Sea The Stars filly on top as Orby figures grow
A €1.1 MILLION daughter of Sea The Stars played a starring role in another good day at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sale on Wednesday, where strong competition at the head of the market enabled Ireland's premier yearling sale to once again record a significantly improved set of final results.
At its conclusion the sale posted turnover of almost €38.5m, which was an 11 per cent improvement on last year. The average of €109,234 was up by eight per cent, while the €70,000 median represented am increase of 23 per cent. The 87 per cent clearance rate matched last year's tally.
The Sea The Stars filly, who hailed from Ballylinch Stud, looked a strong candidate for top honours as a Sea The Stars half-sister to Prix Jean Prat winner Lord Shanakill.
It wasn't long before the seven-figure mark was looming large on the horizon and, after a protracted duel, Amanda Skiffington outlasted Alan Cooper for the filly, whose other siblings include this season's smart juvenile Together Forever.
"She's been bought for Ivawood's owners Fiona Carmichael and Ian Jennings - hopefully they'll have some stallion shares to use in the coming years and they'll need a few mares for them," said Skiffington.
"She's an absolutely beautiful filly with a wonderful pedigree and Sea The Stars looks like being a fantastic sire. There was nothing not to like about her. I saw her at the stud a few weeks ago and fell in love with her and I knew I wouldn't be able to get her for under one million."
Only two lots before, the ring was captivated by a Teofilo sister to Dermot Weld's Blandford Stakes heroine and Oaks second Tarfasha. Also a close relative of the Classic-placed Galileo Rock and the top stayer Saddler's Rock, the filly was snapped up by Tarfasha's owner Hamdan Al Maktoum after his bid of €950,000 forced BBA Ireland's Adrian Nicoll to admit defeat.
"Tarfasha has been a wonderful filly for us this season, winning at both Group 2 and Group 3 level and finishing second in the Oaks," said Shadwell's Stephen Collins. "This filly comes from a superb pedigree and Sheikh Hamdan loved her."
It was a busy day for the Shadwell team, who spent just over €3m on seven horses, and their purchases also took in a €720,000 daughter of Invincible Spirit from the Irish National Stud. Also destined to race in the sheikh's colours is a €450,000 colt from the first northern hemisphere crop of the eminent Australian stallion Lonhro and a €325,000 daughter of Exceed And Excel from Yeomanstown Stud who cost 58,000gns as a foal.
For the second day in succession Jim Bolger offered a choicely bred yearling from one of his best families, in the shape of a Teofilo sister to last year's Irish Derby hero Trading Leather who was sold to John McCormack for €950,000.
"The page speaks for itself," said McCormack. "She's a lovely, sweet filly by a proven sire out of a proven mare. I've bought her for an existing client and she will be going into training with Jim; nobody knows the family better."
This year's Orby sale also featured a rare appearance at a European yearling sale of a Tiznow colt and the son of the French stakes winner Mousse Au Chocolat was knocked down to Mark Player at €380,000.
Goffs chief executive Henry Beeby reflected at the end of the sale: "Ol' Man River has certainly lived up to his €2.85m top price last year but we must remember he was the second highest priced yearling ever sold in Ireland and the most expensive for 30 years.
"So to return an average that improved by another eight percent without that extraordinary high is some achievement and clearly demonstrates the depth and strength of the Orby trade."