Limited interest in low level horses at Ascot
BRIGHTWELLS'' first Ascot Sale of 2010 turned over just £78,070 yesterday on a freezing day which again demonstrated the limited interest in low-level horses in the current market. The average price was £1,041 and the median only £750.
As a welfare measure Brightwells have increased their minimum bid this year to £400 from £300, which helped ensure that many of the lower end purchases moved onto new equine disciplines such as polo.
The clearance rate yesterday was 71 per cent but would have been even higher but for a number of lots being bought back by their owners to qualify for auction races.
Yesterday's top lot, Commanche Dream, headed to Ascot four days after winning a beginners' chase at Fakenham for trainer Kevin Tork.
The seven-year-old, who is out of a half-sister to Grand National winner Grittar, was initially led out unsold at £10,000 when offered in the ring but subsequently changed hands privately for the same amount to Worcestershire handler Simon Lewis.
"I saw him win on Friday and he was impressive that day," said Lewis. "We'll get him home and decide what to do after that. He's been bought for Michael Dunn, who has just started out as owner and we could run The Walnut Tree for him at Hereford on Monday."
True Britannia, a four-year-old is a granddaughter of Oaks third Britannia's Rule, and was bought as a breeding prospect for £3,800 by BBA Ireland agent Michael Donohoe, who was bidding by telephone via Brightwells' Matt Mitchell.
"I'd seen her at Neil King's stable in Newmarket and thought she was a very good-looking mare," said Donohoe, speaking from Galway. "She's won six races and comes from a family full of winners and won't run again. She's been bought for a breeder in Wexford who has just a couple of mares and was looking for a fresh young new mare so she fitted the bill perfectly," said Donohoe, speaking from Galway.
"I thought she would make a fair bit more and she doesn't look expensive. I think people with limited budgets looking to breed commercially are now getting a real chance to buy fillies like her for very reasonable money. They are never going to be cheaper and will look good value when the market turns around, which it will do within the next couple of years."