10/09/2014 4:03PM

Tattersalls: Record price drives gains at Book 1 finale

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The three-day Book 1 section of the Tattersalls October yearling sale brought together the elite members of international breeding and racing, and their competitive bidding, especially during the sale’s final two sessions, drove the auction to new heights. Book 1 concluded with a Thursday finale that set European single-session records for gross, average, and median. The overall gross during the Book 1 session also set a record for highest in European auction history.

Tattersalls reported 336 yearlings sold from Tuesday through Thursday for gross receipts of about $134.15 million (79,274,000 guineas). That figure represented a 13 percent increase compared with the Book 1 totals in 2013. This week’s average price of about $399,250 (235,935 guineas) rose 14 percent, and the median of about $253,800 (150,000 guineas) climbed 15 percent. The buyback rate for Book 1 was 19 percent, improving on last year’s 25 percent rate.

Three horses sold for 1 million guineas or more on Thursday, led by a Galileo colt that toppled Wednesday’s session-topper as the most expensive yearling sold at auction this year. Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier spent about $4.4 million to land the colt (2.6 million guineas), who is out of the stakes-winning Bering mare Penang Pearl and is a half-brother to Group 1 winner and millionaire Harbinger. The colt was consigned by Ashbrittle Stud. His final price surpassed the 1.7 million guineas, or about $2.9 million, spent on a Shamardal colt by Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s bloodstock advisor John Ferguson during Wednesday’s session.

A daughter of Galileo brought about $2.15 million (1.25 million guineas) from James Delahooke as the session’s top-priced filly. The bay filly, consigned by Camas Park Stud, is out of the unraced Darshaan mare Gwynn and is a half-sister to 2011 Epsom Derby winner Pour Moi and to Group 3 winner Gagnoa – both of these bred on a similar Sadler’s Wells-line cross – and a full sister to stakes winner Kissed. Delahooke said in a Tattersalls release that the filly was bought for American restaurateur Bobby Flay and would probably race in Europe.

The final seven-figure horse sold on Thursday was a colt by the recently-deceased Darley sire Street Cry, purchased by Ferguson for about $1.69 million (1 million guineas). That filly is out of the Group 2-winning Dynaformer mare Meeznah, and was consigned by Hillwood Stud.

Ferguson led all buyers for Book 1 by gross with 38 yearlings bought for about $29.5 million (17,465,000 guineas). Highclere Stud led all consignors by gross, selling 27 yearlings for about $13.6 million (8,035,000 guineas).

Thursday’s final session was the most productive of Book 1, moving 129 yearlings for about $51 million in gross receipts, up 58 percent compared with 2013’s third Book 1 session. The average of about 481,500 jumped 56 percent, and the median of about $321,500 made a similar leap of 58 percent. The buyback rate on Thursday was 18 percent, compared with 29 percent in the third Book 1 session of 2013.

The Tattersalls October yearling sale resumes next week with Book 2 and Book 3 sessions, beginning on Monday.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.