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Figures crash on
final day of Ascot


 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  357  288  200  69  415,100  2,076  1,000
 2008  374  278  226  81  798,650  3,539  2,000

BRIGHTWELLS' Ascot Derby Sale finished yesterday afternoon after two days which suggested that the lower-end jumping market was by no means immune to the economic downturn.

This sale is traditionally Ascot's flagship fixture but the attendance was notably down and there were a string of not solds and a modest top price yesterday of £13,000.

That was paid by Susan Busby, who trains a small point-to-point team at Ettington near Stratford, after she fought off Highflyer Bloodstock's Tessa Clark for Braeroy, who scored for trainer Louise Alner at CharltonHorethorne in March and at Barbury Castle in January.

"I hadn't seen him run but I've got six horses, all owned by myself or my son, and most of them needed firm ground so I wanted something that we could run a bit earlier on thesoft," said Busby. "I saw him, liked him and bought him and I'd like to think he might be good enough to run in ladies' races - I've got a very good lady rider in Hannah Watson."

Victory Parade, who scored for trainer Pip Hooley at the South Herefordshire point-to-point on March 1, was the only other lot to make five figures when selling for £10,500 to Gearoid Costello.

Tom Best, assistant to his brother Jim, hopes that Butterfly Rose can recoup her £8,500 purchase cost after selling out of Henrietta Knight's stable.

"I've been watching her on her last few runs and think she is on nice mark of 96, she's got to be able to win a couple off that rating and she was worth that money, she should hopefully be able to win it back," said Best.

"They tried her over fences and I'd say she stick to hurdling and although we haven't got an owner it shouldn't be hard to find someone to take her."

Trainer Simon Earle paid £7,400 for Adorabella, who won a Newbury handicap for Alan King in August after beginning her career in bumpers.

"I've followed her for a while and she's a first step into ownership for my cousin Doug Earle. He's going to take a third so I've got to find someone for the other two-thirds but I think she can win on the flat and over hurdles," said Earle.

"I'm now based at Tytherington, south of Warminster, and just getting going again which is taking a bit of time but we've got a few horses to buy."

There were several highly-valued lots who failed to find a new home, none more so than the winning point-to-pointer The Snuffler, who returned home after being led out unsold at £40,000.

The sale's £798,650 turnover was 48 per cent down on 2008, the £2,076 average dropped by 41 per cent and the £1,200 median fell by 40 per cent.

"Irrespective of what level of the market that horses are, there is a consistency in the downward trend," said Brightwells' head of bloodstock Matt Mitchell. "It is a buyers' market but with a clearance rate of 69 per cent, it shows that people are continuing to purchase but at a level.

"The consolidation period of matching supply to demand willtake time but, as with all markets, when that does happen the current trends will be reversed."

Ascot's next sale is on July 14.




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