GOFFS will review the format of the Orby Yearling Sale Book 2 following last week’s first edition of the sale which returned a disappointing clearance rate of 75%, down from 86% a year earlier.

The catalogue was 2.5% smaller than the previous year but total spending dropped by 22%. The median price of €18,000 represented a fall of 14%.

Henry Beeby, CEO of Goffs, said: “Following an excellent Orby Book 1 headed by two millionaire lots it was always going to be a challenge to maintain such a vibrant trade in our rebranded Orby Book 2.

“Orby Book 2 is the successor to the Sportsman’s Sale which has enjoyed many strong years, not least 12 months ago when it was headed by a superb €300,000 top price, grew by 49% with a 21% leap in average and the median advancing by nigh on a third over the 2021 edition.

“So to come anywhere near to those statistics is relatively pleasing and, in fact, this year’s figures represent the second best since the sale expanded to two days due to popular demand in 2019.

“All that said we would be bordering on deluded not to acknowledge the selective nature of the trade. Whereas those yearlings deemed to hold the most appeal were as hard as ever to buy, as demonstrated by more six figure transactions and more over €75,000, there were plenty that struggled as evidenced by a less than pleasing clearance rate of 75%.

“It will be interesting to review the last two days at the end of the autumn sales season when more context will be available but I confess that we would have preferred a deeper buying bench from the UK and across Europe as was the case in 2022.

“So we will review the results of the sale with the benefit of time and reflection, and work with ITM to explore how to make the sale more attractive to overseas buyers who are so vital to the marketplace.

“We will also take soundings from breeders and vendors as to the format of the sale as a more select one day version may be preferable especially when we have the two/three day Autumn Sale in four weeks’ time as a very viable alternative for those more commercial types.

“As ever, I extend our thanks to every purchaser and each vendor for their support throughout the week.

“Both Books of the Irish National Yearling Sales exist to serve the Irish breeder and over €60 million of yearlings have been traded in Kildare Paddocks which is a fitting testament to the appeal of the world class Irish bloodlines that are nurtured with such skill and devotion in the spiritual home of the thoroughbred.”