THE team at Goffs were still on a high on Saturday, following Friday’s Niarchos Draft which contributed hugely to a day’s turnover of €39.5 million, which was a record for the company.

The sale was headed by two €6 million lots, Alpine Star and Alpha Centauri, both purchased by Coolmore.

Day two of the Breeding Stock Sale was far quieter, with a top price of €80,000 and a clearance rate of just 61%, but that could not take from Friday’s astonishing level of business.

At the sale’s close on Saturday, Goffs CEO Henry Beeby said: “The Niarchos Draft was the most keenly anticipated consignment at any sale anywhere in recent years and duly delivered a truly historic day at Goffs yesterday with the highest grossing day in the company’s 157 years of business at €39.5 million.

“The duo of €6 million top prices equals the highest ever recorded in Ireland which, of course, was set 10 years ago at the same sale when Chicquita headlined the Paulyn Dispersal whilst it also represents the top price at any thoroughbred sale in the world this year.

“On behalf of all the team at Goffs, I want to record our supreme thanks to the Niarchos Family for entrusting us with such an iconic and blue-blooded group of mares and fillies. It was a huge privilege to handle their sale and we were delighted to welcome a genuinely international group of buyers to Kildare Paddocks with several attending for the first time.

“The 39 Niarchos lots headlined an amazing day that was backed up by several other world-class drafts with the day graphically illustrating that Goffs is the measure of any auction house as it featured a wonderful selection of well-bred thoroughbreds that were sold to some of the biggest names in global bloodstock.

“That is what Goffs exists to do and I extend our appreciation to every client whether buying or selling and at every level for we always recognise that we are nothing without each horse and the people to buy them.

“Our Breeding Stock Sale followed on from a strong renewal of the Goffs November Foal Sale at which a huge contingent of buyers of all ages and price ranges descended on Co Kildare leading to a vibrant atmosphere throughout and another world leading top price of €700,000.”

Beeby went on to acknowledge that it was not all good news for vendors this week.

“I commented on Thursday that the good results should not be taken as a totally clean bill of health for the industry and it must be noted that there is a degree of correction in the market especially at the lower level,” he said.

“That was clearly the case today, notwithstanding the statistical advances compared to last year, and breeders may rest assured that Goffs, together with ITM, accept that we can always do more to drive more people to our sales at the commercial level and we will redouble our efforts on their behalf as we head into 2024.

“In closing I repeat a very sincere and heartfelt thanks to every client, every groom, all at ITM and all the Goffs team for their hard work and enthusiasm, all of which combined to make November 24th one which will live long in the memory.”

Tougher trade

Things were obviously a good bit tougher on Saturday, as the 61% clearance rate would suggest, but after two days of trade €40,734,500 worth of mares changed hands compared to €16,508,400 last year.

These sold at a clearance rate of 73% which was down on last year’s 78% figure while the average and median prices were €125,337 and €18,500.

Obviously the average rose sharply on account of the Niarchos mares but the median was a reduction of 23% on last year’s figure.

Saturday’s top lot was a mare from the famed Knocktoran Stud which was the home of Brendan and Annemarie Hayes until the couple recently decided to ‘right-size’ and consolidate their breeding enterprise on a more compact scale.

Lot 1373, the Invincible Spirit mare Over The Moon has an instantly recognisable Knocktoran pedigree, being a half-sister to Royal Bench, Memphis Tennessee and Mayhem. Offered in foal to Space Blue the mare was knocked down to Ted Naughton for €80,000.

Naughton has been doing business in Goffs for a long time and said: “She has a lovely pedigree; it’s a very active family and you would need to look at an extended pedigree to see everything that is going on in that family.

“Her Too Darn Hot two-year-old made €180,000 as a yearling and she has a nice Dark Angel yearling filly who is going to be trained in France. I have bought her for a friend of mine and the Space Blues she is carrying will come back here for sale, either as a foal or a yearling.”

While perfectly happy with the price he got Brendan Hayes added: “I think Ted got good value. She is a lovely mare and a great walker. There is plenty happening in the pedigree, the Too Darn Hot is with Sean Woods and they like him. We have retained the Dark Angel yearling and she’ll go into training with Philip Sogorb in France and the colt foal by Sottsass is for sale in Newmarket next week.”

Having consigned their most expensive horse the evening before when Albigna sold for €3.7m, David Cox and his team at Baroda Stud were busy again on Saturday and the farm’s Ballot Time could be destined for Turkey after being knocked down to Ibrahim Vefa Araci for €55,000.

The unraced three-year-old Frankel filly is out of Group 3 Park Express Stakes winner Vote Often from the family of champion two-year-old Proportional.

Willie McCreery offered his speedy filly Loveday as Lot 1417 and the stakes-placed daughter of Bungle Inthejungle sold to Whitethorn Bloodstock for €44,000.

Meanwhile Indian bloodstock agent Gaurav Rampal has been a long-standing attendee of this sale and he made his trip count when buying the Frankel mare Ternifolia off the Castlebridge Consignment for €35,000. Lot 1353 is from the family of Showcasing and Camacho and was sold in foal to Starspangledbanner.