GOFFS FEBRUARY SALE
DESPITE facing no easy task in trying to better last year’s results, the Goffs February Sale duly took another step forward this week by posting a strong set of returns that enabled the two-day auction to gain ground in all key areas.
In 2014 the February Sale produced a top lot of €975,000 and this in turn bolstered its final returns to a significant extent. However, this week’s sale was altogether stronger from start to finish and the aggregate for the two days grew by 31% to over €5.3 million. The average of €16,214 was fractionally ahead of last year’s figure but the median jumped by some 43% to €10,000 and the clearance rate made striking progress as it went from 68 to 81%.
The opening day of the sale was devoted to yearlings and paved the way for an improved set of results as pinhookers turned out in force to continue where they left off in November. Indeed the number of lots to make at least €30,000 on day one improved from 14 to 23 and there was notable growth at the head of the market.
The second session began with some reasonable trade in the older horses section but perhaps the most heartening aspect of the two days was the appetite for breeding stock. In November there appeared to be muted demand in this sector but it was an altogether different story this week and this was pivotal in the sale bettering last year even in the absence of a stellar top lot.
“Goffs has enjoyed an excellent run in recent years and we are delighted to have started 2015 in the same manner,” reflected Goffs chief executive Henry Beeby. “Wednesday’s full day of foals/just turned yearlings is the clear European market leader for the category and returned a truly vibrant trade to pick up where the November Sale left off.
“Whilst Thursday’s sale lacked a stand out of the calibre of Night Visit (€975,000), there was no easing off and Thursday’s statistics also show improvement, allowing us to have enjoyed yet more growth over the whole sale to build on the 45% rise of 12 months ago,” added Beeby.
The last chance to buy yearlings at public auction ahead of the autumn resulted in a strong day’s trade that was dominated by those purchasing with a view to resale later in the year. The €145,000 top lot eclipsed the €90,000 mark which headed this day in 2014 while nine lots made at least €50,000 compared with three 12 months ago.
Centre stage went to the only Shamardal on offer after the Abbeville & Meadow Court Studs offering was snapped up by German-based Ronald Rauscher. The filly, whose dam is a winning half-sister to the German group 1 winner Neatico and John Oxx’s Royal Ascot winner Beautyandthebeast, will return to the sales ring in the autumn.
Once again Born To Sea’s first crop captured the imagination with English buyer Jamie Railton forking out €90,000 for a son of the Invincible Spirit horse from Swordlestown Stud. The colt is out of a half-sister to the King George winner Belmez. Railton then added to his tally when forking out €80,000 for a colt from the first crop of the Racing Post Trophy winner Casamento.
The BBA Ireland’s Eamon Reilly, acting for an Irish client who was buying with a view to resale, secured two of the most sought after lots on offer. The most expensive of these was an €85,000 colt from the first crop of Excelebration who formed the centerpiece of a draft from Moyglare Stud. The colt is a half-brother to Ger Lyons’ group 3-winning juvenile Love Lockdown. Earlier Reilly spent €80,000 on an Iffraaj colt out of a winning half-sister to the Goffs Million Sprint scorer Lucky General.
Another Born To Sea to make a notable impact was Jockey Hall’s son of the Round Tower Stakes heroine Lady Of Kildare who was snapped up by agent Richard Knight for €62,000. This price was matched by a filly from the first crop of the Australian group 1 victor Helmet and the relation to Pipalong was picked up by Yeomanstown Stud.
Canford Cliffs, who will be represented by his first runners when the 2015 season gets underway, supplied a €60,000 colt out of the dual winner Negotiate. Matt Coleman bought the relation to Arazi for a client who will bring him back to the sales ring later in the year.
Elsewhere a daughter of Dark Angel cost Trickledown Stud’s Paul Thorman €52,000 while another popular filly came in the shape of a €46,000 daughter of Lawman who was knocked down to Roalso Ltd.
An impressive aspect of the sale was the level of demand witnessed for breeding stock during the second session. The top lots in this section sold for €220,000 and €130,000 but, more significantly, there was healthy trade at all levels of the market which was most encouraging.
The €220,000 sale topper was the winning Oasis Dream mare Dreaming Of Rubies and she came to Eamon Reilly after he outlasted Peter Molony. She was sold in foal to Dawn Approach and comes from the immediate family of horses the calibre of the high class juvenile Approve and the superb filly Culture Vulture. Reilly was acting on behalf of British-based client Melba Bryce of Laundry Cottage Stud.
Dreaming Of Rubies was sold by Sheila and Cathy Grassick’s Newtown Stud and they also consigned the second highest priced lot of the day in Fringe who cost agent Mick Flanagan €130,000. Fringe, who is in foal to Champs Elysees, is already the dam of last season’s group 3 scorer Master Carpenter and she comes from a superb family that has produced the likes of Invincible Spirit. Flanagan indicated that his purchase would continue her breeding career in Australia.
The previous afternoon national hunt yearlings sold for up to €40,000 and the varied nature of this sale was exemplified by Gigginstown House Stud’s grade 1-placed hurdler Urticaire who cost Bobby O’Ryan €80,000. The half-sister to the ill-fated Irish Arkle winner Trifolium was bought for an English client to embark on a career at stud.
The Darley draft contained some popular sorts with the winning Dynacam, who is in foal to Dawn Approach and a half-sister to the Breeders Cup winner Action This Day, selling to Brendan Boyle for €70,000. Darley also supplied a half-sister to the high class Best Of The Bests with an Iffraaj covering and she cost Belmont Stud €65,000.
Tally-Ho Stud had to go to €60,000 to secure last year’s Dundalk winner Soft Power who is a half-sister to the dam of the brilliant Slade Power. Meanwhile Soft Power’s former stablemate and the four-time scorer Yulong Baoju (both were trained by Eddie Lynam) was bought by Castletown Stud for €50,000.
This session began with a selection of older horses which contained one of the notable highlights of the day when Michael Halford’s Dundalk maiden winner Arif sold for €100,000. The Aga Khan-owned three-year-old followed up his debut second by defeating a subsequent winner last month and he was bought by agent David Watkins to continue his career in Russia.
YEAR CAT OFF SOLD AGG AV Med
2014 461 372 254 4,070,050 16,024 7,000
2015 479 409 330 5,350,500 16,214 10,000