04/19/2012 4:45PM

Tattersalls sale topped by $840K colt

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A Shamardal colt from the family of champion Oratorio proved worth the wait Thursday when he sold for about $840,000 and topped the two-day Tattersalls Craven breeze-up sale in Newmarket, England.

Darley agent John Ferguson bought the sale-topper from Roger O'Callaghan's Tally-Ho Stud in Ireland. The chestnut 2-year-old colt is out of the Swain winner Balloura. The price was 500,000 guineas in the local auction currency.

The Craven sale wrapped up Thursday with mixed results as gross receipts and the average price gained but the median fell. The auction sold 117 horses for about $14,411,040. Compared year-to-year in guineas, that was up seven percent from last year's total for 112. The average price increased by 3 percent and was about $123,171. Median, which dropped by 5 percent, was about $95,760. The buy-back rate was 22 percent, well down from 32 percent last year.

"He is easily our biggest sale," O'Callaghan said of the sale-topper. "We were hoping for 100,000 or 150,000 guineas, but this far exceeded our expectations. We have loved this foal from the day we bought him."

O'Callaghan paid 53,000 guineas, or about $87,800 at the time, for the colt at the 2010 Tattersalls December foal sale. He first offered him as a yearling at last season's Tattersalls October auction but bought him back for the equivalent of about $73,000.

Tally-Ho later pinhooked another Shamardal, this one a filly out of the stakes-placed Zafonic mare Elshamms, for 100,000 guineas, or about $168,000, doubling his initial investment in her. Dick O'Gorman was the buyer.