THE Tattersalls December Foal Sale ended on Saturday evening with total spending over the four days up 13% on last year. The average price was up 11% to 47,386gns and the median price rose by 4% from last year to 26,000gns.

One of the surprises of the week has been the activity from Shadwell. The bloodstock operation founded by the late Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum spent 1.3 million guineas on seven foals this week. On Saturday Shadwell's representative Angus Gold bought the day's joint top lot when spending 110,000gns on a colt foal by Mohaather. The sire was a star for Shadwell on the track and his first foals have been popular this week.

Gold's latest purchase is a first foal out of the Exceed And Excel mare Time For Change, and was sold by Barton Stud.

"Obviously, we are a bit biased, Mohaather was a very special horse for us," Gold said. "We thought he was slightly underrated if anything, for me what he did at Goodwood that day in the Sussex Stakes was out of the ordinary, I have not seen a horse quicken like that since Kingman in the same race.

"So we are big fans and I have liked the stock I have seen. What I particularly liked is that, leading into this week, lots of people have told me that they have a really nice Mohaather foal, which is great to hear. We bought one two days ago, and the vendor told me they had an even better one at home. There are some really good vibes about him."

Of this foal. Gold outlined: "I thought this was a really smart horse, and a lot of people thought the same, I heard he had 10 vets on him so he was always going to cost a bit. He is out of a half-sister to a horse who ran second in the Gimcrack and was a handy horse, and this horse looks a sprinter. If he is any good he will be fast and hopefully will be one to get the stallion off to a good start.

Of the buying at this sale through the week, Gold added: "We have bought seven foals. Obviously we sold over the last couple of years we sold many mares that we ended up with around 50.

"With some barren or slipped or were maidens, it means that the stud's foal crop is only have around 35 and by the time we they go into training we will be down on numbers in training.

"I spoke with Sheikha Hissa and she was keen to get some foals to supplement the racing team, if we could buy at relatively sensible money."

Future plans

Explaining a little more of the Shadwell plans, he said: "Over the last two years it was about getting it all to a manageable size. The family has got a bit more structure to the whole organisation now and I think Sheikha Hissa is just trying to see what sot of size she would like it to be. We will have around 100 horses in training next year, we had about 75-80 this year."

Buying plans for next week are currently fluid.

"I will be looking at mares next week," smiled Gold, and referencing to a certain new stallion on the Shadwell roster, added: "If there is anything that Stephen Collins and I think we should be buying to add to the broodmare band, we will chat – we have got a real reason to get some nice mares!

"I don't know whether the family will want to be at that end of the market straight away, but next week's sale looks a lovely catalogue on paper. We will see what happens."

Masar colt foal

Also fetching 110,000gns was a Masar colt foal from Simon Sweeting's Overbury Stud, which was bought by Yeomanstown.

Sweeting acquired the mare, Hawaafez, for just 14,000gns at the February Sale here. The pedigree got a quick boost when the mare's three-year-old daughter Rogue Millennium won the Lingfield Oaks in May.

"Richard Brown bought the mare for me here in February, I was not around and he did it himself," explained Sweeting. "It looked like a chancy buy to start with but the mare was an exceptional racehorse and Rogue Millennium has come along, and everything else has landed into place, too – the two-year-old is now one for one and her Kingman yearling has gone to trainer George Boughey.

"It is definitely a progressive family, but that sale did take me by surprise, but it is a lovely surprise to have! He was a late foal, but he has been very straightforward and everything has worked out well."

The four-day Tattersalls December Mares Sale starts on Monday morning.


2022 2021 Change %

Catalogued 1,173 1,072 +9%

Withdrawn 190 166 +14%

Offered 983 906 +8%

Unsold 239 172 +39%

Sold 744 734 +1%

Total Value (gns) 35,255,050 31,301,500 +13%

Median Value (gns) 26,000 25,000 +4%

Average Value (gns) 47,386 42,645 +11%

% sold 76% 81% -6%