THREE days of extraordinary trade at Newmarket ended on Thursday evening with any number of records smashed during Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
After a week which saw 420 of the best-bred yearlings in the world change hands, perhaps the one standout metric is the average price paid of 298,752gns. This is 30% up on last year’s average price of 230,000gns. The previous record for this sale was 293,095gns in 2017.
This year’s median price of 200,000gns is 25% up on last year and again the highest ever recorded at this sale. The total spending over the three days of 126,671,000gns represents a near 50% increase on 2021 and is 20% ahead of the highest previous sale aggregate.
At the very top end of the market, the super-stallions Frankel and Dubawi have dominated. Frankel accounted for five of the top 10 lots, Dubawi had four, with Ballylinch Stud’s Lope De Vega breaking the dominance with one entry.
A total of 16 yearlings fetched seven-figure sums. Four of them came from Irish farms – Croom House Stud and Ballyphilip Stud in Co Limerick, Ballylinch Stud in Co Kilkenny and Kildare’s Baroda Stud, selling on behalf of Barnane Stud in Co Tipperary.
One of the big stories of the week was the presence of Sheikh Mohammed on the sales ground. This led to Godolphin spending over 25 million guineas on 35 horses. Last year Godolphin spent under 10 million at this sale.
Just like on Wednesday, Thursday’s session was topped by two Frankel colts.
Bloodstock agent Richard Knight, who has been spending big on behalf of an unnamed client at various sales this autumn, went to two million guineas for another Frankel colt consigned by the Lloyd-Webbers’ Watership Down Stud.
Another seven-figure Frankel ??@WatershipStud's draft continues to light up the #TattsOctober Book 1 sales ring. This time, @rkba_com goes to 2,000,000gns to secure the colt out of Bold Lass, ½-sister to Gr.1 winner Tante Rose. pic.twitter.com/LqXwcDdvta— Tattersalls (@Tattersalls1766) October 6, 2022
On Wednesday the same vendor sold a Frankel colt for 2.8 million guineas.
Thursday’s top lot was a colt out of the Sea The Stars mare Bold Lass, the winner of four races and from the family of Group 1 winner My Branch. It was one of 16 purchases this week by Richard Knight which left him in second place on the buyers’ table.
Of his latest Frankel purchase, Knight said: “He is a scopey, quality colt – I went down and saw him again this morning and he was very relaxed. He is a very athletic horse, he vetted well. The dam has produced a 100-plus rated horse already, he comes from a nice family. He is just a lovely colt. It was the top of our budget and where we saw we'd have to go to to get him.
"We underbid a filly yesterday by Frankel and they are as hot as anything and hard to buy. We were well aware we'd have to pay a good price to get him."
Luca and Sara Cumani’s Fittocks Stud sold the second highest-priced lot pf the day, a colt by Frankel out of the three-time winner Blue Waltz. He was bought for 1.9 million guineas by M.V. Magnier and Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm, who bought 13 lots together in total this week.
"It has been an amazing week, the market has been very strong, long may it continue,” said Luca Cumani. “It is very exciting to be part of this environment. You never know what they might make, we thought he'd be 500,00gns to 800,000gns and up, but you can never tell."
He recalled: "I trained for Peter [Brant of White Birch] in the 1980s and early 90s, I trained for him the dam of Thunder Gulch and the good filly Roseate Tern. We have known each other for donkeys years. We also sold Milan to Coolmore – I am very grateful to M.V. and Paul Shanahan, but especially to our staff – they have done a wonderful job, they really have over excelled themselves."
Book 2 of the October Yearling Sale starts on Monday morning.