A TREMENDOUS week at Goffs came to a close last Saturday as the company’s November Breeding Stock Sale concluded with its best set of returns for a number of years.

After the highs of the Foal Sale, Goffs presented its strongest selection of breeding stock for quite some time and this was reflected in a level of trade on Friday’s opening session which was nothing short of stunning. This in turn fed into the final figures which recorded sweeping gains in all key areas.

Last year’s renewal of this sale took place over just one day so, year on year, comparisons are rendered far less informative than would usually be the case.

But a look back at the two-day editions in 2019 and 2018 is instructive from this point of view and demonstrates just quite how strong this sale was.

Upon its conclusion the sale produced an aggregate of just over €16.2 million. This was close to treble last year’s figure and came it at more than double the amounts recorded in 2018 and 2019.

The average of €43,718 was the highest recorded at this sale for five years while the median of €17,000 was even better than the corresponding sale of 2016 when the sale played host to the never-to-be-forgotten Wildenstein Dispersal.

All these returns points to an exceptional breeding stock auction, while a clearance rate of 82% represented another positive from the week.

Six figures

The obvious highlight of the two days was the €825,000 of Alcohol Free’s dam Plying, but there were many other transactions of note and Friday’s session yielded a remarkable 38 six-figure transactions. By contrast, just 11 lots managed that feat last year and that number was 19 in 2019.

As ever, quality drafts from the Aga Khan and Godolphin played their part, while the ongoing restructuring of the Shadwell empire was a huge positive for this sale as Derrinstown Stud presented a stunning draft of breeding stock which sold incredibly well.

The vagaries of breeding stock sales mean that the quality of catalogues can vary markedly from one year to another and this year the stars aligned for Goffs.

However, that aside this was an excellent auction and unquestionably one of the strongest editions of the Breeding Stock Sale in the last few decades. Even the second day of the sale, which is generally a low-key affair, returned a much stronger level of trade than has recently been the case which is further testament to the overall depth of the catalogue.

This brought the curtain down on what has been a memorable 2021 for Goffs in terms of their flat sales while it also emphasised that Kildare Paddocks offers a viable and realistic marketplace for high-end stock.