10/12/2009 12:00AM

Tattersalls session numbers dip


The average and median prices for the first day of the Tattersalls October Book 2 yearling sale plunged by double digits on Monday, days after the European yearling market showed unexpected resiliency during Book 1 selling.

The average price for the 201 yearlings sold on Monday was $55,498, a decline of 19.1 percent compared with the average price for the 160 yearlings sold last year on the first day of Book 2 selling. The average price last year was itself down 30 percent compared with the 2007 figure.

The median on Monday was $41,528, down 24.3 percent compared with last year's median of $54,495. Like the average price, the median last year had fallen 21 percent from the 2007 figure, marking two straight years of significant declines in average and median at the sale, the most prestigious in Europe.

Because of the larger number of yearlings sold this year on Monday, gross receipts were up 16.7 percent, from $10,971,115 last year to $11,155,258 this year.

A colt by Cape Cross out of the Sadler's Wells mare True Crystal sold for 160,000 guineas, or $268,000, to top the day's session, according to sale records. The ticket for the colt was signed by Richard O' Gorman, an agent.

Prices for Thoroughbred yearlings worldwide have declined precipitously over the past two years because of the recession and an inability by horsemen to get credit. Gross receipts for three days of selling conducted last week at Tattersalls, however, increased 10 percent, while the average and median only declined only 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively.