10/07/2011 3:06PM

Tattersalls Book 1 closes with gains

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Galileo fillies continued to be all the rage Friday at the Tattersalls October yearling auction’s Book 1 auction, where a three-quarter-sister to Henrythenavigator’s dam topped the sale at 1.7 million guineas, about $2,784,600.

That is 2011’s highest yearling price at auction so far in Europe or America, and it helped lift the Book 1 auction to big gains over last year. The 2011 edition sold 364 yearlings for about $84,576,492, yielding an approximate average of $232,353 and median of $163,800. Compared year-to-year in guineas, the auction’s currency, gross was up 7 percent from last year’s total for 449. But the biggest increases were for average and median, which were up 32 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

Nine yearlings brought 500,000 guineas or more, and four of the top five prices were for Galileo fillies.

Bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson sprang for the sale-topping filly, who sold late in the session as Book 1’s three days drew to a close. “I did not expect her to make so much,” he confessed.

Gordon-Watson’s client was Nurlan Bizakov from Kzakhstan, who recently purchased Hesmonds Stud in England and reportedly plans to build a breeding program there.

The chestnut filly, a daughter of the Irish River mare Brigid, also is a three-quarter-sister to Irish champion juvenile filly Listen and a half-sister to group-placed stakes winner Oyster Catcher. Farther back in the deep pedigree are such runners as Dance Master, Dolphin Street, Saffron Walden, and Beethoven.

Oaks Farm Stables was the consignor.

Earlier, Robert Ogden went to 850,000 guineas, the equivalent of about $1,392,300, for another Galileo filly. The bay filly is out of stakes-placed Witch of Fife, by Lear Fan. She is a full sister to Group 3 winner Cabaret and a half-sister to Group 3 winner Drumfire and listed winner Ho Choi. Croom House Stud consigned her.