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Sharp declines all round at November NH Sale

THE harsh reality of the current economic situation was set to be brought home in no uncertain terms as the firstpart of the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale drew to a close on Thursday.

Following an opening session that witnessed sharp declines, the two day yearling section finished a long way adrift of last year’s totals to graphically illustrate the level of change that the market has undergone since this time last year.

Turnover for the yearling dropped from nearly €6.2m to just under €2m. The average dropped by 28 per cent from €16,492 to €11,818 and the median of €8,500 was down 19 per cent on last year’s corresponding figure. In addition, the clearance for the last two days fell from 57 per cent to 38 per cent.

Mirroringtrends set at many other sales in recent months there was a substantial contracting of the market at all levels and this year’s top priced yearling of €58,000 would not have made it into thetop ten lots in 2007.

Buyers thin on the ground
Undoubtedly buyers were a good deal less plentiful than has previously been the case; a number of the main players reduced their involvement substantially and some of the relatively newer purchasers who have made a notable impact in recent years were not in action.

Looking back on the first part of the marathon sale, Tattersalls Ireland managing director George Mernagh said: "We had one less day of yearlings than wehad last year and we were fully expecting this specialist sector of the market to be affected and this is reflected in the clearance rate and average.

"A few vendors who had pinhooked nice foals with intention of reselling them have taken the understandable decision to keep their stock until the store sales in a couple of years, giving the market time to re-adjust.

"Still the number of yearlings selling for over the €40,000 mark proves there is still demand for a good horse, albeit at a slightly reduced level from the boom years.

"However, on the positive side, the foal sale starting on Sunday should provide an excellent opportunity for investment."

Christian maintains his spending
Just as he did on Wednesday, Simon Christian once again took centre stage and picked up two more of the best yearlings on offer on behalf of a British-based jump race enthusiast. This pair was headed by a €58,000 son of highly influential Presenting from Rathbarry Stud. His dam, Gavotte du Cochet, is a half-sister to the top hurdler and chaser Jair Du Cochet who enjoyed notable success on his regular forays to Britain.
 
"I've bought him for the same client as the €50,000 Presenting yesterday and he will be going to Britain where he will be kept to race," said Christian. "Of the three Presentings that we boughtthis horse was probably the biggest and the scopiest - Jair Du Cochet was quite a big horse himself."

Christian had earlier set the pace when going to €51,000 for a Presenting gelding from Rathmore Stud. From the family of Addington Boy, he is out of a two-time winning daughter of Good Thyne and thus represents the same cross on which War Of Attrition was bred.

 "He's a very well balanced, attractive, good moving horse from a good family and he comes from a good cross too," reported Christian.

Half-brother to War Of Attrition fetches €45,000
Yesterday War Of Attrition continued his successful return from injury with an assured victory in a Thurles conditions chase and just over two hours later a half-brother to the 2006 Gold Cup winner from the first crop of the top-class Westerner entered the ring. Sold by Ross Stables, he cost Ger Hourigan €45,000. Hourigan bought War Of Attrition here at the 2002 Derby Sale as a three-year-old.

Westerner was also responsible for the week's top-priced filly as Cork-based breeder William Noonan forked out €57,000 for the granddaughter of Danehill out of the talented Grade 2-winning chaser Queen Of Spades. The filly also comes from the immediate family of the leading World Hurdle contender Pettifour.

 "I bred Pettifourand I have a two-year-old out of that mare too," reported Noonan. "Obviously it's a family that I've been lucky with and this was a lovely filly who we have bought to breed from."

 

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TOP TEN

STALLION £ TOTAL PRIZE
Galileo £1,502,198
Kodiac £702,000
Dark Angel £681,282
Fastnet Rock £619,904
Acclamation £590,482
Dubawi £573,880
Dansili £567,198
Shamardal £447,231
Iffraaj £438,532
Pivotal £420,078