THE absence of a number of exceptional offerings in this year’s Tattersalls December Mare Sale catalogue had the expected effect of bringing the turnover down by 5%, dipping below 60 million guineas. However, the competitive nature of trade overall was demonstrated by a 32% jump in median and a 4% rise in average. The clearance rate this year was back by a single percentage point.

Not since 2004 when no lot made a million guineas or more has there been a lower number of such gems, with only Coplow making it into that rarefied territory in 2019. The lack of depth in this year’s catalogue was acknowledged by Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony in his closing statement on Thursday.