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Doncaster Sales

The lack of activity by the Maktoum family at the DBS Premier Yearling Sale this week has provided vendors with some cause for concern

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker/ 

Maktoums' reticence at DBS concerns vendors

AFTER a Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale this week that looked devoid of Maktoum purchasing activity, consignors cautioned that a cutback by the sport's biggest investors at upcoming events could prove more of a worry.

Paul Thorman

Paul Thorman: "Don't kid yourself that we don't need the Maktoums"

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker

Hamdan Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mohammed's representative Dick O'Gorman accounted for 14 per cent of the 2009 Premier Yearling Sale turnover but, despite their absence this year, new buyers such as Sir Robert Ogden helped the two-day auction return figures on a par with 12 months ago.

Sheikh Hamdan did not make any purchases at Deauville earlier in the month when the Darley team were also quiet.
"Doncaster and Deauville have always been boutique sales where the Arabs have never bought in bulk," said Paul Thorman of Trickledown Stud, who took 16 lots to the Premier Sale.

"Fortunately people like Sir Robert Ogden took up that slack at Doncaster but don't kid yourself that we don't need the Maktoums at Tattersalls. We need them to support the market there without a doubt and I dearly hope they do because I can't close my door for the size of the Newmarket catalogues.

"Just look at the number of horses they bought at the October sales last year and for them not to be at that sale would be hugely significant because they provide getting on for half the market while they only ever provide a smaller percentage at the top end of Deauville and Doncaster."

Brendan Holland of County Cork-based Grove Stud, who sold an Elusive Quality colt for £105,000 at Doncaster, echoed Thorman's sentiments.

"This week was a throwback to what Doncaster always was like with the trainers all getting really involved and an excellent clearance rate. It felt stronger than last year and the breeze-up guys found it very hard to buy which is always a good sign to the strength of the market," reflected Holland.

"But I'd be mindful that in the past Doncaster has never borne a great significance to what was going to happen for the rest of the year. This sale always stood on its own and didn't reflect the rest of the market and we'll be hoping the Maktoums come back for the flagship sales, their presence is enormously important at Goffs and Tattersalls Book 1.

"While I would be positive looking ahead I wouldn't get carried away. There are a lot of yearlings to be sold and we could still be in for a very tough year."




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