THREE lots sold for one million guineas or more on the final day of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1 on Thursday.
The three-day sale ended with 83% of lots offered finding purchasers and the average price was over 230,000gns, up 3% on last year. The median price of 160,000gns was up 23% on last year.
The top-priced lot on Thursday was the Sea The Stars filly out of the Exceed And Excel mare Best Terms who realised 1.5 million guineas to the bid of Anthony Stroud on behalf of Godolphin.
The filly was consigned by Newsells Park Stud on behalf of breeders Robert and Ann Barnett.
"We have always loved this filly," reported Robert Barnett. "The family has been good to us, and it goes a long way back now. Best Terms boards at Newsells and she was great fun on the racecourse.
"She is the most athletic yearling we have had for quite some time, you see her walking around the ring and she really has a very athletic walk. She has a lovely attitude, she is very laid back, she didn't fidget at all in the chute but when she gets going she gets going!"
He added: "There seems to be a good trade for well-bred fillies and breeders are buying them to race and breed from, which is nice to see."
Buyer Anthony Stroud said: "Needless to say she's from a very good farm, and she's just very athletic. Godolphin has had a lot of success buying fillies from this sale and she looks like one who could run well over a mile and a half and is the type we are looking for. I think this catalogue has been a bit short on fillies, and this was probably our pick.
"Coolmore was the underbidder, and I believe Juddmonte was in, and they are both fantastic judges which shows how valuable these fillies are. We've pulled up on a few horses this week by Frankel, Sea The Stars and Kingman, but sometimes you have to put your head down and go for it."
Best Terms was the champion two-year-old filly in England in 2011 following a pair of Group 2 victories in the Queen Mary Stakes and Lowther Stakes.
AL SHIRA'AA STRIKES AGAIN
The fireworks during the third and final session started with the very first lot in the ring, the Dubawi half-sister to the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Waldgeist.
The Newsells Park Stud consigned filly was offered on behalf of a partnership between the farm and co-breeders Gestut Ammerland.
Interest in the regally bred filly came from all corners of the ring with Oliver St Lawrence and Bertrand Le Metayer both making bold plays to land the blueblood, but as the price passed one million guineas it was left to Baroda Stud’s David Cox and Juddmonte Farms’ Simon Mockridge to battle it out with the former successful with a winning bid of 1.25 million guineas on behalf of Al Shira'aa Farms.
Al Shira'aa Farms is a wide-ranging equine concern founded by Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza Bin Zayed Al Nahyan from Abu Dhabi. Its base in Ireland is at Meadow Court Stud, formerly part of Abbeville Stud and bought by the new owners in 2016. They made several high-profile purchases at Goffs last week and on Thursday they also bought a No Nay Never filly for 925,000gns.
"She is by Dubawi and I’m delighted to get her," said Cox. "She is going to Meadow Court and they are looking forward to racing her and breeding from her in future. The Sheikha is very keen to extend the broodmare band and these Group 1 families are difficult to get into."
Al Shira'aa Farms has enjoyed a good year on the track; the headline act Mutamakina, trained by Christophe Clement and the winner of the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine in August and the Frankel filly Rumi, winner of the Group 2 Prix de la Nonette at Deauville.
Crispin de Moubray, speaking on behalf of part-breeder Ammerland, said: "We are delighted that she sold so well. We obviously felt that she deserved to sell well as she is a very sweet filly from a wonderful family and a wonderful mare.
"If you were looking for a mare to start a big breeding operation, a Dubawi out of a Monsun mare and a half-sister to an Arc winner is an obvious place to start! We wish them every luck."
The top-priced colt during the final session was the son of Galileo out of the Starspangledbanner mare Anthem Alexander who realised 1.1 million guineas to the bid of M.V. Magnier. He was sold by Noel O'Callaghan of Mountarmstrong Stud from a long-term family developed by the farm. Anthem Alexander, winner of the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes and second in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, is a half-sister to successful sire Dandy Man.
"He is a proper horse, let's hope he is very lucky for his new people. He is going to a proper trainer and has every chance," said O'Callaghan.
Magnier secured the colt after seeing off underbidder Oliver St Lawrence and a persistent online bidder.
Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony said: "While the figures may not have returned to the dizzy heights of 2019, and the very top of the market has made an adjustment, the average, median and clearance rate have all improved significantly and the turnover has also climbed despite a smaller catalogue.
"Particularly encouraging has been the depth and diversity amongst the buyers in all sectors of the market. Nine different buyers have bought yearlings for 750,000 guineas or more and in addition to the strong British and Irish participation, buyers from Abu Dhabi, Australia, Bahrain, China, Dubai, France, Hong Kong, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the USA have all made significant contributions."
“Particularly notable has been the powerful American contingent. They have been a real feature of October Book 1 in recent years and the extraordinary level of racecourse success has driven even greater demand with around 50 Book 1 yearlings acquired over the past three days heading across the Atlantic."
OCTOBER YEARLING SALE BOOK 1
Current Year Previous Year Change %
Catalogued 502 548 -8%
Withdrawn 50 82 -39%
Offered 452 466 -3%
Unsold 77 97 -21%
Sold 375 369 +2%
Aggregate 86,369,000gns 82,385,000gns +5%
Median 160,000 130,000 +23%
Average 230,317 223,266 +3%
% lots sold 83% 79% +5%