ALL the portents leading up to this week pointed to a strong edition of the Tattersalls Ireland Derby Sale but expectations were surely surpassed over the course of Wednesday and Thursday as some extraordinary trade pushed the auction on to new heights.

The various year-on-year percentage increases in all key areas don’t quite convey the strength of trade at this sale as records and milestones fell by the wayside.

A strong middle market, big spending owners and the increasingly notable spending power of the point-to-point fraternity all combined to make this a landmark Derby Sale.

For the first time in the sale’s history the turnover for two days topped €18 million which represented an impressive 15% gain on last year. The average of €57,903 grew by 7% but, more significantly, this was a new high for the sale, while the €50,000 median was also a record.

In addition a clearance rate of 93% is testament to a market that had demand and depth at all levels.

Six figures

There were many striking aspects to this year’s sale and one of the most obvious and striking is the level of six-figure activity.

In 2019 and 2021 there were 24 horses who made at least €100,000 at the Derby Sale but that number rose to 36 this time.

Within this sector there was notable growth at the top of the market with six horses making at least €200,000. This has only happened once before at the Derby Sale and that was back in 2006. Furthermore the number of horses making at least €50,000 progressed from 142 last year to 162 this time around.

As ever the auction benefitted from substantial investment from across the Irish Sea, while the point-to-point sector once again showed how crucial it is to the overall health of the store market.

The two biggest buyers this week were the Monbeg Stables team and Colin Bowe’s Milestone Bloodstock while nine of the 35 six-figure lots were bought with a view to resale from the point-to-point field.

The domestic store season wraps up with the July Sale in a few weeks’ time but events this month have ensured that 2022 was one to remember for this sector and this surely bodes well for the National Hunt foal sales later in the year.

Top lot

The star turn of the week and the highest priced lot to come under the hammer at this sale for four years was an outstanding €310,000 daughter of Kapgarde.

The half-sister to the dual Grade 1 winner Mighty Potter, the Grade 3-winning French Dynamite and the graded-placed Indiana Jones was bought by Gordon Elliott on behalf of an established client after he outlasted the Coolmara Stables team.

A private purchase in France from her breeder by brothers Niall and John Bleahen, this filly is the highest-priced store to come under the hammer this year and she is the most expensive filly to be sold at this sale for 16 years.