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Dansili colt star turn as figures tumble at DBS

dbs st legeryearling sales comparative figures (£)
 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2009  495  465  369  79  9,609,500  26,042  20,000
 2008  500  474  401  84  13,493,500  33,649  26,000

DONCASTER'S St Leger Yearling Sale, traditionally a fair pointer to upcoming events in the bloodstock markets, finished on Wednesday night with a £26,042 average, down 22 per cent on 2008 and a £20,000 median that had dropped by 23 per cent.

The sale's £9,609,500 turnover was in seven figures for the first time since 2003 after two days where trainers, even buoyed by the new Racing Post Yearling Bonus Scheme, were noticeably more reticent to buy on spec than in past years.

One of the game's biggest players bought this year's sale topper during early afternoon when a brief Coolmore/Maktoum duel saw a son of Dansili out of the Grade 2-placed Cayman Sunset change hands for £200,000.

Trainer Howard Johnson lasted up to £180,000 for the striking youngster but dropped out when Hamdan Al Maktoum's racing manager Angus Gold offered £5,000 more. Gold in turn relented as M V Magnier rounded the price up with a single decisive bid.

The colt will race for the Coolmore partnership of Magnier's parents John and Sue, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith but training plans have still to be finalised.

"He's for the three lads and will come back to Coolmore now and they'll see then about where he goes," said Magnier. "He's by Dansili out of a Night Shift mare so he's bred to be fast and was a lovely-looking colt."

The youngster continued an excellent sales season so far for vendor Newsells Park Stud, who achieved prices up to 600,000 euros at Deauville and averaged £86,500 for five soldthis week.

Another six-figure transaction brought a spectacular pinhooking success for Jimmy Murphy's Redpender Stud. A Medicean colt out of a daughter of Coronation Stakes winner Exclusive, who had cost Murphy just 4,000gns as a foalbrought almost 30 times that price when reselling nine months on to Ross Doyle for £120,000.

"He's been bought for an owner who has horses with Richard Hannon but this colt's trainer hasn'tbeen finalised," said Doyle, after outbidding Eamonn Reilly. "This fellow just glided around the ring and we were lucky buying Canford Cliffs from the same vendor last year."

Doyle, with his father Peter, had bought 23 lots by the close of play last night and made up for a frustrating time in France earlier this month.

"We found it very tough to buy in Deauville, the sales company had done a very good job in getting clients there. We were down on numbers there but it wasn't for the want of trying," added Doyle.

"We've made up for it here even though when you walked in for a nice horse it could be hard enough to buy. The odd one has slipped through the cracks but thesales company have done a great job in selecting the horses and we've been very lucky from here over the years."

Richmond Stakes winner Xtension cost trainer Clive Cox just 15,000 euros as a yearling at Fairyhouse 12 months ago but his Compton Place half-brother, offered by breeders Paul and Marie McCartan, was more prized by buyers.

Cox tried hard to get him but he will to race for one of the Darley entities after being knocked down to agent Dick O'Gorman - acting on John Ferguson's behalf - for £125,000. Plans on a trainer have still to be finalised.

Sheikh Hamdan had an even more prolific couple of days' buying, ending up with a dozen purchases by the close of play last night.

Angus Gold had outbid M V Magnier for yesterday's dearest new Shadwell recruit, a £90,000 Oasis Dream filly offered by her breeder Andrew Buxton from Goldford Stud.

Also on Gold's shopping list was an £80,000 Cadeaux Genereux colt sold by Denis Brosnan's Croom House Stud and a £65,000 son of Red Ransom sold from Tally-Ho Stud.

An Invincible Spirit filly out of Italian Listed winner Capannacce always looked destined for a sale ring appearance next year as the subject of a duel between breeze-up consignors Willie Browne and Jim McCartan.

It will be from Browne's Mocklershill Stables that she will be offered after his successful bid of £75,000.

"I'm glad to have her because she had everything - she was a lovely filly by the right sire and with the right pedigree," said Browne. "She'll definitely be breezing although I haven't decided where and she'll come home and be broken then have a break in September and October."

The filly, consigned from the Burns family's Lodge Park Stud, has already proved profitable once, having cost just 22,000 euros as a foal.

Managing director's statement

At the close of play last night DBS managing director Henry Beeby commented: "The DBS St Leger Yearling Sale has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the last decade from quite humble beginnings to its current standing as a premier league sale that is attended by every major buyer and regularly sends out winners of the highest quality.

"However it seems nothing is immune from the current financial climate and we have taken a hit over the last two days in terms of statistics although the most pleasing aspect of the sale has been the very respectable 79 per cent clearance rate that reflects a pragmatic approach by our vendors and the hard work of the DBS auctioneers.

"On that note we contracted the sale to two days with the same numbers at the request of many clients who felt the sale was easily workable over a shorter period given the customer friendly nature of the DBS Sales Complex. The success of that decision was totally reliant on us selling at a really good rate which we have achieved from start to finish selling 28 to the hour and has received many favourable comments.

"Tuesday's trade was generally accepted to be strong and the 82 per cent clearance rate backed up that feeling. The sales complex was buzzing from lot 1 to 250 with a wide variety of buyers, and vendors reported huge interest.

"That buzz wasn't so strong on Wednesday as is always the case when inspections have finished but we have to be satisfied with the level of interest in the sale whilst, of course, a top price of £200,000 was quite special and provesthe old maxim ‘quality sells'.

"However it is simply a harsh fact that people do not currently have as much money to spend on racehorses and there was a strong element of selectivity in the trade. Whether that trend will be replicated throughout the autumn remains to be seen but last year's sale, which seemed slightly disappointing at the time, looked pretty respectable at the end of the season and that may be the case again this year.

"What is certain is that DBS yearlings will win and win big next year and I would like to record our thanks to our hugely supportive vendors and our enthusiastic buyers. The statistics may be down but this is still very much a premier league sale."




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