A FINE renewal of the Goffs November Foal Sale came to a close on Thursday evening with the four-day auction producing a set of returns that stepped forward considerably on those from last year.

The level of trade witnessed at various yearling sales from mid-August onwards provided a strong pointer to the likely level of trade this week and high hopes for this sale were realised in style as trade was strong from start to finish. The somewhat more low-key days of Monday and Tuesday more than kept pace with 2021 while also playing host to an encouraging level of trade that seemed to contain depth at most levels of the market.

Then there was Wednesday’s marquee session where demand for the best foals on offer was appreciably stronger than it was 12 months ago. For the second year in succession the top price came in at €550,000 but there was a significant difference this year as six foals made at least €300,000 compared to just one in 2021.

Furthermore, the level of activity from €100,000 and beyond stepped up considerably with the sale playing host to 53 six-figure transactions as opposed to 41 in 2021.

This played a major role in a fine set of figures which made for impressive reading, not only in the context of last year’s return, but also in terms of other recent editions of this sale which had also performed very well.

At the conclusion of the sale the turnover came in at just short of €30 million which was 16% ahead of last year. The €40,110 average finished 15% up on 2021 while the median progressed from €22,000 to €24,000. The clearance rate for the four days did drop slightly from 82% to 80% percent but, by any measure, these were a strong set of returns.

Kingman trio

The top end of the foal market was dominated by Kingman who was represented by three foals and they duly achieved the three highest prices of the week.

The trio was headed by a €550,000 colt from the tremendous nursery that is Airlie Stud and he hailed from a current and successful family which has served the farm so well. This colt is a half-brother to the Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Skitter Scatter and this season’s stakes-winning juvenile Victory Dance.

Generally prices at this level are the preserve of foals who are bought as racing prospects but this colt was bought for resale with leading pinhooker Philipp Stauffenberg striking the winning bid. The buyer subsequently revealed that this was the most expensive foal he has bought to date.

Sales ground quote

“It was a very good sale and, yet again, Goffs has done a great job. It was perhaps a little bit selective but, for the good ones, it was as strong as it’s ever been. When you hit it, you hit it big. It’s been a very good week and it’s great to see it that way.” - Bill Dwan, The Castlebridge Consignment.