Trade falls in keeping with economic decline
The Goffs Million Sale drew to a sombre close last night with a set of final figures that finished well adrift on those posted in recent renewals following a tough and trying week.
The turnover for the three day sale fell from nearly €54 to over €32m the average dropped from €110,350 to €72,867 while the median of €45,000 finished a long way down on the €72,000 recorded last year. Given the prevailing climate the sale was widely expected to finish down on last year but not quite as much as it eventually did. However, in a week of yet more financial upheaval the general downturn was felt all the more acutely at Kildare Paddocks where it very tough going for vendors and pinhookers.
Looking back on the three days whose returns were the lowest since the 2004 Orby Sale, Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby commented: "We were hopeful of a trade that would come close to last year's solid renewal. However who could have predicted the scale of the worldwide financial meltdown that took place on Monday with the worst financial crisis since the 1920's?"
While pointing to the growth of the sale since it became the Million in 2005 Bebby added: "We must concede disappointment with the scale of the slow down although the general consensus appears to have been that we have hit the most difficult week in which to sell a luxury item in living memory".
"It's been a testing few days for us all but we would like to thank our vendors who have provided us with a catalogue of which we are proud, the purchasers who kept plugging away despite the truly shocking news that seemed to break each day and our partners Irish Thoroughbred Marketing."
"Finally, on a personal note I want to pay tribute to the excellent Goffs team both front of house and backroom staff.," he concluded.
For the second time this week Galileo provided the session topper as Blandford Bloodstock's Tom Goff forked out €340,000 for a filly from Oaks Farm. She is a half-sister to a trio of high class runners headed by Escena whose finest hour came when she claimed Breeders Cup Distaff glory.
"She's a filly with a fantastic page headed by a top class filly in America and we were over the moon to get her," said Goff. "She is a very late foal (June 17th) but she looked nothing like her date and isn't a filly who is going to take a very long time. I've bought her on behalf of a client and she will be staying in Ireland to be trained."
Demi O'Byrne, who was by some distance the leading purchaser here this week, signed off by buying a son of Danehill Dancer from Barronstown Stud for E320,000. He is an own-brother to a Free Handicap winner in Misu Bond and he is a half-brother to the smart juvenile SlipDance.
"He was a lovely yearling. A good, correct horse by the right sire and the cross has already worked with the mare," commented O'Byrne.
There were just three Dansili yearlings in the sale and both that cameunder the hammer yesterday were supplied by Yeomanstown Stud. The first of these was a half-brother to four winners who came the way of Charlie Gordon-Watson at €220,000.
"He will be going to England for an existing client but I'm not sure yet where he will go, there's two trainers who want him," remarked Gordon-Watson. "Obviously he is a very nice colt and he was the only Dansili in the sale. He's a stallion on the up."
The Yeomanstown draft also contained a filly by the Danehill horse who was snapped up by Eamon Reilly for €160,000.
"She has been bought for an existing client who will race her and bought her as a long term broodmare prospect. She will be staying in Ireland," stated Reilly.
An Indian Ridge half-brother to last year's colts Million hero Luck Money was bought by Luke Lillingston for €260,000 while Huge Merry had to give €220,000 for a Rock Of Gibraltar half-brother to the teak tough juvenile Tournedos.
Elsewhere the South African operation Form Bloodstock struck for the fourth time this week when giving €200,000 for a Sadler's Wells half-sister to the Curragh Cup winner Maharib.
"We bought a Sadler's Wells filly here a few years ago called Front House who has won three of her five starts including the Group 2 Gold Circle Oaks where she was six months younger than her contemporaries and won without any weight concessions," stated Form's Jehan Malherbe. "Front House is on her way to Dubai this winter for Mike de Kock. This filly is from an excellent pedigree and there's not many Sadler's Wells' left."