IRELAND’S two major flat yearling sales are due to again be staged in Britain this autumn.
Yesterday, Tattersalls issued a statement which suggested that the Orby Sale could switch back to Kildare if travel restrictions are eased. Goffs would not comment on this statement, though The Irish Field understands Goffs does not expect the Irish Government to reinstate the ‘British bubble’ exemption in the near future.
The Tattersalls statement said that if travel restrictions are lifted in the coming weeks, “the Orby Sale will not take place at Park Paddocks, and the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale will return to its original scheduled dates of Tuesday 21st September - Wednesday 22nd September while remaining at Park Paddocks in Newmarket.”
Both Irish yearling sales have been moved to Newmarket due to ongoing concerns over the difficulty in bringing international buyers to Irish sales without a lengthy quarantine period.
The Goffs Orby Sale will now take place a week earlier than originally scheduled, from Friday to Sunday, September 24th to 26th. The three-day Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale will also take place a week earlier than originally scheduled, with Part I taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 14th and 15th, while Part II will be on Thursday, September 16th.
The moves come a week after the British buyers ‘bubble’ was withdrawn on the eve of the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale last week.
Goffs CEO Henry Beeby said: “Last week’s events mean that there is currently no confidence in our ability to hold the prestigious Orby Sale in Ireland whilst the current travel restrictions into Ireland remain in place.
“The overseas buyers ‘bubble’ that worked so well was inexplicably withdrawn at the 11th hour, and there is simply no way that vendors, or Goffs, can take the risk that the same thing could happen on the eve of the Orby Sale as there is too much at stake.
“In 2020 we took a later decision to move Orby to our UK sales complex in Doncaster but it is well-known that the results were disappointing, to say the least, and potential Orby vendors have made it clear that is not an option that would be embraced.
“Therefore we feel it is in the best interests of Irish vendors selling in Orby to clearly state that the sale will be held in Newmarket in conjunction with some top-class racing, as we cannot confidently deliver overseas buyers to Kildare, making it impossible for us to properly promote our world-class catalogue to an international audience.”
Tattersalls Ireland CEO Simon Kerins commented: “The decision to relocate to Newmarket has not been taken lightly, especially having had to relocate the September Yearling Sale in 2020 but, given the disruption we experienced at the Derby Sale, it is now clear to us that we cannot rely on a ‘bubble’ which would allow overseas buyers to visit Ireland without onerous quarantine requirements.
“The September Yearling Sale traditionally attracts large numbers of overseas visitors and at present Britain, while also being the main source of our buyers, is considerably more accessible than Ireland.
“We are hopeful that this will be the last change to our 2021 sales calendar and we have taken the decision at this early stage to provide clarity to our loyal vendors prior to entries closing next week.
“We are confident that relocating the sale to Park Paddocks will again allow Tattersalls Ireland to achieve our constant objective of providing a vibrant market by attracting the most diverse group of buyers that we possibly can.”
The Orby Sale format will comprise two evening sessions after racing at Newmarket on Friday (24th) and Saturday (25th), followed by a day of selling on Sunday, September 26th.
Beeby said: “In many ways this is a disappointing move to have to make but we feel we have been left with no choice by recent events, as yearling vendors need certainty given the value of the yearlings we are asking them to commit to Orby.
“Our fervent hope and belief is that we will back in Kildare Paddocks for Orby 2022, as the Irish National Yearling Sale belongs in Ireland.
“I would like to thank Edmond Mahony and his Tattersalls’ colleagues for giving us the option to essentially rent Park Paddocks and accommodate what is a competitor sale.
“The last 18 months have required all of us to work together in ways we could never have imagined and, whilst there has been plenty of mutually beneficial cooperation and give and take, this is a step further than anything else. We do not underestimate the magnitude of this generous gesture”.
The Goffs Orby Sale will catalogue the only candidates for the Goffs Million, worth a guaranteed minimum value of €1 million, which will be run over seven furlongs at the Curragh.
Sportsman’s Sale stays
The Goffs Sportsman’s Sale which traditionally follows on from the Orby Sale will be held in Ireland on November 1st and 2nd, in conjunction with the Goffs Autumn Yearling and HIT Sale.
Beeby added: “Several key Irish breeders and potential Sportsman’s vendors have urged us to keep the Sportsman’s Sale in Ireland regardless of the travel restrictions that may be in place.
“So, with the Orby Sale going to Newmarket, Sportsman’s will be delayed to the later date and held alongside the vibrant Autumn Sale. This move builds in extra time for travel to open up and gives Irish breeders a viable option in Ireland for commercial yearlings”.
The Sportsman’s Sale will catalogue the only candidates for the Sportsman’s 100, worth a minimum of €100,000 when it is run over six furlongs at Naas.
All yearlings catalogued for the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale are eligible for the €300,000 Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sales Stakes at the Curragh in September 2022.
Vendors opting not to sell yearlings at the relocated sale will be accommodated in the Tattersalls Ireland Flat Sale which takes place at Fairyhouse on November 13th and 14th.
Revised Irish yearling sales programme
Sep 14-16: Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale at Newmarket
Sep 24-26: Goffs Orby Sale at Newmarket
Nov 1-2: Goffs Sportsman’s Sale at Kildare Paddocks
Nov 3-4: Goffs Autumn Sale at Kildare Paddocks