Book 1 of the Tattersalls October yearling sale got off to an impressive start in England with an opening session gross of 23,016,000 guineas ($38,843,490 in U.S. funds), which was the highest single-day total since the auction's inception in 2003. The amount was up 26.8% from a year ago.
Other results Oct. 9 included an average price of 165,583 guineas ($279,450) for the 174 horses that were sold. The median price was 110,000 guineas ($185,644). Compared to 2011, when 147 yearlings were sold, the average rose 9.5%. The median grew 10%. However, the clearance rate declined to 79.9% from 81.6%.
A son of Raven's Pass topped the first day, commanding 800,000 guineas ($1,350,143). John Ferguson, who is the bloodstock manager for Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, purchased the chestnut colt, winning a bidding battle with John Magnier of Coolmore Stud.
The Castlebridge Consignment offered the yearling, which was bred in Ireland by Marguerite Weld. The colt is the third reported foal out of 2006 Boylesports Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Nightime (by Galileo).
"Raven's Pass has obviously done very well and we are thrilled with (his 2012 English group II-winning son) Steeler," Ferguson said. "But there are plenty more in the pipeline by Raven's Pass and they are all showing the right signs. But what is more, Mrs. Weld, who bred this horse, has to be highly congratulated. We have seen this horse as a foal and through to the spring, and he has just thrived. When we saw him here we were not surprised to see such a lovely horse. So it is a fantastic combination: an outstanding individual from a leading breeder, out of a Guineas-winning mare, and by a stallion we are excited about. It just makes sense."
Magnier, buying through Demi O'Byrne, got the session's second-most-expensive horse, a Montjeu colt that brought 700,000 guineas ($1,181,376). Croom House Stud consigned the bay yearling, which was bred in Ireland by Epona Bloodstock. London-based bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson tried to buy the colt and so did American Jon Kelly.
The yearling is a half brother to the winners My One Weakness (by Bertolini) and Parvana (by Galileo). Their dam, the unraced Machiavellian mare Lucina, is a half sister to 2008 Dubai Duty Free Arc Trial (Eng-III) winner Blue Monday (by Darshaan).