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His Highness The Aga Khan

Mares from the Aga Khan's draft topped both days of the Goffs mares sale


Foreign buyers save weak domestic market at Goffs

MIRRORING the trends set at thoroughbred auctions across the world in recent months, the Goffs November Sale came to a close last night with a set of final figures that finished well down on those from 12 months ago.

The two-day breeding stock sale which brought down the curtain on the week at Kildare Paddocks was similar to the trade seen during the foal sale, where the best and most attractive individuals sold well while those who lacked pedigree or fell short physically struggled.

A very significant and varied international presence underpinned the last two days - domestic trade was undoubtedly quieter than previous renewals - and the sale was undoubtedly given a major boost by the stalwart Indian buying base and also that from Turkey.

In his end of sale statement Goffs chief Executive Henry Beeby commented: "The theme of real competition for quality that was established atthe end of last week for our foals certainly spilled over to the mares section yesterday and today.

"We are very satisfied with the trade for breeding stock over the last two days and must pay tribute to the work of our colleagues at Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, who have done a superb job of helping to attract a truly international group of buyers to the mares sale."

"Our friends from Indian and Turkey have been particularly active and we are so grateful for their patronage. Our ability to achieve the very best prices for this category has been illustrated with a top price of €620,000 - more than double last year's high - for His Highness The Aga Khan's Four Sins and our thanks again to histeam, as well as the many other mare vendors who helped us put together a catalogue of real strength and depth."

"Despite the current downturn I would urge positivity as we have much about which to be positive with the best bloodlines in the world, unrivalled standards of horsemanship, highly competitive racing as the end product and, I would submit, in Goffs an independent auction house run by lifetime bloodstock professionals that is well placed to ride out the current storm and continue to provide the breeders of Ireland with an unparalleled service."

The concluding session of the week was headed by the winning three-year-old Rayina, who cost David Flood's Spratstown Stud €100,000. Another member of the ever-popular Aga Khan draft, she is a half-sister to the recent Killavullan Stakes hero and exciting three-year-old prospect Rayeni.

 "She's a lovely filly, she's a winner and it's an excellent family - inthe first two dams alone you've got seven horses rated 100 or more which is very significant," said Flood. "She's been bought for an overseas client and in the short to medium term it's quite likely that she will be exported to head to Australia."

The Shadwell Estates-owned Najayeb,  a half-sister to Arc winner Sakhee, proved a big draw and she eventually fell to John McGrath, acting for the Hong Kong Breeders Club, for €50,000.

 "She was very good value and only at the moment would you be able to buy into a family like this," remarked McGrath. "She is a daughter of a Group 2 winner, she's a half-sister to a champion in Sakhee and she's carrying a three-parts sibling to that horse."

Earlier, Charlie Mason of Silfield Bloodstock splashed out €46,000 for the Known Fact mare Senebrova. Sold in-foal to Invincible Spirit, she has the distinction of being the dam of this season's Italian 2,000 Guineas hero Senlis.

 "She's already proved herself a good mare and the Invincible Spirit covering was a big attraction," reported Mason. "We'll be bringing to foal back here next year and we were very pleased to get her."

Silfield also combined with Ballyhane Stud to secure Darley's Lake Windermere for €30,000.

 "She's a gorgeous Oasis Dream filly who is a winner this year. She's from a good family and her Bernstein half-sister made over $400,000 in the US this year," commented Ballyhane's Joe Foley.

The prolific Hugo Merry was to the fore throughout the day and his spending was headed by Darley's Danzig mare Badraan. The €35,000 purchase was sold carrying to Shamardal.

 "She will be going to India," commented Merry. "We'll keep all the mares that we bought here in Ireland for a few weeks and then they will be sent out to Asia.

"I've been going to India since 1991 promoting the Irish bloodstock industry and the Indian purchasers enjoy coming here. They are well looked after and are made to feel very welcome by both Goffs and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and they've bought some good mares out of here."


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