10/08/2014 4:31PM

Tattersalls: Records set at second Book 1 session

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A Shamardal colt sold for about $2.9 million on Wednesday to headline a robust second Book 1 session of the Tattersalls October yearling sale at Newmarket, England. The session posted gains in gross, average, and median, with active trade at the market’s upper end among several of the industry’s major buyers.

Tattersalls reported 141 yearlings sold on Wednesday for gross receipts of about $49 million (28,930,000 guineas). The gross jumped 16 percent compared with the second Book 1 session in 2013. Tuesday’s average of about $399,000 (235,203 guineas) rose 4 percent, and the median of about 254,000 (150,000 guineas) climbed 7 percent. Wednesday’s buyback rate was a healthy 13 percent; it was 25 percent in last year’s second Book 1 session. The average, median, and buyback rate all set records for a single day’s trade at a European yearling sale.

John Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, outbid Coolmore’s John Magnier for the new sale-topper, spending 1.7 million guineas. With currency exchange rates factored in, the Shamardal colt would be the highest-priced yearling sold at auction this year. Two yearlings brought $2.2 million apiece at the Keeneland September yearling sale, and a Deep Impact colt sold for about $2.56 million last summer at the Japan Racing Horse Association auction.

The Shamardal colt was consigned by Ireland’s Ballyhimikin Stud, and is out of the Group 2-winning Indian Ridge mare Cassandra Go. The colt is a half-brother to three Group stakes winners: Irish 1000 Guineas winner Halfway to Heaven, also a Group 3 producer; and Group 3 winners Theann and Tickled Pink.

“The colt is from a top breeder and out of a top racemare, who has gone on to produce a classic winner,” Ferguson said in a Tattersalls release. “There is always the chance that she might do it again… Yes, it is a lot of money, but it is difficult to breed something so special as this colt, he deserves to make a top price.”

Two other yearlings surpassed the 1 million guineas mark on Tuesday, both bought by Ferguson and both by Darley sire and Irish 2000 Guineas winner Dubawi. The session’s second highest-priced horse was a $2.7 million (1.6 million guineas) colt out of the Group 1-winning Nureyev mare Crystal Music, consigned by Watership Down Stud.

The Book 1 section of the Tattersalls October yearling sale concludes with a session on Thursday, and the sale resumes with Book 2 and Book 3 sections next week.

For hip-by-hip results, click here.