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lot545 - Tattersalls

Oakgrove Stud's colt by Oasis Dream out of Maganda topped Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale when selling to Demi O'Byrne for 700,000gns



Little evidence of recession at Tattersalls

FIGURES recorded at last week's Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale offered little evidence of the recession which has affected the bulk of the European market and ravaged those in the US.

By the conclusion of trading on Thursday, the average and median had both dropped just six per cent to 113,365gns and 78,000gns. Although there were no seven-figure lots for the second consecutive year, the number of lots that sold for 300,000gns or more increased from 30 to 34 and the overall number of six-figure lots from 184 to 193. Even if the fact that some results are maybe not what they seem is taken into account, the top end of this sale still held up better than expected in some quarters.

However, while the eight per cent increase in aggregate to 53,735,000gns may come as a pleasant surprise to some, it is worth remembering that Tattersalls catalogued 11 per cent extra horses than in 2008 - a bold move given how long it has taken for the sale's new format to be accepted yet probably one needed to justify the company's ambitious new £1.75m sales race programme.

For whatever reason, British and Irish vendors really backed the sale this year with some of their best stock, allowing Tattersalls to produce a catalogue which contained 65 full or half-siblings to Group/Grade 1 winners compared to 43 in 2007. And when prospective buyers formed their lists last weekend, there were few complaints over the quality of the individuals, unlike the select days at Keeneland.

Mix high-class pedigrees with attractive individuals and throw in a revamped, lucrative sales race series as well as a yearling bonus and you have a powerful combination, one on which first glance could account for stabilisation.

A look at the leading buyers' list, however, presents a different perspective.

Leading buyers by aggregate

 Name  No. bought  Total spent (gns)
 John Ferguson  44  8,160,000
 Shadwell Estate Co., Ltd  22  4,425,000
 Rabbah Bloodstock  59  3,282,000
 Demi O'Byrne  10  3,075,000
 Blandford Bloodstock  19  2,784,000

The Maktoum family dominated proceedings at last year's sale by purchasing one in four horses sold headed by John Ferguson, who bought 51 yearlings for a total of 9.342m guineas.

And as expected, the Maktoum family were once again extremely active, again led by Ferguson who bought 44 yearlings for a total of 8.16m guineas, a reduction of 13 per cent from last year.

John Ferguson

John Ferguson: spent
8.16m guineas during Book 1


Making up his shortfall - and more - was Maktoum associate Rabbah Bloodstock, who have steadily increased their presence at this sale, notably last year when spending 1.762m guineas on 32 yearlings. This year, however, marked a real breakthrough with the operation leaving the grounds with 59 yearlings worth nearly 3.3m guineas.


Add in the 4.425m guineas spent by Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Estates (which was virtually unchanged from last year), and the total recorded expenditure of the Maktoum family is 15.867m guineas for 125 horses - or 29.5 per cent of the entire aggregate for 26 per cent of the lots sold, exactly what the family spent on the same percentage of lots last year.

And the figures don't include those yearlings purchased by other entities such as Mark Johnston or Blandford Bloodstock, who regularly signs on behalf of Princess Haya.

Maktoum support of Darley-based sires remains unwavering; those stallions based at Darley at the time of conception accounted for 29 Rabbah-bought yearlings and 28 of Ferguson purchases. In Ferguson's case, yearlings by Darley-based sires accounted for 64 per cent of his total aggregate - including 1.74m guineas spent on the progeny of Cape Cross. He also struck for pricey acquisitions by Invincible Spirit and Pivotal, in whom Sheikh Mohammed owns interests.

Leading sires by average (gns)

 Name  Off-Sold  Max  Average
 Galileo  37-27  650,000  249,259
 Elusive Quality  4-3  425,000  233,333
 Monsun  5-3  300,000  206,667
 Pivotal  24-14  650,000  174,429
 Sadler's Wells  18-13  350,000  157,615

Coolmore have always been more selective with their numbers, but they were a larger presence than last year, in particular at the top end of the market.

Those knocked down to O'Byrne and Magnier totalled over 5.4m guineas- an increase of 80 per cent from 2008 - and all bar the sale-topping 700,000gns Oasis Dream colt were by Coolmore-based stallions. And although Sadler's Wells was not represented by a top ten yearling, he remains a major influence on the top ten list through Galileo and Montjeu, who alongside Danehill Dancer - the sire of three of the top 20 lots- serve to demonstrate the hold Coolmore has at the top.

The two powers did not have it all their own way however. Sir Robert Ogden provided some fierce competition, buying sevenfor 2.3m guineas compared to two for 960,000gns last year, as did Michael Goodbody, whose purchases for Thomas Barr and an undisclosed new client totalled over 2m guineas.

The flow of new breeders that supported the filly market at this sale several years ago appear to have dwindled, despite industry members maintaining that this market represents an excellent opportunity for long term investment.

For the second year running, colts proved to be more popular at an average of 117,222gns while filling seven of the top ten positions. Yet while fillies lagged behind at 108,899gns, their average was only marginally different to last year's figure, which in itself represented a correction of nine per cent from 2007.

Special mention must go to Highclere Stud, who for the third year running topped the vendors' list after selling 23 yearlings for over 3.3m guineas.

Leading vendors by aggregate (gns)

 Name  Off-sold  Average  Aggregate
 HighclereStud  27-23  146,043  3,359,000
 Newsells Park Stud  20-15  180,267  2,704,000
 Watership Down Stud  19-16  132,438  2,119,000
 Ashtown House Stud  9-9  214,444  1,930,000
 Meon Valley Stud  15-9  184,222  1,658,000

However, a disappointing aspect ofthe sale was the lack of trainers, many of whom have never warmed to Book 1 despite the marketing efforts of Tattersalls.




King's Theatre £1,143,037
Presenting £1,059,143
Beneficial £986,639
Oscar £896,303
Milan £863,940
Westerner £839,346
Flemensfirth £755,621
Kayf Tara £657,982
Midnight Legend £595,809
Stowaway £503,470