10/08/2013 4:00PM

Tattersalls: Record-priced Galileo colt leads first October yearling sale session


The Tattersalls October yearling sale got off to an historic start on Tuesday when a colt by elite sire Galileo sold to Coolmore for a European record price of 3.6 million guineas (about $6.08 million). The record yearling paced an opening session of the three-day Book One section that surpassed the 2012 opener in gross, average, and median.

Tattersalls reported 124 yearlings sold on Tuesday for gross receipts of about $44,007,100 (26,319,000 guineas), up 14 percent from 2012, when 139 lots sold for about $38,861,263 (23,016,000 guineas). The average price of $358,400 (212,250 guineas) jumped 28 percent from last year, while the median of $198,400 (117,500 guineas) rose 7 percent.  The buyback rate stayed nearly level, as 21 percent of offered horses returned to their consignors versus 20 percent during last year’s first session.

The record-priced yearling, who was consigned by Newsells Park Stud, is out of the stakes-placed winning Danehill mare Shastye and is a half-brother to stakes winner and Epsom Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture. The colt went through the ring near the end of the opening session and attracted forceful bidding from the outset. Agent David Redvers, bidding for Qatari Sheikh Fahad al-Thani, began his courtship at 1 million guineas, but Coolmore owner John Magnier quickly responded. The two parties swapped bids before Coolmore reached the final mark of 3.6 million guineas.

That price eclipsed the previous European record for a yearling, set by eventual Hong Kong Group 1 winner River Dancer in 2000 when the gelding, then named Diaghilev, sold for 3.4 million guineas (about $4.97 million) at the Tattersalls Houghton sale. It is also the highest amount spent on a yearling at auction this year. Coolmore purchased River Dancer in 2000, and the Ireland-based, internationally-renowned operation also stands Galileo.

“This colt has the pedigree, he ticks all the right boxes, he is by Galileo out of a Danehill mare – let’s hope he has an engine,” Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier said. “Galileo, of course, speaks for himself, but you’d never think you’d have to go that far [to secure the horse].”

Two yearlings tied for the second highest price during the opening session of 600,000 guineas (about $1.01 million), including the very first lot offered. That colt, a son of Montjeu out of Grade 3 winner Madeira Mist, is a full brother to two-time Pattison Canadian International winner Joshua Tree. Ross Doyle, representing Al Shaqab Racing, bought the colt from the consignment of Castlemartin Stud. The co-second price, an Invincible Spirit filly, was also purchased by Al Shaqab, this time represented by Nicolas de Watrigant. Consigned by Oaklawn Stud, she is out of the winning Halling mare Romie’s Kastett and is from the family of millionaire, Irish highweight, and multiple Group 3 winner Norse Dancer.

The Book One section of the Tattersalls October yearling sale continues on Wednesday and concludes on Thursday.

For complete results, click here.