000 guineas (about $118 million), a 3 percent increase compared with the 2012 Book One section, when 418 yearlings sold for 68,102,500 guineas (about $114.6 million). With 79 fewer yearlings sold during Book One this year, the gross still managed to exceed the total from 2012 - setting a new record for a European auction - and that in turn fueled major rises in both average and median. The average of 207,501 guineas (about $348,000) jumped 27 percent compared with 2012, while the median of 130,000 guineas (about $218,000) spiked 30 percent. The only negative statistic was a larger buyback rate for 2013’s Book One, finishing at 25 percent compared with 19 percent last year.

Activity at the top of the market drove the week’s trade, as a European record yearling sold during Tuesday’s opening session for 3.5 million guineas (about $6.08 million), a price eclipsed on Wednesday by a yearling that went for 5 million guineas (about $8.38 million). Both of those yearlings were by preeminent international sire Galileo; the first purchased by Coolmore, which stands Galileo; and the second by new international player Sheikh Joaan al-Thani. Al-Thani’s 5 million bid for Wednesday’s Galileo filly was a world-record price for a yearling filly sold at auction, and also established a record for a horse of any age sold at auction in Europe.

Paced by his record-priced yearlings, Galileo led all Book One sires by gross sales as 30 of his yearlings brought a total of 18,120,000 guineas (about $30.4 million). He also led by average price at 604,000 guineas (about $1.01 million).

John Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, finished Book One as the leading buyer by gross, purchasing 42 yearlings for 10,450,000 guineas (about $17.5 million). He just edged out Sheikh Joaan’s Al Shaqab Racing, which spent 10,260,000 guineas on 16 yearlings. Newsells Park Stud was the leading consignor for Book One, selling 16 lots for 7,215,000 guineas (about $12.1 million).

Bloodstock agent Charles Gordon-Watson purchased Thursday’s session topper, spending $850,000 (about $1.43 million) for an Oasis Dream colt out of multiple Group 1 winner Dar Re Mi, by Singspiel. The colt is from the family of 21 Group 1 winners, including French Derby winner and prominent sire Darshaan, ill-fated Sheema Classic winner Rewilding, and Hong Kong champion River Dancer. River Dancer held the record for a European yearling sold at auction under his original name, Diaghilev, until the two Galileo yearlings eclipsed it this week. Watership Down Stud consigned the Oasis Dream colt.

“He’s got a stallion’s pedigree through and through – it’s the best pedigree in the book,” Gordon-Watson said. “He’s for a relatively new client, and I don’t know where he’ll be trained. Hopefully, he’ll stay in the U.K.”

Another Galileo yearling grabbed headlines on Thursday, selling for the second-highest amount at the session. Coolmore acquired the filly from the Lofts Hall Stud consignment for 775,000 guineas (about $1.3 million). She is out of the winning Inchinor mare Frappe and is a half-sister to 2012 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Power. Another Coolmore stallion, 2005 English 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand, is also in this family.

Thursday’s final Book One session closed with 105 lots sold for 19,108,000 guineas (about $32 million), which was a 5 percent drop compared with the final Book One session last year. The average of 181,981 guineas (about $305,275) and the median of 120,000 guineas (about $201,300) rose 26 percent and 41 percent, respectively. The buyback rate of 29 percent was also higher, compared with 19 percent last year.

Tattersalls October continues with its four-day Book Two section, which begins Monday, Oct. 14.

For complete results, click here.