Clearance rate just
29 per cent on last day
of NH foal sale
MAJOR across-the-board declines in all of the final figures marked the end of the week-long foal section of the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale which ended on Saturday.
Turnover for the week fell from almost €14.7m to just over €7.5m - a drop of 49 per cent. The median of €6,000 was down by a third on 2007 and the average fell by 27 per cent from €14,881 to €10,899. The clearance rate was 50 per cent as opposed to the 62 per cent recorded 12 months previously.
Throughout the week there was no doubting that there was demand for the best stock on offer, but, in stark contrast, the other end of the spectrum suffered as evidenced by Saturday's session - the weakest of the last seven days - in which the clearance rate came was just 29 per cent as only 51 of the 175 horses offered found buyers.
In light of the economic situation there was encouragement to be taken from activity in the upper echelons of the market, but the problems posed by an over-supplied market have been starkly illustrated by the prevailing climate in which buyers are far less plentiful and can afford to be at their most selective and unforgiving.
Yesterday's final foal session was headed by a €32,000 Flemensfirth colt owned by Gerry Carroll who was bought by Peter Vaughan for Philip Fenton who moments previously sent out Dunguib to run out an impressive winner of a Punchestown bumper. The colt comes from the immediate family of the Midlands' National winner Miss Orchestra who bred last season's high-class novice chaser Battlecry.
Earlier, trainer Pat Hughes spent €24,000 on a Milan colt from Kilmullen House Stud. He is a half-brother to the useful Jessica Harrington inmate and five-time winner Lukie Victor.