OVER 80% of horses offered during the opening session of the Goffs Orby Sale were sold on Wednesday but there was no denying that spending fell significantly as vendors and buyers tried to match their yearling valuations in a world still coming to terms with the impact of Covid-19.
This year's Orby Sale is being staged at the Goffs UK complex in Doncaster, due to Irish government restrictions on foreign visitors.
There were more withdrawals than usual from the catalogue and Wednesday's trade saw 165 yearlings sold for a total of £11.5 million (€12.7 million). Last year's opening day, staged in very different circumstances, saw 187 yearlings sell for €23 million.
Today's average price of just under £70,000 (€77,000) compares with last year's day one average of €123,000, though it should be noted that last year's opening day saw three horses sell for over a million each. The median price is a better guide and that dropped from €75,000 to £50,000 (€55,000) today.
Most onlookers expected the Sea The Stars filly out of top producer Green Room to top the session but she was retained by her breeders, Vimal and Gillian Khosla, when bidding stopped at €775,000. Her three-parts sister topped the sale last year at €3 million.
Godolphin, Shadwell and Phoenix Thoroughbreds were among the top buyers at this sale last year but, as of yet, those operations do not appear to have signed for any yearlings here.
Trade on day one was topped by the Irish National Stud’s son of Invincible Spirit who sold to US agent Ben McElroy for £420,000 on behalf of Barbara Banke’s Stonepoint Thoroughbred Holdings.
Set to go into training with Wesley Ward, the colt is out of the winning Pivotal mare Aimhirgin Lass who is an own-sister to listed winner Seeharn and a half-sister to dual Group 3 winner Yellow Rosebud.
Another of the day’s standouts was a Dark Angel filly from Baroda Stud, half-sister to the group race winner and Oaks placed Jack Naylor and out of the Listed winning Fashionable, who realised £400,000 when knocked down to CBR Bloodstock.
Invincible Spirit proved popular again later in the day as Airlie Stud's half-brother to Group 3 winner and Group 1 July Cup-placed Eastern Impact (as well as the group-placed Miss Katie Mae), sold to Mark McStay's Avenue Bloodstock for £350,000.
Hugo Merry earlier went to £330,000 to secure a daughter of leading first season sire Mehmas in Lot 51, a half-sister to Group 3 winner K Club and the listed placed Back To Brussels from The Castlebridge Consignment, while among the day's other highlights were Croom House Stud’s Kingman filly out of a Galileo sister to Zoffany, Rostropovich and Wilshire Boulevard that sold to Juddmonte Farms for £280,000, while the Hong Kong Jockey Club struck for Grangemore Stud's Dark Angel own-brother to Group 2 Superlative Stakes winner Birchwood for £260,000.
The sale continues at 10am on Thursday.
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