THE €160,000 sale of the Group 3 runner-up Erzindjan provided the highlight of Monday’s Goffs Autumn Horses-In-Training Sale which played host to a satisfactory day’s trade that enabled the auction to post a solid set of final returns.

After taking place in an online format last year, the auction was all the better for its return to its traditional setting as it produced a turnover of just under €1.3 million, which was a 26% improvement on last year.

The average dropped by 18 points to €13,525 – a product of more horses being sold this year – while the median progressed from €7,000 to €8,000. In addition, the clearance rate for the day progressed from 72% to 78%.

“Today’s Horses-In-Training Sale has enjoyed another welcome return to Kildare Paddocks as we were, of course, forced online last year although we still managed to grow the sale compared to 2019,” remarked Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby at the conclusion of the sale.

“Trade has been buoyant and driven by international interest with buyers from Czech Republic, Dubai, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Qatar, Scandinavia, Slovakia, UK and, of course, Ireland, whilst we accepted bids from Australian interests, clearly demonstrating that this is yet another category that need not leave these shores to sell to the world.

“Indeed it is our fervent hope that we can persuade more Irish owners and trainers to “stay close and go far at Goffs” as our purchaser attraction team and our overseas agents, combine with Irish Thoroughbred Marketing to link together to promote every entry on an individual basis whilst Goffs Online allows participation for everywhere and anywhere.

“It’s that personal approach that sets us apart and allows us to focus on every lot in a way that is unique and so often results in us exceeding expectations,” concluded Beeby.

Top lot

As has been the case on countless occasions in the past, a draft of horses from the Aga Khan Studs provided several of the day’s highlights, with pride of place going to the aforementioned Erzindjan.

A smart three-year-old for Dermot Weld and also listed-placed at Cork during the summer, the son of Lope De Vega was bought by agent Alessandro Marconi who was acting on behalf of Dubai-based trainer Ahmed bin Harmash.

Marconi reported that his purchase will be in action at the Dubai Racing Carnival over the course of the winter months.

There was another six-figure transaction later in the day when jockey Gearoid Brouder, who recently trained his first winner at Gowran, forked out €100,000 for the Michael Halford inmate Eagle’s Flight.

The four-year-old son of Gleneagles, who came under the hammer as a three-time winner, was bought with a hurdling career in mind, although he could be in action at Dundalk this winter before getting a break.

Sought-after sorts

The Aga Khan draft was a small but select affair this year with the famed owner-breeder offering just four horses. These also included the Down Royal maiden winner Silaiyli who fetched €56,000.

He was bought by English agent Billy Jackson-Stops who was acting on behalf of Qatar-based trainer Ibrahim Al Malki.

Another popular Aga Khan offering was Ebasari who will be joining Gordon Elliott for a juvenile hurdling career after being snapped up by Aidan O’Ryan for €48,000.

This son of Lope De Vega is a six-race maiden on the flat and was placed in a Roscommon handicap in late June on his most recent start.

Another three-year-old who was bought to join Elliott was Eddie and Patrick Harty’s Britzka who was knocked down to O’Ryan for €40,000. This son of Zoffany returned to form to take second in a Leopardstown handicap last month.

Solid story

The reliable three-year-old maiden Tall Story, who came under the hammer off a succession of runner-up finishes for Joe Murphy, attracted plenty of interest before Ross O’Sullivan, acting for owner John Bowden, struck the winning bid at €40,000.

This price was closely matched by the Aga Khan-owned Kalaroun who cost agent Brendan Bashford €36,000 following a recent handicap success at Dundalk.

Also coming in at €36,000 was Willie McCreery’s Huddle Up who looked a useful sprint handicapper in the making when striking at Navan last month. He was bought by English trainer David Barron.

A career across the Irish Sea is also on the cards for the capable Cisco Disco who will join Richard Fahey after making €30,000.

The three-time winner was sold on the back of a good second in a Galway handicap late last month.