IT was Galileo's turn to hog the headlines at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale on Thursday. The Coolmore star stallion, who will be 23 next season, was responsible for three seven-figure purchases during the closing session of Book 1, headed by a 3.4 million guinea full-sister to Group 1 winners Mogul and Japan.
The three-day sale ended on a strong note. The median price for the entire sale was down just 20% on last year and the average price was only 13% lower than a year ago.
?? The most expensive yearling filly sold in the world this year.@newsellspark's Galileo filly out of Shastye lights up the #TattsOctober Book 1 sales ring as M V Magnier secures the sister to Gr.1 winners Mogul and Japan for 3.4m gns. pic.twitter.com/FqmcVxxYcU— Tattersalls (@Tattersalls1766) October 8, 2020
Shastye's sales yearlings usually arrive to a packed sale ring, but this year with Covid-19 restrictions in place, the ring was eerily quiet and empty. Auctioneer Edmond Mahony dropped the asking price to 500,000gns to get the auction process underway, but then the bidding ripped up through the counter to the seven-figures, with all the action taking place in the cold both sides of the entrance to the ring.
Spotters Liz Lane and Matt Prior were kept busy with their eyes and calls watching their groups of buyers – David Redvers, standing with Oisin Murphy and Hannah Wall, and M.V. Magnier with Georg Von Opel and the Coolmore team.
Eventually it was Liz Lane's call that sealed the price at 3.4 million, the filly set to join her full-brothers Japan and Mogul at Ballydoyle.
"It is a great result for everybody involved, she has been bought in partnership with Westerberg," said M.V. Magnier. "She is a very nice filly, she is a very nice mover, like Japan and Mogul. The mare produces great-looking stock and great racehorses, let's hope is she does it one more time."
Shastye has now produced three yearlings who have sold for over three million guineas – Sir Isaac Newton (3.6 million guineas), Mogul (3.4 million guineas) and today's filly. Japan, the European champion three-year-old of 2019, cost 1.3 million guineas.
The mare has three of the top 10 prices since 1999 at the October Book 1 Yearling Sale, and her total yearling sales in the Tattersalls sale ring exceed 14 million guineas. Galileo is sire of six of that top 10.
Earlier, Magnier paid 2.8 million guineas for another Galileo filly, this one the first foal out of the Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Prize Exhibit (by Showcasing), the full-sister to this year's Sussex Stakes winner Mohaather.
?? New top lot at #TattsOctober Book 1 as 2.8m gns from MV Magnier buys @BarronstownStud's Galileo filly out of Prize Exhibit, multiple Group winner and sister to Mohaather. pic.twitter.com/7fo5YDQ6Xr— Tattersalls (@Tattersalls1766) October 8, 2020
The successful purchaser saw off a sustained bidding effort from Demi O'Byrne and Tammy Toomey, but it was David Redvers, who was standing outside and entered the fray late on, who was left the thwarted underbidder.
"She a very nice filly, Aidan and all the lads liked her," said Magnier. "Breeder David Nagle has ben saying for a very long time how good a filly she is. We are very lucky to have been able to buy her with Michael, Derek, Georg Von Opel and everyone; we lucky to have her now. She has a great page, she comes from a very good nursery."
Reflecting on her pedigree, Magnier added: "These kind of fillies are collectors' items, with Galileo and how he is doing as a broodmare sire. She is just exceptional. Sheikh Hamdan's horse was a very good horse, and it is a very active pedigree."
A third Galileo filly broke the million guinea barrier when a half-sister to Group 1 winner Dream Of Dreams was sold by owner-breeder Ibrahim and Pinar Arachi's Old Mill Stud for 1.4 million guineas. The buyer was US agent Mike Ryan, who said: "I thought she was an exceptional filly, she is by an exceptional sire, from a terrific family – there is really nothing more to add, she was absolutely gorgeous and looks like a runner."
???? Mike Ryan goes to 1,400,000gns to buy the Galileo ½-sister to Gr.1 Sprint Cup winner Dream Of Dreams and hopes we'll "see her in Saratoga in the summer".— Tattersalls (@Tattersalls1766) October 8, 2020
The filly is part of a first #TattsOctober Book 1 draft from Old Mill Stud. pic.twitter.com/8pPNykJ2zH
He added: "I knew she was going to be expensive, you know what it takes to buy Galileos and she is a sister to a Group 1 winner. I am delighted we got her because I waited all day for her."
Ryan added: "How many more years are we going to be seeing Galileos? He is the greatest sire in my lifetime, probably in anybody's lifetime for that matter! She'll go back to the states. She'll get a bit of turnout , we'll break her in a month or so – hopefully you'll see her in Saratoga in the summer.
"And hopefully," he added, pointing to the sale ring wall, "we'll see a picture like that one of Newspaperofrecord over there! The first time I saw her was in the rain on Saturday and she blew me away. I saw her two or three times since then – it was a no-brainer, there is no real skill picking out a filly like that!"
Ryan has bought "14 horses this week and they will fly to the US in ten days or so", and of his trip to Europe and state of the market, Ryan added: "I have been runner-up to Shadwell, Godolphin, Roger Varian, Henri Devin, we have run hard on some horses to 450,000gns, 550,000gns... but we have bought some very nice horses and I am pleased with what we've got.
"I am very happy to be here, and as I have said before, no disrespect to Japan or Australia or anywhere else for that matter, the best grass horses in the world are here and this is the best sale in the world for top-class grass horses. We've bought some good ones here and I hope the luck continues."
Godolphin ended the week as top purchaser, spending 16.4 million guineas on 22 yearlings. Sheikh Mohammed's haul on Thursday included a Kingman filly consigned by Lynn Lodge Stud with a price tag of 1.45 million guineas.
Bred by Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud and sold by Eddie O'Leary's @LynnStud, the Kingman filly becomes the seventh seven-figure yearling at this year's #TattsOctober Book 1 as she sells for 1,450,000gns to @godolphin. pic.twitter.com/UaOOnxp2OH— Tattersalls (@Tattersalls1766) October 8, 2020
A March foal and bred by Michael O'Leary, she is out of the listed-placed mare Sante (by Dream Ahead) and she is related to Godolphin's recent Group 3 winner La Barrosa.
"She was always a queen and made a queen's price there," said Eddie O'Leary, adding: "I hope she is very lucky for Sheikh Mohammed, she is a smashing filly."
COMPARATIVE STATISTICS FOR BOOK 1
THIS YEAR (LAST YEAR) % CHANGE
Cat: 548 (552) -1%
W/D: 82 (69) +19%
Off: 466 (483) -4%
Unsold: 97 (86) +13%
Sold: 369 (397) -7%
Agg: 82.4m (102.4m) -20%
Med: 130,000gns (150,000gns) -20%
Avg: 223.266gns (258,008gns) -13%
Clearance rate: 79% (82%) -4%