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Elusive Pimpernel (Ryan Moore) wins the Craven Newmarket 15.04.2010

Elusive Pimpernel: a son of the colt's sire, Elusive Quality, topped the Craven Sale when selling to Oliver St. Lawrence for 400,000gns



Encouragement offered by Tattsersalls Craven

Tattersalls Craven Sale comparative figures (gns)
 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2010  166  139  96  69  7,656,500  79,755  70,000
 2009  183  163  115  71  8,561,000  74,443  60,000

Day 2 Tattersalls Craven Sale comparative figures (gns)
 Year  Cat  Off  Sold  % sold  Aggregate  Average  Median
 2010  81  67  50  75  4,069,000  81,380  58,500
 2009  90  78  53  68  3,824,000  72,151  70,000

EUROPE'S first top-tier bloodstock auction of 2010, Tattersalls' Craven Breeze-Up Sale, finished in Newmarket on Thursday evening after two nights that will provide encouragement if not overconfidence to consignors in the months ahead.

It was the smallest Craven catalogue since 1993 and the 7,656,500gns turnover duly fell by 11 per cent on 2009, although the 70,000gns median and 79,755gns average were up by 17 per cent and 7 per cent respectively. The clearance rate fell to 69 per cent from 71 per cent last year.

A son of Elusive Pimpernel's sire Elusive Quality stood out last night when selling for 400,000gns to a client of Bahrain-based trainer Fawzi Nass, buying through agent Oliver St Lawrence.

At a sale that had no shortage of bidding intrigue, Federico Barberini stood across the ring to bid for Nass - owner of Aislabie Stud near Newmarket - and St Lawrence and saw off all comers as a large crowd watched the colt's price spiral.

John Ferguson was among those standing in the gateas the likes of Johnny McKeever, Hugo Merry, David Redvers and ultimately big-spending Eddie Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler tried without success to land a juvenile who had cost vendor Willie Browne $150,000 as a yearling.

"We knew there was going to be plenty of competition but the owner didn't want to be seen to be bidding so we asked Federico to do it for us," said St Lawrence. "This was the standout here. He was gorgeous and had a clean bill of health vet-wise.

"We were bidding on behalf of one of Fawzi's clients in Bahrain and he will be staying in training in England, although I am not sure where at present."

Tinkler, who topped Wednesday's trade when buying a 210,000gns Shamardal colt bound for Michael Dods, gained some compensation shortly afterwards when paying 215,000gns for a colt by Lord Shanakill's sire Speightstown who cost vendor Norman Williamson $160,000 as a yearling.

Dubai-based Jim Hay and his wife Fitri, bidding through trainer Paul Cole, went to 190,000gns for the only Montjeu catalogued, a colt from Passion For Gold's family who was another consigned from Willie Browne's Mocklershill stable.

"The Hays want to compete at the top level and if you're looking for something that could win a classic then there are only a handful of obvious horses here and he was the one I liked," said Cole, whose main opponent was Tom Goff. "He's be later rather than early and is by one of the great stallions in the world at present."

But perhaps most encouragement for vendors last night came from the fact that, despite Dubai's economic problems, Sheikh Mohammed looked to have added a significant number of additions to his 2010 juvenile string.

Dick O'Gorman, an integral member of the Darley buying team, bought three six-figure lots last night while several of the many other agents used in past years by Sheikh Mohammed at this sale were also in action.

Among them was Richard Frisby who went to 180,000gns to see off agent Matt Coleman for a colt by Darley second-season sire Shamardal, who had cost vendor Brendan Holland 57,000gns as a yearling.

Last night's first offering continued to increase in value. A Royal Applause colt offered from Helshaw Grange Stud, he made 800gns as a foal, £20,000 as a yearling and sold for 100,000gns yesterday evening when knocked down to Merrick Francis on behalf of Hughie Morrison.

Chairman's statement

At the conclusion of the 2010 Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, Tattersalls ChairmanEdmond Mahony commented:

"It was a slow start to the sale yesterday evening but, happily for all concerned, trade picked up considerably as the sale progressed and the final figures compare very favourably with last year's sale.

"Turnover is down, as expected with a smaller catalogue, but both the average and median have risen which is a tribute to the quality of the horses and to the professionalism of the consignors. The market has been selective attimes but we have seen plenty of international competition at the top end and the success of recent graduates of the sale has clearly not gone unnoticed.

"Equally the Racing Post sponsored Breeze Up and Yearling bonuses have proved to be an added attraction for buyers and we would expect this to be even more pronounced at our Guineas Breeze Up Sale in two weeks time with 142 of the 146 catalogued eligible for one or other bonus scheme, and 80 of them eligible for both.

"Alongside the positive aspects, however, the prevailing economic uncertainties continue to have an impact on the European bloodstock market and the domestic demand, with a few notable and welcome exceptions, remains tentative.

"The recent income tax rise in Britain, combined with the usual pre - election caution, have not inspired renewed confidence and while the weakness of sterling has definitely helped our overseas buyers, we continue to face challenges on the home front."




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