ANOTHER eight yearlings broke through the million guineas mark at Tattersalls on Wednesday during the second session of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1. Four of the eight were by Frankel, with Coolmore and Godolphin dividing the quartet between them.
The turnover during the remarkable session reached 49,545,000 guineas for the 144 lots sold, which broke the turnover record for any day at a European thoroughbred auction set on the second day of the Tattersalls December Mares Sale in 2017.
The average price paid on day one came in at 230,000gns but that was blown out of the water on Wednesday when the average came in at 350,000gns. Over the two days, the running average is 290,000gns and the median price is 190,000gns.
Topping the session and becoming the highest priced yearling sold so far this year in the world was a Frankel colt out of the Musidora Stakes winner and Group 1 Prix d'Opera third So Mi Dar (by Dubawi).
The Watership Down Stud-bred and offered bay colt sold for 2.8 million guineas to Godolphin, with underbidder Bill Farish of Lane's End Farm in the US shaking his head when offered by auctioneer Edmond Mahony to bid three million.
Godolphin’s agent Anthony Stroud, who stood beside Sheikh Mohammed during the bidding, said: "Obviously he has got a stallion's pedigree, by Frankel out of a very very good mare by Dubawi from Watership Down's best family. He was the jewel in the crown and is an extremely nice horse.
"The price was more than I had anticipated, but the Sheikh was keen for this horse and Watership does a great job. The underbidders were strong opposition – he is an outstanding horse and he will be a very valuable horse if he is a good racehorse."
Godolphin gave best to Coolmore in the battle for the Frankel half-brother to Broome and Point Lonsdale, spending 2.4 million guineas on the yearling from the Brosnan family’s Croom House Stud in Co Limerick.
?? Frankel fever at #TattsOctober Book 1 as MV Magnier goes to 2,400,000gns for @CroomStud's colt out of the Stakes winner Sweepstake, making him a three-parts brother to Broome and Point Lonsdale. pic.twitter.com/Fl91Jny8cC— Tattersalls (@Tattersalls1766) October 5, 2022
After signing for the purchase with White Birch Farm, Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier said: “It is a family we know well. Denis Brosnan is a very good breeder, we have had a lot of luck buying from him in the past, Frankel is doing very well and we had the two brothers before and they are two very good horses. Let's hope this one is too!”
Joe Hartigan, general manager at Croom House, said: “We thought he'd make a million-plus. He is a very nice horse and he had a heap of bids! It was absolutely amazing, I have never witnessed anything like it.”
Another Co Limerick stud hit the jackpot when a half-sister to Battaash was sold for 1.8 million guineas. Bred and consigned by Paul and Marie McCartan’s Ballyphilip Stud in Bruree, the Lope De Vega filly is also a half-sister to Group 1-placed juvenile The Antarctic and she is the first yearling sold by the McCartans for over a million.
She was bought by bloodstock agent Richard Knight, who has been making a string of big money purchases at the sales recently for an unnamed client, rumoured to be an owner who had a share in a classic winner earlier this century but has been out of the game in recent years.
"Yes, this is the first!" smiled Paul McCartan. "I worked for a lot of very good people and always tried to get them a million. When I went on my own, I said I'd never be fulfilling that ambition. It is unbelievable to achieved it."
The breeder was delighted to be proved wrong by this filly, but he had a feeling that she could be the one to realise his ambitions.
"I thought we had a good chance, but everything had to full into place," he said. "She is a gorgeous filly and the sire is on fire - three Group 1 winners in the last month, The Antarctic, to do what he has done, he has shown so much promise. I keep thinking back to Battaash – he was only rated 97 when he was a two-year-old, this guy is rated 113 already. The way the Dark Angels improve, alongside the constitution he has to have done what he has achieved already this year, and he is in the right hands...."
Knight said: "I thought she was probably the pick of the fillies in the sale, she is very racy. She is a half-sister to Battaash, The Antarctic, she ticks so many boxes. She is a gorgeous physical and very athletic, and I am delighted to get her.
??? "We've been privileged to see such a great bunch of yearlings." @rkba_com extremely complimentary of the #TattsOctober Book 1 catalogue, buying 10 yearlings so far, highlighted by the 1,800,000gns purchase of @BallyphilipStud's Lope De Vega ½-sister to Battaash. pic.twitter.com/Je02itTDPo— Tattersalls (@Tattersalls1766) October 5, 2022
"She will stay in the UK, she will be pre-trained, a trainer will be decided at a later stage. She is for the client for whom I have been buying for this autumn.”
Book 1 concludes on Thursday.