A Montjeu colt out of European champion Finsceal Beo lit up the board at Kildare Paddocks Oct. 3 when selling for €2.85 million ($3,881,536 in United States funds) at the second and final session of the Goffs Orby yearling sale in Ireland.
Coolmore's M. V. Magnier acquired the bay colt, foaled March 7 in Ireland. Bloodstock agent Ross Doyle, alongside trainer Richard Hannon Jr., was the underbidder on the youngster, who was bred by Michael Ryan and offered under his Al Eile Stud banner.
The price is the highest for a yearling in the Northern Hemisphere this year and the second highest in sale history behind record-priced Authaal, a Shergar colt, who sold for €3.1 million in 1984. Jane Eyre, a Sadler's Wells filly, sold for €2.4 million in 2007.
The sale closed with 27.7% rise in aggregate and an 11.8% increase in average price.
Overall, Goffs reported 344 of 394 horses offered as sold at the two-day auction for total revenue of €34,745,500 ($47,315,456). The average price was €101,004 ($137,546), and the median was €56,500 ($76,943), down slightly at 1.7%.
The clearance rate was 87.3%, compared with 84.8% in 2012.
The Montjeu colt is one of three foals out of Finsceal Beo, Europe's champion 2-year-old filly of 2006 after winning the Prix Marcel Boussac-Grand Criterium (Fr-I) for Ryan and trainer Jim Bolger. The following season, she captured the One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket, the Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at the Curragh, and finished a close second in the French equivalent at Longchamp.
Finsceal Beo, by Mr. Greeley, is a half sister to 2010 German Two Thousand Guineas (Ger-I) winner Frozen Power
. Her first two foals, 3-year-old Finsceal Flor, by Galileo
, and 2-year-old Too The Stars, by Sea The Stars
, are unraced. Too The Stars sold for €800,000 as a weanling at the 2011 Goffs November foal sale.
"He's a very good mover and all the lads thought he was an exceptional Montjeu," Magnier told Racing Post about the Montjeu colt. "It's plenty of money but obviously he's very well bred."
A European champion, Montjeu stood at Coolmore Stud in Ireland until his death at age 16 in March from complications of septicemia, an infection in the bloodstream.
"Montjeu has been very good to us," Magnier said.
"They're not making them any more, but hopefully we'll have two exciting sons, Camelot
and St Nicholas Abbey
, to stand for us next year."
Also at the final session, Magnier bought a Galileo half sister to French group I winner Lord Shanakill
for the sale's second highest price of €680,000 ($926,167).
Offered by Ballylinch Stud, agent, the filly was bred by Vimal and Gillian Khosla out of the unraced Theatrical mare Green Room, who has five previous foals, three starters, and two winners, including Lord Shanakill.
Green Room is a half sister to 1999 Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. I) winner Spanish Fern
from the family of Irish classic winner Al Bahathri
, U.S. grade I winner and sire Heatseeker
, U.S. grade II winner Geraldine's Store
, and French group I winner Hearts of Fire
Magnier was the sale's leading buyer by aggregate and average price, with five horses bought for €4,545,000 ($6,189,343), an average of €909,000 ($1,237,913). His purchases include the first session's second-highest price: a colt by Coolmore's leading European sire Galileo out of Irish classic winner Saoire for €425,000 ($577,305).
The final session also saw the father-son team of Peter and Ross Doyle go to the sale's third-highest price of €580,000 ($789,903) for an Acclamation
filly out of Irish stakes winner Galistic
. She was offered by Camas Park Stud.
The day one session topper, a filly by Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) Raven's Pass
out of French group III winner Albisola
, was the sale's fourth-highest price at €520,000 ($706,455). Consigned by Knocktoran Stud, she was bought by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum's Shadwell Estate Co.
A pleased Goffs chief executive Henry Beeby summed up two days of trading.
"The top price was obviously a highlight, but the Orby sale has again proved itself as a major sale of the best with sustained demand for the wonderful selection of some of the best of the 2012 crop as illustrated by the improved clearance rate of 87% from a larger catalogue," he said. "It is always a challenge to better a really good sale and it should be remembered that Orby '12 was a spectacular success with a 47% leap in average that allowed it to return the most impressive statistics of any sale last year. So to build on that with an average that has advanced by another 28% is especially pleasing and we would thank our vendors most sincerely for trusting us with their superb yearlings.
"So the two days have once again made our same, simple and consistent point in some style. Send us the horses and Goffs will do as well, if not better, than any auction house. We have ensured a truly international buying bench from all over the globe following targeted marketing trips alongside our friends at Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and have welcomed buyers from 25 countries, including increased numbers from Japan, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc."