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Weak middle market damages BBAG receipts

Year Offered Sold % Sold Aggregate Average Median
2009 322 276 86 6,415,500 23,245 22,527
2008 324 245 76 7,468,500 30,484 28,747

WITH a depleted well of domestic buyers, it was R&B International, funded by Russian vodka distiller Rashit Shaykhutditnov, and its representative, German bloodstock agent Jürgen Albrecht, that came to the rescue of the BBAG YearlingSale.

Albrecht secured a full-brother to champion German two-year-old Molly Art and last year's €100,000 BBAG yearling graduate and juvenile winner Marine Spirit for €120,000, and a Shirocco half-brother to German 2,000 Guineas hero Santiago for €180,000.

He adjusted his tactics when Gestüt Brümmerhof's Monsun half-brother to Group 3 winner Sorrent entered the ring, communicating instructions via telephone to BBAG managing director Carola Ortlieb, who bid on his behalf.

Ortlieb had to go to €240,000 to secure the colt for Albrecht and his Russian backers. He became the sale topper - the fifth consecutive BBAGyearling sale top lot by the outstanding Monsun.

Gestüt Auenquelle's Lando half-sister to Group 2 winner Global Dream, bought for €180,000 by local trainer Mirec Rulec, is also believed to be on behalf of R&BBloodstock.

Early in proceedings Angus Gold struck for the first six-figure lot of the sale when securing a Union-Gestüt-consigned Tertullian brother to the Listed-placed racemare Big Bertha, out of a daughter of Prix Cleopatre heroine Birthday Fever.

The colt was, by common consent, the standout physical specimen of the sale and Gold had to go to €150,000 to see off Larry Stratton, who was representing the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

"He is a very nice little horse - leggy, with a good attitude and one of the top four colts of the sale in my opinion," said Gold. "To be honest, I can't claim to know the sire very well, but he has been represented by the German 2,000 Guineas winner [Irian] as well as several smart-looking two-year-olds this year, and I am reliably informed that he is a very good stallion."

Gold added that the colt, bought on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan, would return to England where training plans would be formulated.

The same fate awaits Gestüt Karlshof's Nayef colt out of a sister to Gerling-Preis winner Aolus. Angus Gold fended off Ortlieb - taking instruction by telephone again - to secure the colt for €130,000.

"He is very attractive, has a fantastic attitude and is a great walker. Obviously we have a lot of faith in Nayef as a sire - we bought one by him at this sale last year for €200,000 (a colt out of Kessna) who is in training in France with Freddie Head and looks a class horse in the making."

Tom Goff of Blandford Bloodstock oversaw another purchase on behalf of the Maktoum family, when going to €80,000 for a Gestüt Roemerhof-consigned colt by Darley's first-crop yearling sire Shirocco who is a half-brother to Italian 1,000 Guineas winner Windhuk.

Goff said: "John Ferguson was inspecting the horses on the ground on Friday and he selected this colt as one of the standouts of the sale - he is a lovely mover and oozes class."

After Friday's opening session begun with a welter of vendor buybacks and unsold lots, there was a slight sense of relief in the air that the sale picked up a little today.

In total there were eight six-figure purchases - completed by a Konigstiger colt out of German St Leger winner Win For Us who was knocked down to Linngari's one-time partowner Rupert Plersch for €150,000 and a son of High Chaparral from the immediate family of Proportional who was purchased by Roger Alles on behalf of an undisclosed client for €120,000 - compared to ten in total at the sale last year.

But the more vibrant top end of trading could not arrest the decline in receipts at the sale, which was exarcebated by a weak middle market and a paucity of domestic buyers.

Aggregate for a similar number of horses sold to last year dropped by 14 per cent from €7,468,500 to €6,415,500, the median fell by 22 per cent from €28,747 to €22,527, and the average took a similar hit, down by 24 per cent from €30,484 to €23,245.

Carola Ortlieb stated after the sale:  "The top end of the market was there, but the middle market went completely amiss.

"This was to be expected, and most of the vendors were very realistic, which paid off for the buyers."





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