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Better day but figures still down at Derby Sale

Comparative figures Derby Sale: day two
2009 231 187 126 67 3,050,500 24,210 15,000
2008 246 195 139 71 4,726,500 34,004 25,000

2009 461 377 237 62 5,498,700 23,201 15,000
2008 483 384 263 68 8,919,000 33,913 24,000

FOLLOWING two tough days the first part of the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale ended last night with a set of returns that finished a long way adrift of those from 2008.

Turnover dropped from nearly €9m to just under €5.5m. The average of €23,201 was down by almost a third on last year’s €33,913, while the median dropped by 38 percent from €24,000 to €15,000.

Trade on Thursday was stronger than Wednesday’s opening session but overall it was operating at an altogether lower level to last year, mirroring the vastly different external climate.

Prices contracted sharply from previous renewals as illustrated by the number of six figure lots dropping from 11 to four this time. Spending amongst the domestic buying base appeared to have reduced markedly and the sale was an especially tough one for pinhookers, who were faced with the unenviable task of reselling horses bought at the very height of the boom.

“Against the backdrop of an ailing Irish economy and uncertainty in the UK we were aware that we would face challenging trading conditions,” reflected Tattersalls Ireland managing director Geroge Mernagh.

“Along with many other industries and businesses worldwide our figures have shown a marked downturn and returns are similar to those achieved ten years ago. Our vendors have had a difficult week especially considering the horses in this catalogue were bought at the height of the market. Conversely least effected by the difficult conditions were horses consigned by their breeders.

“Vendors most be commended for their pragmatism in adjusting reserves to reflect the market conditions and as a result the clearance rate of 63 percent has been satisfactory.

“Looking to the future it is clear that purchasers at the Derby Sale now require a horse that is more forward than the traditional unbroken store. With this in mind we would like to encourage our consignors to produce horses that are backed and further developed along the road to their racing career.

“What this week has proved is that there is still demand for the well bred, well conformed and free moving individual and we expect this trend to be carried forward through to our November National Hun Sale,” he concluded.

Ballet gets the top price

Centre stage yesterday went to an Imperial Ballet half-brother to Philip Hobbs' Cheltenham Festival hero Massini's Maguire whose finest hour came when he landed the 2007 Ballmore Properties Novices Hurdle. Consigned by Lakefield Farm he was the subject of a lengthy duel between Bobby O'Ryan and Aiden Murphy from which the latter emerged victorious with a bid of €150,000.

Kayf Tara returns decent profit
For much of the day the pace was set by a Kayf Tara gelding from Walshtown Stables who was bought by John Hussey for €130,000, thus providing his connections with a handsome dividend on the £35,000 that he cost at Doncaster in January 2008. The three-year-old is out of a half-sister to Nicky Henderson's very smart hurdler The Polomoche.

 "I've bought him for Martin Lynch who had a lot of luck as an owner last season with the likes of Serpentaria and Jessies Dream. Over the last two and a half years we've bought 21 winners for him," revealed Hussey.

"We thought that he wasone of the standout horses here. He's gorgeous and he's by a very good sire too. He'll be broken first before a plan is made for him but it is possible that he might start off in the point-to-point field."

Kicking King's brother makes €90,000
There was plenty of interest in the next lot into the ring, Old Vic brother to Tom Taaffe's 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and dual King Geroge VI Chase hero Kicking King. Offered from Michael Hickey's Sunnyhill Stud, he came the way of Bobby O'Ryan for €90,000.

 "His own brother was an exceptional horse and his record speaks for itself," said O'Ryan. "This horse is a lovely, good looking athletic type. He's been bought for a new client and may stay in Ireland."

Castletown Quarry strikes again
Over the last two days Ken Parkhill's Castletown Quarry Stud has produced a series of sought after stores and none more so than a Presenting gelding who also breached the landmark six figure barrier when selling to Ballinaskeagh Stables for €115,000. Indications were that the three-year-old, whose dam is an unraced own-sister to the Champion Hurdle-winning siblings Morley Street and Granville Again would go into training in Ireland.

Kahyasi gelding makes €90,000

Eugene McDermott's Kennycourt Stud produced one of the most sought after lots of the day in a Kahyasi gelding related to the Savel Beg Stakes winner and subsequently successful American jumper Hirapour. A €58,000 foal purchase at the November Sale here, hewas snapped up Jonjo O'Neill for €90,000. O'Neill also spent €68,000 on an Old Vic gelding from Landscape Stud whose dam is a half-sister to the top chaser Merry Gale.

Meanwhil, M V Magnier spent €70,000on an Oscar gelding from Peria Stud and €60,000 on another of that sire's offspring from Castletown Quarry Stud.




King's Theatre £948,417
Presenting £889,316
Oscar £772,014
Beneficial £757,104
Milan £711,606
Westerner £562,432
Flemensfirth £516,588
Kayf Tara £470,195
Stowaway £400,859
Midnight Legend £396,669