Economic worries put to one side at Tattersalls
FOR EIGHT hours in Newmarket yesterday, global economic events were all but forgotten at the opening day of Tattersalls' October Yearling Sale as Sheikh Mohammed dominated a buoyant top-end trade.
The day's 114,227gns average was down just 1 per cent on the first day last year, the 80,000gns median fell by 7.5 per cent and the 15,078,000gns turnover rose by 3.5 per cent, although the number offered had risen.
Sheikh Mohammed busy from the off
The Dubai ruler appeared in the sale auditorium for the very first lot and it was he who provided the bloodstock market with a much-needed boost with a total expenditure of 3,085,000gns on 17 yearlings, headed by an Oasis Dream half-brother to Finsceal Beo.
The February-born colt was offered by his Co Cork-based breeder, Liam Cashman's Rathbarry Stud, and Sheikh Mohammed and John Ferguson had little opposition as his price rose swiftly to 500,000gns.
Plans on who will train Ferguson's purchases have still to be finalised and the sheikh's advisor felt that trade was solid because consignors had been sensible in revising valuations of their yearlings.
"There are plenty of nice horses and I think vendors are being realistic about what is going on in the world," said Ferguson. "They read the newspapers and watch television and have lowered their expectations meaning there will be an inevitable drop in the market. But as long as horses can get sold then we are able to trade.
"Our stallion fees for next year will be looked at closely but there is no point in discussing them until all the evidence is on the table. They have to be announced before the breeding stock sales but we'll wait until the yearling sales are over before deciding them."
Also on the sheikh's shopping list was a Dynaformer colt whose Mark Johnston-trained half-brother Weatherstaff won first time out for the owner's son Hamdan in July. Trainer Paul Cole tried valiantly for the Sangster-bred colt, who had cost vendor Flash Conroy 165,000gns as a foal, but cried enough at Ferguson's460,000gns bid.
Earlier a Pivotal half-sister to Centennial, bred by the late Shirley Taylor's W Lazy T and offered from Brian Grassick's Newtown Stud had been bought by Sheikh Mohammed for 480,000gns with Oliver St Lawrence coming off secondbest.
"She was a beautiful filly from a great family and a half-sister to a colt rated 115. She was one of the better fillies in the catalogue and comes from a family that has been consistently successful over the last 20 years," added Ferguson.
Fawzi Nass stocks up
St Lawrence later had more success when outbidding Faisal Salman to get a Galileo 480,000gns full-sister to Mahler offered from Kirtlington Stud.
The Newmarket agent was buying for locally-based Aislabie Stud, which was bought in August last year by Fawzi Nass who, as well as owning horses in Britain with the likes of Henry Cecil and James Fanshawe, trains a 40-strong team in his native Bahrain.
"A lot of money has been spent doing up Aislabie and this and a $500,000 three-parts sister to Shamardal we bought at Keeneland in September will be foundation mares for the stud," said St Lawrence. "Fawzi previously had eight mares atNew England and loves his horses and enjoys trading them."
Agent Goodbody busy
There was a solid spread of top-end buyers including Scotsman Thomas Barr, whosethree expensive purchases from last year's sale including the smart juveniles Kite Wood and North East Corner.
Michael Goodbody, acting for Barr, spent 400,000gns to outbid Monaco-based owner Andreas Putsch for a Pivotal colt out of InvincibleSpirit's three-parts sister Massarra.
"He had everything and ticked all the boxes - looks, pedigree and was by the right sire," said Goodbody. "We'll discuss who trains him this week and we've been delighted with how the horses from last year have done. We're hoping Kite Wood will give a good account of himself in the Autumn Stakes at Ascot on Saturday."
Goodbody later outbid Yorkshire trainer Tom Tate for a 380,000gns Montjeu half-brother to Tommy Stack's smart juvenile Sugar Free bred by Rick Barnes' Grangecon Stud and offered through Watership Down Stud.
Galileo filly produces a fine return
Pinhookers had a mixed day and one of the biggest foal investors last year, Eugene McDermott's Kennycourt Stud, returned an excellent profit for a Galileo filly from the family of the Yorkshire Oaks winners Untold and Sally Brown who had cost 230,000gns in December.
John Magnier was keen to add the fillyto his burgeoning team of Galileo juveniles for next year but it will be his son-in-law David Wachman who oversees her racing career for a different owner after she was knocked down to Charles Egerton, acting as an agent rather than trainer, for 360,000gns.
"She's been bought for a new client who wants to start a stud farm and will go into training in Ireland with David before being bred from," said Egerton. "It's very hard to find these old families and the sire needs no introduction.
"If you want to start breeding you have to try and buy the best and race at the top level and these sort of horses always have been expensive."
Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith were all at the sale - buying eight lots for 1.73 million gns - and Coolmore's top purchase came early in the day when Tate had tried for another racy Montjeu colt, a son of the Canadian Grade 3 winner Madeira Mist offered from Tony and Chryss O'Reilly's Castlemartin Stud, but his budget fell just short of the 360,000gns selling price.
The sale continues today at 11am.